4139.3 - Persons Aged Fifty Years and Over, Queensland, Oct 1998  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/03/1999   
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March 31, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

ABS survey gives picture of Queensland population aged 50-plus

In October 1998, 43.0% of private dwelling occupants aged 50 or over in Queensland lived in the Brisbane Statistical Region and 24.3% lived in the surrounding Moreton Region, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released today. Approximately half were married couples living by themselves and 20.0% lived in a single person household.
    An estimated 36.7% were employed either full-time or part-time. While 51.5% reported 'Government pension or cash benefit (including family allowance)' as an income source, 46.9% reported it as the main source of income.

    The majority of these people were mobile, with 82.9% holding a current driver's licence and 77.5% having driven in the previous four weeks. Sixty-one point six per cent reported driving at night and 64.6% driving outside their local area. Although 90.6% were able to access public transport, only 22.8% had used it in the previous four weeks. A very small proportion needed help or supervision in personal care (3.6%), moving around the house (2.7%) and going to or getting around a place away from home (6.4%).

    The most popular physical activity, reported by 70.3%, was gardening and associated activities, followed by walking for exercise or recreation (53.4%). Only 18.4% reported participation in any sport. Other popular activities were reading newspapers (90.2%) and books/magazines (79.3%), other visits/outings with relatives or friends (63.4%) and going to movies, theatre and restaurants (54.9%). An estimated 13.9% provided unpaid assistance through a voluntary organisation such as Meals on Wheels, Lions clubs, or Red Cross and 12.2% provided assistance with childminding to people outside the household.

    The use of technology by older persons varied, with 72.8% using microwave ovens and 62.8% using a video cassette player. Personal computers were used by 20.1% and the use of the Internet was reported by 6.6%. Credit/debit cards were used by 49.3% and 39.6% used an automatic teller machine.

    This survey was conducted at the request of the Queensland Government to provide information in the leadup to the International Year of Older Persons in 1999.

    Details are in Persons Aged Fifty Years and Over, Queensland - October 1998 (cat. no. 4139.3), available from ABS bookshops in capital cities. Main Features of the publication are available from this site.