A growing, ageing population, increasingly born overseas

IN JUNE 2014, Australia had a population about 23.5 million people. Most of these can expect to have a relatively long life - one of the highest life expectancies in the world and 25 years longer than a century ago.

A baby boy born between 2011 and 2013 can expect to live to 80.1 years and a baby girl to 84.3 years.

Fifteen percent (3.5 million people) of the population were aged 65 and over, and by 2054 this is projected to increase to 21% (8.4 million).

This sort of demographic change increases pressure on the welfare system in terms of age-related income support, disability support and the provision of aged care.

About 3% of the population (714,000 people) were Indigenous.

The age profile of Australia's Indigenous population is considerably younger than for the non-Indigenous population.

At June 2014, half of the Indigenous population was aged 22 or under (compared with aged 37 or under for the non-Indigenous) and just 4% were aged 65 and over (compared with 15% of the non-Indigenous population).

Around 28% of the population was born overseas (6.6 million people) with the largest number (1.2 million) being born in the United Kingdom, followed by New Zealand, China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Most Australians live in capital cities. At June 2014, nearly three-quarters of people lived in major cities (71%), while 18% lived in inner regional areas, 9% in outer regional areas, 1.4% in remote and 1% in very remote areas.

While most households (68%) owned their own homes in 2011-12, either with or without a mortgage, the pattern of ownership (outright compared with mortgaged) has changed over the past decade.

The proportion of households that owned their own homes outright fell from 42% in 1994-95 to 31% in 2011-12.

The proportion of households that owned their own home with a mortgage increased from 30% in 1994-95 to 37% in 2011-12.

Courtesy Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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