A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46



The problems presented by an ageing population have been widely discussed in recent years. It is accepted that the proportion of men and women in the population who are aged 60 and over will increase steadily in the future, with consequent effects on all aspects of the life of the community, in particular upon industrial productivity.

Detailed consideration of the problem that might arise has been made difficult by lack of adequate data on the present circumstances of old people, however, and in March 1945 the Industrial Health Research Board asked the Social Survey to carry out a sample inquiry into the occupations being followed at that time by men and women aged 60 and over, their hours of work, the methods by which they were paid, and their industrial histories. As a background to this information certain details about the personal circumstances of all old persons were also to be collected.

The inquiry was carried out in two stages between May and August 1945. It was conducted by means of personal interviews with samples of housewives and men and women over sixty years of age. Copies of the recording schedules used are given in appendices.

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