THE number of women living to 80 with no kids is likely to triple — triggering a huge social care crisis, researchers suggest.
Twice as many born in the mid-1960s will be childless in old age as those born just after World War Two.
With longer lifespans too, it will mean “many older people in the future who do not have adult children” to look after them, says the Office for National Statistics.
The rise is likely to increase the already “substantial” unmet need for social care, its report adds.
In England in 2018, a third of adults aged 85 and over received informal care from their children.
But the number of childless females aged 80 is set to rise from 20,892 now to 66,313 by 2045.
The figures do not include older women whose kids die before them, live too far away, have their own care needs or are unwilling to help.
Researchers looked at birth data for three generations — those born after World War One, now in their late 90s; those born after World War Two, now in their 70s; and those born in the middle the 1960s baby boom, now in their 50s.
The ONS report says reasons for the increase in childlessness include greater female employment, more women at university, and changing attitudes.
It adds: “Although there is no evidence the children of tomorrow’s older population will be less willing or able to provide care . . . there will be much larger numbers of older people in the future who do not have children.
“While older people, with and without children, are equally likely to be in receipt of care, for those without children, a higher proportion of this care is formal care.”
Officials say they cannot estimate the number of childless men in the same way but separate analysis suggests similar levels of childlessness.
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