lutruwita, Tasmania is the oldest, and its population structure is ageing the fastest, of all Australian states or territories. In lutruwita, Tasmania, the median age was 42 years in both 2016 and 2021. The Australian median age was 38 years in 20211 . It is projected that more than one in four Tasmanians will be aged 65 or older by 2050, based on current trends2 . As a result, there will be more older people living, working in, and visiting Tasmania than ever before. This is an exciting time for our state, our communities and our population as a whole. We are now healthier and more active for longer, spending less years at the end of life living with disability or illness3 . Greater life expectancy is good reason for celebration, but it also requires thoughtful planning to ensure that as we age there are proactive supports and services available within a prevention framework, so that Tasmanians are empowered and supported to age well across their adult lifespan.
Older Tasmanians already make substantial contributions to their families, organisations, industry and the broader community, and with healthy longevity even more will do so in the future. Despite the value that older people bring to society, however, governments and the news media characterise global aging as a tsunami that will overwhelm governments and consume resources needed for younger people to thrive4. Moreover, for younger people to have optimism about their futures, they need to see that their later years can be characterised by well-being, engagement, meaning, and purpose4. The 2021 Census counted 25,422,788 people living in Australia. Of that, 557,571 people currently reside in lutruwita, Tasmania, with 116,642 aged 65 years or over (20.92%). 30,186 people identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin making up 5.4% of the population.