2015 Intergenerational Report – What does it all mean?

australian intergenerational report

The Australian Government’s Intergenerational Report:

Implications for business planning and important insights.

Any business, regardless of size or whether it’s existing or new, must take into account external environmental factors during its planning process. One such factor is Government policy which needs to be understood and the impacts assessed early. This will not only help in the planning step, but it can also identify opportunities for new businesses to flourish.

Much has been said of Australia’s aging population. Rather than taking a negative slant on this subject, it is important to be mindful of the opportunities and ideas that this change in demographics may present.
The Australian Government issued their fourth Intergenerational Report on 5th March 2015. Each report provides projections adopting a ‘point-in-time’ format – that is, using the assumption that current government policies will continue unchanged over the next 40 years. No time to read the full report? Crowe Horwath has summarised the key findings.

The 2015 Intergenerational Report presents an overview in terms of what could happen to Australia during this period. The report is broken up into a number of sections which consider different aspects of Australia’s outlook, including population, labour force, economy, budget and environment.2015 intergenerational report of australia and its impact on business

With consideration to how Australia will change over the next 40 years, the report focuses on:

  • The outlook for the population over the next 40 years
  • An explanation of what is expected to happen to the labour force, workforce participation and jobs
  • Productivity, with focus on measuring expected efficiency of producing goods and services and creating value.

Understanding how these drivers of economic growth are likely to change over the next 40 years will provide important insights and planning tools for the future.

australia's outlook on population and impact on business


Key insights

  • A greater proportion of the population will be aged 65 and over.
  • Not only will Australians live longer, but improvements in health mean they are more likely to remain active for longer. ‘Active ageing’ presents great opportunities for older Australians to keep participating in the workforce.
  • Does your idea, product or service cater for an aging population?
  • What new services or products will be required in future?
  • How are you planning for your own longevity, succession and retirement needs?



Participation refers to the proportion of people aged 15 years and over who are actively engaged in the workforce. The economy will benefit from opportunities to support older Australians who want to work, as well as boosting opportunities for women, young people, parents and people with disabilities to participate in the workforce.

Key insights

The expected changes in participation rates are:

  • People aged15 years and over is expected to fall by 2%
  • Female employment is expected to increase by 4%
  • People aged 65 years and over is expected to increase by 4%


  1. Do your staffing decisions cater for the expected changes in employment mix?
  2. What opportunities does the expected increase in female and ‘active aged’ participation present for your idea or business?


Key insights

In the 1970s, the internet, mobile phones and social media did not exist as we know them today. Now they are integral parts of our lives and IT related industries employ nearly as many people in Australia as the mining industry. Technological advances such as innovative robotics, 3D printing and self-navigating vehicles have the potential to unlock powerful quality of life improvements. During the 1990s, Australia’s productivity was an average of 2.2% growth per year. More recently, productivity growth has slowed to 1.5%.


All businesses should have a digital technology plan to ensure the business itself is adapting to the rapidly-changing, technology-oriented environment. Businesses should consider the following factors:

  • Is there sufficient skills and understanding to correctly diagnose the future digital and technological requirements of the business or idea. Is the introduction of experts required?
  • Does the business require changes in its approach to market?
  • What is the current value of the business or idea? How does the digital and technology strategy impact on the value of the business or idea?


Use the links below to download the key resources referred to in this article:

The Intergenerational Report encourages businesses to employ a long term growth strategy and focus on structured planning, taking into consideration both internal and external factors that may influence its future. Now is the time to explore if any population, participation and productivity factors affect your business or ideas.

If you’re looking to review your business or idea in response to the Intergenerational Report, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

Ben Antram of Crowe Horwathe business advisory team
Ben Antram
Senior Manager, Business Advisory

Tel +61 2 9619 1905 | Mobile 0401 096 729|

Ben is a Senior Manager in the Business Advisory team at Crowe Horwath. He specialises in the family business and Family Constitutions planning, working closely with his clients in order to understand their business and offer timely and informed advice.

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