The 7 Most Age Friendly Communities In The UK
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With an ageing population, the UK is quickly becoming a multigenerational country.
Intergenerational connections offer a wealth of wellbeing and health benefits. More people than ever before are becoming aware of the benefits of socialising with different generations. We’ve even seen a 33% surge in online searches for ‘intergenerational relationships’.
Our new research has analysed the generational split in UK towns and cities to reveal the 7 most age-friendly communities across the country.
Our findings crowned Conwy the most age-friendly place in the UK, with Scarbrough in close 2nd and Chichester in 3rd place.
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Living Happily Amongst Other Generations
Basing our insights on demographic results of the 2021 census, we’ve revealed the best places to live that bring a variety of generations together. Living amongst other generations can boost your wellbeing and socialisation.
With an ageing population and rising retirement ages, many people across the country are living in age-friendly communities - we’re even seeing up to 3 or 4 different generations in one family.
There are lots of benefits from intergenerational relationships, including:
- Learning new skills
- Reducing feelings of loneliness
- Encouraging a sense of belonging
- Strong community ties
Ageing is a natural part of life. However, as we age, the way traditional towns and cities are designed can leave older generations feeling excluded from society. From easy access to buildings, affordable transport and socialising opportunities, all generations can benefit from a healthy, happy and age-inclusive community.
Our research has found that several seaside towns and similar locations close to the coast appear in our list of the top 7 multigenerational locations in the UK. One of these is Conwy, which has been crowned the most age-friendly place in the UK.
Similarly, previous research has found locations such as Conwy and Fareham amongst the happiest places to live in the UK - with strong life satisfaction and overall happiness levels in both areas.
We’ve also found that Chichester offers the best investment prospects across all generations, whilst Scarborough is the most affordable age-friendly location in the UK. Our data has revealed Stratford-upon-Avon as an up-and-coming location - increasing in popularity with both families and retirees in recent years.
What Does It Mean To Be Intergenerational?
Something that’s intergenerational exists or occurs between multiple generations. In this case then, an intergenerational town or city is one that’s popular amongst multiple generations, and where these generations live in harmony alongside each other.
The 7 Most Age-Friendly Places in the UK
Our research has revealed Conwy is the most age-friendly community in the UK, with an overall 50% split of younger and older generations alike living in the area.
Not only does Conwy, Wales, offer beautiful coastlines, outdoor adventures and historical culture, but it’s also home to a world heritage site - Conwy Castle. Conwy has even been ranked one of the happiest places to live in the UK - with locals reporting high life satisfaction and happiness scores.
Conwy offers a range of activities for all generations to enjoy. From coastal walks and history to watersports, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
It’s no surprise Conwy has been revealed as the most age-friendly location in the UK. It scores well in many wellbeing factors that are crucial at all ages in life. With a low crime rate - 41% below the UK national average - strong transport links to major UK cities (under two hours on the train from Manchester) and an affordable cost of living, there are plenty of perks of living in Conwy for every generation.
Famous for its sandy beaches, breathtaking coastline and family attractions, Scarborough in North Yorkshire is the second best age friendly place to live in the UK - with an almost even split of those aged 0-90 living in the area.
Based on our analysis, Scarborough boasts many of the benefits offered by a multigenerational town. Scarborough has the most affordable cost of living in our top 7 areas - with an average house price of £188,772.
As well as providing a range of age-friendly activities, the town has a strong sense of community, with several social groups for over 50s and community projects to choose from. More people living in the Scarborough area are googling ‘Scarborough clubs’ than ever before. They’re in huge demand - with searches rising by 22% over the last 12 months.
Here are two of our best care homes in Scarborough:
Some of the things Chichester boasts are:
- Vibrant old streets filled with quaint cafes and tearooms
- A theatre showing productions often seen in the West End
- A picturesque harbour
With plenty of outdoor activities to try, Chichester makes the perfect location for outdoor lovers and thrill seekers of any age.
Chichester scores well in investment prospects, showing it’s the ideal place for both families wanting to settle down and retirees looking to grow their retirement portfolios.
Here are two of our best care homes in Chichester:
Stratford-upon-Avon is in fourth place for the most age-friendly places to live in the UK. Famous for being the birthplace of Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town rooted in culture and history.
Our research has revealed Stratford-upon-Avon as an up-and-coming location for all generations, including families and retirees. Searches for homes in Stratford-Upon-Avon have reached an all-time high, with Google searches for 'buy a house in Stratford-upon-Avon’ increasing by 150% and 'retirement homes Stratford-upon-Avon’ increasing by 120%. Seemingly, more people are becoming aware of the benefits of multigenerational living.
Located in Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon has also been voted one of the most accessible towns in the UK. With easy access to public spaces and points of interest, exploring the town has been made easier for everyone.
Here are two of our best care homes in Stratford-upon-Avon:
Our fifth most age-friendly location in the UK is Maldon, Essex.
Maldon is filled with heritage that stretches back thousands of years. Here, you can enjoy vintage sailing boats, salt marshes and a range of leisure activities. Being just under an hour away from London by car, Maldon makes the perfect spot for anyone wanting to enjoy the bustle of the UK’s capital during the day before escaping to a relaxing sanctuary in the evening.
With a 50% surge in online searches for ‘Maldon clubs’, residents of Maldon are well aware of the benefits of building an age-friendly, connected and multigenerational community. Offering over 100 community clubs, it's no surprise that Maldon has been placed in the top 7 age-friendly communities in the UK.
Here are two of our best care homes in Maldon:
Lewes in East Sussex offers the perfect mix of a quaint market town and great transport links to bustling cities and thrill-seeking activities, making it a brilliant location for people of all ages to enjoy.
Our new data has revealed that Lewes is at the forefront of creating age-friendly communities in the UK - with the town being home to several intergenerational community clubs including opera singing and dementia alliance groups. Many local schools celebrate National Intergenerational Week (which takes place in March). With intergenerational connections deeply rooted in the town, it's hardly surprising that Lewes has been revealed as one of the most age-friendly communities to live in the UK.
Here are two of our best care homes in Lewes:
Finally, Fareham is the seventh most age-friendly place to live in the UK. Home to a scenic harbour, iconic coastlines and near the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton within Hampshire, there’s plenty going on in Fareham.
Fareham has seen a surge in popularity over the last year for both younger and older generations - with Google searches for ‘retirement flats Fareham’ increasing by 200% and ‘new homes fareham’ increasing by 100%.
Our research has found Fareham scores well in wellbeing factors crucial at all stages of life. With 95% of schools in Fareham rated Outstanding or Good, over 40 social clubs and organised elderly transport schemes and housing, Fareham offers one of the most age-friendly communities in the UK.
Here are two of our best care homes in Fareham:
How To Make Your Community Age-Friendly
Age-friendly communities are places where age is not a barrier to living well. They often benefit from intergenerational connections, relationships and socialising.
With an ageing population, many of us are living longer and this opens up the opportunity to create vibrant communities. Within these communities, we can learn from each other, reduce the risk of isolation across all generations and improve the quality of life for all. From the government, councils, and healthcare support to individuals within a community, there are steps we can all take to create age-friendly communities.
Respect for seniors
Although respect for elders is shown in most communities, there are still some negative preconceptions when it comes to ageing - from the types of activities elderly people enjoy to the time they like to spend socialising.
Each of us is unique and have our own interests and hobbies - and this doesn’t change as we age. Through intergenerational interactions, younger generations can learn to remove any misconceptions associated with ageing - whilst encouraging elders to continue their interests and hobbies, sharing their knowledge and wisdom with younger generations in the process.
Social interaction and participation
The way many societies are built can make it hard to stay connected to others as you age. This can increase your risk of experiencing feelings of isolation, especially during the winter months.
Intergenerational socialisation can boost older generations' self-esteem and keep them engaged with the community, helping both older and younger generations feel valued in their community.
From age-friendly activities to walking groups for over 50s and coffee mornings, there are lots of ways to bring people of all ages together.
Accessible and affordable public transport is key to ensuring all residents within a community can remain active and engaged. Due to an often limited budget and reduced mobility as we age, it’s no surprise that a lack of accessible transport can be an issue for older generations.
Though transportation may seem like an issue for the local council to tackle, as a member of your community, you can take small steps to help those older than you safely access transport. From giving up your seat on the bus or train for someone who may need it more, to carrying heavy shopping bags for someone else, there are small acts of kindness that can make someone’s day much easier.
Healthcare services need to consider how they can best support the health of older generations and make their services easy to access.
The elderly care sector provides much-needed help and support for families and their loved ones. From residential and nursing care to respite support, there’s lots of help available. However, with the cost of living and energy crisis, the care sector is in need of urgent support and funding from the government to continue supporting those most vulnerable in society.
Communication and technology support
Staying connected to news, events and activities is a key part of staying healthy as we age.
Technology can be used to help older generations stay connected, including using a smartphone to stay in touch with or video-call a loved one. Modern technology also makes it easier to stay on top of news and things going on in your local area.
You can support an elderly loved one to stay connected by helping them to use and understand modern technology. Meanwhile, businesses can consider how they can best distribute their information so it’s easily accessible to customers of all ages.
We sought to find which UK cities and regions are the most intergenerational, based on demographic data of the UK population available through the England & Wales 2021 census:
1. The population % of 4-year age brackets (0-4, 5-9, 10-14 etc) was worked out for each local authority area across the UK for the over 90 age bracket.
2. The % of each bracket for the population of each local authority was calculated and the data was analysed to find those areas with the most evenly distributed age bracket split across the population of the area.
3. 374 local authorities across England and Wales were analysed.
4. Locations were then ranked from the most to least intergenerational location, to reveal the 7 intergenerational locations in the UK.
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