Demographic Change and the Seniors Market Place

A general reduction in retirement age, coupled with the fact that the number of people of post retirement age is growing faster than any other age group has, and will continue to have, a significant effect on the demand for all levels of retirement accommodation.
The most important demographic change taking place in our society is the ageing of the population. Over the next 20-25 years the number of over 75 years Australians is predicted to double. The over 60 year age group is growing significantly faster than any other age group. This is due predominantly to two factors:
  • Ageing of the baby boomer population
  • Increasing life expectancy
These factors will create a natural increase in the demand for seniors accommodation. However, there are other factors which need to be recognized:
  • Over the last couple of generations, there has been a significant increase in the number of two income families and a consequent decrease in the provision of care for the elderly within the traditional family structure
  • Compulsory superannuation has had the effect of making aged accommodation more easily affordable for those of the ageing population who are not property owners
  • The concept of structured seniors accommodation has become more accepted

In June 2006 it was estimated that there were 338,963 seniors in Western Australia. They comprised 16% of Western Australia's population. Nationally seniors averaged 18% of the population, with the Northern Territory averaging the lowest at 8% and South Australia and Tasmania averaging the highest at 20%. In Perth alone, it is predicted that there will be 152,600 additional persons over 70 years of age by 2026.

Some General Statistics about WA Seniors

  • There are some localities that have a higher proportion of aged residents than others. The following table indicates some of the “oldest” statistical local areas, where more than one in five people in that area were seniors. (Note these figures are based on seniors 65+)
Statistical Local Area %
Total Population
Mandurah (City)
Kellerberin (Shire)
Albany Central (city)
Claremont (Town)
Beverley (Shire)
Pingelly (Shire)
Murray (Shire)

  • Overall, 71% of seniors in Western Australia fully own their own home
  • 7% of WA seniors are in the process of paying off their home
  • One in eight seniors pay rent
  • Seniors are more likely to stay in one place longer than younger people
  • 24% of WA seniors are widowed
  • More than nine out of ten WA seniors live in a private dwelling with 4% of those living in self care accommodation for retired people
  • Approximately 78,600 Western Australians aged 55 and over act as carers
  • It is estimated that by 2016 nearly one in five people (19%) living in Western Australian country areas will be seniors (65+). By 2031 nearly one in four people (24%) living in country areas will be seniors (65+)
  • Between 1996 and 2001 there was an increase by 17% of seniors living in self care and independent living accommodation
  • Information on seniors provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare includes: older people are less likely to change their address; small but significant numbers of older people are choosing to relocate to coastal or non-urban areas; mobility rates amongst the very old increase as these people move closer to family or into accommodation more appropriate to their needs; and when the very old move, it is usually within the immediate local area
  • A study in 1999 by Patterson Market Research for the Regional Development Council in Western Australia found that people move to the South West for a variety of reasons. The main ones that were listed in the survey included: lifestyle; a feeling of being safe; environment; cheap housing; climate