Census 2011 – our ever changing age structure

Simone - Myth Buster

Simone has a rich background in human geography, demography and urban planning – a background that was useful in her previous roles in the Commonwealth and State Governments, and now as part of the forecast team at .id. From the Queensland coast to the southern suburbs of Perth, Simone produces population and dwelling forecasts that help local governments make informed decisions about future service and planning needs. She is a regular contributor to .id’s blog and has spoken at several conferences on how our cities and regions are changing. She is a big advocate of evidence-based planning and how Census and other data can inform this. Outside of work Simone is a keen traveller and photographer – interests that tie in well with her professional life and help her to understand “place”.

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3 Responses

  1. David says:

    I think the Census stats are fascinating for the stories they can tell. Whenever I hear people pondering the economy or a lack of consumer confidence, I think it goes well beyond business conditions, right back to the situation of our households. I’m 40 and have 2 kids under 5. These are two demographic bulges. In our (young family) situation, we have one primary income and one part-time equivalent. In addition to dropping some income, we have a sizeable mortgage and are paying $500+ a fortnight for daycare. This is not so much a bleat, as anecdotal account of the huge economic contrast between DINKS (living large, yet financially comfortable) and being mortgaged-up, with kids and care. Similarly, there must be an awful lot of those 60+ year olds who have lost a great deal of equity over the last few years, and are quite concerned about their capacity to sustain the good life into their (possibly deferred) retirement. While this is anecdotal, it’s consistent with more people living in uncomfortably constrained circumstances.

  2. Alex says:

    It would be interesting to find out how the household structure is changing in response to economic pressures. I am also in a two working parent, two primary school age children situation and have taken in one parent well before we were expecting to due to their asset-free and cash-poor ‘early retirement’ (business downsizing).

  3. Simone says:

    Thank you both for your comments. I think you’ve both raised some interesting points about household structures. The Census certainly does have information on household structure and we’ll be having a closer look at this in coming weeks. However I should point out that while it is possible to establish statistical relationships between variables such as age and household structure, the Census is not really designed to collect information on the why aspect of the equation (which is really what you need to know in terms of economic pressures). Nevertheless I’m sure that when we analyse the data, it will throw up some interesting results!

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