Key Points

The current report updates the Business of Ageing framework set in the original 2011 report. Key findings are listed below.

  • Our older population (aged 65+) is expected to increase rapidly from 819,500 to 1,875,000 in the next 50 years. Gender distributions within 10-year age bands are expected to even out by 2071 using median population projections.

  • More and more older people are part of our workforce. Currently, we have 194,700 older people in the workforce, and this is expected to double by 2071. The 65–69 age band continues to account for the majority of our older workforce. This workforce is projected to continue to be predominately male.

  • Even though our older workforce is increasing, the overall participation rates based on the ratio of workforce to population increase is dropping. More specifically, the rate of population increase for older age bands rises more rapidly than the workforce projections.

  • Earnings from remunerated work for older people is currently at $6.3 billion in 2021 and is projected to rise to around $27.64 billion in 2071. In relative terms, based on older population projections, that is an increase from $7,800 per older person in 2021 to $14,700 per older person in 2071.

  • Self-employment income is likely to increase from $3.9 billion in 2021 to $17.9 billion by 2071 (2017$). In relative terms, that is an increase from $4,900 per older person in 2021 to $9,200 per older person in 2071.

  • The largest contribution of income to older people is government transfers, the value of which is projected to quintuple from 2021 to 2071 – from $17.35 billion to around $85.13 billion.

  • The value of all tax paid by older people could rise from $9.7 billion in 2021 to $46 billion by 2071, based on the calculations and assumptions stated within the report. In relative terms, based on the projected older population, that is an increase from $10,900 per older person in 2021 to $22,600 per older person in 2071.

  • We reviewed the proxy wage for value of unpaid work and projected the value of unpaid work using both the 2015 carer wage and the 2021 minimum wages. The value of the unpaid work of older people is estimated to rise between $55 and $62 billion in the next 50 years. That is an increase from between $14 and $15 billion per year in 2021 to between $69 and $77 billion per year by 2071.

  • The total value of expenditures by older people is projected to increase from $31 billion per year in 2021 to $149 billion per year in 2071. Aside from housing and household utilities groups presenting as outliers due to data limitations, the current spending patterns suggest that foodstuffs, transport, and recreation are the next highest contributors to older people expenditure.

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