Over a third of older people in Australia moved from overseas

by Ray Clancy on December 21, 2017

in Australia

The outdoor lifestyle in Australia is something that attracts people from all over the world and it seems that a healthier outlook and living longer is a powerful pull for expats.

The latest official figures show that people in Australia are living longer, but also working later into their lives, suggesting they are physically able to do so.

Active Seniors

(By wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

The data from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing shows that the proportion of older people in Australia’s labour force has increased over the past 10 years and over a third of older people were born abroad.

Indeed around 14% of people aged 65 years and over were part of our labour force in 2016, up from 9.4% in 2006. In 2016, around one in every five people aged 65 to 74 years, or 21%, were in the labour force.

The Census has also revealed that the number of older people is increasing. In 2016 some 16% of the population was aged 65 years and over, an increase of 664,500 since 2011. Additionally in 2016, there were almost half a million people, some 486,800, aged 85 years and over, an increase of around 85,000 people over the past five years.

The figures also show that a large number of people living to be older in Australia have been born overseas. Some 37% of people aged 65 years were from another country with 67% born in Europe and 24% born in England, indicating how popular Australia is with British people.

Older overseas born people who arrived in Australia around the mid 1970’s and onwards were more likely to have been born in Asia than in Europe. This reflects the trend for the entire Australian overseas-born population.

The Census also reveals that the majority of older people, some 82% only spoke English at home in 2016, while 3.2% spoke Italian and 2.2% spoke Greek. These were among the most commonly reported languages other than English.

Older people were also more likely to report an affiliation with Christianity than those aged under 65 at 70% and 49% respectively.

Older Australians continue to play a significant part in the community, with 19% of people aged 65 to 74 years providing care for a child aged under 15 who was not their own, most likely grandchildren.

Tasmania had the highest proportion of older people at 19% while the Northern Territory had the lowest at 7.2% while South Australia has the highest proportion of people aged 85 years and over.

While overall 71% of the Australian population live in major urban areas, older people were less likely to live in this type of area than those aged under 65 years at 65% compared to 72%, the data also shows.

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