Box 17: Tasmania's Seniors
The 'seniors' population is conventionally taken to be comprised of those aged 65 years and over. In Tasmania, as elsewhere, this population will undergo enormous growth over the next several decades, both numerically and as a proportion of the total population.
Numerically, Tasmanians over the age of 65 years will increase by some 13,000-15,000 every 5 years, from now for the next twenty years. There are currently around 75,000; this number is projected to double by 2046.
In order to illustrate the sequence of numerical growth and decline that will occur within the older age groups, the accompanying graph includes those aged 55-64 years. Currently, this group is growing rapidly - the first tranch of the baby boomers are passing through this age group. From 2012 they will begin to spill into the 65-74 year age groups, and this group will then grow rapidly while numbers aged 55-64 will level off. Finally, around 2021, the baby boomers will pass into the 75+ age group, at which time this group will become the fastest growing.
This disaggregation of the elderly and soon-to-be-elderly population is very important for policy-makers and all those who will be responding to the needs and interests of a numerically ageing population. The disaggregation illustrates that time for planning is running out.