• Led by University College London’s Epidemiology and Public Health department, in conjunction with University of Leeds Geography and the International Longevity Centre UK.
  • A research project focusing on whether the proportion of older individuals in a place with good health is associated with better labour market-related social and economic outcomes in those places.
  • Will identify what concepts and metrics of health are appropriate in trying to measure the health of an older population in a given place.

Evidence shows that older people who live in more deprived areas are more likely to retire early and/or take up a disability pension. The health of people who live in these places has been cited as one of the main reasons for these geographic differences in outcomes after leaving employment.

This suggests that if a higher proportion of people in a place had better health, those older people would be able to stay in the labour market for longer, and local economies would benefit economically and socially from the extended working lives of residents.

However, there is lack of understanding of just how policy makers should go about ‘improving’ older people’s health so that they can remain in work. Most extended working lives policies focus on intervening on ‘unhealthy’ individuals, regardless of where they live.

This project by University College London will investigate whether a place-based approach could be a more effective method of intervention.

The research will look at what we mean by a ‘healthy’ person, what geographic scale interventions should be targeted at, and why we see improvements in the health of a place (ie is the health of the pre-existing population actually improving or have more healthy people moved in and/or unhealthy people moved out?).

An evidence review will look at which concepts and metrics of health are appropriate to measure the health of the older population in a given place, and UK census data will be used to investigate a series of analytical questions.

Project findings will be shared with key stakeholders to inform national public health and economic policy.

Contact information

For more information, please contact Dr Emily T Murray, Senior Research Fellow, University College London.

Further reading

Quick guide

What makes us healthy?

March 2018
Quick guide

This guide explores how a person’s opportunity for health is influenced by factors outside the...

About this programme

Programme

Social and Economic Value of Health: Place (2019)

Programme

Our programme exploring the impact of health on the social and economic outcomes of individuals and...

You might also like...

Press release

Government must go further to level up the health recovery

Press release

Health Foundation response to the Queen’s Speech 2022. 

Chart

Health and care for older adults during the pandemic

Chart

Between March and June 2021, The Commonwealth Fund surveyed older adults across 11 countries about...

Press release

Health and Care Act passes but leaves unfinished business for the NHS and social care 

Press release

Health Foundation respond to Health and Care Act receiving Royal Assent 

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

What are the barriers preventing widespread use of data and data science across the NHS in England? Limited linkin… https://t.co/7vjSmQ6Xz0

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more