Recently a local councillor told a meeting that more than half of the residents in Ludlow are aged 65 or over. A short while later, a resident said that two-thirds of people here are over 65.
Neither of these statements is anywhere near the truth. The true statistic from the 2011 census is that 27% of residents were 65 or over. That’s not much above a quarter of residents.
Now a question. Which area in Shropshire has the oldest population?
It proves to be my division of Ludlow North by a long way. In the graph below, the higher the bar, the higher the proportion of people 65 years of age or older. That’s us on the right, the most elderly electoral division in Shropshire. (Click the graph to get a bigger image, which is from LGA Inform).
More than a third of people in the Ludlow North area are 65 or over (33.5%). That’s much more than Ludlow as a whole (27%), Shropshire (21%) and England (16%). But, again, it’s nowhere near half the population.
This data is important when it comes to health policy and a whole range of decisions. It also explains why we have such an active volunteer community – the dedicated people who staff charity shops and the Assembly Rooms, who help people in difficulty, who record the town’s heritage and who do so much to help the town in their ‘retirement’.
I’ll come back to the question of whether there are poor people in Ludlow. You already know the answer to that, but I’ll dig out some numbers that show that we have some of wealthiest areas in England here in the town standing cheek by jowl with some of the poorest. I’ll also look at the youth profile of the town, crime data and much more.
If we get the data right, we might just get the policies right.