Official statistics into the health and care of people aged 65 or over in England have found they over account for one in six of the population but one in two hospital bed days (54%).
The report, Focus on the Health and Care of Older People, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) aims to provide a wider picture of older people's health and lifestyle and pulls together data on hospital activity, mental health, social care, prescribing, NHS workforce, census data and life expectancy.
Among its findings are that people aged 85 or over account for one in 44 of the population and one in six hospital bed days (18%).
Over the last 20 years, the total number of bed days has decreased in every age group apart from those aged 85 or over, where the number has increased by a tenth.
Also over the last 20 years, the total number of day cases has increased for all age groups.
The biggest rise was for those aged 85 or over, where there has been a ten-fold increase
Over seven in ten people aged 65 or over are obese or overweight (this is a similar proportion to those aged 45 or over).
Two in three admissions to hospital for people aged 85 or over (65%) were through emergency channels but for those under 65 years this was one in three (32%).
Martin Severs, Lead Clinician at HSCIC, said: "Today's report gives fresh insight, with original analysis, into the typical profile of an older person in England today.
"As a geriatrician for almost 30 years I have seen huge changes in the health and care of older people and health and care activity for this group. We hope that a better understanding of the ageing population could help shape a better future for this group."