Rate : Percentage aged 15-64

Rates are used to define comparative statistics that can be mapped and graphed. For example, our occupational information includes counts of the number of workers in employment and out of employment, as well as the total number of workers. We then define a measure called the 'Unemployment Rate', which uses the number out of work rather than the number in work, and expresses it as a percentage of the total, rather than a rate per thousand. The descriptive text in the system is defined mainly for rates.

Percentage aged 15-64
Rate (R)
AGE_GROUP:15_64 * 100.0 / TOT_POP:now
Display as:
Continuous time series
Of course, the definition of 'working age' has itself changed. Compulsory education to age 10 was established in some areas from 1870, and in all areas from 1880, but enforcement was patchy. The 1918 Education Act established for the first time a national minimum school leaving age of 14, raised to 15 by Butler's 1944 Education Act (1945 in Scotland) and 16 in 1973. The male retirement age was standardised at 65 only by the 1925 Pension Act, but as far back as the 1870s trade unionists entitled to a 'superannuation' benefit based on physical decay rather than any precise age typically claimed the benefit at 64 or 65. As the census reported 5-year age bands, defining working age over our whole period as 15 to 64 seems reasonable.

Despite the large change in overall age structure, the proportion of working age has changed relatively little: it was smallest in 1871 and 1881 (59%), and at its greatest in 1931 (69%). What has changed, of course, is the make-up of the so-called 'dependent population': in 1851, 88% of those not of working age were under 15, while by 2011 the majority were over 64. As you would expect, the main concentrations of the workforce were in areas of rapid population growth, so in 1851 they were in the industrial districts and London. In 2011, low proportions of working age population are generally in rural areas, and also in coastal areas affected by retirement migration.

What our choice of rates does not show, of course, is the ratio of young and old within the working age population. Comparing, for example, the proportion under and over 45 would show that declining industrial areas generally have older workforces, and in modern Britain many in this age group are unable to find work.

Rate " Percentage aged 15-64 " is contained within:

Themes, which organise the database into broad topics:

Entity ID Entity Name
T_POP Population

Rate " Percentage aged 15-64 " contains no lower-level entities.