In 2005 Japan had the highest median age of all countries in the world, while Australia's population was only moderately aged. Some 50 years ago the demographic situation was quite different, with the median age of Australia's population being seven years older than Japan's.
The ageing of the population is a major issue for Australian policy makers, particularly in regard to the long-term implications for reduced economic growth and the increasing demand for Age Pensions, and health and aged care services. As the population ages, growth in the number of people of working age will slow, while the proportion of people of retirement age will increase.
Sustained population ageing also leads to slowing or negative population growth. While declining population growth in developed countries is welcomed by some environmentalist and
How quickly this occurs depends on the dynamics of fertility, mortality and overseas migration. While a moderate pace of demographic change allows for gradual adjustment of the economy and policies to the changing population demographics, rapid changes are more difficult to manage. As a result, governments and society as a whole may need to take actions to address these issues.
While Australia's population was moderately aged, the aging of the population is still a major issue for Australian policy makers because it not only has long-term implications for reduced economic growth and the increasing demand for Age Pensions and aged care services, but also leads to slowing or negative population growth, so governments and society need to take actions to address these issues together.