4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2015 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/10/2016   
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18 October 2016
Embargoed: 11:30 am (Canberra time)
Older Australians are becoming more active

Older Australians have active social lives and are getting more exercise, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“The number of older Australians aged 65 years and over who participated in exercise or physical recreation increased from 44.5 per cent in 2012 to 49.2 per cent in 2015,” said Justine Boland, ABS Program Manager of Health and Disability Statistics.

“This is great news, as we know an active and social lifestyle is associated with better health outcomes,” she said.

In 2015, there were an estimated 3.5 million people aged 65 years and over, representing one in every seven people (15.1 per cent). This proportion has increased from 14.3 per cent in 2012 and 13.3 per cent in 2009.

While the proportion of older Australians has increased, the prevalence of disability amongst older people has decreased.

"In 2015, 50.7 per cent of older people were living with disability, down from 52.7 per cent in 2012,” said Ms Boland.

The proportion of all older Australians who needed assistance with at least one activity has also decreased to 38.6 per cent in 2015, down from 41.9 per cent in 2012.

“These findings reveal a positive trend that older Australians are healthier, living longer without disability and are in less need of assistance,” said Ms Boland.

Further information is available in Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings (cat. no. 4430.0).

Media Note:
  • The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2015 defines disability as any limitation, restriction or impairment, which restricts everyday activities and has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
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