Measuring the value of unpaid household, caring and voluntary work of older Australians

Measuring the value of unpaid household, caring and voluntary work of older Australians

David de Vaus, Matthew Gray and David Stanton

Research Paper No. 34 — December 2003

As the populations in many countries age, the direct financial costs to governments are expected to rise due to the income support and health costs associated with an older population. A focus on these financial costs has led to an unduly negative, problem-oriented view of population ageing that neglects the contribution of older citizens to the social and economic wellbeing of the nation. This paper explores just one aspect of the contributions of older Australians and demonstrates that, as an age cohort, older people make valuable economic contributions to Australian society through the time they spend in voluntary work and in unpaid caring in their own household, to their family members in other households, and to non-family members in the wider community. It is estimated that Australians aged over 65 years contribute almost $39 billion per year in unpaid caring and voluntary work and, if the unpaid contribution of those aged 55 to 64 years is included, this contribution rises to $74.5 billion per annum. 

Authors and Acknowledgements

For comments on this paper, the authors are indebted to Duncan Ironmonger from the University of Melbourne and Ann Sanson, Australian Institute of Family Studies. A previous version of this paper was presented to the International Social Security Association Fourth International Conference on Social Security, 'Social Security in a long life society', Antwerp, 5-7 May 2003

Publication details

Research Paper
No. 34
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, December 2003.
30 pp.
ISSN: 
1446-9871
ISBN: 
0 642 395007 1
Suggested citation:

de Vaus, D., Gray, M., & Stanton, D. (2003). Measuring the value of unpaid household, caring and voluntary work of older Australians (Research Paper No. 34). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

 

 

Download Publication

AIFS news

Get the latest news about our publications, research and upcoming events.

Subscribe