Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. Older Australia at a glance. Cat. no. AGE 87. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 28 September 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018). Older Australia at a glance. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance
Older Australia at a glance. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 10 September 2018, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Older Australia at a glance [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018 [cited 2021 Sep. 28]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2018, Older Australia at a glance, viewed 28 September 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance
Get citations as an Endnote file:
PDF | 4.9Mb
Generally, ageing-related conditions affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at a younger age than non-Indigenous Australians. This reflects the generally poorer health of Indigenous Australians compared with other Australians. Hence, planning for aged care services takes account of the Indigenous population aged 50 and over and 65 and over for non-Indigenous Australians.
In 2016, there were more than 650,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, accounting for 3% of the total Australian population . Of these:
The proportions for those aged 65 and over, and 85 and over, are considerably smaller than equivalents for the non-Indigenous population (which were 16% and 2.1%, respectively), reflecting the higher mortality rate and lower life expectancy of Indigenous Australians (Figure 1). Just over half (53%) of Indigenous people aged 50 and over were women, similar to the non-Indigenous older population, demonstrating the longer life expectancy of women in both populations [1, 4].
In 2010–12, the estimated life expectancy at age 65 for Indigenous people was a further 13.9 years for males and 15.8 years for females . An Indigenous girl born between 2010–12 had a life expectancy of 73.7 years, almost 10 years (9.5 years) less than for a non-Indigenous girl born in the same period . The equivalent difference was greater for males: an Indigenous boy born between 2010–12 had a life expectancy that was 10.6 years less (69.1 years) than for a non-Indigenous boy (79.7 years) .
Older Australia is made up of people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In 2016, over 3 in 10 (37%) people aged 65 and over were born overseas, up from 25% in 1981 .
One-fifth (20%) of people aged 65 and over in 2016 were born in a non-English speaking country, and a further 10% of older people were born in the United Kingdom and Ireland .
The most common non-English speaking countries of birth for older people were Italy (3% of all older people), Greece (2%) and Germany (1%). Italian was the most common non-English language spoken at home by people aged 65 and over in 2016 (110,000 people), then Greek (73,000) and Chinese (80,000) .
For more information on people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, see Diverse groups of older Australians.
Australia can be broadly divided into regions: Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote and Very remote. In 2016, 66% of older people (2.4 million) lived in Major cities, 32% (1.2 million) in Inner regional and Outer regional areas and just over 1% (52,600) in Remote or Very Remote areas .
The most populous states have the largest share of older people, with one-third (33%) of all people aged 65 and over in 2016 living in New South Wales and 25% in Victoria. However, older people as a proportion of the total population varied across the jurisdictions: people aged 65 and over made up 19% of Tasmania's population, followed by South Australia (18%), New South Wales (16%) and Queensland (15%). Notably, just 7% of the Northern Territory's population was aged 65 and over, reflecting its larger Indigenous population .
You can explore the characteristics of older people in Australia in the interactive map.
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.