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Aging Population And How It Is Effecting Australia.

1340 words - 5 pages

Australia is a country of geographical paradoxes. One particular point foreigners note about Australia is its sheer size. It boasts an area the size of North America - minus Alaska - yet its population is a mere 21 million. One of Australia's biggest problems these days is its declining farming industry, yet the area of its agricultural land alone is greater than the combined land area of France and Japan. While it is the driest continent in the world, its renewable water resources per head are twice as large as those of the United States - a country with a population ten-fold greater.It seems strange, that an entire continent with (according to its National Anthem) 'boundless plains to share' has a population comparable to that of a Pacific Island. Economists argue that our country's underpopulation is hampering Australia's becoming a major economic power in the global market.A significantly large population can benefit a country in a variety of (ways - to) be taken more seriously in the councils of the world, to resist outside threats more successfully( especially with the current terrorism situation), and improve its financial situation. Many economists contend that increasing the size of companies, industries and cities can initiate a dramatic change in output and productivity, as well as facilitating technological change and innovation. Larger economies are more diversified, less vulnerable and have a better chance of being successful.However, the major demographic issues pertinent to Australia's economic development are quite specific. These are its ageing population and the decentralisation of its population. If these particular weaknesses, currently (stifling?) our country's economic growth, can be rectified, we may witness unprecedented economic growth.Australia's current population can be represented on this diagram - an age-sex distribution pyramid. It shows the proportions of various age groups for each sex. It also reveals that we have an emerging problem with (a?) population which is growing older, on average. Although the problem is not entirely obvious on this diagram, let me explain. It lies in this bulge near the centre of the graph.At the end of World War II, confidence levels of the general population soared. As a consequence, the post war period between 1946 and 1965 were marked by a period of high birth rates - close to 3.6 babies per woman. This new generation of babies created a 'boom' in the population, and so were dubbed the 'baby boomers'. However, the members of this cohort themselves had a very low fertility rate, and so created a significant disproportion in the population's composition. The 'baby-boomer' generation is represented by that bulge in the centre of the graph.You can see that large bulge in this area of the graph. As time passes, and the population ages, this bulge shifts higher up the graph.To date, these low fertility rates continue. (Refer to model) In the foreseeable future, Australia is forecast to...

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