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Newsletters - Age Matters - Issue Number 7, April 2004
 
 

CONTENTS WELCOME

Welcome to the April 2004 issue of Age Matters. April was designated as Mature Age Month for Job Network members and Transition to Work providers to help mature age jobseekers back into the workforce and raise awareness of mature age employment issues. Employers across Australia were urged by the Minister for Employment Services, the Hon. Mal Brough MP, to give mature age jobseekers a 'fair go' as part of national Mature Age Month.

The National Ageing Statistics Unit is currently compiling a report on mature age persons (those aged 45-64 years) including a profile of their demographics, cultural diversity, labour force characteristics, health, housing, living arrangements and community life. This report is due for release by the end of the year. In addition, a short article on mature age workers will be included in the 2004 issue of Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) due for release in July.

In this issue of Age Matters you will find the following main articles of interest:
  • Persons not in the labour force
  • Population by age and sex: Australian states and territories
  • Diabetes in Australia: A snapshot

Due to the amount of material we come across for inclusion in these newsletters, Age Matters will now be released bimonthly (every two months) instead of quarterly. We look forward to bringing you more interesting information on ageing.

Any comments or suggestions on improving our newsletter are always welcome.

Maryann Wood

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PERSONS NOT IN THE LABOUR FORCE

The following selected findings have been taken from the ABS publication Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0), which was released on 17 March 2004.

Introduction

In September 2003, there were 3,862,600 persons aged 15-69 years who were not in the labour force. This represented 28% of the civilian population, a proportion which has remained steady over the last few years. Just under one-third (31%) of persons not in the labour force wanted to work and almost two-thirds (64%) of persons not in the labour force were female.

The proportion of persons who were not in the labour force varied according to age and sex. In the 15-19 years age group, where there are high levels of participation in education, the proportion was 41% for both males and females. In all other age groups, there was a higher proportion of females than males not in the labour force. The proportion of females who were not in the labour force remained steady at around 27% for those aged 25-54 years, before increasing sharply to 48% for those aged 55-59 years. For males, the proportion ranged from 8% to 12% for those aged 25-54 years, increasing to 25% for those aged 55-59 years.


Graph - Persons Not in the Labour Force, Proportion of the Civilian Population
Main reason for not actively looking for work

The reasons for not actively looking for work most commonly reported by males were 'attending an educational institution' (33%) and 'own ill health or physical disability' (19%). The most commonly reported reasons for females in this group were 'child-care' (30%) and 'attending an educational institution' (16%).

Discouraged jobseekers

At September 2003 there were 79,800 discouraged jobseekers. Characteristics of discouraged jobseekers in September 2003 include:
  • 67% were female
  • 43% of male and 28% of female discouraged jobseekers had looked for work in the previous 13 weeks
  • 78% of male and 67% of female discouraged jobseekers intended to enter the labour force in the next 12 months
  • 86% of discouraged jobseekers had worked before, with almost a third (30%) of males and 14% of females having had a job in the previous 12 months.

The main reasons reported by discouraged jobseekers for not actively looking for work were 'considered too young or too old by employers' (33%), 'no jobs in locality or line of work' (27%) and 'lacked necessary schooling, training, skills or experience' (23%). For female discouraged jobseekers, 26% gave the reason 'lacked necessary schooling, training, skills or experience', compared to 17% of males. Thirty-two per cent of males gave the reason 'no jobs in locality or line or work', compared to 25% of females. Forty percent of males gave the reason 'considered too young or too old by employers' compared with 30% of females.

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Labour Force and Supplementary Surveys section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.

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POPULATION BY AGE AND SEX - AUSTRALIAN STATES AND TERRITORIES

The following selected findings have been taken from the ABS publication Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories (cat. no. 3201.0) which was released on 19 December 2003.

Introduction

In the twelve months to 30 June 2003, the Australian population increased by 240,500 people reaching 19,881,500 in total. All states and the Australian Capital Territory increased in population during 2002–03. Only the Northern Territory had a decrease in population of 300 people and a growth rate of –0.2%. Queensland had the highest growth rate at 2.3% followed by Western Australia with 1.4%, both above the Australian rate of 1.2%. The lowest positive growth rate of 0.4% was recorded by the Australian Capital Territory, followed by South Australia (0.6%) and New South Wales (0.8%).

Ageing population

The median age of the Australian population, the age at which half the population is older and half is younger, has increased by 5.9 years in the last 20 years from 30.2 years at 30 June 1983 to 36.1 years at 30 June 2003. Between 30 June 2002 and 2003 there was an increase in the median age of 0.2 years. Australia's population is ageing because of a sustained low level of fertility, which has resulted in proportionally fewer children in the population, and increased life expectancy.

South Australia had the oldest population

As at 30 June 2003, the population of South Australia had the highest median age of all states and territories (38.2 years) followed by Tasmania (38.1 years), New South Wales (36.4 years), Victoria (36.2 years), Queensland and Western Australia (35.5 years), the Australian Capital Territory (33.8 years) and the Northern Territory (30.3 years).

MEDIAN AGE OF POPULATION

Graph - Median age of population



Age structure

Between 30 June 1983 and 30 June 2003, the proportion of children aged 0-14 years in the population has declined from 24% in 1983 to 20% in 2003. Over the same period, the proportion of the population aged 15-64 years increased marginally to 67% while the proportion of people aged 65 years and over increased by 3% to 13%.

POPULATION CHANGE, Age group - 1983 to 2003p

Graph - Population change, Age group - 1983 to 2003p

POPULATION, Age and Sex—1983 and 2003p

Graph - Population, Age and sex - 1983 and 2003p





Children

There was a decrease of 4,800 children (0.1%) aged under 15 years in Australia in the 12 months to 30 June 2003. The increase in the number of children aged 10-14 years of 11,500 was offset by decreases of 10,000 children in the 5-9 year age group and 6,300 children in the 0-4 year age group.

Queensland was the only state to record an increase in the number of children aged 0–14 years (1.0%) in the twelve months to 30 June 2003. All other states and territories declined with Victoria declining by 0.2%, Western Australia by 0.3%, New South Wales and Tasmania by 0.4%, the Northern Territory by 0.6%, South Australia by 0.7% and the Australian Capital Territory by 1.6%.

Adults

The adult population (people aged 15 years and over) in Australia increased in the 12 months to 30 June 2003 by 245,300 people (1.6%). However, this growth was unevenly distributed across the age groups of the population. The growth rate for those aged 15-44 years (0.8%) was lower and for those aged 45 years and over (2.5%) was higher than the growth rate for the total adult population.

Aged 15-64 years

The number of people aged 15–64 years grew by 1.4% during the twelve months to 30 June 2003. For this age group the states to experience growth rates above the national average were Queensland (2.6%), Western Australia (1.7%) and Victoria (1.5%). The only state or territory to record a decrease of population in this age group was the Northern Territory (-0.3%). The remaining states and territories all experienced increases below the national average: Tasmania (1.1%), New South Wales (1.0%), South Australia (0.8%), and the Australian Capital Territory (0.6%).

Aged 65 years and over

In the 12 months to 30 June 2003, the number of people aged 65 years and over in Australia increased by 2.2% to just over 2.5 million. This age group comprised 12.8% of the population. Generally, the population growth in this age group was high for the states and territories which had a small proportion of their population in this age group. Whereas the opposite was true for states and territories which had a larger proportion of their population aged 65 years and over.

Aged 85 years and over

Proportionally, the greatest population increase in the year to 30 June 2003 occurred among people aged 85 years and over. During this period, the number of people in this age group increased from 276,900 to 289,500, a growth rate of 4.6%. This continued the rapid increase in the size of this age cohort, which has grown by 165% over the last twenty years, compared to a total population growth of 29% over the same period.

Increased life expectancy for both men and women has contributed to this rise. Reflecting the higher life expectancy of women compared to men, there were over twice as many females (198,100) than males (91,400) in this age group at 30 June 2003.

In the 12 months to 30 June 2003, the fastest increases in the number of people aged 85 years and over occurred in the Northern Territory (9.6%), the Australian Capital Territory (8.1%), Queensland (6.1%), South Australia (5.2%) and New South Wales (4.7%). Growth for these states and territories for people aged 85 years and over was higher than growth for this age group for Australia. The smallest percentage increase occurred in Western Australia (3.2%), followed by Victoria (3.6%) and Tasmania (4.3%).

International comparison

The trend toward population ageing is established in many countries. In countries such as Italy, Japan and Greece, the number of people aged 65 years and over already exceeds the number of children aged 0–14 years. Population ageing in these countries is a result of sustained low fertility rates, coupled with relatively high life expectancy. In Australia based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics Series B population projection, the number of people aged 65 years and over is projected to exceed the number of children aged 0–14 years around the year 2016. See Population Projections, Australia, 2002 to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0) .

According to United Nations projections, all countries selected for analysis are expected to experience a decrease in the proportion of children in their populations between 2000 and 2005. In the majority of these countries, the decrease of children aged 0-14 years is expected to be accompanied by increases in the proportions of people aged 15–64 years and/or of people aged 65 years and over. Countries such as Italy, Japan and Greece are expected to suffer proportional declines in their populations aged 15-64 years as well as their populations aged 0-14 years. These countries are therefore expected to experience large proportional increases in their populations aged 65 years and over.

In 2000, the age structure of Australia's population was similar to that of Canada and the United States of America. Generally, the European countries and Japan had smaller proportions of children and higher proportions of older people than did Australia. In contrast, countries from the Asian region tended to have proportionally more children and far fewer older people, generally reflecting considerably higher fertility rates and lower life expectancies at birth than those experienced in Australia.

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

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DIABETES IN AUSTRALIA: A SNAPSHOT

The following article has been taken from Diabetes in Australia: A Snapshot (Cat. no. 4820.0.55.001) which was released on 30 April 2004.

Introduction

This article provides a brief overview of the differentials in prevalence, risk factors, actions taken after diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, and resultant conditions from diabetes mellitus, using data from the 2001 ABS National Health Survey. A study is also made of the health of persons aged 45 years and over, comparing those in the population diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, with the rest of that age group. The article also draws on data from the ABS Causes of Death collection.

Diabetes was identified as a National Health Priority Area in 1996. It is a chronic condition in which blood glucose levels become too high due to the body producing little or no insulin, or not using insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to assist the body to use glucose. Unless otherwise stated this article presents information sourced from the 2001 ABS National Health Survey (NHS).

Types of diabetes


    There are three types of diabetes:
  • Type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (likely to develop before 18 years of age).
  • Type 2, or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (likely to develop after 40 years of age).
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus (occurs in about 4-6% of pregnancies). In this analysis, gestational diabetes has not been discussed as it is not a long-term condition.

Prevalence
    • In 2001, 2.9% of the whole population reported that they had diabetes.
    • The prevalence of diabetes rose from 1.2% in 1989-90 to 2.0% in 1995, and to 2.9% in 2001.
    • In 2001, those reporting they had Type 1 diabetes accounted for 17% of those with long-term diabetes, those reporting they had Type 2 diabetes accounted for 78%, while 5% reported diabetes but did not know which type.
    • Based on studies comparing self-reported diabetes with medical testing for diabetes, there is evidence that for every known case of diabetes, there is one undiagnosed case (International Diabetes Institute 2001, King & Rewers 1993).

    AGE DISTRIBUTION OF PERSONS WITH DIABETES, BY TYPE, 2001
    Graph: AGE DISTRIBUTION OF PERSONS WITH DIABETES, BY TYPE, 2001



    Indigenous Australians

    In the 2001 Indigenous supplement to the National Health Survey:
    • Diabetes was reported by 5% of the Indigenous population.
    • After adjusting for age, Indigenous Australians were more than three times as likely as non-Indigenous population to have diabetes (11% compared with 3%).
    • Indigenous Australians living in remote rather than non-remote areas were approximately twice as likely to have diabetes (16% in remote areas, 9% in non-remote areas).

    PREVALENCE OF DIABETES BY INDIGENOUS STATUS AND AGE GROUP, 2001
    Graph: PREVALENCE OF DIABETES BY INDIGENOUS STATUS AND AGE GROUP, 2001


    For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Jane Griffin-Warwicke on Canberra (02) 6252 6535.

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    DID YOU KNOW?

    In general, the Australian Public Service (APS) is older than the wider Australian workforce. In June 2003, 37.6% of the APS was aged 45 years and over, compared with 35.0% of the total Australian workforce.

    Age profile

    Table 1 shows how the APS is ageing. Proportionally, the only age groups experiencing an increase over the last 10 years were the 45-54 years (22.1% to 29.3%) and the 55 years and over (5.6% to 8.3%). In June 2003, 37.6% of the APS population was eligible for retirement within the next 10 years.

    Table 1: Ongoing Staff: Age Group by Sex, 1994 - 2003

    Age group (years)
    June 1994
    June 1999
    June 2003
    %
    %
    %
    Under 25
    8.4
    4.1
    4.9
    25 - 34
    30.9
    26.6
    26.0
    35 - 44
    33.0
    33.9
    31.4
    45 - 54
    22.1
    29.1
    29.3
    55 and over
    5.6
    6.3
    8.3
    Total
    100.0
    100.0
    100.0
    Source: Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2002-03

    Classification profile

    As shown in Table 2, more than one-fifth (22.8%) of those employed in the APS were aged 45 years and over in either middle or senior management positions (APS5 and above).

    Table 2: Ongoing Staff: Classification by Age Group, 30 June 2003

    Classification
    Under 25
    years
    25-34 years
    35-44 years
    45-54 years
    55 years and over
    Total
    %
    %
    %
    %
    %
    %
    APS 1 - APS2
    0.5
    1.4
    2.0
    1.8
    0.9
    6.5
    APS 3 - APS 4
    3.0
    11.6
    10.8
    9.0
    2.9
    37.2
    APS 5 - APS6
    0.9
    9.2
    10.8
    9.7
    2.5
    33.1
    EL1 - EL2
    0.0
    3.5
    7.4
    7.9
    1.7
    20.5
    SES
    -
    -
    0.5
    0.8
    0.2
    1.6
    Trainee/Graduate Trainee
    0.6
    0.3
    0.1
    -
    -
    1.1
    Total
    4.9
    26.0
    31.4
    29.3
    8.3
    100.0
    - nil or rounded to zero
    Source: Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2002-03

    Separations profile

    Table 3 shows that of those who left the APS between 2002 and 2003 and were eligible to retire (ie. aged 55 years and over), 71.0% left due to age retirement with a further 23.0% leaving due to retrenchment. Almost two-thirds (64.1%) of the eligible retirees were in the 55-59 years age group.

    Those aged 50-54 years accounted for 15.6% of resignations. Included in this age group are those who resign just prior to there 55th birthday and who benefit from the financial incentives of the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS).

    Table 3: Separations of Ongoing Staff: Age group by Separation Type, 2002-03

    Age group (years)
    Resignation
    Age Retirement
    Retrenchment
    Other (a)
    Total
    Under 45
    3575
    -
    273
    343
    4191
    45 - 49
    439
    -
    106
    107
    652
    50 - 54
    740
    -
    223
    95
    1058
    55 - 59
    -
    516
    182
    51
    749
    60
    -
    71
    23
    7
    101
    61
    -
    55
    24
    5
    84
    62
    -
    58
    16
    3
    77
    63
    -
    32
    7
    2
    41
    64 and over
    -
    98
    17
    2
    117
    Total
    4754
    830
    871
    615
    7070
    (a) includes death, termination of employment and invalid retirement.
    - nil or rounded to zero
    Source: Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2002-03


    Data in this article have been taken from the Australia Public Service (APS) Statistical Bulletin 2002-03. More detailed commentary of the age profile of the APS can be found in the State of the Service Report 2002-03, produced by the Australian Public Service Commission.

    Government initiatives to address the ageing workforce include the Commonwealth Department of Treasury's Australia's Demographic Challenges released in February 2004. This report outlines policies to increase labour force participation levels. A focus throughout the report is on the mature age workers and encouraging their participation in the workforce beyond the age at which they would normally retire.

    In March 2004, the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services launched its Mature Workers' Strategy, a plan for encouraging and supporting people to continue to work beyond the age at which they would normally retire.

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    AUSTRALIA'S HEALTH: VITAL STATISTICS, VITAL SIGNS CONFERENCE

    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) will present a two-day conference in June at Parliament House, Canberra. This conference will focus on the key health issues facing Australia and the world today. It will bring together professionals working in health policy and administration, and health service delivery, as well as researchers and other interested stakeholders.

    This conference is the perfect forum to meet with subject specialists from AIHW and other agencies and jurisdictions. You will hear international and national health experts discuss critical issues, and put forward views for the future of Australia's health.

    The two-day program will commence with the launch of Australia's Health 2004 by the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon. Tony Abbott, MP. This publication is the most comprehensive and authoritative source of health statistics and related information. All delegates will receive a free copy of Australia's Health 2004.

    The conference program will include keynote addresses by international and Australian experts. Workshop sessions will be held on the critical areas of National Health Priorities, Population Health, Health Labour Force and Health Expenditure.

    For more information and to register contact Felicity Harrigan on telephone (02) 6244 1011, or email conference2004@aihw.gov.au.

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    NEW AND IMMINENT DATA RELEASES

    Measures of Australia's Progress (cat. no 1370.0) was released on 21 April 2004. For almost 100 years, the ABS has been measuring Australia's progress through a multitude of statistics relating to Australia's economy, society and environment. For the most part, our statistical publications have focused on each of these broad areas in isolation. That is, until now. 'Measures of Australia's Progress' is an annual publication that looks at the inter-relationships between the economy, society and the environment, to encourage discussion and debate about society and how our country is progressing.

    Further details are in Measures of Australia's Progress (cat. no. 1370.0) . For further enquiries please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

    Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0) was released on 24 March 2004. This publication provides information on visible underemployment. Persons who worked less than 35 hours in the week prior to the survey who would have preferred to work more hours were asked about whether they were looking for work with more hours, available to start work with more hours, and their experience in looking for work with more hours. Other information includes, the duration of the current period of insufficient work, and the number of extra hours preferred. Estimates can be cross-classified by labour force demographics such as state, sex, age, marital status and birthplace.

    Further details are in Underemployed Workers, Australia (cat. no. 6265.0) . For further enquiries please contact David Blair on (02) 6252 7206.

    Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0) was released on 17 March 2004. This publication presents information about persons aged 15-69 years who are not in the labour force: that is, neither employed nor unemployed. The data measure the potential supply of labour not reflected in employment and unemployment statistics.

    Further details are in Persons Not in the Labour force, Australia (cat. no. 6220.0) . For further enquiries please contact Labour Force and Supplementary Surveys Section on (02) 6252 7206.

    Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand 2002-03 (cat. no. 3218.0) was released on 12 March 2004. This publication contains estimates of the resident population of Statistical Local Areas (SLAs), Local Government Areas (LGAs), Statistical Subdivisions (SSDs), Statistical Divisions (SDs), Statistical Districts, states and territories at June 1998, 2002 and 2003, according to the 2003 edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). Growth rates for these areas are also provided. Estimates for 1998 are final estimates, based on results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, while 2002 are revised estimates, and 2003 estimates are preliminary.

    For New Zealand, this publication contains final estimates of the resident population of Regional Councils and Territorial Authorities at June 1998, and preliminary estimates for 2003, based on results of the New Zealand 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings. Growth rates for these areas are also provided.

    Further details are in Resident Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand 2002-03 (cat. no. 3218.0) . For further enquiries please contact Jacqui Cristiano on (02) 6252 5117.

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    WHERE CAN YOU FIND US???

    An
    Ageing theme page containing ageing-relevant information from the ABS and other Commonwealth Government agencies has been added to the ABS web site. The Ageing theme page highlights the type and range of data available for ageing analyses and will be updated to highlight new data releases as they become available.

    NASU CONTACT DETAILS

    Director
    Ron Casey
    Telephone: (07) 3222 6312
    Email:
    ron.casey@abs.gov.au
      Assistant Director
      Maryann Wood
      Telephone: (07) 3222 6206
      Email:
      maryann.wood@abs.gov.au

      Mailing address
      National Ageing Statistics Unit (NASU)
      Australian Bureau of Statistics
      GPO Box 9817, BRISBANE QLD 4001

      Fax: (07) 3222 6283




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