3236.0 - Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2011 to 2036 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/03/2015   
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LIVING ARRANGEMENT PROJECTIONS BY AGE GROUPS


PEOPLE AGED 0-14 YEARS

The number of children aged 0-14 years in Australia is projected to increase from 4.2 million in 2011 to 5.7 million in 2036. The majority of children in this age group lived in a couple family in 2011 (82%, or 3.5 million children) and this proportion was projected to remain similar to 2036 (between 78% and 82%, or 4.5 to 4.7 million children). Most of the remaining 18% of children lived in a single parent family (771,000 children in 2011), with only a very small proportion of children living in non-private dwellings, such as boarding schools or hospital accommodation (0.2% of Australian children).

The proportion of children living in couple families decreases as children get older, and conversely the proportion living in one-parent families increases. In 2011, 86% of 0-4 year olds lived in couple families, compared to 81% of 5-9 year olds and 78% of 10-14 year olds. This pattern may be a reflection of the average duration of marriages. A similar pattern is maintained in each projection series. The percentage of children living in couple families in 2036 is projected to be constant at 86% for 0-4 year olds, 78-81% for 5-9 year olds and 71-78% for 10-14 year olds.

Graph Image for 7.1 Number of 0-14 year olds by selected living arrangements (series II)


PEOPLE AGED 15-29 YEARS

The ages of 15-19 years and 20-24 years reflect the time of transition away from living as a child in a one parent or couple family to other living arrangements such as group households or as a partner in a couple family (with or without children). In 2011, the most common living arrangement for 15-19 year olds was living as a child in a one parent or couple family (88%). For 20-24 year olds, this was still the most common living arrangement, but represented only 51% of people in this age group. A further 17% of 20-24 year olds were living as partners in couple families either with or without children, and 13% were living as group household members. These patterns were projected to be similar in 2036.

By the age of 25-29, 21% of 15-29 year olds were living as children in one parent or couple families, while 47% were living as partners with or without children. The proportion of people who were parents also increased between age 20-24 and 25-29. While 7% of 20-24 year olds were living either as a partner in a couple family with children, or as single parents, for 25-29 year olds, this increased to 23%. The proportion of 15-29 year olds living as parents was projected to decline from 11% in 2011 to between 5% and 10% of all 15-29 year olds in 2036, reflecting the continuing trend for women to delay childbirth into their 30s.

Graph Image for 7.2 Number of 15-29 year olds by selected living arrangements (series II)

Footnote(s): (a) Includes group household member, lone person, lone parent (b) Includes usual residents of NPDs, and related or unrelated individuals in family households

Source(s): Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2011 to 2036 (cat. no. 3236.0)


PEOPLE AGED 30-44 YEARS

Over half (55%) of people aged 30-44 years were living as a partner in a couple family with children in 2011. This figure increased with age, from 44% of 30-34 year olds, to 62% of 40-44 year olds. The second most common living arrangement for this age group was living as a partner without children (14%), followed by living alone (8%). Living alone and living as a one parent were both slightly more prevalent amongst 40-44 year olds than for people in their 30s. This may be related to the age of separation of previously partnered people.

By 2036, the proportion of 30-44 year olds living as partners in a couple family with children is projected to decline (46 to 55%) and those living as partners in a couple family without children is projected to increase (14 to 19%). These changes are mainly due to changes in the 30-34 year-old age group.

Graph Image for 7.3 Number of 30-44 year olds by selected living arrangements (series II)


PEOPLE AGED 45-59 YEARS

The most common living arrangement for people aged 45-59 years in 2011 was as a partner in a couple family with children (46%). This proportion decreased with age, from 58% at ages 45-49 to 31% at ages 55-59. By ages 55-59, it was more common to be living as a partner in a couple family without children (41% of people in this age group), however this was projected to decline to between 32% and 41% of 55-59 year olds by 2036.

The proportion of 45-59 year olds living alone, as single parents in series II and III (12 and 14% respectively) is projected to increase, but not for series I where proportions remain the same as those in 2011 (11%). The proportion of people living as partners in a couple family without children is projected to decrease from 26% in 2011 to between 16% and 25% in 2036. The proportion of people living as partners with children is projected to remain relatively stable from 2011 to 2036 in Series I and II (46%), and projected to decline slightly in Series III (44%).

Graph Image for 7.4 Number of 40-59 year olds by selected living arrangements (series II)


PEOPLE AGED 60-74 YEARS

Over half (57%) of 60-74 year olds in 2011 were living as partners in couples without children. This was projected to increase slightly, to between 57% and 60% by 2036. The second most common living arrangement among this age group was living alone (19%), followed by living as a partner in a couple with children (13%).

In 2011, the prevalence of living alone due to the death of one partner in a couple increased from 16% of 60-64 year olds to 22% of 70-74 year olds, which reflects an increase in mortality at higher ages. The living arrangements of this age group have been relatively stable over the past 20 years and hence there are only small changes in the projections. The 2036 projected proportions of 60-64 year olds living alone ranges from 16-19% and those for 70-74 year olds ranges from 17-22%.

Graph Image for 7.5 Number of 60-74 year olds by selected living arrangements (series II) .


PEOPLE AGED 75+ YEARS

In 2011, most people aged 75-79 were living as a partner in a couple either with or without children (58%). A further 27% of this age group were living alone, and 4% were living in non-private dwelling such as aged care facilities. By the time people reach ages 85 and over, they are most probably living alone (35%) or in a non-private dwelling (28%). Only 23% of people aged 85 and over were living with a partner in 2011. Due to increasing life expectancy in this age group, by 2036 the proportion of people aged 85 years and over living with a partner was projected to increase to between 23% and 35%.

The total number of people aged 75 years and over was projected to increase from 1.4 million in 2011 to 3.3 million in 2036. Around 15% of these older people were living with children or other relatives in 2011, and this proportion was projected to remain the same in 2036.

Graph Image for 7.6 Number of 75 plus year olds by selected living arrangements (series II)