The industry has got it wrong. It’s not 3% of Australians that have chosen the retirement village lifestyle, but 6%+

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How many Australians live in retirement villages? Since Professor Stimson’s 2002 Queensland University research quoted 3% of Australians live in 1500 retirement villages, the figure has not been questioned.

However in building our database for, we have canvassed both the not-for-profit and private sector in the industry to discover there are over 1750 villages with an average of 75 ILUs. A quick back of the envelope calculation reveals that the real number of Australians living in retirement villages is 5.6% of all people 65+. Working on the conservative basis that four out of five ILUs has only one occupant (usually female) and the number of people aged 65+ is 13.4% of the population, the figures work out like this:

• 1750 villages x 75 ILUs = 131,250 ILUs
• 1750 x 90 residents = 157,500 village residents
• 13.4% of population 65+ = 2,814,000
• 157,500 residents = 5.6% industry penetration

The 2006 ABS stats only give people aged 65+. Given the average entry age to a village is closer to 75, then the 157,500 villages residents will be even be as high as 8% of the real village market.

By comparison, the percentage (or penetration) in America is 10% of people 65+.