Health care services throughout Australia are likely to face more strain than ever over the coming decades, as new figures predict the population will double by 2075.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) made the forecast, indicating that 46 million people will live in the country in 62 years' time.
Director of demography at the ABS Bjorn Jarvis explained that if population growth speeds up at a faster rate than expected, this target could be reached as early as 2058.
However, if growth is slower than forecast, this scenario may not arise until on or after 2101.
He explained that by 2053, Melbourne and Sydney are likely to be home to 7.9 million people each.
Mr Jarvis continued: "By 2040, Western Australia's population is projected to almost double in size, from 2.4 million people in 2012 to 4.7 million.
"Queensland will have gone from 4.6 million people to 7.3 million, and the Australian Capital Territory will have grown from 375,000 people to 586,000."
The ABS also acknowledged that with this population growth will come a higher proportion of elderly people, especially as life expectancy continues to rise.
Last year, Australia's median age stood at 37 years old, but by 2040, the group believes it could be 40.5 years.
Not only this, the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to double from 3.2 million (representing 14 per cent of the population) to 6.8 million – 20 per cent of the total.
Similarly, Australia will witness a rise in people aged 85 and over – this demographic is expected to nearly triple by 2040, putting health services under more pressure than ever.
Just two per cent of Australians were aged over 85 in 2012, but the ABS believes this will rise to more than four per cent over the next 27 years.
This follows the release of similar concerns in a report from the Productivity Commission, which called on governments to ensure the needs of an ageing population are met.
The report, titled An Ageing Australia: Preparing for the Future, highlighted that with people living longer, health care systems need to be up to the task of providing them with the treatment they require.
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