Discussion paper

Ageing gracefully: an overview of the economic implications of Australia's ageing population profile

15 Feb 2000

The profile of the Australian population is ageing. That is to say, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over is rising and is projected to rise further over the next fifty years. Demographers say the group aged 65+ is likely to increase from around 12 per cent today to around 25 per cent by the year 2051. The median age is projected to rise from 34 years today to around 40 years in 2021 and to 44 years by 2051. Moreover, there has been a trend towards earlier retirement and, if this trend continues, it will compound the effects of ageing on the dependency ratio. Can Australia provide adequate living standards for the growing number of persons in the aged and other dependent groups without seriously undermining the living standards of the general community?

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