Articles on Demographics

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Young academics need a strong, properly structured support system to climb the ranks and one day become professors. From www.shutterstock.com

Professors aren’t born: they must be nurtured

There are compelling educational reasons to employ more black academics in universities and to give them all the support they'll need to become professors.
There are 100 females for every 80 males at university. Who else goes to uni? And how is it changing? from www.shutterstock.com.au

Who goes to university? The changing profile of our students

In 1970 there were 269 male university students per 100 female university students. However females overtook males in 1987 and now there are 80 males for every 100 females.
Older workers and retirees are fast becoming Australia’s most significant age group of voters – but future federal governments will struggle to pay for their retirement without serious reform. Dan Peled/AAP

The $100 billion question: can Australia afford our retirement bill as the ‘grey vote’ booms?

Within three years, Australians will face a $100 billion bill just to cover the age pension and super tax breaks. That bill is set to keep rising; by 2025, one in three of us will be 55-plus.
Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura, 80, before ascending Mt. Everest for the third time. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Research shows old age is getting younger all the time

New research says we should discard conventional ways of analyzing what it means to age. It's how well people function that counts.
Syrian refugees cross the border into Turkey, one of several states that are already vulnerable to ethnic and demographic tensions. EPA

Rising tide of demographic change spells trouble across Middle East

The flows of refugees from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria are yet another driver of demographic changes that are threatening to destabilise other states long regarded as strong and democratic.
Australia’s projected population for 2050 in the fourth Intergenerational Report is 1.9 million larger than the 35.9 million projected by the third report. AAP/Joe Castro

Population growth could go far beyond IGR projections

How appropriate were the fourth Intergenerational Report's demographic assumptions? Should greater attention be paid to the potential consequences of population growth?
Giving today’s kids a flying start with early education will be crucial to helping them fill the gap left behind by retiring Baby Boomers. Kevin Conor Keller/Flickr

Baby Boomers, be nice to your grandkids: they may save Australia

The problem with Australia’s population ageing is not that there are too many older people – it’s that there are not enough young people to support them. That presents many challenges to Australia’s continued…

Standing room only

Demography is destiny. It’s an old idea but it remains as true as ever, despite the fact that it doesn’t get anything like the attention it deserves. It’s not hard to see why: not only is there a crowded…
There’s a long-term shift underway in Australia that all politicians should be watching. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Indigenous Australia’s rapid rise is shifting money and votes

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North-East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Developing policies to shape the level and nature of future population change must go beyond the ‘big’ versus ‘small’ Australia dichotomy. AAP/David Crosling

The state of Australia: our people

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
Good old Harriet, gone but not forgotten. Eric K Veland

Why do humans deteriorate with age? It’s a biological puzzle

Some species live for a very long time, others more fleeting. Bristlecone pines have remarkable life spans of around 5,000 years and in the animal kingdom, creatures like elephants, whales and tortoises…
Very few are questioning how many children Australians actually want to have and whether we are achieving our childbearing goals. AAP/Alan Porritt

Family size intentions: the missing piece of Australia’s fertility jigsaw

With Australia experiencing declining fertility rates over the past four decades, governmental concern has increased over the consequences of the falling birth rate and how the trend might be reversed…
More of us are getting older, for longer, and policies need to reflect that. John Stillwell/PA

Ageing population more at risk from environmental threats

The global population is ageing. This is happening at a time when the rate and scale of human-induced environmental change is exceeding critical ecological limits, raising concerns over the consequences…
Tony Abbott hopes his paid parental leave policy will lead to a baby boom. Is he right? AAP/David Crosling

Abbott shouldn’t get his hopes up about a parental leave-induced baby boom

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has said he hopes the recently announced Coalition paid parental leave (PPL) scheme will lead to a baby boom. Such hopes are consistent with his earlier expression of support…
Most 457 visa holders are well-paid professionals or in management. AAP/Angela Brkic

Explainer: 457 visas in Australia

With all the fuss over 457 visas in recent weeks, and prime minister Julia Gillard due to address the issue at a conference today, it’s worth looking beyond the cries of vested interests and politicians…
China’s economic growth has been underpinned by a favourable demographic dividend - but China’s demographic story is not always so clear. Flickr

Growing old in the Chinese economy

China’s exceptional economic growth performance in the last three decades has coincided with equally remarkable demographic change. There is now plenty of evidence to suggest the potential demographic…

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