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In 2016, approximately 3.7 million people (15% of Australia’s total projected population of 24.3 million) are older Australians.

In this report, older Australians are generally those aged 65 and over, unless otherwise specified. The different age group of older Indigenous Australians—50 and over—reflects the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non‑Indigenous Australians, and the low proportion of the Indigenous population aged 65 and over.

Older Australians are a diverse group, with different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds and different life experiences and lifestyles. These factors all influence the ageing process.

This new release provides insights into this group of older Australians: who they are, how they are changing, how healthy they are and the services they are using. It comprises a rolling series of web-based snapshots that provide key statistics on a variety of topics. These snapshots are topic focused, and will be updated over time. Given the diversity of content, we have used a mix of data sources. Hence, the date range available for reporting varies for the information presented for each topic. Previous editions of Older Australia at a glance are available at Older Australians publications.

Older Australia at a glance topics

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The older Australian population is growing

In 2016, 15% of the Australian population (3.7 million) were aged 65 and over. The proportion of older Australians is expected to grow—to 22% (8.7 million) by 2056 and to 24% (12.8 million) by 2096.

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Most older Australians are not using aged care services

During 2014–15, 2 in 3 (67%) older Australians (2.4 million) did not use aged care services.

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Most older Australians have healthy lifestyles

In 2014–15, most people aged 65 and over reported very low levels of smoking (93% not current smokers), 41% reported being sufficiently active during the preceding week, and more than half (51%) were fully vaccinated.

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Most older Australians own their own home

In 2013–14, 76% of older Australians owned their own home.

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More older Australians are engaged in the workforce

In 2015, 453,000 people aged 65 and over (13% of older Australians) were engaged in paid employment—increasing from 5% in 1990.