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How the COVID-19 pandemic could affect Australia in 40 years

3AW Breakfast
Article image for How the COVID-19 pandemic could affect Australia in 40 years

Australia’s birthrate is expected to fall sharply over the next four decades, leading to national problems if strong migration does not return.

The fifth Intergenerational Report reveals, due to COVID-19, Australia’s population in 40 years will be about 1.2 million people smaller than previously predicted.

Australia’s population in 2060-61 is now expected to be 38.8 million, compared to the 2015 prediction of almost 40 million by 2054-55.

Much of that shortfall on 2015 estimates has been attributed to the effects of the pandemic.

Co-founder and director of The Demographics Group, Simon Kuestenmacher, says the smaller population isn’t the concern, it’s the demographics that are a worry.

“A not as fast growing population isn’t much of a problem, it is the age structure of the population that leads us to a couple of concerns,” he told Stephen Quartermain and Emily Power, filling in for Ross and Russel.

“If you have an ageing population, you have fewer workers per retiree that are supporting the cost the retiree creates for the country.”

Domestically, Mr Kuestenmacher says pandemic uncertainties also mean some people aren’t having children.

“One thing that is pretty obvious for many people is that you probably just hold off on adding the second or third kid to the family if you are living in financial difficult or unpredictable times,” he said.

Press PLAY below to hear more about the lasting impact the pandemic will have

 

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