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Australia in 2071: A Glimpse into Our Future - featured image
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Australia in 2071: A Glimpse into Our Future

key takeaways

Key takeaways

In 50 years' time Australia will be older, more tech-savvy and work-lifestyle will be more blurred.

One of the most striking observations will be the significant ageing of the population.

Baby boomers are reaching retirement age, creating a "baby bust" that will see a shrinking workforce.

A big demographic shift will be marked by a surge in the 40-something millennial cohort, who will transition from inner-city dwellers to families seeking larger homes in suburbs and lifestyle regions.

By 2073, technology will be seamlessly integrated into everyday life.

It is time for bold thinking and decisive action to ensure that Australia continues to be a vibrant, diverse, and prosperous nation in the decades to come.

In 50 years' time Australia will be older, more tech-savvy and work-lifestyle will be more blurred wrote leading demographer Bernard Salt in The Australian.

According to Salt, the Australian Bureau of Statistics' latest 50-year population projections offer a window into what lies ahead.

The central projection envisions Australia with a population exceeding 39 million by 2071, roughly 12 million more than today.

This growth will primarily be fuelled by net overseas migration, expected to stabilize around 225,000 per year after a recent post-pandemic surge.

While births will also contribute to population growth, a modest decrease in the fertility rate is anticipated.

Estimated Resident And Projected Population By Capital City

Source: Bernard Salt – The Australian

Demographic evolution: the aging giant

One of the most striking observations is the significant ageing of the population.

Baby boomers are reaching retirement age, creating a "baby bust" that will see a shrinking workforce.

Net In Annual Change In 65 Population

 

Source: Bernard Salt – The Australian

The decade ahead will be largely shaped by an echo of the baby boom passing through the peak earning and peak spending time in the life cycle.

Net Annual Change In 15 64 Population

Clearly, we’ll need to keep importing tax-paying working-age adults to replace the retiring Baby Boomers and help pay for the health care and pensions of our aging population.

Net Annual Change In 85 Population

Source: Bernard Salt – The Australian

Millennials will drive our property markets

A big demographic shift will be marked by a surge in the 40-something millennial cohort, who will transition from inner-city dwellers to families seeking larger homes in suburbs and lifestyle regions.

This "millennial mountain," as Salt describes it, presents a challenge to the current planning focus on urban density.

It necessitates a re-evaluation of housing development strategies to cater to the changing aspirations of this influential demographic.

Regional areas, particularly those offering a desirable lifestyle near major cities, are expected to witness substantial growth.

These regions will attract families seeking a more spacious and affordable environment, further diversifying Australia's population distribution.

Another key trend highlighted in the projections is the changing nature of households.

According to Salt, multi-generational households will become increasingly common, reflecting the ageing population and evolving family dynamics.

This shift will necessitate adaptations in housing design and social services to accommodate the needs of diverse family structures.

Technological integration: a digital revolution

By 2073, technology will be seamlessly integrated into everyday life.

The emergence of smart cities, employing advanced infrastructure and sustainable practices, will enhance living standards.

Automation and artificial intelligence will revolutionize industries, from transportation to healthcare, potentially reshaping the job market.

This shift has the potential to improve productivity and quality of life, but it also necessitates adjustments in work culture and employee support systems.

Looking beyond Australia's borders, the projections highlight our critical role in ensuring global food security.

As the world population approaches 10 billion, Australia's position as a net food exporter makes it essential to invest in agricultural innovation and expand food production capacity.

Failure to do so could have significant global implications according to Salt.

Planning for a sustainable future: challenges and opportunities

These projections paint a picture of a rapidly changing Australia, with undeniable challenges but also exciting opportunities.

In his article Salt emphasizes the need for a bold and visionary approach to planning for the future, focusing on:

  • Investing in infrastructure: This includes expanding aged care facilities, developing transport networks in regional areas, and ensuring access to essential services for all Australians.
  • Building a skilled workforce: The changing nature of work necessitates investment in education and training programs to equip Australians with the skills needed for the future economy.
  • Promoting social cohesion: As the population becomes more diverse, fostering social inclusion and building strong communities will be essential.
  • Embracing technology: Utilizing technology to improve efficiency, service delivery, and access to information will be crucial in navigating the challenges and opportunities of the future.

By addressing these questions and proactively preparing for the future, Salt suggests Australia can ensure a prosperous and fulfilling future for all its citizens.

This requires collaboration between government, businesses, communities, and individuals.

It is time for bold thinking and decisive action to ensure that Australia continues to be a vibrant, diverse, and prosperous nation in the decades to come.

About Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
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