According to the 2006 census, on 31 December 2006 the Australian population was 20,701,488, 13% of whom were aged 65 and over, and 18% of whom were aged 50-64 years. Australians enjoy one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world, and a significant proportion of people in Australia are now aged 75 years and older (6.2%).
Population ageing in Australia has been supported by an increasing life expectancy and sustained low fertility levels. Table 1 shows the projected growth in the size of older population in absolute terms from 2006 to 2036. In the 30 years to 2036, the number of people aged 65 years and over is expected to more than double, and will represent 24% of the total Australian population.
The number of older Australians aged 85 and over, among whom the need for services and assistance is greatest, has doubled over the past 20 years and is predicted to increase more rapidly than other age groups: from 333,000 in 2006 to 1.1 million in 2036. 76
|Total persons 65+||2,735,000||3,829,000||5,159,000||6,294,000|
(a) Census-adjusted estimated resident population, 30 June 2006
(b) Projections based on 2001 Australian census data.
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2007. Older Australia at a glance: 4th edition. Cat. no. AGE 52. Canberra: AIHW.