Is demography destiny?

Is demography destiny?

The common saying that demography is destiny divides opinion. But there can be no doubt that demographic factors such as age, income, ethnicity, education and income have a decisive bearing on our everyday lives. To take one topical example, the risks from Covid-19 are highest among older men with underlying health conditions.

Levelling up

This collection of articles looks at demographics through the prism of public policymaking and regulated industries. The government’s ambition to tackle regional inequalities by levelling up economic and social outcomes is, in essence, an exercise in applied demographics. Why do people in rich parts of Britain live much longer than those in poor areas, and do we address the problem by targeting people or places? Separately, the welcome trend of longer lives highlights the need to encourage more saving for what will probably be a lengthy retirement.

Vulnerability and demographics

For water companies, understanding the characteristics of households that default on their bills is critical for cost efficiency. In the telecoms sector, population density and average incomes are among the factors shaping firms’ 5G rollout strategies. Energy providers need to know the demographic forces driving vulnerability if they are to fulfil their regulatory duty to provide special services to customers in need.

Levelling up is the new catch-all phrase for tackling regional disparities across the UK. But these differences vary significantly depending on the economic or social outcomes in question.
Sarah Snelson
The creation of a specific Index of Water Deprivation which incorporates the specific demographic characteristics of those customers who default on their water bills could be a natural next step.
Tom Badger
Automatic enrolment has radically reformed UK long-term savings policy. But young people today still do not enjoy the clarity and simplicity that were the hallmarks of pension arrangements in the past.
Phil Sneade

In numbers


of individuals in South West England are classed as vulnerable


more people now save into a pension


of homes in Latvia have full-fibre broadband coverage

Team Thoughts

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