Australia's ageing yet diverse population


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Content type
Family Matters article

December 2003



Australia is one of the many countries experiencing falling fertility in the context of increasing life expectancy and thus an ageing population. Other important changes include shifts in the transition from a virtually mono-cultural society to one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world. This article outlines the changing size and structure of Australia's population, the components of population growth and ageing, and projections for the next 100 years. The authors note that, whatever the pace of change in population ageing, the projections suggest that the nature of consumption and demands for services will change, with health and aged care services increasing, and those geared towards children declining. Research into intergenerational exchange is described which highlights the continuing importance of families as providers (and receivers) of support. The ability of families to play a pivotal role in enabling Australia to meet the challenges of its ageing population will require the development of strong partnerships between government, business, various levels of the community, and families.

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