Young live here, old live there – this is the finding of the latest research paper by the Intergenerational Foundation when they measured the extent of age segregation across England and Wales.

In its new report, called “Generations Apart”, the IF showed how generations across the UK are drifting more and more apart when it comes to their housing.

IF established a series of tools to measure age segregation in the 25 biggest cities across England and Wales, which together account for approximately 50% of the population.

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The study’s main focus was to analyse age segregation in individual neighbourhoods within big cities, since these are the places where most of the population are at home. A second focus was laid on finding out how much age segregation is present on the larger scale of urban compared to rural areas.

City VS Country

As anticipated, Generations Apart revealed a significant divide between the age profiles of towns and countryside, which continues to become more pronounced over time. The study had a closer look at the time period between 1991-2014 and found out that in those 13 years, the “median age of rural areas rose twice as quickly as that of urban ones”.

The study found that among the 7,201 neighbourhoods which the ONS divides England and Wales into, there are 487 where the median age is above 50, and 60% of these are found in rural areas; by contrast, there are 337 neighbourhoods where the median age is under 30, all of which are found in urban areas.”

Big City Blues

The growing segregation of age between rural and urban areas was mirrored again on a smaller level within bigger cities. This means the divide between old and young isn’t only one that is happening on a rural and urban level but also one that is happening between different neighbourhoods within a bigger city.

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In more detail, the research paper revealed that

this effect was found to be most striking for young adults (aged 18 to 34), who have become dramatically more likely to live in neighbourhoods that contain only other young adults, predominantly close to the centres of cities. Looking at segregation between all the age groups living in them as a whole, the two most segregated cities were found to be Cardiff and Brighton, while the least age-segregated was Wigan.”