the blog posts

the issue of housing

As reported in The Royal Gazette, the residential portion of the Grand Atlantic development, South Road, Warwick, is intended to comprise a total of 78 two- and three-bedroom dwellings. Presumably, it is targeted at those with small and/or growing families judging by the bedroom count. Possibly, also, it is intended to satisfy the 'starter home' market. 

What is striking, though, is the market it is not intended to serve: the elderly.

If you are up for some interesting reading, I would recommend the Bermuda Population Projections 2000-2030 and the 2010 Census of Population & Housing Final Results. Both tomes are available online through the Department of Statistics. I am not a statistician but some of the results were eye-catching.

First, the Population Projections anticipate a rise in the median age (median meaning, literally, 'in the middle' such that half the population is below the number and half is above) as follows: 2000 = 37 years old and 2030 = 43 years old*.

The Census final results show the median age at 2010 was already 41. Yes, our population is definitely aging. Food for thought.

Second, the Population Projections anticipate the number of seniors (those aged 65 and more) will increase from 11% of the population in 2000 to 22% by 2030.

The Census final results show an increase to 14% in 2010. However, it is useful to look at the age cohort coming up behind as well. That population group, aged 45 - 64, increased from 24% of the population to 30%. More food for thought.

Essentially, and to quote Population Projections:

...Bermuda’s evolving demographic profile will have fewer children, an older workforce and more elderly...According to the United Nations, if fewer than 4 percent of a country’s population is 60 and over (or 65 and over), it is “young”; 4 percent to 7 percent of elderly persons represent a “mature” population and more than 7 percent is an “aged”population (McPherson 1983:83).

As early as 1950, Bermuda progressed into the mature stage with 6% of its population 65 years or older. By 1980, Bermuda’s age structure was considered to be “aged” with 9% of its population 65 years and older.  

I guess, with a seniors age group that is now 14% of the population, Bermuda is officially ancient?

Joking aside, a growing elderly population needs senior home care, senior daycare centres and programmes and retirement and assisted living facilities. One hopes the housing stock (and workforce) is already adjusting for our new reality.

UPDATE: A conversation with an Age Concern representative indicates, from survey, that Bermuda's elderly prefer to remain in their own homes, which is probably not a surprise. As such, practical considerations include, but are not limited to: home care services, buildings' accessibility, assisted living options.

* Projections and Census results are further broken down into Bermudian vs. non-Bermudian, black vs. white, etc. However, for the purposes of this blog entry, total population figures are used.