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Australia’s welfare 2015—in brief presents highlights from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s 12th biennial report on the nation’s welfare.
$136.5 million was spent on welfare by Australian governments in 2012–13
4.2 million Australians have a disability
6.6 million of the 9 million households in Australia are family households; 2.1 million are single-person households
68% of households own their home, with or without a mortgage
Let's take a look at some of the many aspects that underpin 'who we are' as Australians using the latest data available.
Our population is 23.5 million people:
4.4 million Australians are aged 0–14
3.1 million Australians are aged 15–24
12.5 million Australians are aged 25–64
3.5 million Australians are aged 65 or older
A baby boy born between 2011 and 2013 can expect to live to 80.1 years and a baby girl to 84.3 years
There are almost 9 million households in Australia:
74%—6.6 million—are family households
23%—2.1 million—are lone-person households
3% —0.3 million—are group households
68% of households own their home (with or without a mortgage)
25% rent from a private landlord
4% rent from a government housing authority
105,200 people were homeless on Census night 2011
3%—about 714,000 people—are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
28%—about 6.6 million people—were born overseas and come from more than 200 countries
71% live in major cities
4.2 million of us—just under 19% of the population—have a disability
2.7 million informal carers—12% of the population—help someone who has a disability, health condition, or is ageing
Low-income households earn, on average $475 a week, middle-income households $793 a week, and high-income households $1,814 a week.
The labour force participation rate for males aged 15 and over is 71% and for females is 59%.
Australia has a relatively small and growing population of about 23.5 million people. Our population grew by 1.6% in the year to June 2014 and based on medium-level growth is projected to increase to about 39 million by 2054.
As our population increases, with each year that passes older people make up a bigger share of the total population. In 2014, 15% (3.5 million people) of the population were aged 65 and over, and by 2054 this is expected to increase to 21% (8.4 million people). The number of Australians aged 85 and over is expected to more than double in the next 20 years, from 455,400 to 954,600 in 2034—growing from 2% to 3% of the population.
Overall, Australia's Indigenous population is considerably younger than the non-Indigenous population. In 2014, half of the Indigenous population was aged 22 or under compared with the non-Indigenous population where half was aged 37 or under. Just 4% of the Indigenous population was aged 65 and over, compared with 15% of the non-Indigenous population.
More than one-quarter of all Australians—that's 6.6 million people—were born overseas. The proportion of people born overseas has increased from 24% to 28% over the past decade.
These residents have migrated from more than 200 countries, with the largest number (1.2 million) being born in the United Kingdom, followed by New Zealand, China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam.
However, the proportion of Australian residents born in the United Kingdom has fallen over the past decade—from 5.6% in 2004 to 5.2% in 2014.
In contrast, proportions rose for people born in New Zealand (from 2.1% to 2.6%), China (from 1.0% to 1.9%) and India (from 0.7% to 1.7%).
Around 25% of Australian residents born overseas were from North-West Europe (including the United Kingdom); nearly 14% were from South-East Asia; about 12% were from Southern and Eastern Europe, Oceania (including New Zealand), and North-East Asia; and 10% were from Southern and Central Asia.
In 2014, nearly three-quarters of people lived in Major cities (71%), while 18% lived in Inner regional areas, 9% in Outer regional areas, 1.4% in Remote and 1% in Very remote areas.
In 2013–14, Major cities were the fastest growing area in Australia, with a population increase of 1.8% in the year to June 2014. Inner regional areas grew by 1.2%, Outer regional areas grew by 0.7% and Remote areas grew by 0.3%—all less than Australia's population growth as a whole of 1.6%. The population in Very remote areas fell by 0.4%.
While most Australians live with family members, the number of people living alone has increased substantially over the past 50 years.
In 2012–13, an estimated 2.1 million people lived on their own—nearly one-quarter (23%) of all households. In 1961, just 11% of Australian households had only one resident.
There are a number of factors contributing to this trend, including: increasing numbers of people whose relationship or marriage has ended, or who have not partnered; and older people who are widowed.
In 2012–13, nearly three-quarters (74%) of the 8.9 million households in Australia were family households. About 3% of Australian households are group households.
While the vast majority of the 6.7 million families were couple families (5.7 million), nearly half of them (2.7 million, or 48%) had no children living in the household.
Just over 308,000 births were registered in Australia in 2013, and just over half (52%) of these babies were boys.
The age at which Australians become mothers and fathers has gradually increased since the early 1970s.
In 1971, the median age of mothers was 25.4 and by 2013 it had risen to 30.8. The median age of fathers in 1971 was 28.6 and by 2013 it had risen to 33.0.
The fertility rate for women aged 40–44 has increased from 10.1 babies per 1,000 women in 2003 to 15.4 in 2013. This was also the only age group to record a rise in fertility rates in 2013.
Meanwhile, the fertility rate for teenage mothers has fallen to 14.6 babies per 1,000 women aged 15–19—down from 16.2 in 2003.
Most Australians can expect to live a relatively long and healthy life—we have one of the highest life expectancies in the world and, on average, are living 25 years longer than a century ago.
Females generally live longer than males.
A baby boy born between 2011 and 2013 can expect to live to 80.1 years and a baby girl to 84.3 years.
While life expectancy for Indigenous Australians is improving, it is still lower than that for other Australians.
In 2010–2012, the estimated life expectancy at birth for Indigenous boys was 69.1 years, and 73.7 years for girls.
In 2011–12, the average equivalised disposable household income for people living in private dwellings was $918 per week—slightly more (2.7%) than the $894 in 2009–10 (adjusted for inflation).
The Australian Capital Territory had the highest average equivalised disposable household income in the country—$1,144 per week—while Tasmania had the lowest—$784.
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