The client profiles of two home based care services (Home and Community Care and community options projects) and two residential care services (nursing homes and hostels) are examined. Variables examined include age, sex, marital status, living arrangements and pension status. Older women made up the largest group of clients in all services; a group which had the highest proportion of individuals who had lived alone or did not have a carer, and for whom the highest proportions had been widowed. Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders made use of aged care services differently to non-indigenous Australians. They used services at younger ages than non-indigenous Australians, and indigenous Australians receiving home care services showed a lower availability of carers than non-indigenous Australians. Clients of aged care services from non-English speaking backgrounds had similar characteristics to clients of English speaking backgrounds, although a somewhat higher proportion of non-English speaking background clients were younger, a slightly higher proportion were male, and a higher proportion were living with others or had carer available.