Characteristics of and living arrangements amongst informal carers in England and Wales at the 2011 and 2001 censuses: stability, change and transition

James Robards, University of Southampton
Maria Evandrou, University of Southampton
Jane C. Falkingham, University of Southampton
Athina Vlachantoni, University of Southampton

In the context of population ageing and expenditure cuts in local services of adult social care, informal care provision is a critical policy issue. Evidence from the British context shows that more people are likely to become informal carers at some point in their lives (ONS, 2013a) and informal caring of 20 hours or more per week has increased. This paper uses data from the 2001 and 2011 England and Wales Censuses in order to investigate the characteristics of informal carers at the two time points, as well as patterns of stability and change in the carers’ population over this period. Results from the analysis of the 2011 Census suggest that provision of informal care has increased since 2001. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Longitudinal Study (LS), which is a 1% sample of linked census data, allows us to follow-up informal carers from the 2001 Census in order to examine their caring activity ten years later. Using the ONS LS, this analysis classifies the range of possible groups of carers and non-carers between 2001 and 2011, as well as changes in the number of hours of care provided. The results suggest a greater number of people may have started caring between 2001 and 2011 than stopped caring. A third of those caring at the 2001 Census were also caring ten years later. Multivariate analyses suggest that those who were providing the highest intensity of care at 2001 were most likely to also be providing care at 2011 with an ascending likelihood for the medium and low intensity groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 3