4914.0.55.001 - Newsletter: Age Matters, Sep 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/10/2003   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


The following extract is from Population Projections, Australia, 2002-2101 (cat. no. 3222.0) which was released on 2 September 2003.

Population ageing

Of all the changes that are projected to occur in Australia's population, ageing is the most dramatic, resulting from major changes in the age structure of the population, particularly over the next 50 years.

The projections show that the ageing of the population, which is already evident in the current age structure, is set to continue. This is the inevitable result of fertility remaining at low levels over a long period while mortality rates decline. The median age at June 2002 of 35.9 years is projected to increase to between 40.4 years and 42.3 years in 2021 and between 46.0 years and 49.9 years in 2051. There is less change in the second half of the projection period and by 2101 the median age is projected to be between 47.9 years and 50.5 years.

The ageing of the population affects the entire age structure of the population. The proportion of the population aged under 15 years is projected to fall from 20% (4.0 million) of the population at June 2002, to between 12%-15% (2.8 million to 4.8 million) in 2051 and 12%-15% (3.6 million to 5.5 million) in 2101. The proportion of the population aged 50 years and over will increase from 29% (5.7 million) at June 2002 to between 46%-50% (11.5 million to 14.3 million) in 2051 and 47%-51% (9.6 million to 18.0 million) in 2101.

Consequently, the age structure of the population is projected to change noticeably by 2051, with a greater concentration of people aged 50 years and over and lower proportions of young people. This distribution is also evident in 2101.


Graph - Projected population age structure, as at 30 June, series B - Australia

For further information contact Katrina Phelan (02) 6252 6573 or email katrina.phelan@abs.gov.au.