3239.0.55.001 - Population, Australian States and Territories - Electronic delivery, Dec 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2003   
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1 This release contains estimates of the resident population (ERP) of Australia and the states and territories based on the results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, held on 7 August 2001.

2 Following the 1992 amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act to include the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands as part of geographic Australia, population estimates commencing from September quarter 1993 include estimates for these two territories. To reflect this change, another category of the state and territory level has been created, known as Other Territories. Other Territories include Jervis Bay Territory, previously included with the Australian Capital Territory, as well as Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, previously excluded from population estimates for Australia.


3 Australia’s population estimates for the period since 1971 are compiled according to the place of usual residence of the population. An explanation of the place of usual residence conceptual basis for population estimates is given in Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods, in the Statistical Concepts Library on this site.

Method of estimation

4 The estimated resident population is an estimate of the Australian population obtained by adding to the estimated population at the beginning of each period the components of natural increase (on a usual residence basis) and net overseas migration. For the states and territories, account is also taken of estimated interstate movements involving a change of usual residence. For 30 June in Census years estimates of the resident population are based on census counts by place of usual residence, to which are added the estimated net census undercount, Australian residents estimated to have been temporarily overseas at the time of the Census and backdated adjustments from the Census date to 30 June. Overseas visitors in Australia are excluded from this calculation.

5 After each census, estimates for the preceding intercensal period are revised by incorporating an additional adjustment (intercensal discrepancy) to ensure that the total intercensal increase, based on components (births, deaths and migration) agrees with the difference between the estimated resident populations at the two respective census dates.

Natural increase: births and deaths

6 In this publication births and deaths data are presented by state and territory of usual residence. For preliminary estimates, births and deaths by quarter of registration are used as a proxy for quarter of occurrence. For revised estimates a factor has been applied to the number of occurrences to allow for those occurrences which are yet to be registered. For final estimates after 30 June 1991 year/quarter of occurrence data are used. The births and deaths data detailed in the Components of population section of this publication are shown by year of occurrence for revised and final data and year/quarter of registration for preliminary data which may affect analysis of relevant tables.

Net overseas migration

7 Figures are based on net permanent and long-term overseas movements with state and territory not stated allocated pro rata. Short-term movements are excluded. The estimates from July 1976 to June 1997 include an adjustment for the net effect of category jumping. This adjustment is necessary because net permanent and long-term migration figures can be affected by changes in travel intentions from short-term to permanent/long-term or vice versa. For example, an Australian resident departing for a short-term visit overseas (stating that he/she intends to stay abroad for less than 12 months) in fact stays 12 or more months, thereby changing his/her travel category from short-term to long-term. Prior to December quarter 1989, adjustments for category jumping were only made to revised population estimates. From June 1990 these adjustments were also included in preliminary estimates. However, due to a change in passenger card and systems in July 1998 the estimation of category jumping from July 1997 has been suspended until further notice and set to zero. These adjustments are now also included in preliminary estimates. For further details see Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods, in the Statistical Concepts Library on this site.

Net interstate migration

8 Estimates of interstate migration since June 1986 have been derived from latest census data on interstate movement in the preceding one year and unidentified information on interstate changes of address advised to the Health Insurance Commission in the process of administering Medicare.

Rates of population growth

9 These express population change over a period as a proportion (%) of the population at the beginning of the period.


10 Other ABS products which may be of interest include:

    AusStats - electronic data
    Australian Demographic Statistics, cat. no. 3101.0

    Australian Demographic Trends, cat. no. 3102.0
    Australian Historical Population Statistics, cat. no. 3105.0.65.001
    Births, Australia, cat. no. 3301.0
    Deaths, Australia, cat. no. 3302.0
    Demography, cat. no. 3311.1 - 8 - state and territory specific publications
    Experimental Estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population, cat. no. 3230.0
    Experimental Projections of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population, 1996 to 2006, cat. no. 3231.0
    Interstate Arrivals and Departures - Dataset
    Marriages and Divorces, Australia, cat. no. 3310.0 - includes data on the marital status of the estimated resident population of Australia
    Migration, Australia, cat. no. 3412.0 - includes data on the country of birth of the estimated resident population of Australia
    Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, cat. no. 3401.0
    Population by Age and Sex: Australian States and Territories, cat. no. 3201.0
    Population Projections, Australia, cat. no. 3222.0.


11 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

12 AusStats is a web based information service which provides the ABS full standard product range on-line. It also includes companion data in multidimensional datasets in SuperTABLE format, and time series spreadsheets.

13 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products, Australia (cat. no. 1101.0). The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice (cat. no. 1105.0) which details products to be released in the week ahead.