Ageing in place, or moving on? Temporal and spatial analysis of older adult population trends in Perth, Australia. (15002)
Population aging is a worldwide phenomenon which is becoming a matter of policy priority for most industrialized nations, including Australia. As the baby boomer generation transitions into retirement this will have significant implications for urban development, housing and service delivery. In recent years there has been a shift away from the State providing institutionalized care, to the promotion of ageing in place approaches, which are seen to be in the interests of both older people – by encouraging independence, health and well-being – as well as the State, by reducing the economic burden of the ageing society. Understanding the distribution and mobility patterns of this age cohort is thus becoming a matter of considerable importance.
Although researchers have investigated the housing preferences and residential migration patterns of older Australians (AHURI, 2014; Wulff, Champion & Lobo, 2010), there has been more limited research into the spatial distribution of the ageing population and its change through time, as argued by Han and Corcoran (2014). This study addresses this gap by looking at the population trends of the older demographic in Perth, Australia, a case study of a low-density, car-dependent, medium-sized post-industrial city.
In particular, this research investigates intra-metropolitan migration patterns within Perth to determine whether people are ageing in place or moving in older age. Census data from 2001, 2006 and 2011 are analysed for the 154 SA2 statistical geographical areas within the study area of Metropolitan Perth for these time periods. Using GIS mapping and statistical analysis, descriptive and spatial analysis is carried out to determine the major trends taking place. The paper investigates whether the system is stable (path dependent) or in flux - exhibiting marked residential migration movements. The data will help provide a richer picture of Perth’s ageing population landscape and will help to inform public policy on housing, transportation and service provision.