This page contains demographic information about Gold Coast senior residents, that is, people aged 65 years and over. The information is sourced from:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2021) Census of Population and Housing
- Dementia Australia (2018) Dementia Prevalence Data 2018–2058
Age and sex structure
- In 2021, there were approximately 111,000 senior residents aged 65 years and over. Of our city's seniors, 53.5% were female and 46.5% were male.
- City of Gold Coast has a higher proportion of seniors (17.7% of the total population), compared to Queensland (17.0%) and Australia (17.2%).
- Following national trends, the population of the Gold Coast is ageing. The number of senior residents is expected to increase to 195,734 persons or 20.7% of the city's population by 2041.
View an interactive map showing the distribution of seniors across the Gold Coast.
Country of birth and year of arrival
Most (57.3%) Gold Coast seniors were born in Australia and 36% were born overseas. The most common overseas birthplaces for Gold Coast's seniors are:
- England (9.5%)
- New Zealand (7.7%)
- Germany (1.4%)
- Scotland (1.3%)
- South Africa (1.1%)
The most common period of arrival in Australia for Gold Coast's senior residents was 1961–70, when 18.2% of Gold Coast's overseas born residents arrived in Australia. This was followed by 1971–80 when 17.6% of all overseas born Gold Coast seniors arrived in Australia. Almost 6% arrived between 2011 and 2020 and only 0.2% (69 senior Gold Coast residents) arrived in Australia in 2021 (January to August 2021).
Languages spoken and English proficiency
- Over 84% of Gold Coast seniors speak English only, a rate lower than Queensland (86%) but higher than Australia (77%). Almost 690 residents, representing 0.6% of all seniors on the Gold Coast, speak another language, but do not speak English well.
- The most largely spoken non-English language on the Gold Coast among seniors was Mandarin, with 0.8% speaking the language. This is followed by Italian (0.7%), German (0.6%) and Cantonese (0.5%).
- Thirty-one point four per cent of Gold Coast seniors earned less than $400 per week.
- A lower proportion of Gold Coast seniors were earning less than $400 per week than Queensland (32.9%) and Australia (33.0%).
Labour force, occupation, and industry of employment
Fifteen point nine per cent of Gold Coast’s seniors participated in the labour force. By comparison, 14.5% of Queensland’s seniors participated in the labour force.
Ninety-six point two per cent of Gold Coast’s seniors in the labour force were employed and 3.8% unemployed. By comparison, 96.7% of Queensland seniors in the labour force were employed and 3.3% unemployed.
The top industries of employment for seniors on the Gold Coast are:
- Health Care and Social Assistance (14.5%)
- Construction (8.9%)
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (8.8%)
- Retail Trade (8.6%)
- Education and Training (8.1%)
By comparison, the top industries of employment for Queensland’s seniors are: Health Care and Social Assistance (14.3%), Education and Training (8.8%), Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (8.8%), Construction (7.4%) and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (7.4%).
The top occupations of employment for Gold Coast’s seniors are:
- Professionals (19.9%)
- Managers (16.4%)
- Clerical and Administrative Workers (15.9%)
- Sales Workers (11.4%)
- Technicians and Trades Workers (10%)
By comparison, in Queensland, the top occupations of employment for seniors are: Professionals (19.8%), Managers (19.3%), Clerical and Administrative Workers (14.2%), Labourers (10.4%) and Technicians and Trades Workers (9.7%).
Disability and long-term health conditions
- An ageing population will see increasing levels of disability on the Gold Coast.
- In 2021 there were 18,603 Gold Coast seniors with a need for assistance due to a disability. This total represents 16.8% of Gold Coast's senior population, a rate lower than Queensland (17.8%) or Australia (18.0%).
- Almost 61% of Gold Coast seniors had at least one long-term health condition, a rate lower than Queensland (63.5%) or Australia (62.9%).
- The most common long-term health condition for senior residents on the Gold Coast is arthritis, with 27.8% of seniors having this condition which is strongly related to age.
- Heart disease affected 15.2% of Gold Coast seniors, with diabetes being a long-term health condition in 11.2% of Gold Coast seniors. Dementia was a long-term health condition for 4.3% of all Gold Coast seniors.
- The table below contains data from Dementia Australia 2018, Dementia Prevalence Estimates 2018–2058 by Commonwealth Electoral Division, which demonstrates the predicted increase in the prevalence of dementia on the Gold Coast.
COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL DIVISION
% CHANGE FROM 2018 TO 2058
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