Ron Morgan in action on his bike during a triathlon.
Ron Morgan in action on his bike during a triathlon. Nat Bromhead

Australians are getting older but more active as they age

AS AUSTRALIA's population ages, in a way its occupants will also continue to get younger.

That's what Hervey Bay man Ron Morgan thinks, as attitudes to aging continue to change.

If 40 is the new 20, he says, it stands to reason that 60 - Ron is 63 - is the new 40.

Ron, a triathlete, says older people are doing more and staying more active than ever before.

And while some people think he is crazy, he loves the sport.

Ron has a lot of friends, many younger than him.

He said he enjoyed having friends across many age groups.

Ron has had a hip replacement but said that does not slow him down.

On the Fraser Coast, the median age was 44 in 2011, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In Queensland, the median age is 36 and that of Australians is 37.

Fraser Coast mayor Gerard O'Connell said while one couldn't deny the statistics, he felt the median age of the Fraser Coast would get lower in the next few decades as young families moved into the area and as working opportunities became more flexible thanks to online networks.

He said there were also more education opportunities becoming available as university and TAFE courses become available online.

This would give people greater scope to live where they wanted to be, rather than where they needed to be.

He felt the Fraser Coast would continue to be a popular place to retire to as it was a safe community with a good lifestyle.

According to Rafal Chomik, senior research fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, Australia is well on its way to having an average population age of 40 - at Federation in 1901, the median age was 22.

"Recent analysis reveals that our investment in superannuation sees us comparatively well placed internationally to meet the demands of population aging," Mr Chomik said.

Our aging population

  • At Federation in 1901, Australia's median age was 22. Today the average age is 37 and by 2050, it will be 42
  • For the first time in Australia, there are more people who are aged 60 and over than people aged 14 and under
  • The aging population means there will be a reduction in the ratio of working-age people and older non-working Australians


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