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


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