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


brisbane volunteers housing SMART Western Australia public speaking monarchy tea capital city demographer ideas entrepreneurial wealth vegetarian 24 million news darwin community wedding social researchers learning norwest NT research data mccrindle in the media omnibus customer pharmacies geomapping sydneysiders Gen X weather personalities office space census data households population public holiday Northern Territory case study charity baby names australia report the hills new office annual income innovative research services conference presentation water sector entrepreneurs of today New Zeland cica balance financial future cloudy days DESTEL micro apartments employment leader Australian Census hopes entrepreneur demographic transformations New Zealand data visualisation urban living panel networking shopper's pick small business future proof data christmas communications wages property casual survey design employers Territory 2016 census collaborative demographic trends shifts Australians tv consumerism goals ease of travel ultimo Financial Planning Week optimistic suburbs huffington post business index marketing rising house prices Kiwi Australian demographics local professional speaker speakers owning a home mover and shaker business authenticity high school growth futurist ACF17 ageing not-for-profit future of education eliane Northern Beaches baby names commute sentiments Australian schools Deaths food ACF 2016 internet global generations winter blues Hills Shire Council trades australian community trends report 2016 census results blaxland Australian Trends debate tattoos 2014 Australia Day relational census financial independence land of the middle class presentations work-life local communities clothing Assistant Store Manager school students interactive communicate marriages education research resilience technology 23 million January 26th church report investment Population Clock statistics English personal growth cars recap conference Andrew Duffin national private wealth celebration conference speaker Tuesday Trends qualitative research daily telegraph engagement sports screenage Social Trend Scouts keynote debt australians staying home more VIC criminal consumer australian communities forum deloitte survey friends money leadership greatness data analyst shopping centre family mining boom gen alpha holiday crows nest hills shire presentation mythbusting Sydney Hills Business Chamber pharmacy social research responsive average Australian census fail happiness 2020 lalor park population map australian global financial crisis stats rent emerging technologies 1994 house price rise TED WA career transport renting growing population innovation twentyseventeen healthy future mccrindle research REIV National Conference tableau Skilling father's day women goal leadership workshop 1975 poker master culture spirituality Australian Bureau of Statistics home work teachers generations business performance Res Vis Christmas lunch Adelaide child care PSI James Ward spend entertainment 2015 bondi The ABC of XYZ online earning national crime rates car social analysis community engagement mentor Charlotte Tasmania domestic trends of 2017 quote Queensland: QLD future-proof public speaker baby boom forecasting forum ashley fell analysis Gen Y cancelling event waverton challenge alpha in depth interviews sydney speaker overcast generation alpha baby name predictions meals Love school satisfaction states Do It Yourself Christchurch gen z mccrindle faux-cilising program perth social change language high density couple story social holidays communication village hills students trends of 2016 workplace financial workplace culture faux-cilise education sector speaker salary Research Director anzac home ownership crime property price educhat Merry Christmas names mobile divorce wealth and income motivate generation google for education Melbourne micro 2012 SA faith selfie renter of the future internships 1968 train rule keeper economic Bathburst optus my business awards learner sydneysider research visualisation rich generation Z Kirsten Brewer stay home income change contiki culturally diverse acf15 fears Australian Communities Trends SMSF increasing densification World Water Day FOMO wealth and income distribution office opening conferences NFP event list identity Tuesday Trend middle class future educated average sydneysider research report ageing population ethnography cancel plans community event newspaper tertiary education ABS media commentary cancelling plans trends analyst energy princess charlotte REIV Conference Australian Families 40 million neutral bay fresh The Daily Edition insight winter infographic wall insights wolloomooloo society results South Australia thrive budget proactive product australian communities trends report in the media cartodb Generation Y potts point toys Australia Day 2017 moreton bay travel world youth day speakers pack Vocational education builders financial fears medicine families marrickville staff online shopping social media mythbusters video Australian communities litter brands royal family baby name trends average aussie housing market eliane miles group session TED talk tuesday skills infographic commuters demographic supply and demand collaboration population growth optus TAS safe social trends plans urban house mother's day ACT Crime Rates Australian Dream house prices not for profit ferry organisations manly local community residents housing growth graphs Financial Planning Association of Australia wage the hills shire trend house price australian social research care support professional services world visual typical australian brand experience christianity Mark McCrindle baby moderators guide engage TDE Caregiver Royals buildings CPI hello fresh know the times environment market research Financial Planning Association group megatrends staying in Wodonga year 12 education future report unemployment kate middleton Myth sydney hills australia social lives gig media snapshot media activity young australians housing affordability financial dreams finance population milestone investing sun 1980 charities sydneycity work mates life marriage easter royal baby census 2016 socialites volunteer young people award winner grandparents tips apartments suburban living the changing face of Work place teacher Valentine’s Day earnings trend tuesday Sydney Channel Seven TEDx cultural diversity Northern beaches Event dream Macquarie University relevant easy rider FPA coffee daily commute GPO social life research rain infographics unaffordable affordable capital cities new york times urban taskforce social researcher affordability low density millenials choice workers royal going out cold aussie culture census results victoria summer jobs of the future student events Generation X Engineering Manager Queensland NSW parents royal influence Education Future Forum hornsby repayments gig economy focus groups brand Wellington 2017 publication offenders social enquiry training the great screenage jobs logan menai Sydney keynote speaker ashley mckenzie participants VET paying to work high density apartments education Netflix schools internship McCrindle Speakers living define rental stress Aussie thought leadership mccrindle tea sustainable school sector wide financial planning university degree Word Up demography New South Wales cultural diveristy SRE curiosity #censusfail dreams real pyrmont teleworking baby boomers cost seasons award Real Estate Institute of Victoria social commentary visualisation "know the times" experience JOMO outsourcing divorce rate NBRS Architecture volunteering workshop men environmental scanning DIY the average aussie learning styles 2016 socialising wellbeing media release baby name social shifts shopping bus future of work sydney metro economy 10 years professional development chairty trends urban living index learn household NEETs bureau Real Estate follow resource christian university hobart February 16 Duchess of Cambridge state aged care Geoff Brailey changing face of sydney Channel 7 lifestyle social issues Australian community trends dare to dream sunny days ACF2017 schools students purpose IT Specialists professional presenters storytelling social impact millionth click friendship meetings live the dream cost of living volunteering data researcher Aussies Hornsby Shire Council NBRS townhouses Canberra event rise of local parenting non profit Australian Home baby names report priorities Wagga Wagga travelling focus group government showreel Births wealth distribution Northern Beaches Christian School research pack generational trends facts gold coast Christmas season breakfast VET sector shbc communities keynote speaker teach cash high density living youth the australian dream global belief weekly earnings HSC post rationalism prince george slideshare forecast intern retirement faux-ciliser year 7 workforce religion long weekend 24,000,000 sector wide study future of shopping narcissism digital EFF dessert ipswich area office emerging generations aged care puzzle Research Executive organisational culture investor vegemite nfp ACF grave decision google Australia street demographics woolworths equip earn professional society trends Christmas presents housing trends national wealth sunburnt country youth unemployment sydney event System's Architect impact education future emerging trends CBD cooking mortgage teaching study dreaming children mateship Australian Population apartment property market social commentator poor careers 2013 suburb future proofing millennials gender politics home owner city etiquette