Rapid population ageing in the Northern Territory of Australia: trends and policy implications
Tony Barnes, Charles Darwin University
Tom Wilson, Charles Darwin University
Over the last decade the Northern Territory's (NT) population has been experiencing the most rapid rate of ageing of all the eight states and territories of Australia. The phenomenon is challenging local institutions unfamiliar with an elderly population of any significant size. At present, because of the NT's very young Indigenous population and high migration of the non-indigenous population, people aged 65+ comprise an estimated 4.5% of the NT population. This paper charts the NT population's ageing in both structural and numerical terms, its demographic drivers, and explores the widely different ageing patterns experienced and expected in the Indigenous and non-indigenous populations. It then discusses some of the areas where there will be major policy implications of the ageing phenomenon, some of which are specific to the NT, and others which are relevant to ageing in remote and rural regions more generally.