Supply and demand; Australia as an ageing nation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017



Australia is experiencing a baby boom, with births exceeding 300,000 a year. 30 years ago, the over 65s made up just 11% of our population (one in nine persons). Today the over 65s make up 15% of our population (one in seven). Forecasts project that this cohort will make up 18% in 2027 (one in six). By 2047 one in five Australians (20%) will be aged over 65.


Our median age is also increasing. Three decades ago the median age of an Australian was 31.3. Today it is 37.4 and in 2047 it is projected to be just under 40.


The over 85s, where there is an even greater need for aged care services, are growing at a faster rate than the over 65s. In 1987 there were 133,448 Australians aged over 85. Today there are four times as many, and in 2047 there will 14 times as many.


Not only are there more older people in our nation, but Australians are living longer than ever before. Life expectancy at birth in 1987 was 76.3, whereas today it is 81 for a male and 85 for a female. In 2047, it is projected to 89.9.


The primary enabler of this increased longevity gain has been the health system rather than individual behaviour. Life expectancy increases will continue because of improved medical technologies, public health infrastructure and better public health measures. New and improved medical interventions will also contribute, as will the improved survivability rates of major illnesses and cancers.

A decade ago, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were the 6th largest causes of death in Australia. Today they are the 3rd leading causes of death with the number of deaths having more than doubled to 9,864. Over the same period of time, deaths due to the first and second causes of death (heart disease and brain disease) have been decreasing. If today’s current trend continues, by 2021 dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will be the leading cause of death in Australia.


In 1952, the year that Queen Elizabeth II became sovereign, 40 letters of congratulations would need to have been written to Australians turning 100. This year, 2,925 Australians will turn 100 and in 10 years 5,401 will turn 100. In 30 years the number of congratulatory letters written to Australians turning 100 will increase to 25,938 in the year 2047.



Not only is there an increasing demand on the services provided by the aged care sector with the growing number of over 85s, there is also a workforce supply challenge.


The ageing population will place greater demands for productivity on the labour force. In 1975 for every person of retirement age there were 7.1 people in the working age population. By 2015 there were just 4.5 people of working age for every individual of retirement age, and this is projected to decline to just 2.7 people of working age for every individual at retirement age by 2055.


Because of the high median age of an employee in the aged care sector, half of the aged care workforce will be of retirement age in 15 years. There are 350,000 workers in the aged care sector (estimated in 2012), so this equates to an average of 11,667 retirements per year for the next 15 years. This averages to 972 farewell lunches per month!

If we are to keep the current ratio of aged care workers to people aged over 85 in our nation, we need to add 129,945 workers in the next 10 years. This equates to recruiting 1,083 new workers per month, in addition to replacing the 972 retiring staff per month.

That’s a total recruitment goal of 2,055 each month – adding nearly 25,000 individuals to Australia’s aged care workforce each year.


To find out more about McCrindle's expertise in the aged care industry, or how we can communicate these insights to your team, please get in touch.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


global generations Gen Y capital city entertainment consumer school students emerging technologies mccrindle learning economic SMSF employment dream food house price rise urban blaxland leader Northern Beaches Christian School baby boomers world youth day 1994 wage Tasmania aged care new york times holiday Western Australia ultimo energy school satisfaction NSW Christmas season education research commuters celebration high density holidays generations optimistic New Zealand social trends public speaker suburbs youth unemployment contiki office opening sector wide study sydney event university degree workplace culture baby boom property price community engagement high density living property market Word Up stats emerging trends goals focus group survey design workplace resilience economy townhouses living 40 million award growth commute February 16 grandparents work-life marrickville community ideas collaboration graphs pyrmont study sector wellbeing brands young australians paying to work school baby royal millennials analysis wedding medicine Res Vis newspaper trends Bathburst interactive land of the middle class global financial crisis participants media area life networking educhat 2016 social issues education menai group social researcher royal influence the hills dessert faux-cilising kate middleton census fail urban taskforce megatrends religion society trends Channel 7 names toys income rule keeper meals norwest travel monarchy statistics future proofing suburb sydney speaker house mateship relevant learn Australian Home panel government financial independence Financial Planning Association of Australia winter daily telegraph in the media rain darwin organisational culture potts point Generation X christmas family ACF dreaming JOMO long weekend experience presentation winter blues Deaths tuesday engage social commentator australians staying home more not for profit entrepreneurs of today Australian Census the australian dream culturally diverse wealth cooking easter social commentary hello fresh follow 2012 storytelling Australian demographics educated NT cancel plans communities Christchurch keynote speaker snapshot Australian Bureau of Statistics national crime rates 1975 Valentine’s Day TAS 10 years intern jobs of the future wages not-for-profit supply and demand innovative annual income technology "know the times" generation anzac cancelling event tattoos presentations earn generational trends pharmacies motivate fears 24,000,000 millenials data analyst ethnography sydney hills ageing Aussies Northern beaches Event average aussie cost of living eliane internships culture seasons employers capital cities Mark McCrindle brand women increasing densification Northern Territory victoria gen z conference presentation mover and shaker spend charity dare to dream etiquette Northern Beaches divorce bondi Kiwi meetings daily commute lalor park list priorities media release couple social online mortgage Do It Yourself visual logan young people housing market city poor cartodb Tuesday Trend CBD quote urban living faux-ciliser Population Clock Australian Communities Trends communications state apartment insights environment marketing twentyseventeen lifestyle slideshare Caregiver growing population South Australia ABS vegemite australia leadership workshop Crime Rates child care census Kirsten Brewer thrive mentor christian summer sector wide trends of 2017 real WA australian communities trends report internet 2016 census results high density apartments states princess charlotte alpha events social shifts unaffordable huffington post EFF Christmas presents demographic father's day crows nest cost program weather Real Estate social media Australians village event staying in speakers FOMO publication learner personal growth Australian Trends housing growth prince george men bus Gen X shopper's pick gender demographics Queensland: QLD stay home residents ipswich SA 2014 local communities jobs baby names report children financial dreams trend tuesday happiness cultural diversity ageing population urban living index wolloomooloo middle class coffee shifts royal baby results data language thought leadership cars Royals professional services student property tips crime housing affordability moderators guide balance hopes the average aussie census 2016 futurist fresh 2015 debt curiosity clothing change weekly earnings omnibus conference speaker social research mccrindle tea renting 23 million demographer office space census results offenders leadership entrepreneurial Assistant Store Manager mobile #censusfail Tuesday Trends aussie culture organisations investment year 12 friends transport Netflix Australian communities PSI collaborative brand experience moreton bay repayments World Water Day equip baby name predictions deloitte parents social enquiry healthy future English Australia Day 2017 mythbusting buildings plans greatness social lives Geoff Brailey workforce teleworking Canberra award winner workshop community event McCrindle Speakers earnings market research 2016 census trends of 2016 ACF 2016 2013 generation alpha social impact investing schools students online shopping innovation VIC define church responsive hornsby earning Financial Planning Association manly university teacher world schools salary woolworths FPA customer career financial fears future-proof marriages The Daily Edition Scouts environmental scanning cold teaching Christmas lunch social life builders Queensland case study Australian Families nfp population milestone future of work research pack public speaking australian social research professional public holiday overcast travelling forum affordability The ABC of XYZ global retirement careers christianity January 26th Hornsby Shire Council focus groups owning a home safe training politics research data professional speaker neutral bay small business tea rich demographic trends conferences Australia Day sports know the times Love entrepreneur GPO royal family sunny days mccrindle research click socialising local going out high school professional development sydneysiders suburban living sydneycity mining boom hills shire Australian Dream IT Specialists Social Trend ashley mckenzie vegetarian research social researchers volunteers low density finance media activity rise of local social analysis sustainable year 7 rental stress unemployment Real Estate Institute of Victoria report poker master REIV Conference business index engagement rent education future domestic ashley fell wealth distribution relational 1968 society wealth and income car staff identity Merry Christmas NEETs news forecasting cash demographic transformations friendship non profit eliane miles national private wealth learning styles resource baby names australia report waverton insight litter households 24 million sun future proof trends analyst data visualisation challenge social change google for education acf15 perth trend emerging generations pharmacy aged care puzzle google DESTEL education sector household Channel Seven wealth and income distribution communicate Wodonga sydney metro conference 1980 parenting population growth home owner sunburnt country infographic wall investor teach geomapping mccrindle in the media optus my business awards survey affordable Myth families skills ACT ease of travel DIY 2017 authenticity criminal debate house prices students financial future Education Future Forum typical australian financial research visualisation research services national wealth internship divorce rate train the changing face of media commentary home Wagga Wagga population renter of the future TDE Duchess of Cambridge Territory work 2020 australian communities forum shbc keynote baby name Australian schools changing face of sydney digital recap brisbane System's Architect youth work mates Generation Y Sydney keynote speaker house price optus cloudy days rising house prices office tableau video shopping goal New Zeland millionth consumerism Melbourne forecast new office proactive researcher business marriage Births the hills shire bureau facts tv cancelling plans personalities teachers water communication mythbusters ferry New South Wales population map education future report sentiments Adelaide outsourcing Sydney Charlotte visualisation Wellington post rationalism story home ownership easy rider selfie hobart tertiary education future mother's day qualitative research REIV National Conference infographic baby names budget gen alpha Engineering Manager baby name trends in depth interviews future of education product narcissism Financial Planning Week generation Z Aussie HSC Research Executive gold coast group session socialites housing trends faux-cilise housing