You are here

Bernard Salt reverses take on Australia's population as aging

A business blog, calling itself, The Advisor, is advertising its 'Better Business Summit' with an article quoting the well-known population growth spruiker, Bernard Salt, who they describe as 'One of the nation’s leading demographers'. This would hardly be news for, except that Mr Salt, who does a line in growth 'demography', has suddenly changed his well-known tune. Previously a household word in pushing the aging population bogey, Salt has suddenly begun describing Australia as 'young and vibrant'.

Apparently decrying rumours of a property crash which he perceives to be rampant in the mass media, 'Mr Salt said Australians need to take a “bigger picture view” and argues that we are a young, vibrant country with strong levels of population growth, very aspirational, and we’re rich in terms of income per capita.' (


An observer says, "I find it delightful that he's now saying "we are a young and vibrant country". He's a surprise a minute. :-) He must have decided to drop his alarmism about demographic ageing." The observer supplies some recent quotes:

Recent quotes from Bernard Salt on Australia's 'aging' population

We can’t afford older people:

“The science is settled; there's not enough workers to fund the likely number of retirees” B. Salt, ‘Grim reality of when the boom goes bust’, (The Australian, March 12 2015, p. 26, 28.)

He wishes they’d drop dead:

“workers and governments of the day are more than happy to support others in old age … just so long as there are not too many of them, that they're not too demanding of services such as health and welfare, and that they promise to drop dead within a reasonable timeframe from the point of retirement.” B. Salt, ‘Older workers unite, you have nothing to lose but your privileges’, (The Australian, April 19 2014, p. 12.)

Monsters from the black lagoon?

“All of sudden this cohort [of ageing baby boomers] will be visible -- rising like a monster from an otherwise indistinguishable retirement swamp…” (B. Salt, ‘The inexorable rise of the opinionated boomer retiree’, The Australian, May 24 2012, p. 29.)

So, we cannot help wondering, if Australia's population has suddenly reversed its moribund status in Salt's eyes, why is he still talking up population growth?

Image icon Grain-of-salt-tiny.jpg5.39 KB
Image icon Grain-of-salt.jpg44.46 KB


Hate laws in Australia can apply to victimisation of people which target their race, colour, ethnicity, origin, disability and sexual orientation. Salt really incites resentment (a type of hatred ) for older people, painting them as a burden without the right to continue their lives (beyond the point which is convent for others) As for one's race, or disability or sexual orientation, age is beyond one's control. Age is a very visible physical characteristic but the degree to which an older person is a "burden" depends on the person's health and wealth. if an older person is in poor health then surely that should be seen similarly to a disability and the person should not be discriminated against? If the person is not self supporting financially in old age, then why is this different from a long term unemployed person in terms of "burden"? I think Bernard Salt, who to me looks like an older person, anyway is quite dangerous, with respect to death wishes for older people even if the law has not caught up with his shocking type of discriminatory vitriol.

Some suggest getting rid of it over your left shoulder to ward off evil.
It is said that Romans suffered from lead poisoning because too much Salt killed the taste.
Armies would plough Salt into the land of their enemies in order to destroy it and create starvation. I think that is what is happening now in Australia.