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3311.4 - Demography, South Australia, 1996  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/12/1997   
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MEDIA RELEASE

December 22, 1997
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
167/97
South Australia - What a state we're in!

South Australians have a longer life expectancy than the average Australian, but the death rate is the second highest in the country, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The publication, Demography SA based on the State's registrations of births, deaths, marriages and divorces in 1996, reveals that that South Australians experience higher rates of heart disease and cancer but lower infant mortality than the Australian average. Other highlights include:

Population

South Australia experienced a population growth rate of 0.4 per cent in 1996 which was the lowest of the States apart from Tasmania (0.0), and well below the Australian growth rate of 1.3 per cent.

Births

In 1996 there were 19,056 births in South Australia. Age-specific birth rates indicate that increasing numbers of women are postponing childbirth. The proportion of ex-nuptial births has continued to rise, and is now 30.1 per cent of all births, compared with 17.5 per cent in 1986. However, for 86.6 per cent of these births, paternity was acknowledged, up from 72.7 per cent a decade ago.

Deaths

There were 11,606 deaths of South Australian residents registered in 1996. The leading causes of death were heart disease and malignant neoplasms (cancer) which accounted for 29.7 per cent and 26.4 per cent of deaths respectively. The median age at death for males rose from 71.7 in 1986 to 74.5 years in 1996 while for females the increase was from 77.9 to 81.1 years.

Marriages and Divorces

The 1996 crude marriage rate, at 5.4 per 1,000 population, was the lowest since the record low of 5.3 in 1931. The median age at marriage has been increasing steadily for several years for both men and women. There were 4,358 divorces granted in South Australia in 1996, 3.8 per cent higher than in 1995 and the highest number since 1983.

The Indigenous Population

The total fertility rate for indigenous mothers was 2.1, above the rate for all South Australian mothers (1.7). Accidents, poisonings and violence were responsible for 15.3 per cent of indigenous deaths, compared to 5.4 per cent of all South Australian deaths.

Demography SA, 1996 (cat. no. 3311.4) is available from ABS Bookshops.

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