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Glass is half full for Alderney's social and economic issues, says senior politician

The first ever electronic survey of Alderney's demographics and living standards focuses the island's collective mind on what needs to be done as we enter a new decade.

The Alderney Household Income Report released by the Data and Analysis Unit in Guernsey reveals that one in five Alderney households is comprised of a single elderly person, compared with one in 10 in Guernsey.

"Many see this as a demographic time bomb, and it may indeed present some problems," said Policy and Finance chairman James Dent. "However, we are attracting retirees from the UK and elsewhere - people who bring with them a lifetime of experiences, wealth and who employ builders, use our shops and support a wide range of already established businesses.

"All new residents who can contribute to our economy and to the wider social fabric are welcome."

Pensioner households with either one adult or a couple over 65 represent more than a third of all Alderney homes, while a fifth of all households may also be living in poverty. "It seems that some of our elderly and single parent families are particularly vulnerable," said Mr Dent.

"Alderney is a caring society and our sense of community is strong. We must always use our resources, including our human ones, to the best advantage if we are going to prosper and if there are ways to alleviate poverty we must seize them too. This report will help us to plan for the future.

"Having said this, it is clear we must do more to attract the younger generation with their creativity and drive, not least by promoting the quality-of-life we offer and the business and hospitality advantages that brought many of us here in former years.

"And the start of a new decade is the ideal time to redouble our efforts."

The Household Income Report was drawn from the Rolling Electronic Census to produce a snapshot of Alderney household incomes in 2017.

"For the first time, Alderney has access to important information about living standards and the distribution of wealth," added Mr Dent. "I look forward to the imminent publication of the parallel report for Guernsey. To be able to make comparisons with Guernsey will be very useful."

The survey reveals 21.5% of households have one adult over 65 living alone while just 7.4% have one or two adults with children. Just over 55% of homes are owner-occupied with no mortgage, 9% are owner-occupied with mortgage and 31% rented.

The Household Income Report is anonymous and the data used for statistical purposes only. It was presented to Alderney's Policy & Finance Committee at the same time as its Annual Report which noted improvements to the island's economy, increased housing construction, plans to extend the Connaught Care Home and the proposed minimum wage together with legislation to mitigate discrimination against people with disabilities.

The full report is available below.

 

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