Advertisement

Journal of Population Ageing

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 181–196 | Cite as

Population Ageing in Northern Australia: Seniors’ Voices on Ageing in Place

  • Andrew Taylor
  • Hannah PayerEmail author
Article

Abstract

Similar to most northern developed jurisdictions, Northern Australia has perennially featured a youthful population composition due to a high Indigenous composition and a young non-Indigenous population for whom migration flows are concentrated in young ages. However, demographic pre-cursors are now in place that will bring about relatively rapid and proportionally substantial population ageing in the population of the north of Australia, as has occurred elsewhere. More seniors will bring many opportunities from the social, economic and other capital they provide. Seniors will balance population compositions towards a less male dominated and less youthful structure, helping to reduce high rates of turnover. Nevertheless, there will be challenges and governments for northern Australian jurisdictions will in coming decades face structural shifts in population profiles and the economy. To date ageing in the north has received little in the way of policy attention, but planning for the needs of seniors and their communities must be forthcoming. This paper reports on the causes and consequences of these circumstances and provides research insights from soon-to-be and existing seniors on their hopes and concerns around ‘ageing in place’ in the north. We then ponder what governments might do to maximise potential benefits in the face of this significant demographic and social change. While delayed ageing in the north affords governments at all levels with opportunities to learn from the experiences, policies and programs of other areas, concerted consultation with seniors is necessary to deliver optimal support and community benefit for those who wish to ‘age in place’ in the north.

Keywords

Population ageing Ageing in place Northern Australia Remote areas Indigenous population Human geography 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of the Council of the Ageing Northern Territory in assisting with the research discussed in this paper. Specifically, the Council administered the surveys to Seniors in the community.

References

  1. ABS (2012). 2011 Census of Population and Housing: Basic Community Profile (Catalogue number 2001.0). Online http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/home/communityprofiles?opendocument&navpos=230 [Accessed 12 may 2016].
  2. ABS (2013). 3222.0 - Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101. Cat. No. 3222.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Online http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mf/3222.0 [Accessed 29 September 2014].
  3. ABS (2014). 3105.0.65.001 Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2014. Cat. No. 3105.0.65.001. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Online http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3105.0.65.001.
  4. ABS (2016). 3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2014. Online http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3303.02014?OpenDocument [Accessed 21 April 2016].
  5. ABS (2015). 33020DO007_2014 Deaths, Australia, 2014. Online http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3302.02014?OpenDocument [Accessed 29 April 2016].
  6. ABS (2016). 3101.0 – Australian Demographic Statistics, Sep 2016 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3101.0Sep%202015?OpenDocument [Accessed 01 June 2016].
  7. AIHW (2012). Dementia in Australia. Canberra: AIHW: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cat. no. AGE 70.Google Scholar
  8. AIHW (2014). Healthy life expectancy in Australia: patterns and trends 1998 to 2012. Canberra: AIHW: Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing bulletin no. 126. Cat. no. AUS 187.Google Scholar
  9. Australian Association of Social Workers (2013). Ageing in Australia. Australian Association of Social Workers Position Paper. Online: http://www.aasw.asn.au/document/item/4356 [Accessed 8 September 2014].
  10. Australian Government (2015). Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. Online http://industry.gov.au/ONA/WhitePaper/index.html [Accessed 14 April 2015].
  11. Australian National Audit Office (2014). The Treasury - Intergenerational Report. Online: http://www.anao.gov.au/bpg-innovation/case-10.html [Accessed 29 September 2014].
  12. Bainbridge, R., McCalman, J., Clifford, A. and Tsey, K. (2015). Cultural competency in the delivery of health services for Indigenous people: Issues paper no. 13 produced for the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse. Online http://www.aihw.gov.au/uploadedFiles/ClosingTheGap/Content/Our_publications/2015/ctgc-ip13.pdf [Accessed 2 May 2016].
  13. Bloom, E., Canning, D., & Fink, G. (2010). Implications of population ageing for economic growth. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 26(4), 583–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brokensha, H., & Taylor, A. (2015). When can Indigenous Territorians retire? Online: Impacts from increasing the age pension qualifying age http://www.cdu.edu.au/sites/default/files/research-brief-2015-01_0.pdf [Accessed 5 February 2015].Google Scholar
  15. Buckner, L., Croucher, K. L., Fry, G., & Jasinska, M. (2013). The impact of demographic change on the infrastructure for housing, health and social care in the north of England. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 6(2), 123–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carson, D., Ensign, P., Rasmussen, R. O., Husky, L., & Taylor, A. (2011). Perspectives on 'Demography at the Edge'. In D. Carson, R. Rasmussen, P. C. Ensign, A. Taylor, & L. Huskey (Eds.), Demography at the Edge: Remote human populations in developed nations (pp. 3–20). Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  17. Commonwealth of Australia (2010). Australia to 2050: future challenges. Online http://archive.treasury.gov.au/igr/igr2010/report/pdf/IGR_2010.pdf [Accessed 29 September 2014].
  18. Emelyanova, A., & Rautio, A. (2013). Perspectives for Population Ageing in the Russian North. Journal of Ageing, 6(2013), 161–187.Google Scholar
  19. Healy, J. (2004). The benefits of an ageing population. Discussion Paper Number 63. Australian National University. ISSN 1322–5421. Online http://www.tai.org.au/documents/dp_fulltext/DP63.pdf [Accessed 8 September 2014].
  20. Jackson, N., & Felmingham, B. (2002). As the population clock winds down: Indicative effects of population ageing in Australia’s States and Territories. Journal of Population Research, 19(2), 97–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kendig, H., Elias, A., Matwijiw, P., & Anstey, K. (2014). Developing Age-friendly cities and communities in Australia. Journal of Ageing and Health., 26(8), 1390–1414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Martel, C. (2010). Spatial patterns of older people migrating to and from the Northern Territory. Online http://www.cdu.edu.au/sites/default/files/Brief2010055spatialpatternsofoldermigrants.pdf [Accessed 11 September 2014].
  23. Martel, C., Carson, D., & Taylor, A. (2013). Changing patterns of migration to Australia's Northern Territory: Evidence of new forms of escalator migration to frontier regions? Migration Letters, 10(1), 91–100.Google Scholar
  24. Menec, V., Means, R., Keating, N., Parkhurst, G., & Eales, J. (2011). Conceptualizing Age-Friendly Communities. Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, 30, 479–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Northern Territory Department of Treasury and Finance (2014). Northern Territory Population Projections, Main Update (2014 Release). Darwin: Northern Territory Department of Treasury and Finance.Google Scholar
  26. Payer, H., Taylor, A., & Barnes, T. (2015). Who's missing? Demographic impacts from the Incarceration of Indigenous people in the Northern Territory, Australia. In H. Berents & J. Scott (Eds.), Crime, Justice & Social Democracy: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference (Vol. 1, pp. 27–36).Google Scholar
  27. Plouffe, L. A., Garon, S., Brownoff, J., Eve, D., Foucault, M.-L., & Lawrence, R. (2013). Advancing Age-Friendly Communities in Canada. Canadian Review of Social Policy. No., 68-69(2013).Google Scholar
  28. Queensland Government (2006). The Implications of Demographic Ageing for Queensland’s Labour Force. Online http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/implications-demographic-ageing/implications-demographic-ageing.pdf [Accessed 28 April 2016].
  29. Rasmussen, R. (2007). Polar women go south. Journal of Nordregio, 7(4), 20–22.Google Scholar
  30. Somenahalli, S. (2015). Key transport and mobility issues facing seniors: evidence from Adelaide. Brisbane: National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre.Google Scholar
  31. Taylor, A. (2015). Not just ageing: Policy and service delivery implications from changing population compositions in the Northern Territory of Australia. In T.Wilson, E. Charles-Edwards, & M.Bell (Eds.), Demography for Planning and Policy: Australian Case Studies (pp. 91–107). Australia: Springer.Google Scholar
  32. Taylor, A., Payer, H. and Brokensha, H. (2015). The Demography of Developing Northern Australia. Online http://www.cdu.edu.au/sites/default/files/research-brief-2015-06.pdf [Accessed 14 December 2015].
  33. Tinker, A. (2002). The social implications of an ageing population. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 123, 729–735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. WHO (2007). Global Age-friendly Cities: A guide. Online: World Health Organisation http://www.who.int/ageing/publications/Global_age_friendly_cities_Guide_English.pdf [Accessed 18 March 2015].Google Scholar
  35. WHO (2014). Age-friendly world: adding life to years. Online: A Global Network. World Health Organisation http://agefriendlyworld.org/en/who-network [Accessed 18 March 2015].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northern InstituteCharles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia

Personalised recommendations