4106.1 - Population Ageing in New South Wales, 2008, Dec 2008 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/12/2008  First Issue
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December 17, 2008
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEDT)
NSW seniors are living longer and are better off: ABS

The average life expectancy of people living in New South Wales has increased by nearly ten years from 1974 to 2006 according to a new report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care.

People aged 65 years and over now make up 14% of the NSW population - an increase from 9% in 1974 - and over this time the average life expectancy has increased by 10.5 years for men, and 8.5 years for women.

Almost two thirds (65%) of people between the ages of 55 and 64 were overweight or obese, and most people undertook little to no exercise (70%).

Seven out of 10 men aged between 75 and 84 lived with a partner, where as only 4 in 10 women lived with a partner.

Nearly half (46%) of NSW grandparents were providing child care to grandchildren, and almost one-third (29%) of people over 65 were involved in organised voluntary work. A further 17% were carers and provided assistance to people with a disability.

Three quarters (77%) of older people had contact with family and friends in the last week. More than two-thirds (69%) attended culture and leisure venues and the most popular types of physical activity were walking (25%), playing lawn bowls (6%) and golf (6%).

Other findings include:
  • Superannuation as a main source of household income for people over 65 has almost doubled from 7% to 13% since 1996, but the proportion of people on pensions has remained steady at around 70%.
  • People aged 65 and over had an average weekly income of $437, compared to $660 across all NSW households; despite having a lower income, older people had more wealth with an average household net worth of $897,000.
  • Over the last 10 years more people aged between 65 and 69 have remained at work, with 28% of men (up from 19%) and 14% of women (up from 8%).

The report titled Population Ageing in New South Wales provides a snapshot of the ageing (45 years and over) and older (65 years and over) populations. More details can be found in Population Ageing in New South Wales (cat. no. 4106.1).