The estimated Wokingham Borough Population can be split down to look at the difference between gender and between age groups. When compared with the England average (see Figure 1) it is clear that Wokingham has a higher proportion of males between the ages of 5-14 years, and 35-54 years. There is also a higher proportion of females aged 5-9 years and 35-49 years old when compared with the England average.
Figure 1 – Wokingham Borough population structure 2014 compared to England
Source: ONS, 2015
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) produces estimates of the number of people who are expected to be living in an area in the future including what age and what gender these people will be. The furthest year that there is data for is 2037. These are national projections based on factors such as births, deaths, and migration into and out of an area. They do not take into account local factors such as the building of new housing developments which could be expected to draw more people into the area.
The national data can be used to look at whether the total population is expected in increase or decrease and which age groups are expected to have the largest increase in numbers. Figure two shows the population projections from the ONS for Wokingham Borough by age grouping.
Figure 2 – Population projection by age groups for Wokingham Borough
After analysing figure two it shows that together with the expected overall population growth there is an increase in the older age group (65+ years) predicted. Despite this increase in numbers the proportion of older people is not expected to change. This increase in numbers is likely to place a greater demand on the health and social care system in the Borough, as there is a higher likelihood of people living with Long Term conditions, dementia or frailty.
Wokingham Borough is undergoing a large degree of housing developments, in the form of Strategic Development Locations. There are 13,500 new homes that are aimed to be built by 2026, with this influx in housing the population projections produced by the ONS are likely to under represent the future populations.
Work is ongoing to better understand and plan for the expected increase in population with a wide range of partners across the community.