Two Worlds of Ageing: Spatial Microsimulation Estimates of Small Area Advantage and Disadvantage among Older Australians.

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Conference Paper


Older Australians are a diverse population group, with many pre-retirement differences in well-being being maintained into older adulthood. Recent Australian research supports the notion of wide gulfs in economic well-being in later life, with evidence of very large differences among older Australians in the distribution of income, wealth and home ownership. In this paper, we explore these differences in advantage and disadvantage at a small area level. While there has been considerable interest in Australia in recent years in the spatial distribution of disadvantage, this work has not tended to focus on older adults. We have used spatial microsimulation techniques to estimate the small area distribution of deep economic disadvantage among Australians aged 65 and older, combining data on disposable income, main source of income and tenure in the private rental market. Using the same techniques, we have also created small area estimates of relative economic advantage among older Australians. Our synthetic estimates are created by combining data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Surveys of Income and Housing and the Australian Census of Population and Housing, and we describe the production and validation of this synthetic data. The preliminary results presented in this paper provide some evidence of geographic concentrations of advantage and disadvantage for older people, and we discuss further work that is currently being undertaken to refine our methodology and further analyse these results.


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