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|Title:||Demographic change, differential ageing, and public policy in rural and regional Australia: a three-state case study|
|Citation:||Geographical Research, 2014; 52(3):229-249|
|Peter Smailes, Trevor Griffin, and Neil Argent|
|Abstract:||This paper takes a differential demographic change in six rural settlement categories within rural and regional Australia as the starting point for the measurement of differential ageing using a Relative Ageing Index which compares ageing in sub-populations with the national norm. The spatial units employed are 412 rural communities, approximated by social catchments each consisting of a country town and its surrounding dispersed population. The study covers the period from 1981 to 2006 and includes the rural areas of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, excluding major cities, peri-urban areas, and the remote rangelands. It examines demographic change and differential ageing in a selection of the rural settlement categories recommended for further analysis in the report of the ‘Demographic Change and Liveability Panel’, one of three advisory panels established in 2010 by the then Commonwealth Government seeking to develop a sustainable population strategy for Australia. Ageing profiles are produced for the whole study area, for the individual rural settlement categories, and for the urban and rural components within each category separately. Results show that differential ageing is least advanced in the ‘regional cities’, most advanced in the ‘sea change’, but of most concern in the agriculture-based rural settlement categories where it exacerbates the effects of overall population decline. In all categories, ageing in the dispersed rural population element exceeded that of the urban component. Results emphasise the vital role of the ‘regional cities’ category in future public policy development supported by ameliorative and collaborative measures for their surrounding agriculture-based communities.|
|Keywords:||Demographic change; differential ageing; Relative Ageing Index; rural settlement categories; public policy; rural and regional Australia; rural communities|
|Rights:||© 2014 Institute of Australian Geographers|
|Appears in Collections:||Geography, Environment and Population publications|
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