ADDRESSING THE BIG QUESTIONS ON AGEING
The Intergenerational Report (IGR) and The National Strategy for an Ageing Australia released in 2002 identified a large range of important issues associated with an ageing population. Through discussions with key clients, associated research and feedback, the ABS has been able to identify the key issues, or 'big questions' which key policy makers are seeking to address in the ageing context. This paper draws heavily on a recent ABS paper presented to the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC) to bring forward these issues and to identify how information (ABS and non-ABS) can provide an understanding of the issues.
The paper identifies four key themes in respect of ageing:
Having identified the questions to be answered the paper attempts to identify the current and potential data sources to address the issues.
Further work in building Information Development Plans will be a key aspect of progressing this topic. Integral to that process will be continued discussions, with Commonwealth and State/Territory agencies with policy responsibility relating to the impacts of population ageing to ensure that the big questions are accurately delineated.
- Labour Force Participation: how to maintain employment to population ratios given an ageing population, or cope with the economic implications of a declining ratio.
- Retirement and Transition to Retirement: how to provide for retirement given longer life spans.
- Health and Care Costs: what are the economic implications of the growing demand on health services and care services.
- Social and Community Impacts of Ageing: how to promote positive ageing in terms of health, social and economic participation.