Joan Dunn with Lyn and Mick Cherry at Bongaree, Bribe Island. Picture: AAP/Image Steve Pohlner
Joan Dunn with Lyn and Mick Cherry at Bongaree, Bribe Island. Picture: AAP/Image Steve Pohlner

The suburbs for our young and old

QUEENSLAND'S oldies just love the island life.

Bribie Island, north of Brisbane, is the suburb with the highest median age in the state at 59.6 years, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

And the Redland City islands, including Russell and Macleay, and Magnetic Island, 8km of Townsville, also feature in the top five.

The list is rounded out by the coastal spots of Cooloola in Wide Bay and Caloundra-Kings Beach on the Sunshine Coast.

"Islands have the strong lifestyle elements which attract older people," said Simon Kuestenmacher, director of research at The Demographics Group.

"It's the appeal of slowing down and reconnecting with nature and the things that people value in life."

Islands often offer more affordable housing and while some things can be more expensive, many retirees lead fairly humble and frugal lives.

The age profile on islands also reflected the lack of jobs, Mr Kuestenmacher said.

"Work tends be concentrated in larger towns and cities so people of working age must live there even if they don't want to. Once they retire, they are free to move where they want to," he said.

Retired sales and transport worker Mick Cherry, 69, who moved to Bribie 10 years ago with wife Lyn, 68, said: "It's a pretty unique location. You can be in the city in an hour if you want to but you have this great laidback lifestyle here."

Apart from visiting their children, the couple have little need to leave the island.

"Where would we go that's better?" Mr Cherry said.

"I do a bit of boating, a bit of fishing and we play bowls. All our friends are here.

"It's terrific. There are plenty of younger people here too. It's just that there are more older ones."

Overall, the median age of Queenslanders rose from 36.6 years to 37.1 in the five years to 2017.

Greater Brisbane's median of 35.3 years is 3.9 years younger than the rest of Queensland. Brisbane's population is the third-youngest among capitals - behind Darwin and Canberra.

The areas with the lowest median ages are Northern Peninsula (22.4 years) and Yarrabah (22.7 years) in the state's north, which have predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

St Lucia in Brisbane is third at 23.9 years, followed by Douglas in Townsville with 24.6 years. Those two figures are due to the proximity of the University of Queensland and James Cook University and their students.




1. Bribie Island (Moreton Bay): 59.6 years

2. Cooloola (Wide Bay): 58.5 years

3. Redland Islands (Redland City): 56.1 years

4. Magnetic Island (Townsville): 54.3 years

5. Caloundra-Kings Beach (Sunshine Coast): 54.2 years



1. Northern Peninsula: (FNQ) 22.4 years

2. Yarrabah (Cairns): 22.7 years

3. St Lucia (Brisbane): 23.9 years

4. Douglas (Townsville): 24.6 years

5. Torres Strait Islands: 24.8 years