Australia's ageing population: Special series

Ageing in Australia: Facts and Figures

How we age will change significantly over the next 50 years. Bringing together data and information from a range of key surveys, studies and projections, this series of fact sheets should assist older people, communities, governments and agencies providing services to older people in planning for the future.

Of the changes projected to occur in Australia's population, ageing is generally considered to be the most dramatic, with significant changes to the age structure of the population, particularly over the next 50 years. (ABS, Population Projections 2012 (base)–2101)1

1 3222.0 - Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101 (Latest issue released at 11:30 AM (Canberra time) 26/11/2013) <>

A note on demographics

This series of fact sheets defines older Australians as those aged 65 years and over. Very old persons (aged 85 years and over) have a particular need for care and support so, where possible, information is provided for this group specifically.

The situation of older people is considered on the basis of age, living arrangements and need for assistance. Other factors such as income and wealth, family circumstances and social and cultural practices are not examined in this report. Similarly, the particular situations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Culturally and Linguistically Diverse populations are not examined, although the additional challenges these populations may face through ageing are acknowledged.


During her career as a social statistician and researcher with the Australian Bureau of Statistics and then the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Carol Soloff worked across a wide range of subject matter, including children’s development, out-of-home care, past adoption practices, victims of crime and crime and justice more broadly, volunteerism and the economic benefits of sport and recreation. After retiring from the Australian Public Service in 2013, partly to spend more time with her parents who lived interstate, Carol became interested in issues surrounding (informal) support for the elderly, particularly those with no family living close. Carol compiled the information in these Ageing in Australia Facts and Figures pages during 2014/15 to highlight the range of data that are available to help inform government, community groups, service providers and the public on issues relevant to older persons.

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