1 This Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) product brings together a number of related series of statistics on demography including estimated resident population (ERP), births, deaths, migration, marriages and divorces. For details of publication of other data related to demography, see paragraph 32.
2 As a result of an amendment made in 1992 to the Acts Interpretation Act, 1901–1973, the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands have been included as part of geographic Australia, hence another category of the state and territory classification has been created. This category, known as Other Territories, includes Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Jervis Bay Territory. Population, births, deaths and overseas migration data for Australia includes Other Territories.
3 This section consists of information on ERP, natural increase, overseas arrivals and departures, interstate migration and estimated resident households.
4 The concept of ERP links people to a place of usual residence within Australia. Usual residence is the place where each person has lived or intends to live for six months or more in a reference year.
5 The ERP is an estimate of the Australian population obtained by adding to the estimated resident 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. 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 agrees with the difference between the ERPs at the two respective census dates.
6 ERPs 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.
7 A detailed description of the conceptual basis of ERP is contained in Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Statistical Concepts Library, ABS web site, http://www.abs.gov.au.
8 Data presented in this ABS product refer to births registered during the calendar year shown. There is usually an interval between the occurrence and registration of a birth, and, as a result of delay in registration, some births occurring in one year are not registered until the following year or even later. However, most births are registered soon after they occur. More than 99% of births occurring in one year are registered by 30 June of the following year.
9 Birth statistics are presented on the basis of the state or territory of usual residence of the mother, regardless of where in Australia the birth occurred or was registered.
10 Births to mothers usually resident in Australia which took place overseas are excluded. Births to mothers usually resident overseas which occurred in Australia are included in the state or territory where the birth occurred.
11 Data presented in this ABS product refer to deaths registered during the year shown. There is usually an interval between the occurrence and registration of a death, and as a result some deaths are not registered in the year in which they occur. However, most deaths are registered within six months of occurrence. More than 99% of deaths occurring in one year are registered by 30 June of the following year.
12 Death statistics are presented on the basis of the state or territory of usual residence of the deceased, regardless of where in Australia the death occurred or was registered.
13 Deaths of Australian residents which occurred overseas are not included. Deaths which occurred in Australia of persons usually resident overseas are included in these statistics and are classified according to the state or territory in which the death was registered.
Causes of death
14 For deaths registered in 1999, the 10th revision of the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) was introduced for the coding of causes of death. Deaths registered in 1997 and 1998 have since been coded to ICD-10. Causes of death descriptions and corresponding codes used in this publication relate to particular causes or groups of causes as classified in ICD-10. The introduction of ICD-10 has broken the underlying cause of death series, particularly at the more detailed level of classification. For information on the differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10, please refer to Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0).
15 Data from passenger cards completed by persons arriving in or departing from Australia, together with other information available to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), serve as the source for statistics on overseas migration.
16 Data relate to the number of movements of travellers rather than to the number of travellers. However, the statistics exclude the movements of operational air crew and ships' crew, transit passengers who pass through Australia but are not cleared for entry, and passengers on pleasure cruises commencing and finishing in Australia.
17 Conceptually, net overseas migration (NOM) is the difference between permanent and long-term arrivals, and permanent and long-term departures. 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 (ABS web site, http://www.abs.gov.au; select Themes, then Demography, then 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 in the September quarter 2003 and subsequent issues of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).
18 Data on interstate migration have been derived from aggregated statistical information on interstate changes of address advised to the Health Insurance Commission in the process of administering Medicare. The ABS adjusts the Health Insurance Commission data to make allowance for the number of persons who do not inform the Commission of their change of residence. Further details are available in Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Statistical Concepts Library, ABS web site, http://www.abs.gov.au.
19 Marriage statistics refer to marriages registered by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the state or territory during the years shown. There is usually an interval between the celebration and the registration of a marriage. As a result of the delay in registration, some marriages celebrated in one year are not registered until the following year. Under the Marriage Act 1961, marriages may be celebrated by a minister of religion registered as an authorised celebrant, by a district registrar or by other persons authorised by the Attorney-General. Notice of the intended marriage must be given to the celebrant at least one calendar month, and within six calendar months, before the marriage. A celebrant must transmit an official certificate of the marriage for registration to a District Registrar in the state or territory in which the marriage took place.
20 In 1973, the minimum age at which a person may marry without parental consent was reduced from 21 to 18 years, although women were legally free to marry from 16 years with parental consent. Further amendment to the Marriage Act in 1991 designated the minimum age at which both sexes are legally free to marry to be 18 years. Persons between the ages of 16 and 18 years may marry with parental or guardian consent and an order from a judge or magistrate. Any two persons under the age of 18 years may not marry each other.
21 The Family Court of Australia (FCA) provides the ABS with electronic files containing divorce data from each state Court Registry. Following discussions with FCA during 2002-03 the process by which the FCA provides this file has changed. Implementing the new system, which included a change in both the FCA and ABS data processing systems, has caused 2002 divorce data to be delayed. The ABS is currently planning to release 2002 divorce data in September 2004. The ABS will release an update on the compilation and dissemination of 2002 divorces and 2003 marriages on the ABS web site, http://www.abs.gov.au on 7 May 2004. From the web site choose Themes, then Demography, then Marriages and Divorces.
22 All divorce data in this ABS product are for state or territory of registration, based on the location of the Family Court where the divorce was granted and registered. Due to the large number of divorces granted in the ACT where usual residence was in another state, rates for the ACT are not representative of the ACT population. The number of divorces shown for the ACT is dependent on the number of cases heard by the Family Court in the ACT. As there is no residential requirement under Family Law, applicants may be resident anywhere in Australia.
23 Under the Family Law Act 1975, the only ground on which a divorce may be granted is that of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This ground is established by the husband and wife having lived apart for 12 months or more, and there being no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation. Application for nullity of marriage under Family Law legislation must be on the ground that there was a failure to meet a legal requirement, such as that neither party be already lawfully married to another person. There is no provision for judicial separation under Family Law legislation.
24 Successful applicants for a divorce are initially granted a decree nisi. This becomes absolute after one month, unless it is rescinded or appealed against, or the Family Court is not satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the welfare of any children involved.
25 The statistics shown in this publication are compiled by the ABS from information supplied by the Family Court in respect of each application which resulted in the granting of a decree absolute.
26 In the interpretation of data, it is important to bear in mind that the availability of judges and the complexity of the cases brought before them can affect the number of decrees granted or made absolute in any one year. A rise in numbers may reflect only the clearing of a backlog of cases from an earlier period.
INDIGENOUS BIRTHS AND DEATHS DATA
27 The coverage of Indigenous births and deaths is affected by the extent to which people are identified as Indigenous. Propensity to identify (the likelihood that a person will identify or be identified as Indigenous) is determined by a range of factors, including who completes the administrative form for registering a birth or death (e.g. a parent, a relative, or an official); the perception of how the information will be used; education programs about identifying as Indigenous; and emotional reaction to identifying as Indigenous. For further details see Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0) and Deaths, Australia (cat. no. 3302.0).
28 The geographic boundaries used in this ABS product are defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2002 (cat. no. 1216.0).
29 The classification of countries used in this ABS product are defined in the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) (cat. no. 1265.0).
30 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
SUPPRESSION OF SMALL CELLS
31 For all data in this publication, cell values with small values have been suppressed to assist in the preservation of confidentiality of information.
32 Other ABS publications and products that may be of interest include:
ADDITIONAL STATISTICS AVAILABLE
33 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.
34 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, additional information is available from the ABS web site, http://www.abs.gov.au; from the navigation bar select Themes, then Demography.
35 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site, http://www.abs.gov.au. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.
- Australian Demographic Statistics, cat. no. 3101.0
- Australian Demographic Trends, cat. no. 3102.0
- Australian Historical Population Statistics, cat. no. 3105.0.65.001, available from the ABS web site, http://www.abs.gov.au
- Births, Australia, cat. no. 3301.0
- Causes of Death, Australia, cat. no. 3303.0
- Census of Population and Housing: Selected Social and Housing Characteristics, Australia, cat. no. 2015.0
- Deaths, Australia, cat. no. 3302.0
- Demography (state/territory specific publications), cat. no. 3311.0-8.55.001 electronic products available from the ABS web site, http://www.abs.gov.au
- Experimental Estimates of Indigenous Australians, 2001, cat. no. 3238.0.55.001, available from the ABS web site at http://www.abs.gov.au
- Experimental Projections of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population, 1996 to 2006, cat. no. 3231.0
- Household and Family Projections, Australia, cat. no. 3236.0
- Marriages and Divorces, Australia, cat. no. 3310.0
- Migration, Australia, cat. no. 3412.0
- National Regional Profile, available from the ABS web site at http://www.abs.gov.au
- Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, cat. no. 3201.0
- Population Projections, Australia, cat. no. 3222.0
- Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, cat. no. 3218.0
This page last updated 20 June 2006