Running the numbers: how many people will a village support in its lifetime? Around 560 across 32 years

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As the population continues to age and the baby boomers look to downsize, having a good supply of retirement village and seniors living stock is important to any local council – but a given village may not support as many people over its life as you might think.

Suppose we have a brand-new village that sells out all of its 100 units in its first year. A village will turn over its resident population roughly every eight years, and it has a lifespan of about 32 years where it still looks good to the market.

In the first year, around 70% of its new residents will be couples and 30% singles, meaning a total population of around 170 people. After eight years, this trend reverses – 30% of new residents will be couples and 70% singles, meaning the next “generation” of residents is around 130. If the same 30/70 split persists, then over the course of its life, the village will support 560 people.

With around 3,500 new village units being built this year, we can do the same maths: assuming each village sells out, around 5,950 residents will move in during the villages’ first year. Combine that with the roughly 26,000 people moving into existing stock, 31,950 people will move into villages across Australia this year.

Every eight years, this year’s new stock will house roughly another 4,550 people, for a total of around 19,600 residents over the next 32 years.

All this means that a single retirement village in a local government area is not going to meet that council’s requirements for seniors housing, and the area may need five to 10 villages – or another form of seniors housing that can accommodate more people.