Canberra:Australia's elderly population has increased by almost 20 per cent over the last five years, officials revealed on Thursday. At least 2.2 million people were now aged 65 years and above in major Australian cities, Xinhua news agency cited from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report. In addition, the ABS also revealed that 1.4 million elderly Australians live in rural areas, compared with 1.2 million in 2010. The high proportion of elderly Australians living in rural areas was a reflection of the "sea change" retirement philosophy, where people move to small towns to relax after retirement, Beidar Cho, ABS Director of Demography, said. "People aged 65 years and over contributed to more than 60 per cent of population growth in areas outside of capital cities between 2010 and 2015," the director said. According to the ABS, residents of Tea Gardens-Hawks Nest on the New South Wales (NSW) coast were "officially" Australia's oldest, with a median age of 61.0 years in 2015 followed by Tuncurry in NSW (59.7 years) and Bribie island, Queensland (59.3 years), two ideal coastal destinations for retirees.