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Australia's Changing Population: some key statistics


A recent study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed some interesting insights about Australia’s population.  These findings show a broader shift in the population and present some stimulating topics of discussion.

Some of these statistics include;

We’re living longer

Between 1972 and 2012, the number of people aged:
– 65 or over increased from 8% to 14% of the population, and
– 85 and over rose sixfold, from around 70,000 people to nearly 424,000.

The number of adults of ‘traditional working age’ (15–64) for every person of ‘dependent’ age (over 65 or under 15) is expected to drop from the current level of 2 to 1.7 by 2032.

We’re working longer

Over the last decade, the labour force participation rate for people aged 65 or over doubled from 6% to 12%. For men aged 65–69, the rise was from 20% to 34% and for women aged 65-69 the increase was from 9% to 20%.

Part-time work has increased

Almost 30% of employed people worked part-time (less than 35 hours per week) in 2012, compared with 17% in 1982.

Families and households are changing

• Due to the ageing population, couple families without children in the household are projected to exceed the number of couple families with children by 2014.
• Lone-person households, which currently account for 24% of all households, are expected to be the fastest growing household type in the current decade.

More households have mortgages

Of the 69% of Australian households that own their home, 36% have a mortgage and 33% do not. The reverse was true a decade ago.

Cost of housing is soaring

House prices were more than 7 times the average household income in 2011 compared with 4 times at the start of 2002.

We are more educated

67% of people aged 25 to 64 held a non-school qualification in 2012 compared with 54% in 2002.

More elderly people are in home care

Of the people aged 65 and over who needed care in 2010-11, 719,000 were participating in the Home and Community Care Program and 158,700 were permanent residents in Australian Government-subsidised residential aged care facilities.

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