N8 research ‘helping policy makers to better plan for an ageing population’


The N8 Research Partnership has featured as a case study in the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) ‘Making the Case for Geography’ series. The case study highlights our work on demographic change and how it is ‘Helping policy makers to better plan for an ageing population’.

The RGS-IBG is the UK’s learned society and professional body for geography, founded in 1830. With 15,000 Fellows and members in over a 100 countries, they advance geography and support its practitioners in the UK and across the world.

The research that the case study is based on was conducted by the N8 Research Partnership and led by Professor Ray Hudson, Department of Geography, University of Durham and Professor Phil Rees and his team at the School of Geography, University of Leeds, and was launched at an event attended by David Willetts in September 2011 and has received a great deal of attention since then.

The research highlights how the populations of key cities of the North of England will grow, age and become more ethnically diverse over the next 30 years.  The report proposes key areas that LEPs and their partners should focus on to maximise the economic benefits of population dynamics, and key challenges which will need to be addressed.

The RGS-IBG ‘Making the Case for Geography’ is a series of case studies that demonstrate geographical research that is having a significant impact. To date they have published 14 case studies, of which N8 demographic research makes up case study 13.

Other case studies include Dr Geraldene Wharton, University of London whose research has helped the Environment Agency implement the EU Water Framework Directive by assessing how river plants effect a stream’s health and Professor Sarah Curtis, Durham University’s research, which has provided local communities with a greater understanding of the links between where they live and public health, and raised the profile of the need for investment in former coalfield areas, especially in the North East.


  • Helping policy makers to better plan for an ageing population (RGS-IBG Case study 13)
  • Making the case for Geography – RGS-IBG
  • N8 Impact of Demographic Change research