How is Australia's population really ageing?
The Ipsos Understanding Australia 2019 report has been released, including an interesting interview with Ivan Motley, the founder of .id – the population experts.
Mr Motley analyses how communities access education, housing, health, employment, recreation and each other. When asked how the population is really ageing, he responded:
“We are growing rapidly – in fact, Australia has uniquely high levels of growth by global OECD standards. Population change occurs through births, death and migration. In Australia’s case, it is overseas migration primarily driving population change with many of our migration-based policy decisions having been driven by economic opportunity.
“We are also ageing. The narrative we hear on this says we won’t have enough people left in our labour force to pay for services for our aged in the future, and our tax base is eroding.
“However, at any given time, we have 1.5m people residing temporarily in Australia who are filling these needs. Historically, Australia has had large numbers of temporary migrants – many who have ultimately converted to permanent citizens. This large migration of (primarily) young people is fuelling population growth - women in these child-bearing age groups are giving birth to record numbers of children. Yes, we are ageing, but we are also experiencing record numbers of births, and children entering our schools.
“As for our tax base eroding, it isn’t – at least to the extent it looked like it would at the turn of the century. People are staying in the workforce longer. For example, participation of 60+ year-old females was 30 per cent in 2000; it is 60 per cent now.
“Australia’s population narrative cannot be separated from our economic narrative. Population growth has accounted for almost all of Australia’s economic growth in recent times.
“Overseas migration feeds our education sector and fills skills gaps. In recent years, almost all job gains have been in health and education in the public sector. Put simply, the health sector serves the ageing, and the education sector serves the young. Jobs in these sectors are growing, as a result of population growth.”
What do you think of is comments?