Bradford is facing a unique set of population demands as it has become one of the ‘youngest’ cities outside London but will also see numbers of residents aged more than 90 more than double in the decades ahead.
According to the latest Government statistics, Bradford’s population will have grown by 12 per cent by 2037, ahead of the average growth figure of ten per cent.
But the city already has an unusually high number of under 25-year-olds, who make up 35 per cent of the population. Nationally the figure is 30 per cent.
At the other end of the scale, the number of pensioners older than 90 is set to shoot up from 4,000 to 10,000 by 2037.
Politicians say the challenges that creates in providing for the community justify extra Government money.
Bradford East MP David Ward said: “I think there’s a lot of confidence coming back and local jobs are being created and unemployment is coming down.”
Referring to the announcement this week about Apperley Bridge station he added: “These infrastructure improvements are very much required if this is going to be a place where people want to come and work and set up businesses. It’s going to be far more attractive to them.”
He said it was also important to tempt the bright young minds of the future to stay in the city.
Shipley’s Conservative MP Philip Davies added: “The fact that the population is due to rise so substantially right across the country shows why we need to get a proper grip on immigration and stop the ludicrous open border policy which we have with the EU. The sooner we leave the EU and get back control of our borders the better.
“These increases in population are unsustainable and put an intolerable strain on public services and school places. ”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: “It is obviously a very good thing that people are living longer and an inevitable consequence of this is an increased demand for local services and housing.
“Instead of targeting the city centre where population growth is greatest and where large post-industrial sites are plentiful, Labour councillors are taking the easy route of targeting the green and leafy parts of the district.”
Bradford Council leader David Green said: “Some of the pressures we are facing in Bradford are unique outside London. We have been talking about this for a number of years. I hope now there will be a reconsideration of the needs, in particular health, education and social care, of the district.”
The figures, released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also show that the number of children under four in Bradford is set to remain steady, rising to 42,000 in the next 23 years from 41,000.
Meanwhile, the number of people living in Yorkshire and the Humber is set to climb from 5,369,000 to 5,912,000, an increase of ten per cent.