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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.
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.
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
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.
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