How Norfolk’s population will change over the next 20 years
- Credit: Archant
Coastal areas will have to rely on more migration or face a decline in their workforce, according to government figures.
In the next 20 years the overall population of Norfolk and Waveney will increase by 10pc to 1.1 million.
But the number of under 18s and working age people in coastal districts is going to fall while those aged over 90 more than doubles, according to the Office for National Statistics.
In North Norfolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney there will be 1,750 fewer under 18s, a decrease of around 3pc, between now and 2041.
There will also be around 4,000 fewer people of working age in those three areas.
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At the same time the number of people aged 90 and over will soar from 4,752 to 11,122, putting huge demand on health services.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb warned: "With today's demand we are seeing social care under impossible pressure and we are witnessing restrictions on peoples' care.
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"As a country, we need to be willing to recognise we would need to pay a bit more tax for the infrastructure and support, particularly in a place like North Norfolk."
The estimated population figures are based on current trends of births, deaths and migration observed in the previous five years.
Coastal towns in the county have long suffered from a 'brain drain', as more young people opt to work elsewhere.
And a spokesman from East Suffolk Council said there were wider issues facing coastal communities, but added: "These figures do not take factors in to consideration such as the burgeoning offshore energy sector which will see jobs created and more people, including young families, moving in to the area."
In response business leaders said more needs to be done to attract young workers from other parts of the country and abroad to fill the gap.
Nova Fairbank, from Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said: "If we highlight to the rest of the UK and the world what a brilliant place this is to live, work and play, we will have more success in attracting a younger population to quality jobs, retaining some of our local talent and attracting inward investment to grow our economy."
Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia LEP, said: "We have more than 60,000 businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk so there is a huge opportunity for graduates to find excellent roles on their doorstep and have a fulfilling career."
Mr Lamb meanwhile called for more affordable housing, better paid work and high speed broadband to stifle the decline.
-Why we left Yarmouth
After studying in Nottingham Trent University, Charlie Flint, 26, returned to Great Yarmouth before permanently moving in 2016.
Miss Flint now lives and works in Norwich as a nursing assistant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
"I left as there was little to no job opportunities for any career path I planned on taking," she said. "I go back to see family but for no other reason."
Music performer Ashlea Lauren, 25, moved to London in 2017 from Bradwell.
"I left because I wanted to pursue a career in performing and found Great Yarmouth has little opportunities," she said.
"This seaside town used to be home of such great entertainment but with seaside trade fizzling out we saw the closing of theatres."
Marios Charalambides, 29, owner of coffee shop 21 East in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth said: "There needs to be more night-time experience opportunities for young adults. A cinema would be ideal."
Jack Fairhead, 19, added: "Once you get older there's not a lot to do."
But father Dennis Kalaveri, 27, believes the town offered plenty for families.
Mr Kalaveri, who has two children aged one and three, said: "There is so much to do like going to the arcade or the beach. I won't be moving anytime soon."
According to the ONS figures, South Norfolk could see the biggest growth in the county, with the population increasing from 137,431 to 160,556.
In Broadland, the ONS predicts population growth across all age groups with the exception of people aged 51-69.
In Norwich the population could increase by 13,500 with the majority aged between 18-34 (33pc), making it the only area in Norfolk with a substantial rise in the number of young people.