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Explore government spending on aged care

This page has been updated with the latest data available, from 2018–19. You can download data directly from the visualisations by clicking in the graph area and using the 'download' menu.

On this page you can explore more information, facts and figures about government spending on aged care services, including that specific to states and territories.
Time series data in this topic are adjusted to 2018–19 dollars.

Government spending has increased by 27% since 2013–14

Government spending on aged care services has progressively increased over the years. In 2013–14 government spending on aged care services was approximately $15.8 billion, and by 2018–19 expenditure had increased by 27% to $20.1 billion. These figures have been adjusted for inflation to the value of 2018–19 dollars.

Two-thirds of government spending on aged care is spent on residential services

In 2018–19, two-thirds of reported government expenditure was spent on residential aged care (66% or $13.3 billion), followed by community-based care where 29% (or $5.9 billion) was spent on home care and home support services.

Spending is shifting to home care and support

Between 2013–14 and 2018–19, there were changes in spending patterns on aged care services. Looking at the national figures, (and after adjusting for inflation), there was:

  • a 45% increase in spending for home care and home support services, compared with a 24% increase for residential aged care services
  • a 73% increase in spending on assessment and information services
  • a 53% decrease in spending on workforce and service improvement (noting that this is a small proportion of total spending)
  • a 7% increase in spending on flexible care.
 
Growth in Australian and state/territory government spending on aged care services over this period varied moderately among the states and territories. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest increase in spending for home care and support services between 2013–14 and 2018–19 (71%), followed by South Australia (60%) and Queensland (53%). The Northern Territory had the highest increase in spending for residential aged care (50%), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (44%).
A stacked bar graph shows that government spending on aged care services has increased for each state and territory between 2013–14 and 2018–19. The graph also shows the spending on different types of aged care services by each state and territory over this time period. Almost all states and territories spent most of their total aged care spending on residential aged care, with the exception of the Northern Territory which was the only state to spend more on home care and support services than on residential care.

Per-person government spending on aged care services highest in South Australia

Australian and state/territory government spending varies across Australia. Government recurrent expenditure on aged care services in 2018–19 was $4,874 per person in the target population (that is, all people aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 50–64 years). The rate of spending per older Australian was higher than the national rate in South Australia ($5,370), the Australian Capital Territory ($5,216), and Victoria ($5,142). This can be seen in the graph below.
The amount spent on aged care services per older Australian differed by spending type and state and territory:

  • Overall, the rate of spending on aged care services in Australia was highest for residential aged care ($3,198 per older Australian). Government spending on residential aged care was highest in South Australia ($3,597), followed by Victoria ($3,485).
  • The Australian Capital Territory had the highest rate of government spending for home care and home support ($1,960 per person in the target population), closely followed by the Northern Territory ($1,888).
  • The rate of government spending on flexible care (which includes a specific program for Indigenous Australians)  was highest in the Northern Territory ($434 per person).
A stacked bar graph shows the rate of government spending on different types of aged care services per person in the target aged care population by state and territory. The national rate of spending on aged care services was $4,889 per person, and the graph shows that the rates of spending per older person varied by state and territory and by service type. Overall, South Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory had the highest rates of spending on aged care services per person, and the Northern Territory had the lowest overall rate of spending on aged care services per person.

References

SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2020. Report on government services 2020, Part F, Chapter 14. Canberra: Productivity Commission.