Older people in Australia: Social Health Atlas
Older people in Australia
The Older people in Australia: Social Health Atlas presents data on a range of population characteristics, including demography, socioeconomic status, health status and risk factors, and use of health and welfare services.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse groups
- A higher proportion of the 65+ years population were born in non-English speaking countries compared to those born in predominantly English speaking countries; this was also the case for the 75+ and 85+ years age groups.
- The rates of poor proficiency in English was higher in the 75+ and 85+ age groups than in the 65+ age group.
- The top 10 birthplace countries of people aged 65+ years born in non-English speaking countries are Italy, Greece, Germany, China, Netherlands, India, Malta, Vietnam, Croatia and Malaysia.
Housing and transport
- One quarter (24.8%) of the 65+ years population in Australia were living alone. The proportion was highest in Tasmania (29%), followed by South Australia (27.6%) with the lowest in the Northern Territory (17.9%). Rates of living alone were higher in 75+ (32.1%) and 85+ age groups (43.4%).
- About three quarters (76.9%) of the 65+ population in Australia were home owners. Those living in the Australian Capital Territory had higher rates of home ownership (80%), compared to those in the Northern Territory who had the lowest rates (60.6%).
- Of the 65+ year population in Australia, just over one tenth were renters (12.2%). This pattern varied between 10.3% to 13.6% across all State and Territories, although at 21.5%, the proportion for those living in the Northern Territory were significantly higher.
- Around half (49.6%) of the 65-69 years age group in Australia were receiving the Age Pension. The proportions were higher for the 70-74 (64.7%) and 75+ (73.1%) age groups.
- While the proportion of people receiving an Age Pension were higher in the older age groups, it is noted this was more prevalent for those living in regional areas of Australia compared to those living in the capital cities.
- Just over half of the older population left school without completing Year 10, or did not go to school; however, this proportion was higher for those living outside the capital cities.
- Rates of older people on low income were highest in South Australia and lowest in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
- Rates of volunteering by the population aged 65+ years for an organisation or group were highest in South Australia, followed by Tasmania. Broadly, the proportion of older people who volunteered for an organisation or group was higher for those living outside of the capital cities.
- About one-tenth (11.5%) of the 65+ years population provided (unpaid) child care to a child or children other than their own, this was more prevalent for those living in the capital cities.
- Death from circulatory system diseases was the leading cause of premature mortality for the 65+ year population: this includes deaths from ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases among other causes.
- Death from cancer was also a significant cause of premature mortality for the 65+ year population, with lung cancer the main cancer type.
- The leading principal diagnosis for hospital admissions for the 65+ years population was cancer, followed by circulatory system diseases and digestive system diseases.
- Fibre optic colonoscopy excision and fibre optic colonoscopy were the two main procedures for admissions at these ages.
View Older people in Australia: Social Health Atlas of Australia
View Notes on the data
Authored by PHIDU