Today I’m doing a little report for my Dad’s business which is in the Aged Care sector. And I tell you what – I’m learning some VERY interesting (and frightening) facts along the way…

“Around two million Australians are aged 70 years or older. That’s 9 percent of our population. Four per cent of the population are over 80 years of age. The proportion of Australia’s population aged over 70 is expected to rise to 13 per cent by 2021 and to 20 percent (around 5.7 million people) by 2051.” (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

In other words:

In forty years, one-fifth of the Australian population are going to be over 70.

And the ageing population isn’t scary enough for you, put it in this context:

The world population that has gone from 900 MILLION to almost 7 BILLION – in just 200 years!!!

According to the US government census report the current populations of the US and the world are:

U.S. 308,530,840

World 6,797,902,065

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, on 22 January 2010 at 12:25:31 PM (Canberra time), the resident population of Australia is projected to be:


This projection is based on the estimated resident population at 30 June 2009 and assumes growth since then of:

  • one birth every 1 minute and 45 seconds,
  • one death every 3 minutes and 40 seconds,
  • a net gain of one international migrant every 1 minute and 51 seconds leading to
  • an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 11 seconds.

    By the close of this century we could have reached a whopping 14 billion – well that’s the UN’s “high” estimate… (see graph above.)

    What I really don’t understand about the “medium” and “low” estimates is what they think will cause people to stop having babies.

    Sure in the rich west we are slowing down, discovering the joys of life without children…

    But what sign is there that the third world are going to stop popping out their five or six per woman?

    In a world where (as a by product of being integrated into an unjust system created by the West) their quality of life is getting worse – why would they suddenly give up their source of joy – their desire to have a big family?

    It’s not like they are going to be brought out of poverty any time soon seeing as (very unfortunately) our system is intentionally designed to keep them poor. Don’t believe me? Think that maybe the wealth will trickle down, bring them out of poverty and then they will stop having babies? Then consider the fact that under the current system, reducing poverty to a state where the poorest receive $3 per day, ‘an impossible 15 planets’ worth of biocapacity’ equivalent to our earth would be required. (says Andrew Simms, the policy director of the New Economics Foundation in London in New Scientist article ‘Trickle-Down Myth’ 18 Oct 2008 – p. 49)

    In other words ‘we will have made Earth uninhabitable long before poverty is eradicated.’

    Ok – this has led me far too far into distractionville and procrastinationville. I’m supposed to be doing the report for my Dad on Aged Care but have spend the last two hours thinking and writing about fleas… (see next entry)… Ok, now back to work Juliet – back to work NOW.