The unprecedented growth of Australia’s ageing population has the nation on the brink of a profound shift set to reshape its social and economic landscape.
A report by Australian-based social research, demographics and data analytics agency McCrindle, says that the rapidly ageing population (particularly those aged 65 and older) is carrying significant implications for healthcare, workforce dynamics, and inter-generational support.
The report outlines how Australia's demographic makeup is undergoing a fundamental transformation as the senior population continues to surge. Currently, individuals aged 65 or older constitute approximately 16 percent of the population but account for 40 percent of the country's total healthcare expenditure.
Double & triple
By the year 2062-2063, the number of Australians aged 65 and older is projected to more than double, while those aged 85 and older are expected to more than triple.
McCrindle principal social researcher Mark McCrindle said the impacts of this ageing population are “nothing short of profound”.
“It has far-reaching implications that will touch every aspect of Australian life.”
The impending “silver tsunami” of older Australians presents both opportunities and challenges, he said.
“We must proactively prepare for the changing needs of our senior population, ensuring that they enjoy not only longevity but also a high quality of life."
Baby Boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – are the cohort projected to make up the ageing population.
Dependable, independent & resilient
In recent research conducted by McCrindle, Baby Boomers indicated they are most likely to describe themselves as dependable (72 percent), independent (58 percent) and resilient (52 percent).
“This generation has weathered numerous storms and emerged not only as dependable but also as fiercely independent individuals,” McCrindle said.
“This emphasises that they are a formidable force, undeterred by the passage of time.”
Population ageing is a potent force shaping Australia's future. The median age is poised to rise as fertility rates remain low and life expectancy continues to increase. By 2062-2063, Australia’s median age will reach 43.
"Australians are living longer, healthier lives. This offers the potential for extended retirements and the freedom for seniors to participate in the workforce or other meaningful activities if they choose to do so,” McCrindle said.
Proactive planning will be the key as Australia stands at the threshold of this transformative demographic shift, he said.
"We must adapt our healthcare systems, workplace policies, and societal structures to ensure that the opportunities of an ageing population outweigh the challenges."