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Wednesday 23rd July 2008 - 8:26 pm
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We are – indeed – young and free

by Alan Thornhill

Australia does – indeed – have some reason to sing about being “young and free.”

The nation’s children make up 19.5 per cent of its population.

That’s among the highest proportions in any advanced Western countries.

In Canada, for example, only 17.6 per cent of the population is in this age group.

And in the United Kingdom, the comparable figure is just 18 per cent.

The Americans, though, are out-breeding us.

In the US, 20.8 per cent of the population is made up of babies and children up to the age of 14.

How do we know all this?

These figures are taken from a Social Trends publication, that the Australian Bureau of Statistics released yesterday.

So how do we rate, when it comes to old people?

Well, the bureau also reports that 17.8 per cent of all Australians are over 65.

That compares with 26.4 per cent of Japan’s population and 16.6 per cent of all people in the United States.

This, of course, is just a tiny fraction of the fascinating information in this publication.

The bureau also reports that 71.3 per cent of Australian men are “economically active.”

That compares with 57.2 per cent of Australian women.

In the United Kingdom, only 55.4 per cent of men and 45.5 per cent of women are classed as “economically active.”

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.

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