Census vital as Queensland plans for ageing population

ONE in seven Queenslanders is aged 65 years or over and one in thirty is aged over 80.

Census data will be needed to help identify where facilities and services are required to support the state's ageing population. In just three weeks, on Tuesday August 9, everyone in Australia will be called upon to participate in the Census, which will show how the nation has changed over the past five years.

Past Census data shows that in 2001, 451,000 people in Queensland were aged over 65 years. By 2011, this had increased by 159,000 to 610,000 making up 13.7 per cent of the population.

Queensland Census Director, Caroline Deans said, "Some areas in Queensland have a concentrated retired population - no doubt because retirees want to enjoy our beautiful warm weather."

The Gold Coast is one area of Queensland which attracts a large number of people aged over 65 years; with this group making up 15.6 per cent of the population in 2011.

"Census data is used by governments, businesses and service providers to help identify where services such as hospitals, nursing homes and aged care facilities may be needed - not just now, but for years into the future. "In order for Census data to be effective at painting a true picture of a population, every person will need to participate, whether it's online or on paper - including older Australians" said Ms Deans.

Gold Coast local, Shirley Lenton is 85 years of age and has always completed her Census form. This year, Mrs Lenton will complete the Census online.

"Without the Census we wouldn't have any statistics needed to tell us about our community. While I'm not on the computer all the time, I regularly use email and other online services. I'll be doing the Census online this year with my daughter," said Mrs Lenton.

With more than 15 million people expected to complete the Census online, it is shaping up to be Australia's biggest ever online event.

From 1 August most Queenslanders can expect to receive a letter addressed 'To the Resident', which will contain information about how to complete the Census online using a unique Census Login. Residents who would like to request a paper form, can call the Census Paper Form Request Line on 1300 214 531 from 22 July.

For more information about the Census visit www.census.abs.gov.au 2 Get online on August 9.

For more information, go to census.abs.gov.au

Quick facts about older Australians from the 2011 Census:

• There were 3 million people aged 65 years and older in Australia, 1.4 million men, and 1.6 million women. Over half of this population were aged 65 - 74 years, 58 per cent of the men and 51 per cent of the women aged 65 years and over.

• In 1901 the proportion of Australia's population aged 65 years and over was 4 per cent, in 2011 this had increased to 14 per cent, and the number of people aged over 85 years has tripled.

• 36 per cent of Australia's older people were not born in Australia, a substantially higher proportion than the 24 per cent of people under 65 years who were overseas-born.

• 537,300 older people, 19 per cent, were identified as having a profound or severe disability.

• More than half (61 per cent) of Australia's older people in 2011 had completed at least Year 10 or equivalent in schooling; just over a quarter (28 per cent) had achieved Year 12 or equivalent.

• South Australia and Tasmania had the largest proportions of older people (16 per cent), followed by Victoria and New South Wales (both 14 per cent), Queensland (13 per cent), Western Australia (12 per cent) and the ACT (10 per cent).

• 69 per cent of older Australians lived in Major Urban areas. Almost a quarter of older people lived in Other Urban areas such as smaller cities and towns.

• Most people aged 65 years and over lived in private dwellings (94 per cent). Of the 180,300 older people who lived in non-private dwellings, the great majority were in some type of cared accommodation - the leading two types were nursing homes (67 per cent) and accommodation for the retired or aged (not self-contained) (25 per cent).

• 211,000 men aged 65 years and over were employed. 26 per cent were Managers. Common occupations included Livestock Farmers, Accountants, Electrician, Truck Driver and Commercial Cleaners

• 116,000 women aged 65 years and over were employed. 28 per cent were Clerical and Administrative Workers. Common occupations included Registered Nurses, Livestock Farmers, Aged and Disabled Carers, Commercial Cleaners and General Sales Assistants.

• 12 per cent of older persons cared for children who were not their own.

Key 2016 Census dates: Late July to early Aug 2016 - Instruction letters and forms will be delivered 9 August 2016 - Census night Mid Aug to late Sept 2016 - Field visits April 2017 - The first results from the 2016 Census released

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