Australia's population has improved over the last decade

Date: Oct 11, 2011

People are living longer, receiving higher levels of education and are generally earning higher levels of income than in previous years, according to a recent report.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released detailed insights into the shifting measures of progress that have been recorded over the years.

According to the summary report, the percentage of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 who hold a qualification at or above the vocational level has increased from 50 per cent in 2000 to 63 per cent in 2010.

In terms of employment, Australians have been subject to several fluctuating factors that have combined to produce an increase in national disposable income per capita from $37,400 to $45,600 over the same period - as measured in 2008 - 2009 dollars.

Perhaps as a reflection of this, the measure of national net wealth per capita increased by 0.8 per cent over the years starting at $285,700 in 2000 and rising to $308,500 - again at 2008 - 2009 values.

A factor that could have an influence on this is the overall improvement in the economy as measured by unemployment rates, with 6.1 per cent in 2001 compared to 5.2 per cent at the tail end of 2010.

However, the ABS reports that the overall levels of productivity - the efficiency with which our economy can turn inputs into outputs - fell over the recorded decade by 2.1 percentage points from 101.9 per cent to 99.8 per cent.

When it came to the subject of health, the bureau reported that it had some difficulties in determining appropriate indicators - settling for the broad measurement of lifespan.

The results show that Australians are now living longer than ever before, with an improvement in overall life expectancy of 83.9 for females and 79.3 for males.
It is interesting to note that the gap between the sexes actually enjoyed a decrease over the time period examined, with men gaining slightly to bring the difference to 4.6 years.

When considering the implications of the last decade's advances, the importance of estate planning to the prosperity of future generations certainly comes into contrast.

By providing family and friends with guidance on how to divide one's assets, the accumulated experience and wealth of years can be fairly shared.

To help avoid an estate dispute, a trusted individual can be appointed as an executor of a will to carry out its instructions.