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Explore government spending on aged care

This page has been updated with the latest data available, from 2016–17. 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, specific to states and territories.

Government spending has increased by 21% since 2011–12

Government spending on aged care services has progressively increased over the years. As can be seen in the graph below, in 2011–12 government spending on aged care services was approximately $14.3 billion, and by 2016–17 expenditure had increased by 21% to $17.4 billion. These figures have been adjusted for inflation to the value of 2016–17 dollars.

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

In 2016–17, just over two-thirds of reported government expenditure was spent on residential aged care (69% or $12.1 billion). This was followed by community-based care where 25% (or $4.4 billion) was spent on home care and home support services.

Spending patterns on residential and home care have changed over time

Between 2011–12 and 2016–17, there were changes in spending patterns on aged care services. Looking at the national figures, there was:

  • an increase in spending for residential care (24%) and home care and support (23%)
  • an increase of 67% in spending on assessment and information services

  • a decrease of 8% in spending on flexible care

  • a decrease of 54% in spending on workforce and service improvement.

Growth in spending on aged care services over this period varied among the states and territories. Some states saw more growth in their spending on home care and support compared with other programs. The increases in home care and support spending of 29% in New South Wales, 32% in Western Australia and 26% in South Australia were larger than their increases in residential care spending (23%, 26%, and 18% respectively).

A stacked bar graph shows that government spending on aged care services has increased for each state and territory between 2011–12 and 2016–17. 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.

Government spending on aged care services is highest in South Australia

Government recurrent expenditure on aged care services in 2016–17 was $4,470 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 ($4,891) and Victoria ($4,685). 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 ($3,099 per older Australian). Government spending on residential care was highest in South Australia ($3,530), followed by Victoria ($3,382).

  • The Northern Territory had the highest rate of government spending for home care and support ($1,493 per person in the target population), closely followed by Western Australia ($1,470). The Northern Territory was the only state to spend more on home care and support than on residential care ($1,493 compared with $1,418).

  • The rate of government spending on flexible care and assessment and information services was highest in the Northern Territory ($703 and $73 per older Australian, respectively).

  • The Australian Capital Territory had the highest rate of spending on workforce and service improvement. At $304 per person in the target population, this was almost 10 times the national rate of $31 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 $4,470 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 and Victoria 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) 2018. Report on government services 2017, Part F, Chapter 14. Canberra: Productivity Commission.