The estimated resident population of Western Australia at 30 June 2002 was 1,927,000 representing an increase of 26,200 persons, or 1.4%, since 30 June 2001.
Almost three quarters (73%) of the state population resided in the Perth Statistical Division, this proportion having remained virtually unchanged since 1991.
In the 12 months to June 2002, the Kimberley Statistical Division recorded the greatest proportional increase in population of 3.3% (1,100 persons), followed by the South West Statistical Division, 2.5% (4,800 persons). The Perth Statistical Division population increased by 1.5% (20,600 persons). Five statistical divisions recorded very small proportional decreases, the largest being in the Upper Great Southern, with 0.9% (170 persons).
The population of Western Australia, like the Australian population in general, has been ageing steadily over the last two decades. The median age of the Western Australian population rose from 28.8 years in 1982 to 35.2 in 2002. In comparison, the median age of the Australian population rose from 29.9 years to 35.9 years over the same period.
Among the statistical divisions in Western Australia, the Lower Great Southern and Midlands recorded the highest median age (37.5 years). The median age in the Perth Statistical Division was 35.3 years, with two of its long-established areas, Claremont and Fremantle-Inner, recording a median age over 40 years. Outside Perth, 10 statistical local areas had a median age over 40 years. These were Beverley, Boyup Brook, Bruce Rock, Gingin, Koorda, Murray, Nannup, Sandstone, Toodyay and York.
Lower median ages occurred in the remote northern and eastern parts of the state, with the Kimberley having the lowest median age (28.6 years) of any statistical division. This reflects the younger "working age" profile of the population and the relatively large proportion of Indigenous residents, who have generally higher fertility rates and lower life expectancy. These trends were mirrored in statistical local areas such as Coolgardie, Derby-West Kimberley, East Pilbara, Halls Creek, Mullewa, Murchison and Ngaanyatjarraku. All of these areas had a median age under 30 years.
CHILDREN AGED 0-14 YEARS
In 2002, children aged 0-14 years formed 20.7% of the population of the state, slightly higher than the national figure of 20.3%. In the 12 months to June 2002, the number of people in this age group decreased at the state and national levels by 0.5% and 0.1% respectively.
The statistical divisions with the largest proportion of children were the Kimberley and the Pilbara, each with 27% of the population in this age group, while the smallest proportion occurred in the Perth Statistical Division (20%).
For statistical local areas, the smallest proportions of children were recorded in inner city areas, notably Perth - Remainder (6%), Perth - Inner (7%), Fremantle - Inner (7%), Victoria Park (12%) and Subiaco, Vincent and South Perth (all 13%). Outside the Perth Statistical Division, the Shire of Wiluna recorded the smallest proportion of children (13%). The largest proportions of children were recorded in Murchison, Halls Creek and Mullewa, all of which had more than 30% of the population in this age group. Within the Perth Statistical Division, Wanneroo - North-West had the largest proportion of residents aged 0-14 years (28%).
PEOPLE AGED 15-64 YEARS
In the 12 months to June 2002, the number of people in the 15-64 year age group ("working age") in Western Australia grew by 1.7% to an estimated 1,312,000 persons, representing 68% of the total state population. Nationally, the number of people in this age group grew by 1.5% over the same period.
Among the statistical divisions, the Pilbara had the largest proportion of people in this age group (71%) while the Lower Great Southern and the South West had the smallest proportions (both around 64%).
Overall, 69% of the population of the Perth Statistical Division was in this age group. However, the proportions were larger in the inner city areas of Perth - Inner (84%), Perth - Remainder (83%) and Fremantle - Inner (81%). Wanneroo - North-West had the smallest proportion (63%) of "working age" people in the Perth Statistical Division.
Mining operations in remote statistical local areas such as Wiluna, Yalgoo, Laverton and Leonora resulted in these areas having larger proportions of "working age" adults relative to children and older persons (84%, 78%, 78% and 77% respectively). Across the state, the statistical local areas of Trayning and Kellerberrin had the smallest proportion of people in the 15-64 age group (both 60%).
OLDER PEOPLE AGED 65 YEARS AND OVER
In the 12 months to June 2002, the number of older people (aged 65 years and over) in Western Australia rose by 3%, compared with 2.2% nationally. In this age group, the number of females exceeded the number of males in the Western Australian population, with 81.3 males for every 100 females.
In June 2002, people aged 65 years and over accounted for 11% of the state population. The largest proportions were in the statistical divisions of the South West and Lower Great Southern (both over 13%). In contrast, the Pilbara and the Kimberley had only 2% and 4% of their respective populations in this age group.
Within the Perth Statistical Division, Claremont and Victoria Park, two established residential areas close to the central business district, had the highest proportion of older people (18% and 17% respectively) while Joondalup - North, on the northern fringe of the metropolitan region, had the smallest proportion (6%).
Across the state, the statistical local areas of Albany - Central, Mandurah and Kellerberrin had relatively high concentrations of people in this age group (18% or more). The smallest proportions occurred in the Shires of Ashburton, Roebourne , Coolgardie, East Pilbara, Port Hedland and Wiluna (3% or under).
OLDER PEOPLE AGED 85 YEARS AND OVER
In June 2002, people aged 85 years and over accounted for 1.3% of the total state population and 11% of those aged 65 years and over.
In the 12 months to June 2002, the number of people in this age group rose by 4.7% compared with 5.7% nationally. In the five years to June 2002, the number of people aged 85 years and over in Western Australia increased by nearly one-third (31%). This compares with a total population increase of only 7% over the same period. The growth in this age group reflects the increased life expectancy of both men and women. In June 2002, there were more than twice as many females (16,700) as males (7,500) aged 85 years and over.
Only four statistical local areas had more than 3% of their population aged 85 years and over; Victoria Park, Claremont, Stirling - South-Eastern and Nedlands. However, there were 37 statistical local areas where the proportion of the population in this age group was less than 1%. Only two of these, Fremantle - Inner and Wanneroo - North-West, were within the Perth Statistical Division.
In June 2002, the sex ratio (number of males per 100 females) for Western Australia was 100.1, with 964,300 males and 963,000 females. This compares with a sex ratio of 98.4 at the national level. Only the Northern Territory, with 109.9, had a higher sex ratio.
Males outnumbered females in all statistical divisions except Perth where there were 714,500 females and 699,200 males. The sex ratio ranged from 97.9 in Perth to 121.2 in the Pilbara. Within the Perth Statistical Division, the statistical local area of Peppermint Grove had the lowest sex ratio (72.6) and Perth - Inner had the highest (183.9). Outside the Perth Statistical Division, Wiluna had the highest sex ratio (223.4) and Albany - Central the lowest (91.9).
For people in the 15-64 "working age" group, the highest ratio of males to females was in statistical local areas dominated by the mining and pastoral industries, such as Yalgoo, Wiluna and Sandstone (all above 210). The lowest ratios for this age group occurred in Perth, in the established residential areas of Peppermint Grove (70.5) and Mosman Park (91.4), and in the south of the state in Albany - Central (93.7).
This page last updated 20 June 2006