Australia's older generation (those aged 65 and over) continues to grow in number and as a share of the population. The ageing of the population creates both pressures and opportunities for Australia's health and welfare sectors.
While ageing can be associated with a decline in health and functioning, with many health conditions and associated impairments – such as arthritis, dementia, and hearing loss – becoming more common as people get older, Australians are generally living longer and healthier lives than previous generations. Life expectancy is increasing both at birth and over the course of a person's life, as most Australians enjoy greater standards of living and better access to high-quality health care.
While longer lives are a positive outcome, increasing longevity and the ageing of the population can have implications at the national and individual level – including, but not limited to, the economy, retirement planning, and the availability of services.
Older Australians are a diverse group, with different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, life experiences and lifestyles. Each individual has different abilities and resources, and their experience of ageing will be influenced by these differences.
Some groups of older Australians face disadvantages that affects both their mental and physical health and their opportunities for social and economic engagement within their communities.
At 30 June 2020, 1 in 6 Australians were aged 65 and over
In 2018–19, the average retirement age was 55 years, while the average intended retirement age was 66 years
In 2016, over 1 in 3 older people were born overseas; the most common regions of birth were Europe and South-East Asia
In 2016–18, Australian men aged 65 could expect to live another 20 years and women another 23 years
GEN Aged Care Data
A dedicated website providing the latest data and information on aged care in Australia via a range of products and datasets. Managed by the AIHW.