Past Project

Enhancing Wellbeing in an Ageing Society (2004-2009)

The basic aging trends in the New Zealand population are well known. The population aged 65 and over is expected to increase from 12 percent in 2001, to 20 percent in 2026 and further to 25 percent in 2051. However, policy-makers lack an in-depth understanding of the qualitative and quantitative features of the future older population, in terms of housing, living arrangement, participation in work, attitudes, hopes, support networks, location, life satisfaction, etc. The EWAS research aims to address this information gap, and demography, gerontology, sociology, geography, economics, psychology, leisure studies and business studies are among the disciplinary angles of ageing that are covered in the research.

Two major Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) surveys of the populations aged 40-64 years and 65-84 years have recently been completed with the support of Bill Cochrane and Hani Jelle and the University’s Department of Societies and Cutures. Over 1500 interviews were carried out with each of these groups and the data will be analysed over the next 6-8 months.  These data will also feed into simulations of future scenarios for population ageing until 2051.

Several research papers have been published on the EWAS website including:

No. 1: Fertility and Ageing in Urban and Rural Areas: Is Location Important for Successful Ageing in New Zealand? Peggy G.Koopman-Boyden, Sandra Baxendine and Ian Pool. Population Studies Centre, The University of Waikato.

No. 6: The Role of Intergenerational Transactions, Interactions and Relationships in Shaping Wellbeing in Later Life. Sarah Hillcoat-Nalletamby, Population Studies Centre, The University of Waikato.

No. 9: Wellbeing -- Social Connectedness and Economic Standard of Living among 65-84 year olds in New Zealand - 2007. Peggy Koopman-Boyden, Suzan van der Pas and Michael Cameron, Population Studies Centre, The University of Waikato