The Isle of Man has an ageing population. In 2011, the retirement age population stood at 21.2%.

The following images and notes offer very brief coverage of the contents of the Isle of Man Population Atlas.

Chapter 4: Population Ageing

People in the Isle of Man have been living longer throughout the whole of the period between the 1950s and the present.


Despite this increasing longevity, the population of the Isle of Man has not been ageing continuously. The triangular graph below shows changes in the broad age structure.

Between 1951 and 1971 the proportion of the population aged under 16 years remained fairly constant. The working age population fell whilst the retirement population rose. The population aged. In the 1950s this was the result of the emigration of young adults and families seeking work. In the 1960s it was affected by the immigration of people coming to retire.

During the thirty years after 1971, despite a continued rise in the average age of death, the population grew younger. The proportion of the population under 16 years fell but the biggest changes were the increase in the working population and the decline in the retirement population.

Between 2001 and 2011, the working population stopped growing and the retirement population increased. The population was, once again, ageing.


The working-age population, as a proportion of the total, grew smaller in the 1950s and 60s (see the depth of the area shaded purple below) dropping from 61.7% to 54.1%. Between 1971 and 2001 it was restored to 61.7%. In the ten years up to 2011, it fell to 61.1%.


The median age is the age which has half of the population lower and half higher. Between 1951 and 1971, the median age rose from 37.8 years to 41.3 years as the population aged primarily due to migration. It fell to 38.6 years by 2001. Immigration, primarily in the working-age groups caused the population to grow younger. Between 2001 and 2011, the population began to age again. The median age rose to 41.5 years in 2011.


The dependency ratio is expressed below as the combined child and retirement populations expressed as a percentage of the working population. It is subject to changing age boundaries and should be used with care.

In the years dominated by net emigration (1950s) and retirement immigration (1960s), the dependency ration rose from 62.2% to 85.0%. It fell to 62.1% by 2001 but rose to 63.7% in 2011.


Between 1951 and 1961, the population of the Isle of Man fell from 54,000 to 47,200 but it then increased in the 1960s to reach 53,200 by 1971. During this twenty year period the overall population aged markedly. The age-sex profile below shows that by 1971 every age group over 55 years had grown larger and almost every group in the working age years had grow smaller.


Between 1971 and 2001, the population grew from 53,200 to 76,300 so the age-sex profile (or pyramid) for 2001 is much larger than that for 1971. Although there were more people aged over 75 in 2001, the biggest difference between the two profiles is the large increase in the working age groups, especially between 30 and 54 years. The population profile took on a very different shape by 2001.


Between 2001 and 2011, the population grew by more than 8,000 to reach 84,500. Although there was some increase in the numbers under 25 years, the 25 to 39 age groups declined. Nearly every age group over 40 had grown in size by 2011 showing the return to population ageing.



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This Atlas captures and presents the population of the Isle of Man through more than 130 imaginative maps and graphs and offers an authoritative commentary on a wide range of population issues.

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