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Explore government spending on aged care

This page has been updated with the latest data available, from 2017–18. 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.

Government spending has increased by 23% since 2012–13

Government spending on aged care services has progressively increased over the years. As can be seen in the graph below (for Australia and each of the states and territories—select using the drop-down box), in 2012–13 government spending on aged care services was approximately $14.9 billion, and by 2017–18 expenditure had increased by 23% to $18.4 billion. These figures have been adjusted for inflation to the value of 2017–18 dollars.

More than two-thirds of government spending on aged care is spent on residential services

In 2017–18, just over two-thirds of reported government expenditure was spent on residential aged care (67% or $12.4 billion). This was followed by community-based care where 28% (or $5.1 billion) was spent on home care and home support services.

Spending is shifting to home care and support

Between 2012–13 and 2017–18, there were changes in spending patterns on aged care services. Looking at the national figures, there was:

  • a 34% increase in spending for home care and support services, compared with a 24% increase for residential aged care services 
  • a 50% increase in spending on assessment and information services
  • a 62% decrease in spending on workforce and service improvement (noting that this is a small proportion of total spending).
  • a 9% decrease in spending on flexible care

Growth in spending on aged care services over this period varied moderately among the states and territories. Tasmania had the highest increase in spending for home care and support services between 2012–13 and 2017–18 (49%), followed by Queensland (43%) and the Australian Capital Territory (42%). The Australian Capital Territory had the highest increase in spending for residential care (35%), followed by Victoria (28%). 

A stacked bar graph shows that government spending on aged care services has increased for each state and territory between 2012–13 and 2017–18. 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

Government recurrent expenditure on aged care services in 2017–18 was $4,572 per person in the target population (that is, all people aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50–64 years). The rate of spending per older Australian was higher than the national rate in South Australia ($4,915), Victoria ($4,824) and the Australian Capital Territory ($4,609). 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 care ($3,077 per older Australian). Government spending on residential care was highest in South Australia ($3,468), followed by Victoria ($3,377).
  • The Northern Territory had the highest rate of government spending for home care and support ($1,616 per person in the target population), closely followed by the Australian Capital Territory ($1,539).
  • The rate of government spending on flexible care (which includes a specific program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) was highest in the Northern Territory ($417 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 $4,572 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) 2019. Report on government services 2019, Part F, Chapter 14. Canberra: Productivity Commission.