A new study may have cemented Tasmania as Australia’s ageing state, but the title for the nation’s 'oldies capital' has gone to a popular coastal town.
A new study may have cemented Tasmania as Australia’s ageing state, but the title for the nation’s 'oldies capital' has gone to a popular coastal town.

Beach town named as nation’s ‘oldies capital’

A Victorian region is the nation's "oldies" capital, but overall Tasmania is the "ageing" state, a new study says.

The Borough of Queens­cliffe, near Geelong, has 40 per cent of its population aged 65-plus compared to the state average of 15.4 per cent.

Only Victor Harbour in South Australia comes close, with an elderly cohort of 39.2 per cent, says the report by population experts .id.

Queenscliffe is also the top municipality for the 75-plus population - 18.8 per cent of total residents.

The report said that Tasmania had the highest proportion of people 65-plus (20.1 per cent), then SA (18.7), NSW (16.3), Queensland (15.7), Victoria (15.4) and WA (14.8).

Australia's elderly population of 15.5 per cent is similar to New Zealand and the US, while nations with higher rates include Canada (17 per cent), UK (18.5 per cent) and Germany (21.5 per cent).

Queenscliffe is popular destination for holidaymakers ins summer
Queenscliffe is popular destination for holidaymakers ins summer

Report author and .id researcher Glenn Capuano said Australia had a high birth rate compared to other developed countries, and a relatively high migration rate.

"This keeps the population relatively young compared to some places," he said.

Swinburne University adjunct professor of sociology Katharine Betts said that immigration was the least efficient way of modifying the age structure.

"Immigration can, temporarily, shave a few years off the median age of the population, but the law of diminishing returns sets in," she said.

"Some immigration reduces the median age a bit, more immigration reduces it relatively less, more immigration still less again."

Dr Betts said that if policy makers were serious about modifying Australia's age structure the most cost-effective method would be to support the two-child family.

"One way to do this would be to prune immigration and, by reducing the competition, improve housing affordability," she said.

"This in itself would promote a modest increase in fertility from its current level of 1.74."

The migrant intake has been slashed due to coronavirus shutdowns.

john.masanauskas@news.com.au

@JMasanauskas

Originally published as Victorian beach town named as nation's 'oldies capital'


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