The key findings from Wave 1 of the NICOLA report have been published. Please click the image below to download a copy



Northern Ireland is undergoing an ageing revolution. An unprecedented change in society and we need to start planning for it.

5 facts about the ageing population in Northern Ireland

  • By 2027 the number of over 65's will jump by 44% and the number of over 85's will double by 2029
  • Over 65's make up 15% of todays population. By 2037 it will be 24%
  • By 2028 there will be more over 65's than under 16's for the first time.
  • Today there are 109,000 more under 16s than there are over 65. By 2037 that will have completely reversed with predictions there will be 122,000 more over 65's than under 16's. 
  • The number of under 65's will grow by just 1.5% by 2022


Objectives & aims of the NICOLA study

The study will look at health, lifestyles and financial situations of 8,500 people as they grow older monitoring how their circumstances change over a 10 year period. The study is being carried out by Queens University Belfast in collaboration with an inter-disciplinary panel of experts in various fields of ageing.

Through the NICOLA study Queens will give policy makers in Northern Ireland the same level of information as their counterparts in Britain and Ireland that could help to shape at least 10 major government policies.

What Research Disciplines are involved?

  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Economics and Management
  • Social Sciences
  • Architecture
  • Psychology

What understanding does NICOLA aim to provide?

  • The health needs and status of older people
  • The contributions that older people are making to society and the economy
  • The biological or environmental components that assist in 'successful ageing'
  • The economic needs and status of older people

What Impact will NICOLA have?

  • NICOLA will have multiple impacts on health and social care policy and other aspects of policy relevant to ageing.
  • It will address issues related to social inclusion by giving the over 50's population a voice
  • It will capture and describe the attitudes and expectations of this population, influencing the creations of  policies which affect them
  • It will place Northern Ireland within a network of existing logitudanal ageing studies
  • It will facilitate integration of research excellence across discipline in Queens University Belfast and collaboration with international researchers.