From 22.3 million people in 2011, Australia's population is projected to increase by 45% to reach 32.4 million people in 2036. In addition to this larger population, greater proportions of people are projected in older age groups as a result of the ageing population. The median age of Australia's population is projected to be 40.1 years in 2036 compared with 37.2 years in 2011, while the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over is projected to be 20% in 2036 compared with 14% in 2011. As the population ages, increases in the number of people in older age groups will be reflected in those living arrangements that older people are more inclined to live in. For example, many older Australians live alone, therefore the total number of people living alone is projected to increase as a result of the large projected increase in numbers of older people.
PARTNERS IN COUPLES
In Australia in 2011, there were 10.1 million people living as a partner in a couple relationship, accounting for 45% of the population. The total number of people living as a partner in a couple is projected to increase to between 14.2 million (Series III) and 14.9 million (Series I) by 2036, or 44% and 46% of the population.
In 2011, 54% of these people living with a partner (or 5.4 million people) had children living with them. Over 80% of people aged 35-49 living as a partner in a couple had children living with them. The number living as partners with children is projected to increase to 6.6 million to 7.6 million. This represents a slight decline to between 46% and 51% of all people living as a partner in a couple. By 2036, the number of people living as a partner in a couple without children is projected to increase from 4.7 million to between 7.3 and 7.6 million. The majority of this growth is projected to occur in the older age groups, and is primarily due to the ageing population. Of the total increase in partners in couple families without children, between 58% and 68% is projected to occur in the population aged 65 years and over.
The number of lone parents is projected to increase from 1.0 million in 2011 to between 1.5 and 1.7 million in 2036. Female lone parents are projected to increase by between 47% and 67%, from 819,000 in 2011 to between 1.2 and 1.4 million in 2036. The number of male lone parents is projected to increase by between 49% and 85%, from 174,000 in 2011 to between 259,000 and 320,000 in 2036. The proportion of lone parents who are female is projected to remain approximately constant, at just over four in every five lone parents.
In 2011, there were 7.2 million people (of any age) living as children in a family household - 5.5 million living with two parents, and 1.6 million living with one parent. This accounts for almost one-third (32%) of Australia's population. This is projected to decrease to between 30 and 31% of the population, with the number of people of any age living with at least one parent projected to reach between 9.6 and 10.1 million by 2036. The proportion of children in one-parent families as a proportion of all children in family households was 23% in 2011, and this was projected to remain at 23% (series I) or increase to 28% (series III) by 2036.
In 2011, there were 531,000 'other related persons' living in family households, accounting for only a small proportion of the total population (2.4%). This living arrangement includes arrangements such as elderly parents living with their adult child's family, or adult siblings living together. The number of other related individuals in family households is projected to increase to between 781,000 and 815,000 in 2036, accounting for 2.4 to 2.5% of the population.
PEOPLE LIVING ALONE
The number of people living alone is projected to increase by between 61% and 65% over the projection period, from 2.1 million in 2011 to between 3.3 and 3.4 million in 2036. This increase is mainly due to the projected ageing population. In 2011, 8% of people aged 15-64 were living alone, compared to 25% of people aged 65 and over. These percentages are projected to remain similar, at 8-9% of 15-64 year olds in 2036, and 22% to 26% of people aged 65 and over. Just over half of people living alone are females (54% in 2011, and between 52 - 57% in 2036). This reflects the higher life expectancy of women. However, there are more men between the ages of 15 and 54 living alone than women.
In all three series, the number of people living in group households is projected to increase, from 821,000 people in 2011 to between 1.1 and 1.2 million people in 2036. This represents an overall increase of between 37% and 44%. Group household members are projected to remain a relatively minor proportion of the total population, accounting for just under 4% of the population over the projection period. Half (50%) of all group household members in 2011 were aged 20-29. This percentage is projected to decrease to between 44% and 46% in 2036.
In 2011, there were 432,000 people living in non-private dwellings in Australia, such as residential and aged care facilities, boarding houses and gaols. This number is projected to increase to between 641,000 and 792,000 in 2036, an overall increase of between 48% and 83%. People living in non-private dwellings are projected to remain a small component of the total population, accounting for only 2.0% - 2.4% of the population in 2036, similar to that in 2011 (1.9%). Around half (48%) of all people living in non-private dwellings in 2011 were aged 65 years and over. Another quarter (24%) of people living in non-private dwellings in 2011 were young adults aged 15-29. This group is largely comprised of those living in boarding schools and tertiary education institutions.