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


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