Grey Tsunami – Electoral Demographics – Ageing Populations vs. Youth

Although many people believe that ‘population growth’, ‘immigration’ and supposed but unrelated negative proxies e.g. environmental degradation are the issues of our time, ignore what is happening in electoral politics, elites and power.

The following article is based upon credible demographic and electoral research, not the UN Population Division formulae, data or analysis e.g. NOM net overseas migration (spikes population through increasing temporary churn over), but clear focus upon actual citizens and voting in Australia, as replicated elsewhere (although Australia has compulsory voting).  

The western and developing worlds’ are ageing and will be in decline within one generation due to plummeting fertility rates, and passing on of the ‘baby boomer bubble’.  Meanwhile media and white nationalist inspired demographers and MPs focus upon ‘immigration’ and ‘population growth’ of net financial contributors e.g. students, backpackers etc. and non Europeans….

However, the electoral rolls of citizens are clearly ageing in regions due to longevity, little immigration and young generations emigrating to urban centres for opportunities.  This means the median voter age approaches retirement while voters in regions tend to be more monocultural, conservative, and are catered to by nativist conservative/libertarian legacy media and similar political parties.

Not only are these ageing electorates catered to by ring fencing and guaranteeing pensions and/or Medicare, they are also subjected to white nationalist agitprop via legacy media and NewsCorp’s ‘Sky After Dark’.  Meanwhile those of working age and younger are denigrated or demonised for being welfare dependent, ‘greenies’, ‘unionists’, ‘lefties’, educated, follow climate science etc. while facing a ‘grey tsunami’ which precludes them having any influence on elections.

The same dynamic is being gamed elsewhere with a return to the promotion of conservative ‘values’ or religion, nationalism, patriarchy and unwittingly the same audience are allowing radical right libertarian policies (impacting working age more) to be adopted by the Liberal National Party coalition (influenced by Koch and/or industry linked think tanks).

From The Conversation Australia:

More grey tsunami than youthquake: despite record youth enrolments, Australia’s voter base is ageing

April 29, 2019 9.14pm BST

The 2019 election has been heralded as a “generational election” or an “age war”. Labor goes to the election with a series of policies on climate change, housing affordability, wages and budget sustainability clearly designed to appeal to young and middle-aged Australians concerned about their future.

But while the record numbers of enrolled young voters may make this look like a political masterstroke, the fact remains that the Australia’s voter base, like its population, is ageing. 

Baby boomers will remain a political force in this country for some time to come.

Youth enrolment is rising, but not just because of the marriage equality plebiscite

Youth voter enrolment is at an all-time high, with 88.8% of eligible 18- to 24-year-olds — some 1.7 million Australians — enrolled to vote. …..

……But while the numbers sound impressive, this uptick in youth enrolment was actually smaller than the normal increase we see before a federal election.

Around 300,000 Australians turn 18 every year, so younger voters are continually being added to the electoral roll. However, many new voters — whether new citizens or young Australians who have recently turned 18 — complete their enrolment paperwork in the lead-up to elections. This is why we see a sharp increase in enrolments, and particularly in youth enrolments, in the months before a poll…..

…..An ageing population means an ageing voter base

The effect of an ageing voter population dwarfs the modest growth in youth enrolments.

The biggest change in voter demographics since the last federal election in 2016 was the enormous growth in voters aged 70 and over. As Australians live longer and healthier lives, voters will, on average, be older.

Around 300,000 more voters age 70 and over are enrolled to vote now than for the 2016 election, a 13% increase in just three years. In the same period, enrolments for younger voters aged 18 to 34 have only grown by around 135,000, or 3%.

The recent increase in older voters is part of a long-term trend towards an ageing population overall. The first time Australia had more residents 55 and over than aged 18 to 29 was in 1991. Since then, the relative share of those 55 and older has continued to increase and is forecast to grow further over the next two decades.

Older Australian residents are also more likely to be citizens than younger Australians because new residents tend to be younger than the average Australian. This factor decreases the relative proportion of younger Australian residents enrolled to vote.

How might this affect the election outcome?

If Labor is relying on a surge of younger voters to deliver it victory then its hopes may be misplaced. Of course, that doesn’t mean a platform focused on some of the environmental and economic concerns of younger Australians cannot succeed.

But it does suggest that electoral success will depend on persuading enough older voters that Labor’s proposals can provide future generations with the same standard of living that they have enjoyed.’

For more similar blog or articles click through the following categories ageing democracy, Australian politics, conservative, demography, immigration, libertarian economics, media, NOM net overseas migration, pensions, political strategy, population growth, populist politics, white nationalism and younger generations.

1 thought on “Grey Tsunami – Electoral Demographics – Ageing Populations vs. Youth

  1. Pingback: Population Decline in Asia is Near with Africa to Follow | Education Training Society

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