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4149.5 - Western Australia's Baby Boomers: A Profile of Persons Born 1946-1965, 2003  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2003   
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  • Western australia's baby boomers a high priority for planners (Media Release)

MEDIA RELEASE

June 27, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
67/2003

Western australia's baby boomers a high priority for planners

A new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publication highlighting the characteristics of Western Australia's baby boomers was launched today by Seniors Minister Sheila McHale in response to high priority state government planning needs.

In 2001, Western Australia's 557,700 baby boomers were aged 36 to 55 years and made up 29% of the population. Older baby boomers (born 1946-1955) are beginning their transition into retirement and how they will live their lives post-retirement is an important question for planners, policy makers and researchers.

Minister McHale said, "The demographic shift towards unprecedented numbers of older persons has enormous social and financial implications."

She said, "The 'coming of age' of our baby boomers will challenge and perhaps totally revolutionise the stereotyped views people have about the habits, behaviour and tastes of people in their middle to senior years".

Western Australia's ABS Regional Director, Colin Nagle said, "The publication brings together a wealth of information about our state's baby boomers and it is expected to be an invaluable reference tool for policy makers, planners and academics for many years to come".

The 'baby boom' describes the 20 year period immediately following World War II, where there was a substantial increase in the number of births. The drop in birth rates in more recent years, along with improvements in life expectancies, have been the main cause of population ageing in Australia.

Further information is in Western Australia's Baby Boomers: A Profile of Persons Born 1946-1965 (cat. no. 4149.5).

Key statistics from Australian Bureau of Statistics publication - Western Australia's Baby Boomers: A Profile of Persons Born 1946-1965 (cat. no. 4149.5) include:
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Western Australia's 557,700 baby boomers were living in the Perth metropolitan area in 2001, while a further 10% lived in the South West region.
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of Western Australians will be aged 60 years and over by the year 2021, compared with 15% in 2001.
  • Of all Western Australian families in 2001, 43% were baby boomer families with children and 13% were baby boomer families without children (predominantly empty-nesters or couples who have never had children).
  • Older baby boomer households spent less of their income on housing costs than other households. Younger baby boomer households usually have less equity in their homes and often spend a considerable proportion of their income on housing costs.
  • In 2001, baby boomers were better educated than previous generations, with 54% of younger baby boomers, 45% of older baby boomers and 26% of persons aged 60 years and over having completed years 11 and 12.
  • 78% of baby boomers were employed in 2001, and were most commonly employed in the higher skilled occupations. Baby boomers were more likely to be working part-time than persons of the same age in previous decades.
  • Older baby boomer households had the highest median weekly income of all age groups ($1,003 per week) in 1999-2000.
  • 17% of pre-retired baby boomers had no superannuation and a further 38% had less than $20,000 in superannuation in 2000. Only 8% had more than $100,000 in superannuation.
  • 85% of baby boomers considered themselves to be in good, very good or excellent health in 2001, although over 90% reported having one or more long-term health conditions.
  • One-quarter of all baby boomers were current smokers in 2001, 14% were consuming risky or high risk levels of alcohol, two-thirds were inactive or undertaking low levels of exercise and 51% were overweight or obese.
  • Baby boomers were more likely to be a volunteer than any other age group in 2000, with older baby boomers contributing the largest number of hours to volunteering activities.

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