The ageing population in Australia comprises of 36% who are more than 65% of age according to the census of 2014 (O’Loughlin, Kendig & Browning, 2017). The rural and urban communities have larger number of ageing people than the people in cities. The patterns of migration, the rate of growth, the health risk factors, social and economic conditions greatly influences the health of the ageing population. The decline in fertility rates and increase in the life expectancies is occurring in the developed countries like Australia. The unprecedented change in the fertility rates in Australia is greatly stabilizing the population with a large proportion of aged people.
The ageing population and life expectancy in Australia is greatly driven by many factors. The population ageing is greatly arising due to related effects like demography that is the longevity is increasing and there is decline in fertility. The increase in life expectancies is increasing the number of the older people that is raising the average ageing population. The increase in the life expectancies of the women because of the reduction in the rates of pregnancy or deaths during child birth is also a factor that influences population ageing (Byles, 2017). There is a decline in the fertility rates that is resulting in the reduction of babies. As the number is getting decreased, the number of young people is also getting less as a result of this effect. The faster fertility transitions are experiencing faster ageing population in the country. The healthcare facilities for the older people with disability free life in Australia also influence population ageing in Australia. The disability has a direct influence on the ageing pattern. The economic factors are also a considerate factor that affects the ageing population in Australia. There is greater spending on healthcare facilities as the ageing population suffers from disability or health related issues that also influence the ageing and life expectancies in Australia (Hugo, 2014).
The overall life expectancy of the older people has significantly increased in Australia over the recent years. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported that Australia’s life expectancy has increased and new born is expected to live up to an age of 81.4 years (Productivity Commission, 2013). As the life expectancy has increased over the years, the population is free from disability or profound core activity limitation. There is no severe requirement of personal help or help in activities of self-care, communication or mobility. The great technological advancements along with betterment of healthcare facilities is also a reason for the increase in life expectancies of the aged population in Australia. When there is greater spending on health of the aged people, they are expected to live more with better health outcomes. The Australian government is spending on the aged care and services that is projecting the life expectancy and majority of the Australian population is aged. The Australian government is also spending on the pensions that are age-related which is expecting to project from 2.7% to 3.9% by 2023. These factors greatly increase the overall life expectancies among the Australian population (Winterton & Warburton, 2012).
There is prevailing differences in the life expectancies among the Australian population. There is difference in the life expectancies among the indigenous and non-indigenous residents and also among the men and women in Australia. The life expectancies among the men and women have dramatically improved in the recent years. The men who were aged 65 years and above were expected to live up to 19.5 years and the expected death at the age of 84.5 years. Similarly, the women who were of age 65 years and above during the year 2013-2015 were expected to live up to an age of 22.3 years with expected death at 87.3 years (Lawrence, Hancock & Kisely 2013). There is also difference between the indigenous and non-indigenous population in Australia. During the year 2012-2013, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population life expectancies were low as 10.6 years as compared to the non-indigenous population. The life expectancies of the non-indigenous population for males are 79.7 years as compared to the indigenous that is 69.1 years (Salomon et al., 2013). The non-indigenous females have a life expectancy of 83.1 as compared to the indigenous females having 73.7 years that is 9.5 years less than the non-indigenous population (Hammarberg et al., 2013). The indigenous population greatly dies from circulatory system diseases, metabolic, endocrine and nutritional disorders with kidney diseases 4.5 times higher than the non-indigenous Australians. Tobacco smoking, overweight, obesity, alcohol consumption and poor nutrition have contributed to the excess mortality rate among the indigenous Australian population. As a result, there are more mortality rates among the indigenous population than the non-indigenous population and thus there is a huge difference between the life expectancies among the Australian population.
The differences in the life expectancies among the indigenous and non-indigenous population with gender has serious implications on the public health policy and practice. The Australian policy makers are trying to bridge the gap between the life expectancies among the Australian population. The immigration policies made by the Australian government trying to drive the skilled migrants into the country would help to increase the workforce that comprises of young, creative people (Australian Institute of Health, & Welfare, 2012). The National Indigenous reform policy that is called Closing the Gap is being introduced that provides data related to the extent of gap between the life expectancies among the indigenous and non-indigenous (Durey & Thompson, 2012). These differences show a great reason of dissatisfaction and resentment among the policy makers who are trying to bridge the gap between the huge life expectancies. They are trying to promote equity and social justice among the Australian society by looking into the poor health status and disparities among the population. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in collaboration with National Indigenous reform policy is trying to close the gap between the life expectancies within the generation (Britt et al., 2013).
The Australian population is ageing at a faster rate with majority of the people are of the age 65 years and above. There is faster ageing of the population and increase in the life expectancies of the people. The decline in fertility and better healthcare facilities in aged care is overall increasing the life expectancies of the Australian population. Moreover, there is a huge difference between the life expectancies of the indigenous and non-indigenous population in Australia. This has serious implications on the policy makers in Australia to close this gap between the life expectancies. Therefore, in order to close the gap between the life expectancies of the indigenous and non-indigenous population, the policy makers are reforming the existing indigenous policies.
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