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3401.0 - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, Aug 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/09/2001   
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  • Short-term visitor arrivals to Australia: age and sex (Feature Article)

Special Article - Short-term visitor arrivals to Australia: age and sex


In the past 20 years, the number of short-term visitor arrivals to Australia has increased five-fold, from 877,000 in 1979-80 to 4.7 million in 1999-2000. Over this period, the age distribution of short-term visitor arrivals to Australia has become younger, largely as a result of the relatively young age distribution of female visitors. Overall, the median age (the age at which half of all short-term visitor arrivals were younger and half were older) of all short-term visitor arrivals has fallen by two years from 39.5 years in 1979-80 to 37.4 years in 1999-2000. Short-term visitor arrivals over the past 20 years have been predominantly male despite a continual increase in the proportion of the female visitors arriving. Accordingly, the sex ratio (number of males per 100 females) has declined from 121 in 1979-80 to 107 in 1999-2000.


AGE AND SEX


1979-80
1999-2000


Age and sex
Male
Female
Total
Male
Female
Total

Age group (%)
Under 15
4.0
3.9
7.9
3.5
3.5
7.0
15-24
6.9
7.2
14.1
6.2
8.3
14.5
25-34
11.8
8.0
19.8
12.1
11.6
23.8
35-44
11.1
5.9
16.9
10.7
7.4
18.1
45-54
9.2
6.7
15.9
9.3
7.5
16.8
55-64
6.7
7.7
14.4
6.0
6.1
12.1
65 & over
4.9
6.0
10.9
3.7
4.0
7.7
All ages
54.7
45.3
100
51.6
48.4
100.0
Total Short-term Visitor
Arrivals ('000)
479.3
397.4
876.7
2 400.0
2 251.8
4 651.8
Median age (years)
38.8
40.9
39.5
38.5
36
37.4
Sex ratio (males per 100 females)
. .
. .
120.6
. .
. .
106.6



COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE

The top 10 source countries of short-term visitor arrivals to Australia in 1999-2000 were New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. These countries comprised 75% of all short-term visitor arrivals to Australia in 1999-2000, with New Zealand, Japan and the United Kingdom accounting for 44%.

The median age and sex ratio of short-term visitors varied according to their country of residence. In 1999-2000, the median age of short-term visitors from the top 10 source countries ranged from 31.1 years (Japan) to 42.6 years (the United States of America). The sex ratio for visitors from the top 10 source countries differed markedly, between 78 males per 100 females (Taiwan) and 118 males per 100 females (Germany). Overall, short-term visitors from the United States of America, New Zealand, and Germany were older and predominantly male. In contrast, visitors from Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia were younger and predominantly female. For most of the top 10 source countries, the trend during the past two decades has been that of decreasing median age and decreasing sex ratio. New Zealand was a notable exception. Between 1979-80 and 1999-2000, the sex ratio of short-term visitors from New Zealand rose from 103 to 108 males per 100 females, and their median age also increased (from 36.0 to 40.5 years).


TOP TEN SOURCE COUNTRIES

1979-80
1999-2000


Visitor arrivals
Median age
Sex ratio
Visitor arrivals
Median age
Sex ratio
Country of residence
'000
years
ratio
Country of residence
'000
years
ratio

.
New Zealand
296.3
36.0
102.7
New Zealand
773.1
40.5
107.9
United Kingdom
129.5
48.4
98.2
Japan
705.5
31.1
85.6
United States of America
111.7
47.4
141.1
United Kingdom
554.4
39.6
108.2
Japan
48.2
40.3
222.6
United States of America
436.9
42.6
114.3
Germany
32.8
39.8
134.4
Singapore
277
34.9
104.9
Canada
28.4
39.1
114.5
Hong Kong
149
36.5
104.8
Papua New Guinea
24.1
29.6
142.3
Germany
147.2
39.7
117.6
Netherlands
18.5
49.1
98.7
Malaysia
146.8
36.5
98.2
Singapore
13.6
33.2
158.5
Taiwan
140.9
34.5
77.6
Hong Kong
13.6
34.5
135.0
Korea, South
139.3
35.8
102.1
All countries
876.7
39.5
120.6
All countries
4 651.8
37.4
106.6



MAIN REASON FOR JOURNEY

The three main reasons for journey in 1999-2000 remained unchanged compared to 1979-80. In 1999-2000, the majority of all short-term visitors to Australia came for a holiday (56%), to visit friends or relatives1 (19%), or for business reasons (10%). In 1979-80, these proportions were 39%, 29%, and 13%, respectively. Overall in 1999-2000, holiday-makers were younger (a median age of 35.8 years) compared to those visiting friends or relatives (43.9 years) or those who came for business (40.8 years). For short-term visitor arrivals from each of the top 10 source countries, a similar age pattern was noted, except for Japan, the United States of America and South Korea, where those visiting friends or relatives had the youngest median age. In the same year, holiday-makers and people visiting friends or relatives were largely female, except for holiday-makers from the United Kingdom and Germany, where males exceeded females. Those who came for business were predominantly male, with the sex ratio as high as 898 males per 100 females among visitors from Germany.

1 In 1994, changes to the incoming passenger card resulted in 'Visiting relatives' reason for journey expanding to include 'Visting friends'.


MEDIAN AGE AND SEX RATIO, By Main Reason For Journey

HOLIDAY
BUSINESS
VISITING FRIENDS OR RELATIVES
TOTAL




Median
Median
Median
Median
age
Sex
age
Sex
age
Sex
age
Sex
Country of residence
(years)
ratio
(years)
ratio
(years)
ratio
(years)
ratio

New Zealand
39.9
91.0
41.3
321.5
42.7
71.6
40.5
107.9
Japan
30.8
79.7
41.2
830.8
29.7
56.6
31.1
85.6
United Kingdom
34.4
105.7
40.7
560.9
50.0
80.5
39.6
108.2
United States of America
47.2
88.8
42.5
397.0
39.8
80.4
42.6
114.3
Singapore
34.1
85.7
39.4
427.2
40.5
85.5
34.9
104.9
Hong Kong
36.0
84.3
38.6
352.2
42.1
98.8
36.5
104.8
Germany
40.0
109.9
40.7
898.1
43.3
77.3
39.7
117.6
Malaysia
36.5
88.4
38.5
438.6
46.1
70.1
36.5
98.2
Taiwan
34.7
70.3
39.7
273.1
42.5
81.3
34.5
77.6
Korea, South
38.5
82.8
38.0
784.4
35.2
75.3
35.8
102.1
All countries
35.8
90.2
40.8
427.4
43.9
78.3
37.4
106.6




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