The Meeting Place

How is Australia's population really ageing?

ivan motley

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?


Yes it touches the problem in a More open model than  the scare tactics of the LNP .   Boomers are a dying breed ! Especially those who got to retiremeant age without any superannuation.  So what is the factor of those people retiring in the next couple of decades with some super ?  This surly has a down shifting of dependence on the wholly aged people accessing the max pension?  . 

When people queue up to leave this country then I,ll know that our wages and our state pension is too low

all very well to have a large  immigration  platform but we don't  have the infrastructure   in place to support  it  not enough water which we are seeing now wait years to see a hospital  specialist l know because I have  been waiting for nearly 2 years. so all immigration  should  be stopped  especially  the ones that  come with  numerous  kids and then become a burden on the taxpayer b y going on to centerlink and getting more than pensioners and low income people 

Totally agree. 


Spot on FairDinkum !!!!


This was a very easy to read presentation of facts gleaned no doubt by the accumulation of knowledge in his job. However my heckles were raised when he used the phrase that our population cannot be separated from our economic narrative which intentionally to me indicated that this has in some way been succesful.

My view differs markedly from this reality.

Politicians from all parties, economists from all walks of business and industry pushed his  and there views very succesfully never ever acknowledging that serious and long term damage would be done to our culture as it existed in the 1950's when it was acknowledged world wide as being socially harmonious with a standard of living for young and old as being the best in the world. Our hospital systems were unique in that we had vast areas to cover and we developed the means to look after the people who resided outside of the major cities. Our sportsmen and women punched above our population numbers and our sporting prowess was legendary.

Let us now fast forward to his statements about the growth in healthcare and education being supported by immigration. I would have avoided both of those areas had I been a supporter of the economic model he has based his comments on. It is these two areas that have suffered most for the average person in our communities; our hospitals are being overloaded, waiting times at emegecy departments are continuing to cause major problems because of the inability to attend to persons wanting treatment and the Ambulance services can no longer cope with those seeking their service.

If that is not enough just look at the public schooling model which was until the latter part of the twentieth century another gem in Australias crown. Sadly this is no longer the case  and the problem lies with the immigration model that supported growth at any cost.

I could go on and on but will leave my last comments to the security of our country with all forms of federal and state policing and the massive shift in funding needed to try and preserve the great culture we once had but have now lost (at least temporarily I hope)

My last comment is about the new housing estates that are a blight on our landscape and do very little to give people pride in their community.

 I am proud to have lived in the era in which Australians were readily recognisable and did not need programmes to build our communities.

I hope that these comments may make current economists and politicians reflect back on what we had and understand that they have been complicit in ruining what was once the greatest nation on earth.

Could not agree more. Absolutely correct

Politicians only have their own interests at heart, to the detriment of the average Australian.

We're the bunnies paying for the explosion of immigrants coming into this country and the dirty disgusting, unsafe, housing estates that have mushroomed everywhere, almost overnight Australia is being sold to the highest bidder, because our politicians are getting their greedy palms greased by overseas corporations and investors. Australians aren’t allowed to buy land overseas; but yet people from overseas are allowed to come in and sell Australia from under us.  

Our stupid government is quick to blame baby boomers for being a burden. However; we've worked long and hard for what we have; but are being penalised for it.

On the other hand, immigrants are welcomed with open arms and given every comfort they've never had; but demand they be given in Australia. Why? Coming to Australia should be a privilege; not a right. However; the government panders to their every whim, resulting in them coming in in droves and milking the system for what it's worth; then, to compensate for them draining government coffers, the government takes away  from the most vulnerable people ie the baby boomers, war veterans and people on disability pensions, to name a few. I've never seen so many Australians sleeping on the streets - it's a bloody disgrace! We’re worse than a third world country! How easy it is for some of the parliamentarians to cry over people from overseas; but turn a blind eye to the people who have worked long and hard to make Australia what it is!  

The government's demanding that older Australians work longer hours? They're living in a fantasy world. Who will employ us? At 55, employers consider us too old and doddery; but the government, on the one hand, considers us to be fit to work ‘till we  drop; while on the other hand, they are determined to throw us all on the scrap heap; because they feel we’re too old and decrepit  and a burden on society!        

In addition, to add insult to injury, we're losing our heritage and our way of life. Now, it's "spot the Aussie". Gone are the days when one could leave one's doors open and sleep in peace, knowing we’ll wake up the next day! Now, we’ve afraid to go out in the day, for fear of being mugged!




'Robbo 1' you have hit the nail on the head;   I think the Liberals are tooooo far to the right.  I don't like them one bit, but then I don't like the left of Labor either.  Where is the middle of the road and justice for the majority?     

There certainly needs new Legislation to stop the excessive Retirement handouts for the Politicians, they should not be able to vote in their own Retirement pay.   But who is going to stop them? 

They only speak to the man in the street when there is an election anyway.

What we have today is getting a bit like Hong Kong politics.

However, it is worse in the UK.

You make quite a number of powerfully though provoking , insightful comments seedub, and I must admit you have given me much to think about. I  have never looked at our present situation in this country in quite this way before. My best to you.

My step son has been in the banking business   since leaving school. Ten years ago the bank

decided to cut staff and he was made redundant. He didn't want to retire so decided to look for work in the finance 

field." Sorry - too old ", was the reply he got. He tried everywhere until he  got a job selling men's shirts in a 

department store. The government's telling people to work until over 70, who will employ them and pay decent





Hi Hola.

Yes my younger son had the same thing happen to him, I think the Federal Politicians live in a dream personally, as long as they are ok they do not concern themselves if others have a problem. 

Husband retired at 72 though, he enjoyed his profession.


Seedub your comments ring true with me as well.  Have spoken to many people regarding the issue of our population growth and not yet spoken to anyone who agrees with the direction Australia is heading.  All all express concern for the future of our country and what is left for our grandchildren.


Really? the '50's??? The White Australia Policy? Maybe when the yanks dump Trump, we could get him over here as PM? Clearly he will get a few votes.

Really? the '50's??? The White Australia Policy? Maybe when the yanks dump Trump, we could get him over here as PM? Clearly he will get a few votes.

Time to cut the baby bonus and immigration levels.



This is what the elderly people in Japan do these days when they work to protect themselves..

Exoskeletons are being trialled in warehouses and other labour-intensive jobs to prevent injuries to staff, but have also shown promise in aiding the disabled and elderly 

 Exoskeletons are being trialled in warehouses and other labour-intensive jobs to prevent injuries to staff, but have also shown promise in aiding the disabled and elderly


Sydney is a horrible place to go to these days. In my view it is ruined by overcrowding and high rise buildings everywhere. It has become an ugly city. I do think we are taking in too many immigrants each year and we haven't planned well to provide adequate infrastructure and housing to accommodate all of the extra population. By immigrants I do not mean asylum seekers and refugees. We should meet our UN requirements to look after those in need but most of our immigrants are not needy, they are people who have just decided they want to live in Australia rather than their own country because we have better welfare safety nets and other advantages. I would like to see our immigration levels cut right back.

I agree 200,000 legal dollar paying immigrants per year is too much and who does it benefit? Developers selling high rise? Car sellers? I don't think they intend on being on welfare but many end up there because there is not enough jobs to around. And many have a lot of babies because of the baby bonus or their religion. Only political party that I can find that wants to cut back on immigration is the sustainable australia party.

I wish everyone would research all the Senate and House of Rep parties to maximise what they want to vote for...what really fits with their values. Unfortunately, I think as a voting population we are fairly lazy and I fear that a lot of our new comers don't even understand our political system so don't see beyond the bigger parties.


Yes new immigrants would not even understand our political system and also think everything in the media is true, often very easily swayed by what sounds good and the many promises made.


It certainly is Ny19, we visit our son but wish he would come back to Perth.

It certainly is Ny19, we visit our son but wish he would come back to Perth.