Where do most of our baby boomers live?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently published population estimates by age and sex and locality, which provides an opportunity to look at what areas are most popular with Australian’s aged 65 years and over. It’s no surprise to see a more retirees moving away from city areas to the more ‘sea change’ and ‘tree change’ lifestyle.
This article takes a look at those regions with the oldest median age (and youngest), regions with the highest proportion of Australian’s aged 48 – 67 years, and the top 50 council areas nationally with the highest proportion of residents aged at least 65 years of age and over.
The findings are based on Council areas and Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2). SA2s generally have a population range of 3,000 to 25,000 persons and an average population of about 10,000 persons. SA2s represents a community that interacts together socially and economically.
City vs Regional population growth
As per the 2016 Census, regional and coastal areas of Australia had a considerably larger skew towards persons aged 65+, representing 17.7% of all persons compared to 13.7% for the capital
Coastal and lifestyle markets are widely considered to be the primary beneficiaries of an ageing population as a result of ‘sea change’ and ‘tree change’ migration patterns in addition to aged persons moving closer to family.
Much of the 65+ population growth in regional Australia has been focussed on the major centres. Notable areas include the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Central Coast (NSW) and the Mornington Peninsula where there is access to above average medical facilities and leisure activities.
Regions with the highest median ages in Australia
The regions with the highest median ages were Tea Gardens – Hawks Nest (61.6 years) and Tuncurry (60.7) in New South Wales, Bribie Island (59.0) in Queensland and Sussex Inlet – Berrara (58.9) on the New South Wales south coast. These areas are all popular retirement destinations.
Local areas with the oldest median age, 2016*
- Tea Gardens – Hawks Nest (NSW) – 61.6 years
- Tuncurry (NSW) – 60.7 years
- Bribie Island (QLD) – 59.0 years
- Sussex Inlet – Berrara (NSW) – 58.9 years
- Point Lonsdale – Queenscliff (VIC) – 58.3 years
Many of the SA2s with the youngest median ages also had large populations of students or military personnel, including Acton (20.9 years) and Duntroon (21.4) in the Australian Capital Territory, or high proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, such as Northern Peninsula (22.0) and Yarrabah (22.9) in Queensland.
Local areas with the youngest median age, 2016
- Acton (ACT) – 20.9 years
- Duntroon (ACT) – 21.4 years
- Northern Peninsula (QLD) – 22.0 years
- Yarrabah (QLD) – 22.9 years
- St Lucia (QLD) – 23.7 years
Local areas with the highest proportion of Baby Boomers (persons aged 48 – 67 years), 2014*
Percentage (%) aged 48 to 67 years
- Benalla Region (Rest of VIC) – 39.5%
- Bega-Eden Hinterland (Rest of NSW) – 38.8%
- Eurobodalla Hinterland (Rest of NSW) – 38.7%
- Castlemaine Region (Rest of VIC) – 38.5%
- Magnetic Island (Rest of QLD) – 37.8%
- Bruny Island – Kettering (Rest of TAS) – 37.7%
- Maryborough Region – South (Rest of QLD) – 37.7%
- Kempsey Region (Rest of NSW) – 37.7%
- Toodyay (Rest of WA) – 37.6%
- Otway (Rest of VIC) – 37.5%
* Excludes SA2s with a population of less than 1,000 at June 2014
The Generation’s of Australia
Below is a quick snapshot of Australia’s generations, as at 30 June 2014. Including the generation cohort, age, population of that generation, and percentage (%) of total population in Australia of that generation.
- Born: 1946-1966
- Age: 48-67 years
- Population: 5,574,000
- % of population: 23.7%
Generation X & Y
- Born: 1966-1986
- Age: 28-47 years
- Population: 6,584,000
- % of population: 28.0%
- Born: 1986-2006
- Age: 8-27 years
- Population: 6,163,000
- % of population: 26.2%
The most popular retirement regions in Australia
With the recently published population estimates by age and sex by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), it also provides a timely opportunity to look at those council areas nationally which are most popular with over 65’s.
Queenscliffe in Victoria was the council region that had the highest proportion of residents aged over 65 years of age at the end of June 2016. Although Queenscliffe has relatively few residents overall (2,904), 40.3% of the council area’s residents were at least 65 years old.
The accompanying list highlights the 50 council areas nationally with the highest proportion of residents aged at least 65 years of age. What is immediately noticeable is that not one of these 50 council areas is located within a capital city. In fact, if you list all councils nationally by their proportion of residents aged at least 65, the first capital city area listed is Holdfast Bay in Adelaide with 23.1% of its residents at least 65 years old. Council areas within New South Wales and South Australia also dominate the list with each of these states having 13 entries on the list.
The 50 council areas nationally with the highest proportion of residents aged at least 65 years of age
- Queenscliffe (VIC) – 40.3%
- Victor Harbor (SA) – 37.7%
- Barunga West (SA) – 32.9%
- Wyalkatchem (WA) – 31.5%
- Yorke Peninsula (SA) – 31.3%
- Glamorgan-Spring Bat (TAS) – 31.0%
- Eurobodalla NSW) – 29.4%
- Mid-Coast (NSW) – 29.0%
- Tasman (TAS) – 29.8%
- Quairading (WA) – 28.2%
- Yankalilla (SA) – 27.9%
- Berrigan (NSW) – 27.8%
- Tumby Bay (SA) – 27.8%
- Alexandrina (SA) – 27.6%
- Wddin (NSW) – 27.5%
- Central Goldfields (VIC) – 27.4%
- Strathbogie (VIC) – 27.4%
- Break O’Day (TAS) – 27.4%
- Copper Coast (SA) – 27.3%
- Orroroo-Carrieton (SA) – 27.3%
- Buloke (VIC) – 27.2%
- East Gippsland (VIC) – 27.2%
- Federation (NSW) – 27.0%
- Yarriambiack (VIC) – 26.8%
- Peterborough (SA) – 26.7%
- Bass Coast (VIC) – 26.7%
- Nambucca (NSW) – 26.6%
- Port Macquarie-Hastings (NSW) – 26.6%
- Kingston (SA) – 26.6%
- Gannawarra (VIC) – 26.4%
- Hindmarsh (VIC) – 26.4%
- Hinchinbrook (QLD) – 26.3%
- Muuray River (NSW) – 26.3%
- Tenterfield (NSW) – 26.3%
- Wagin (WA) – 26.2%
- Loddon (VIC) – 26.1%
- Beverley (WA) – 26.0%
- Nannup (WA) – 26.0%
- Franklin Harbour (SA) – 26.0%
- Gwydir (NSW) – 25.8%
- Mount Remarkable (SA) – 25.6%
- Karoonda East Murray (SA) – 25.6%
- Warrumbungle Shire (NSW) – 25.5%
- York (WA) – 25.5%
- Shoalhaven (NSW) – 25.4%
- Fraser Coast (QLD) – 25.4%
- Flinders (TAS) – 25.3%
- Brookton (WA) – 25.3%
- Towong (VIC) – 25.2%
- Glen Innes Severn (NSW) – 25.0%
Where’s the next boom town for our growing baby boomers?
Looking ahead, population growth amongst the 65+ age cohort is projected to be significant. By 2036, it is expected that there will be almost 6.6 million persons aged 65+, at which point they will represent almost 21% of the Australian population. So where will the popular regions be for 65+ in the next decade or so? Perhaps the shift to regional hubs will trigger an uplift in small business, growth of amenities, infrastructure development and economic activity. It’s an exciting time ahead!
– Australia Bureau of Statistics. Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2014. Released 18/08/2015. Read release
– Australia Bureau of Statistics. Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2016. Released 28/08/2017. Read release
– Knight Frank. Seniors Living Insight – September 2017. A Snapshot Into Seniors Living Accommodation In Australia . Research & Consulting.
– CoreLogic. The Most Popular Retirement Regions. By Cameron Kusher. Published 4 September 2017. Read article
Subscribe to our newsletter