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2914.0.55.002 - 2006 Census of Population and Housing: Media Releases and Fact Sheets, 2006  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2007  First Issue
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MEDIA FACT SHEET
June 27, 2007
Embargoed 9.30 am (AEST)
70/2007
Census puts our ageing population in perspective
  • The Australian population aged slightly in the 10 years between 1996 and 2006. In 1996, children under 15 years made up almost 22% of the population. In 2006, just under 20% were children. Over the same period, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over increased slightly, from 12% to 13%. This older population increased by almost 500,000 people, while children increased by about 100,000. The proportion of the population that was working age (between 15–64 years) remained stable between 1996 and 2006 at around 66%, while the numbers increased by 1.51 million.
  • Between 1996 and 2006, the largest increase by age-group was for those aged between 50 and 59 years – increasing from 10% to 13% of the total population (from around 1.8 million to 2.6 million people). As this group enters retirement age over the next 20 years, there will be important implications for the Australian workforce. Conversely, those entering the workforce (aged between 15–24) fell slightly as a proportion of the total population since 1996 (from 14.5% to 13.6%), but increased in number by around 130,000.
  • Males continued the long-term trend of slightly outnumbering females up to the mid-twenties. From that age, women generally outnumbered the men. In 1996, women slightly outnumbered men at every age between 25 and 46; and in 2006, the men were outnumbered from ages 27 to 57. In this age group range, the biggest gap between women and men was at 35 years, with over 9000 (or 6.1%) more women than men. Since 1996, the number of women over the age of 85 has remained around twice the number of men.
  • The median age in Australia was 37 years. South Australians and Tasmanians had a median age of 39 years, the highest of all the states and territories. Around 15% of the population in these two states were aged 65 years and over. The Northern Territory had the youngest population of all states and territories, with a median age of 31 years. One-quarter of their population was aged under 15 years, five percentage points higher than Australia as a whole.
  • Queenscliffe (Victoria), Victor Harbour (South Australia) and Bribie Island (Queensland) were the statistical local areas that had the oldest populations in Australia, with almost one-third aged 65 years and over. The Mornington Peninsula (South) in Victoria and the Great Lakes area in New South Wales also had a higher than average proportion of their population aged 65 years and over.
  • Four of the five statistical local areas with the highest proportion of babies and toddlers in 2006 were found in Queensland.

NB: The figures in this fact sheet exclude overseas visitors. Where an answer to a question has not been provided (i.e. not stated) these occurrences form a separate category in the data and therefore some percentages do not total to 100%.

Source: ABS 2006 Census.

Figure 1. Age and sex distribution (1996 Census and 2006 Census)
Graph: Age and Sex Distribution (1996 Census and 2006 Census)

Table 1. Age distribution, Australian population 2006 Census and 1996 Census

2006
1996
' 000
%
' 000
%

0-4 years
1 260.4
6.3
1 264.9
7.1
0-14 years
3 937.2
19.8
3 837.9
21.6
15-64 years
13 273.7
66.9
11 764.0
66.3
65 years and over
2 644.4
13.3
2 150.9
12.1
85 years and over
322.8
1.6
199.3
1.1
Total population
19 855.3
17 752.8

Table 2. 2006 Census: Age distribution and median age of states and territories

0-14 years
15-64 years
65 years and over
Median age
%
%
%

New South Wales
19.8
66.3
13.8
37
Victoria
19.3
67.0
13.7
37
Queensland
20.7
67.0
12.4
36
South Australia
18.5
66.1
15.4
39
Western Australia
20.2
67.7
12.0
36
Tasmania
19.7
65.3
14.9
39
Northern Territory
24.7
70.5
4.8
31
Australian Capital Territory
19.1
71.1
9.7
34
Australia
19.8
66.9
13.3
37

Table 3. 2006 Census: Statistical Local Areas with highest proportion of population aged 65 years and over, for states and territories

State Statistical Local Area
% of population aged
65 years and over
no. aged 65
years and over
Total population

Victoria
Queenscliffe (B)
32.4
978
3 018
Mornington P'sula (S) - South
28.0
13 214
47 118
South Australia
Victor Harbour (C)
32.3
3 880
12 013
Yorke Peninsula (DC) - North
25.1
1 839
7 332
Queensland
Bribie Island
32.0
5 099
15 914
Coolangatta
25.9
1 262
4 871
New South Wales
Great Lakes (A)
27.7
9 090
32 760
Tweed (A) - Tweed-Heads
26.5
13 360
50 451
Australian Capital Territory
Page
23.6
634
2 692
Deakin
21.5
559
2 606
Western Australia
Mandurah (C)
20.9
11 652
55 817
Albany (C) - Central
20.5
3 269
15 976
Tasmania
Glamorgan/Spring Bay (M)
19.7
823
4 188
Central Coast (M) - Pt A
18.8
3 302
17 593
Northern Territory
The Gardens
13.4
76
567
Alice Springs (T) - Heavitree
11.1
238
2 146

Table 4. 2006 Census: Statistical Local Areas with highest proportion of population aged 0-4 years, for states and territories

State Statistical Local Area
% of population aged 0-4 years
no. aged 0-4 years
Total population

Queensland
Badu (IC)
16.0
131
821
Doomadgee (S)
15.1
164
1 083
Northern Territory
Daguragu (CGC)
14.8
80
542
Thamarrurr (CGC)
14.6
281
1 930
Australian Capital Territory
Amaroo
12.6
693
5 505
Gungahlin
11.0
423
3 853
Victoria
Wyndham (C) - South
11.9
1 908
16 013
Melton (S) - East
10.8
4 277
39 482
Western Australia
Ashburton (S)
11.0
667
6 080
Mount Marshall (S)
10.6
65
613
South Australia
Roxby Downs (M)
10.4
420
4 056
Anangu Pitjantjatjara (AC)
9.1
204
2 235
New South Wales
Brewarrina (A)
9.4
182
1 943
Blacktown (C) - South-West
8.9
8 322
93 665
Tasmania
Brighton (M)
8.8
1 237
14 122
Georgetown (M) - Pt A
7.3
402
5 503



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