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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Population >> Introduction

Population statistics are measures of the size, growth, composition and distribution of the population as well as the components that shape population change. Although population statistics are not in themselves indicators of wellbeing, they underpin the discussion of a wide range of issues relating to the population, including immigration, cultural diversity, ageing and population sustainability.

The changing size and distribution of Australia's population have implications for service provision and delivery in areas such as health, education, housing and the labour market. Population trends underlie many social changes and assist in the planning of social and economic policy. The size, composition and distribution of the population are also important with respect to environmental issues and outcomes.

The principal source of data on the Australian population is the Census of Population and Housing, which has been conducted at five-yearly intervals since 1961. The most recent census was in 2001, and some results from it are included in this section.

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