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3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/09/2003   
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MARCH QTR KEY FIGURES


PRELIMINARY DATA
Population at end
Mar qtr 2003
Change over previous year
'000
'000
%

New South Wales
6,691.8
60.8
0.9
Victoria
4,929.8
68.5
1.4
Queensland
3,774.3
88.0
2.4
South Australia
1,528.2
9.5
0.6
Western Australia
1,951.3
29.8
1.5
Tasmania
476.2
3.6
0.8
Northern Territory
197.1
-0.4
-0.2
Australian Capital Territory
323.8
2.3
0.7
Australia(a)
19,875.0
262.0
1.3

(a) Includes Other Territories comprising Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.


Graph - Population growth Time series

Graph - Population growth rate, states and territories


MARCH QTR KEY POINTS

ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION
  • The preliminary estimated resident population of Australia at March 2003 was 19,875,000 persons, an increase of 262,000 persons since March 2002 and 88,500 persons since December 2002.
  • Natural increase for the March quarter 2003 was 28,100 persons, a 9% decrease on March quarter 2002 and an 8% decrease on December quarter 2002.
  • Care should be exercised in using preliminary net overseas migration data (see net overseas migration in the Main Features below).

POPULATION GROWTH RATES

  • The Australian population grew 0.4% in the March quarter 2003 and 1.3% in the 12 months ended March 2003.
  • In the March quarter 2003 all states and the Australian Capital Territory had positive population growth. Queensland and Western Australia recorded the highest growth rates, each 0.6%. The Northern Territory recorded negative growth at -0.1%.
  • Similarly, for the year ended March 2003 all states and the Australian Capital Territory had positive growth rates. Queensland recorded the highest growth rate at 2.4% while growth for the Northern Territory was negative at -0.2%.

NOTES

INTRODUCTION

All estimated resident population (ERP) data in this publication are based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing (2001 census). Exceptions are tables 8 (excluding 2001 estimates), 17, 18 and 19 which are still based on the 1996 Census of Population and Housing (1996 census).

A cautionary note on net overseas migration is provided in the Main Features below.

CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

The layout and content of this publication has changed. The major changes are detailed below.

Additional information

  • Quarterly components of population change, rates (table 3).
  • Projected resident Australian population, selected years, 2006 to 2051 (table 7).

Availability of discontinued data

Please note that the data provided in the above mentioned publications may not be in the exact format previously available from Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).

Customised requests may also be met. For further information telephone the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or email <client.services@abs.gov.au>.

Household estimates

Household estimates in tables 17, 18 and 19 are currently under review.

DATA STATUS

At any point in time this publication contains final, revised and preliminary data. Please see Explanatory Note 4 for the status of data in this issue.

DATA BASED ON 1996 CENSUS

Tables 8 (excluding 2001 estimates), 17, 18 and 19 are based on the 1996 census.

MAIN FEATURES

INTRODUCTION

The preliminary estimated resident population (ERP) of Australia at March 2003 was 19,875,000 persons, an increase of 262,000 persons since March 2002 and 88,500 persons since December 2002. The national growth rate during the 12 months ended March 2003 was 1.3%, the same as the growth rate for the previous 12 months.

COMPONENTS OF AUSTRALIA'S POPULATION CHANGE

The growth in population has two components; natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and net overseas migration (net permanent and long-term movement plus an adjustment for category jumping1).

Natural increase

In March quarter 2003 natural increase was 28,100 persons, a 9% decrease on March quarter 2002 and an 8% decrease on December quarter 2002. The number of births registered in March quarter 2003 was 3,500 lower than in March quarter 2002 and 6,800 lower than in December quarter 2002. The number of deaths registered in March quarter 2003 was 700 less than in March quarter 2002 and 4,300 less than in December quarter 2002.

Natural increase for the year ended March 2003 was 113,200 persons, a decrease of 2,000 persons on the number recorded in the year ended March 2002 (115,300). Births contributed 246,700 babies and deaths removed 133,500 persons from the population in the year ended March 2003.

Net overseas migration

ABS recommends that caution should be exercised when using the net overseas migration data in this publication. The reasons for this are detailed below.

Overseas arrival and departure statistics are compiled from information provided on passenger cards completed by travellers arriving in or departing from Australia, and other information (e.g. visa category) provided by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

There are two main contributors to net overseas migration:

  • Net permanent movement (net of migrants to Australia and Australian residents departing permanently); and,
  • Net long-term movement (net of overseas visitors staying in Australia for more than 12 months and their departure, and Australian residents departing for more than 12 months and their return).

Length of stay in Australia for overseas visitors arriving is determined by the intended length of stay as reported on arrival in Australia. Similarly, length of stay overseas for Australian residents departing is based on the intended length of stay away as reported on departure from Australia. Changes between travellers intended and actual duration of stay (as measured with the subsequent movement across Australia's border) may result in a change in category of movement and is represented by a statistical adjustment term, 'category jumping' (see Glossary).

Net overseas migration is the difference between the number of permanent and long-term arrivals and the number of permanent and long-term departures plus an adjustment for category jumping.

In recent years there have been substantial changes in the patterns of passenger travel into and out of Australia, and this, combined with changes to passenger card design in July 1998, caused the ABS to become concerned about the quality of the adjustment used for category jumping. In March 2003, category jumping was set to zero from September quarter 1997 onwards, being 12 months before the introduction of a new passenger card design (see Demography Working Paper 2003/1 - Estimated Resident Population and the Measurement of Category Jumping).

The results of the 2001 census corrected for any measurement errors in net overseas migration on the estimated resident population up until 30 June 2001.

Historically, category jumping has oscillated around zero. However, it is now expected that category jumping will tend to be negative, resulting in an overstatement of net overseas migration. For example, international students arriving for long-term stays, may leave the country for short breaks and return for long-term stays again. These people will, in certain circumstances, be added to the population multiple times. Similarly, Australians working long-term overseas, but returning to Australia for short breaks, may be taken out of the population multiple times. Overall, travel patterns are such that multiple inclusions are expected to predominate over multiple exclusions.

The ABS is developing a new model for estimating category jumping. Initial indications are that this estimate will be negative and may be up to -20,000 for the full financial year 2001-02. The figure will vary by quarter, and might be slightly higher than average for the March quarter as there is a seasonal high in student arrivals in Australia in the March quarter. Just over half of all long-term arrivals for education in a year arrive in the March quarter.

The ABS is intending to release revised estimates of net overseas migration in the June 2003 edition of this publication to be released on 11 December 2003. This is expected to result in a downward revision in the levels of net overseas migration as reported in Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) from September quarter 2001 onwards.

STATES AND TERRITORIES

Queensland prisoners

An error has been detected in the 2001 census count in Queensland in regards to the male and female prisoner populations. The error meant that female prisoners were incorrectly counted as male and male prisoners counted as female. This does not impact on Statistical Local Area (SLA), state or national ERPs but affects the sex ratios, particularly in SLAs with prisons.

The ABS is examining ways in which to implement the corrections with the aim to incorporate any changes by December 2003. This will include some changes to demographic and census information. The main items impacted by the error are statistics for selected SLAs and to a lesser degree population projections, fertility rates and sex ratios for Australia and Queensland.

Population

The population of Australia's states and territories at March 2003 was as follows: New South Wales 6,691,800, Victoria 4,929,800, Queensland 3,774,300, South Australia 1,528,200, Western Australia 1,951,300, Tasmania 476,200, Northern Territory 197,100 and the Australian Capital Territory 323,800.

Growth rates

With the exception of the Northern Territory all states and the Australian Capital Territory recorded positive growth in the March quarter 2003. Queensland and Western Australia recorded the highest growth (each 0.6%) followed by Victoria (0.5%), Tasmania (0.4%) and New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (each 0.3%). The Northern Territory recorded a loss (-0.1%). The Northern Territory loss was mainly due to increased interstate migration losses (-1,200).

Similarly, for the year ended March 2003 the Northern Territory was the only state or territory to record negative growth (-0.2%). The highest positive growth was recorded by Queensland (2.4%) and the lowest by South Australia (0.6%).

Interstate migration

In March quarter 2003 Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania all recorded net interstate migration gains. While Queensland and Victoria have increased population by net interstate migration for a number of years this was only the second quarterly increase experienced by Tasmania since September quarter 1991 (100 persons). The other increase was in December quarter 2002. Queensland had a gain of 7,700 persons, Victoria 1,200 persons and Tasmania 800 persons. New South Wales lost the highest number of persons (-7,100) followed by the Northern Territory (-1,200), South Australia (-500) and Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (each -400).

This quarterly pattern was reflected in net interstate migration for the year ended March 2003. Gains were recorded for Queensland (37,800), Victoria (2,400) and Tasmania (800) while losses were recorded for New South Wales (-30,700), Northern Territory (-3,600), Western Australia (-3,500), South Australia (-1,800) and the Australian Capital Territory (-1,500).

Graph - Interstate migration, States and territories


1 Category jumping relates to those persons who change their travel arrangements from short-term to permanent/long-term or vice versa.



TABLE 1 - POPULATION CHANGE, Summary(a)

COMPONENTS OF POPULATION CHANGE
POPULATION


Net permanent
Net
Growth on
Growth on
and long-term
Category
overseas
previous
previous
Natural
movement
jumping
migration
At end
year
year
Births
Deaths
increase
(b)
(b)
(b)
of period
(c)
(c)
Period
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
%

1996-97
253.7
127.3
126.4
94.4
-7.3
87.1
18,517.6
206.9
1.13
1997-98
249.1
129.3
119.9
79.2
-
79.2
18,711.3
193.7
1.05
1998-99
250.0
128.3
121.7
96.5
-
96.5
18,925.9
214.6
1.15
1999-2000
249.3
128.4
120.9
107.3
-
107.3
19,153.4
227.5
1.20
2000-01
247.5
128.9
118.6
135.7
-
135.7
19,413.2
259.9
1.36
2001-02
246.3
130.5
115.9
133.7
-
133.7
19,662.8
249.5
1.29
1997
251.1
128.8
122.3
83.7
-11.3
72.4
18,609.1
188.8
1.02
1998
248.3
127.4
120.8
88.8
-
88.8
18,814.3
205.2
1.10
1999
250.2
128.2
122.0
104.2
-
104.2
19,038.3
224.1
1.19
2000
249.2
128.8
120.4
111.4
-
111.4
19,272.6
234.3
1.23
2001
245.5
129.7
115.7
140.3
-
140.3
19,531.5
258.8
1.34
2002
250.2
134.2
116.1
139.0
-
139.0
19,786.6
255.1
1.31
2001
    March
60.6
29.2
31.4
54.8
-
54.8
19,360.2
251.7
1.32
    June
61.3
32.1
29.2
22.4
-
22.4
19,413.2
259.9
1.36
    September
62.8
36.2
26.6
35.7
-
35.7
19,475.5
261.3
1.36
    December
60.7
32.2
28.5
27.5
-
27.5
19,531.5
258.8
1.34
2002
    March
60.5
29.6
30.9
50.6
-
50.6
19,613.0
252.7
1.31
    June
62.2
32.4
29.8
20.0
-
20.0
19,662.8
249.5
1.29
    September
63.7
38.9
24.8
39.9
-
39.9
19,727.5
252.0
1.29
December
63.8
33.2
30.6
28.5
-
28.5
19,786.6
255.1
1.31
2003
    March
57.0
28.9
28.1
60.4
-
60.4
19,875.0
262.0
1.34

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

(a) See Explanatory Notes for concepts used and the Glossary for definitions of terms used. Includes Other Territories from September 1993 - see paragraph 2 of the Explanatory Notes.
(b) ABS recommends use with caution, see Main Features above.
(c) Differences between total growth and the sum of natural increase and net migration during 1996-2001 are due to intercensal discrepancy.


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