Tasmanian Carers Policy

Community, Sport and Recreation

Carers – the Tasmanian Statistical Profile

The Tasmania Experience

Data from the most recently published Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey on Disability, Ageing and Carers (2015) shows that:

Tasmania has approximately 84,000 carers, which represents 16.6 per cent of the Tasmanian population. This is the highest per capita rate of carers of all the states and territories19.

Carers Tasmania reports that caring in Tasmania is complicated by a number of factors including20:

  • small and dispersed population centres - over three times as many Tasmanians live outside of metropolitan or inner regional areas compared to other jurisdictions;
  • lower socio-economic levels;
  • reduced access to health care;
  • a lack of social services infrastructure in rural/regional areas; and
  • the ageing population – Tasmania has the oldest median age of all the jurisdictions (41.9 in 2015) and there are some regions, such as Triabunna-Bicheno, where almost one-third of the population is aged 65 years and older21.

Looking forward

In the next 10 years, it is predicted that the demand for carers will be significantly higher than the supply22. This will be influenced by many factors including:

  • an ageing population;
  • growing duration and complexity of caregiving responsibilities;
  • people becoming less inclined to reduce paid employment; and
  • increasing rates of women participating in the paid labour force23.
  • 74% of primary carers are female24
  • 9% of Tasmanian carers are under the age of 2525
  • 74% of carers are 65 years or older26
  • 23.5% Tasmanian carers are of prime working age (aged 25 to 44 years old)27
  • 35.6% of Tasmanian carers reported having a disability, compared with 23.1 per cent of the non-carer Tasmanian population. For primary carers, this increases to 40.3 per cent28
  • Tasmanian carers and non-carers have similar rates for attaining Certificates, Advanced diplomas, Bachelor degrees or above, however, only 52.4% of Tasmanian carers are employed (either part-time or fulltime) compared to 60.3% of non-carers29
  • On average, Tasmanian carers earn approximately $69 less per week than their non-carer counterparts (carers median gross income per week $577, non-carers $646p/w)30
  • Young carers are less likely to have completed year 12 (or equivalent) than their peers, and over 60% of primary carers aged 15-24 years are not studying31
  • 70% of employed female carers have changed jobs or working arrangements to meet their care responsibilities32
  • Tasmanian carers have a lower labour force participation rate (58.1%) than people who are not carers (64.1%)33
  • 84% of carers in Tasmania would try and return to work if their caring role reduced or ceased34
  • 44% of carers and 56% of primary carers live in households in the lowest two quintiles of household income, compared to 34% of the general population35

19 ABS(2015) Disability, Ageing and Carers Australia: Summary of Findings Data Cube 44300do030

20 Carers Tasmania (April 2011), Disability Care and Support in Tasmania, p 6

21 ABS (2015) Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia 3235.0

22 Access Economics (June 2015), The Economic Value of Informal Care in 2015. p 8-10

23 Ibid

24 ABS 2015, 4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2015, Table 32.1

25 ABS (2015) Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Tasmania, 2015 Data Cube 44300DO006_2015

26 Ibid

27 Ibid

28 Ibid

29 Ibid

30 Ibid

31 Students Representative Council Disabilities and Carers Collective, 2016, Access and inclusion: Carers in Higher Education, p.3

32 ABS 2014, Op-Cit, Table 33.1

33 Ibid

34 Carers Australia 2014, Combining work and care: The business case for Carer-Friendly Workplaces

35 Ibid