Discuss the causes and economic effects of Australia's aging population in 2007 compared to the projected population in 2027.

Essay by united4shoCollege, UndergraduateA+, August 2007

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An aging population can have a significant impact on society in Australia. By the year 2027, there will be a marked increase in the number of Australians over sixty four years of age. The Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS] (2007a, 4) reports that by 2027 the Australian population aged over sixty four will make up eighteen percent of the Australian population. The figures extracted from [ABS] (2007a, 4) also portray the fact that there is a significant increase in the ageing population when compared to 2007's thirteen percent of the population being aged over sixty four. This essay will examine the causes of Australia's ageing population. These causes include: the ageing of the baby boomer generation and improved life expectancies. It will also analyse the positive economic effects of an ageing population namely: economic expansion contributed by the older generations' tendency to save more and increased government spending leading to economic growth.

Furthermore, an analysis of the negative economic effect will outline a decline in labour force participation.

The major cause of Australia's ageing population is lower fertility rates contributed by the ageing of the baby boomer generation. Marchand (1979), states that a baby boomer is a person born between 1944 and 1964. That means, by 2027 the baby boomers will fall into the approximate age bracket of 63 to 83 years of age. According to the Australian Productivity Commission [APC] (2005, 9), the fertility rate between 1944 and 1964 peaked at 3.5 per cent and in 2027 the fertility rate is forecasted to be declining at 1.7 per cent. This evidence suggests that due to the ageing of the baby boomer generation and post world war II fertility bulge, Australians are having less children. Therefore, the reason for this rapid change in fertility may be due to available contraception...