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Waikato demographer to contribute to Australian research

Tuesday November 27, 2012

University of Waikato demographer to contribute to Australian research
on ‘Fourth Age’

An authority on ageing and demographics at the University of Waikato is part of a research team awarded Australian Research Council funding for a project which will look at the over-85s – the fastest growing segment of the Australian population.

Professor Natalie Jackson heads the National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA), based at the University of Waikato, and is a regular commentator on demographic change in New Zealand and internationally.

She will contribute her expertise to Revisiting the 'Fourth Age': health, socioeconomic and cultural transformation of, and diversity in, Australia's oldest old population, 1981-2011, which has been awarded a prestigious ARC Discovery Project grant worth AU$192,888.

Professor Jackson will work on the project with Professor Laurie Brown and Dr Binod Nepal of the University of Canberra, and with Professor Helen Bartlett of Monash University.

“The over-85s are what we call the oldest-old, and the changing make-up and experiences of this group needs attention,” says Professor Jackson. “This project will expand the knowledge base about Australia's oldest old, helping to inform public policy and to improve discussions on what the 'Fourth Age' really means in Australia.”

Similar research is being undertaken in New Zealand by NIDEA’s Professor Peggy Koopman-Boyden who is looking at how to enhance the productive participation of New Zealand's older population.
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