According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there are 23,441,222 Australians living at the moment with:
- One birth every 1 minute and 42 seconds
- One death every 3 minutes and 36 seconds
- A net gain of one international migration every 2 minutes and 9 seconds, leading to An overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 17 seconds
If you extrapolate the maths above it adds up to a lot more of us by 2050 — around 9 and a half million more. And of course if we have a birth every 1 minute and 42 seconds, and a death every 3 and a half minutes the population is going to age.
It is a topic that is occupying the mind of Senator Mitch Fifield, the Federal Assistant Minister For Social Services who, speaking at the Committee for Economic Development (CEDA) on Monday, said:
The 2011 census showed that over 3.7 million Australians (16%) are over 65 years; more than 420,000 people (1.9%) are over the age of 85. And by 2050 it is estimated that around 23% of the population will be 65 and over.
But the figure that most stunned me when I came into the portfolio was that there were 3,485 Centenarians in Australia. And that by 2050 there will be over 50,000 Centenarians in Australia.
Fifield is keen to see the experience of the ageing population as an asset, and has no truck with those who say there is going to be an ageing “Tsunami”.
Rather he says: “To harness this national resource we need to develop a more positive attitude to ageing, to seniors and to people who face extra challenges. We should never limit older Australians through low expectations.”
That sound like code for we all might have to work longer too.
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