3239.0.55.001 - Population, Australian States and Territories - Electronic Delivery, Dec 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2004   
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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. Estimates of the resident population are based on census counts by place of usual residence, to which are added the estimated net census undercount and Australian residents estimated to have been temporarily overseas at the time of the census. Overseas visitors in Australia are excluded from this calculation.

5 After each census (at 30 June of the census year), estimates for the preceding intercensal period are revised by incorporating an additional adjustment (intercensal discrepancy) to ensure that the total intercensal increase agrees with the difference between the estimated resident populations at the two 30 June dates in the respective census years.

Natural increase: births and deaths

6 The births and deaths data in this release are shown by state and territory of usual residence, using year/quarter of occurrence for revised and final data and year/quarter of registration for preliminary data. This may affect some comparison within relevant tables. 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 these occurrences which are yet to be registered. For final estimates after 30 June 1991, year/quarter of occurrence data are used.

Net overseas migration

7 Conceptually, net overseas migration (NOM) is the difference between permanent and long-term arrivals, and permanent and long-term departures. Estimates of NOM are derived from information provided on incoming and outgoing passenger cards, as well as other data supplied by the DIMIA. Data on the intended duration of stay of overseas visitors arriving in Australia and the intended duration of absence of Australian residents travelling overseas are used to determine the numbers of permanent and long-term arrivals, and permanent and long-term departures. Passenger card data are also used to calculate migration adjustments and determine the state and territory distribution of NOM. The processes of adjusting movement data on travellers' stated intentions to reflect their actual behaviour are complex, and depend upon the amount and type of movement data available at a particular point in time. The methods currently used compare data on actual travel movements over a one year period with those first advised by individual travellers, and are explained in more detail in Demography Working Paper 2003/5, Net Overseas Migration: Adjusting for Actual Duration of Stay or Absence (<www.abs.gov.au>, select Themes> Demography> ABS Demography Working Papers). In order to conduct such a comparison, data for a 15 month period (i.e. one year plus one quarter) are required. The adjustment methods described in the working paper have been applied to NOM data from the September quarter 2001 onwards and will be subject to further investigation and improvement with the accumulation of additional data and time series. For more information see the Technical Note - Measuring Net Overseas Migration, published in the September quarter 2003 issue of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).

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 to users include:


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 ABS full standard product range online. 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.

14 Statistics of overseas arrivals and departures and related data are also published regularly by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (see that Department’s quarterly publication, Immigration Update) and by the Bureau of Tourism Research (on international travel and tourism).