3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Dec 2016 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2017   
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MAIN FEATURES COMMENTARY


REBASED POPULATION ESTIMATES


IMPROVEMENTS DUE TO THE 2016 CENSUS

After each Census of Population and Housing (Census), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) uses the new information to update the estimated resident population (ERP) of Australia and its states and territories. In this issue, the ABS has used the 2016 Census of Population and Housing to produce preliminary rebased estimates of the resident population.

The rebasing process creates a new base population estimate for 30 June 2016, and forms a more accurate base from which to estimate out until the next Census. The rebasing process also updates all previously published estimates from 30 September 2011 to 30 June 2016 (the recent intercensal period). The difference between these two series of population estimates is referred to as the intercensal difference, and is shown in the graph below.

Census based population estimates, Australia
Graph: Census based population estimates, Australia


The growth in Australia's population has two main components: natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and migration. The intercensal difference can be considered as a separate component. Intercensal difference cannot be reliably attributed to any other component of population change and is assumed to accumulate evenly over the intercensal period.

The preliminary rebased population estimates released in this issue will be updated to produce final rebased estimates in the December quarter 2017 issue of this publication (for release June 2018). For further information, refer to the following feature article Rebasing of Australia's Population Estimates Using the 2016 Census.


FIVE YEARS OF POPULATION CHANGE - THE RECENT INTERCENSAL PERIOD


POPULATION AND GROWTH (2011 TO 2016)

The preliminary rebased ERP of Australia at 30 June 2016 was 24,210,800 persons, an increase over the most recent intercensal period (2011-2016) of 1,870,800. During this five-year period, the population grew by 8.4% compared with 9.2% for the previous intercensal period (2006-2011) where growth was 1,889,100.

At 30 June 2016, the preliminary rebased ERP for the states and territories were as follows:
  • New South Wales 7,739,300;
  • Victoria 6,179,200;
  • Queensland 4,848,900;
  • South Australia 1,713,100;
  • Western Australia 2,559,000;
  • Tasmania 517,600;
  • Northern Territory 245,700; and
  • Australian Capital Territory 403,500.

Over the last five years (2011-2016), all states and territories experienced population growth. Victoria experienced the fastest growth, increasing by 11.6%. This was followed by the Australian Capital Territory (9.6%), Western Australia (8.7%), Queensland (8.3%), New South Wales (7.2%), the Northern Territory (6.2%), South Australia (4.5%) and then Tasmania with the slowest growth (1.2%).

Total Population Growth, Intercensal periods - 2006 to 2016
Graph: Total Population Growth, Intercensal periods—2006 to 2016


The national average annual growth rate for the five-year period from June 2011 to June 2016 was 1.6%. This was higher than the 20-year average (1996-2016) of 1.4% and lower than the previous five-year average (2006-2011) of 1.8%.

Over the recent intercensal period, the average annual growth rates for the states and territories from highest to lowest were as follows: Victoria 2.2%, the Australian Capital Territory 1.9%, Western Australia 1.7%, Queensland 1.6%, New South Wales 1.4%, the Northern Territory 1.2%, South Australia 0.9% and Tasmania 0.2%.


COMPONENTS OF POPULATION CHANGE

During the past five years, natural increase contributed 785,200 persons to Australia's total population growth, compared to 780,300 in the previous intercensal period. Net overseas migration (NOM), on the other hand, contributed 1,005,100 persons, compared to 1,186,400 in the previous intercensal period.

Although all states and territories experienced positive population growth over the previous five-year period, the proportion attributed to each component varied considerably between the states and territories.

Population Components, Proportion of total growth (a) - 5 years ended 30 June 2016
Graph: Population Components, Proportion of total growth (a)—5 years ended 30 June 2016



Natural increase

For the five-year period 2011 to 2016 natural increase was the main contributor to population growth for Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Births

The number of births in Australia during the recent intercensal period (1,547,400) was 4.0% higher than the previous intercensal period (1,487,600). Births during this period increased in all states and territories, except for New South Wales (down 0.1%) and Tasmania (down 9.8%). The largest increase occurred in the Australian Capital Territory (13.3%), followed by Western Australia (12.3%), Victoria (9.1%), the Northern Territory (3.0%), South Australia (2.1%) and Queensland (2.0%).

Deaths

The number of deaths recorded in Australia during the recent intercensal period (762,200) was 7.8% higher than the previous intercensal period (707,300). Deaths during this period increased in all states and territories, with the largest increase occurring in the Northern Territory (11.8%). This was followed by Western Australia (9.9%), the Australian Capital Territory (9.4%), Queensland (8.3%), New South Wales (7.9%), Victoria (7.2%), Tasmania (6.5%) and South Australia (5.1%).


Net overseas migration

For the five-year period of 2011 to 2016, NOM was the main contributor to population growth for New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

NOM caused major changes in growth rates over the five-year period. At the start of the intercensal period (September 2011), Australia's annual growth rate was 1.5%. This annual growth rate increased to a peak of 1.8% in 2012 and then decreased to a low of 1.4% in 2015. At the end of the intercensal period (June 2016), the annual growth rate increased to 1.5%.

All states and territories recorded positive NOM in the recent intercensal period. The Northern Territory (up 54.9%) was the only state or territory where NOM increased compared with the previous intercensal period. All other states and territories recorded a decrease, with the largest decrease being recorded in Queensland (35.0%). This was followed by Tasmania (27.1%), South Australia (25.7%), Western Australia (19.2%), the Australian Capital Territory (8.7%), Victoria (8.0%) and New South Wales (6.3%).


Net interstate migration

Preliminary estimates show there were 1,747,800 interstate movements during the past five years, which is 3,500 less than the previous intercensal period (1,751,300 movements). As illustrated in the previous graph, net interstate migration was not the major contributor to population growth in any state or territory.

Between June 2011 and June 2016, Queensland recorded the highest yearly gain in interstate migration, increasing its population by 43,000 persons in the process. This was followed by Victoria (42,600) and Western Australia (11,100).

The remaining states and territories lost population through interstate migration over the same five-year period with New South Wales losing the most at 57,300, followed by South Australia (19,500), the Northern Territory (11,700), Tasmania (6,200) and the Australian Capital Territory (2,000).

Over the last five years the largest interstate movement was the 212,700 persons moving from New South Wales to Queensland. The next biggest flow was persons going the other way, with 179,400 moving from Queensland to New South Wales. The next largest movement was those persons moving from New South Wales to Victoria (126,700).

The above analysis on net interstate migration is based on preliminary results and will be revised in the December Quarter 2017 issue of this publication. For more information see paragraphs 20-23 of the Explanatory Notes.

Interstate Migration, Arrivals, Departures and Net - State and territories - 5 years ended 30 June 2016
Graph: Interstate Migration, Arrivals, Departures and Net—State and territories—5 years ended 30 June 2016



AGE COMPOSITION AND SEX RATIOS - THE PAST 20 YEARS


AGE COMPOSITION

Australia's population continued to age over the last 20 years (1996-2016) with the median age increasing from 34.0 years to 37.3 years. The proportion of persons aged 65 and over increased from 12.0% of the total population in 1996 to 15.2% in 2016, while the proportion aged 85 and over almost doubled during this time, from 1.1% to 2.0%. In contrast, over the last 20 years, the proportion of the population aged 0-14 decreased, from 21.4% in 1996 to 18.9% in 2016.

The median age increased for every state and territory. Tasmania, with the oldest population in 2016, recorded the largest increase in its median age, increasing from 34.6 years in 1996 to 42.0 years in 2016. The Northern Territory, with the youngest population, recorded an increase in its median age from 27.8 years in 1996 to 32.4 years in 2016.

In 2016, Tasmania had the largest proportion of its population aged 65 years and over at 18.7%, and the Northern Territory had the lowest at 6.9%. South Australia has the largest proportion aged 85 years and over.

The proportion of the populations aged 65 years and over increased in all states and territories during 1996-2016, with the largest increase occurring in Tasmania (12.7% to 18.7%). South Australia had the largest increase in the proportion of persons aged 85 years and over (1.3% to 2.6%).

The Northern Territory continued to have the largest proportion aged 0-14 years at 21.8%, which reflects a decrease from 27.1% in 1996 and follows a national downward trend.

Age Composition and Median Ages of the Population, At 30 June

0-14 years
15-64 years
65 years and over
85 years and over
Median age
1996
2011
2016
1996
2011
2016
1996
2011
2016
1996
2011
2016
1996
2011
2016
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
years
years
years

NSW
21.2
18.9
18.8
66.2
66.5
65.5
12.6
14.5
15.7
1.1
2.0
2.1
34.4
37.6
37.6
Vic.
20.8
18.3
18.5
66.7
67.6
66.5
12.5
14.0
15.0
1.2
1.9
2.1
34.3
37.2
36.9
Qld
22.0
19.9
19.7
66.8
67.1
65.6
11.2
13.0
14.7
1.0
1.6
1.8
33.3
36.6
37.0
SA
20.3
17.7
17.8
65.7
66.3
64.5
14.0
16.0
17.7
1.3
2.3
2.6
35.6
39.5
39.9
WA
22.3
19.3
19.4
67.4
68.6
67.1
10.4
12.2
13.5
1.0
1.5
1.6
33.1
36.2
36.3
Tas.
22.3
18.8
18.1
64.9
65.2
63.2
12.7
16.1
18.7
1.1
2.0
2.2
34.6
40.4
42.0
NT
27.1
22.8
21.8
69.6
71.7
71.3
3.2
5.6
6.9
0.2
0.3
0.4
27.8
31.3
32.4
ACT
22.0
18.2
18.9
70.7
71.2
68.9
7.3
10.6
12.2
0.5
1.3
1.5
31.3
34.4
34.7
Aust.(a)
21.4
19.0
18.9
66.6
67.2
65.9
12.0
13.8
15.2
1.1
1.8
2.0
34.0
37.2
37.3

(a) Includes Other Territories - see paragraph 2 of the Explanatory Notes.



Sex ratio

The proportion of males to females in the population has also been changing over time.

Over the last 20 years the sex ratio (the number of males to every 100 females) of the Australian population has decreased from 99.0 in 1996 to 98.5 in 2016. In 1996, populations in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland all contained more males than females. By 30 June 2016 only the Northern Territory and Western Australia had more males.

Sex Ratios of the Population at 30 June(a)

1996
2001
2006
2011
2016
ratio
ratio
ratio
ratio
ratio

NSW
98.6
98.6
98.1
98.7
98.2
Vic.
97.6
97.0
97.8
98.0
97.9
Qld
100.4
99.1
99.6
99.6
98.3
SA
97.9
97.7
97.5
98.1
97.9
WA
101.1
100.2
101.8
101.4
100.9
Tas.
97.6
97.1
97.2
99.3
97.7
NT
111.0
109.7
107.9
110.6
105.9
ACT
98.5
97.4
97.9
98.9
98.8
Aust.(b)
99.0
98.4
98.7
99.1
98.5

(a) Sex ratio is the number of males per 100 females.
(b) Includes Other Territories - see paragraph 2 of the Explanatory Notes.


Over the last five years the national sex ratio has decreased slightly from 99.1 in 2011 to 98.5 in 2016. Sex ratios decreased in all states and territories. In June 2016, Tasmania recorded the lowest sex ratio at 97.7 males per 100 females whereas the Northern Territory had remained the highest at 105.9.


ANNUAL POPULATION CHANGE - YEAR ENDING 31 DECEMBER 2016


AUSTRALIA: POPULATION AND GROWTH

The preliminary estimated resident population (ERP) of Australia at 31 December 2016 was 24,385,600 people. This is an increase of 372,800 people since 31 December 2015 and 78,400 people since 30 September 2016.

The annual population growth rate for the year ended 31 December 2016 was 1.6%.

ANNUAL POPULATION GROWTH RATE(a)(b), Australia
Graph: ANNUAL POPULATION GROWTH RATE(a)(b), Australia



COMPONENTS OF POPULATION CHANGE

The growth of Australia's population is comprised of: natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths), net overseas migration (NOM) and intercensal difference. Intercensal difference has been calculated in the preliminary rebasing process.

The contribution to population growth for the year ended 31 December 2016 was higher from NOM (56.0%) than from natural increase (40.9%). The remainder is due to intercensal difference.

COMPONENTS OF ANNUAL POPULATION GROWTH(a)(b), Australia
Graph: COMPONENTS OF ANNUAL POPULATION GROWTH(a)(b), Australia



Natural Increase

The preliminary estimate of natural increase for the year ended 31 December 2016 was 152,600 people, an increase of 6.5%, or 9,300 people, compared with natural increase for the year ended 31 December 2015 (143,300 people).

Births

The preliminary estimate of births for the year ended 31 December 2016 (311,100 births) increased by 8,600 births from the year ended 31 December 2015 (302,500 births).

Deaths

The preliminary estimate of deaths for the year ended 31 December 2016 (158,500 deaths) decreased by 700 deaths from the year ended 31 December 2015 (159,200 deaths).


Net Overseas Migration

For the year ended 31 December 2016, Australia's preliminary net overseas migration (NOM) estimate was 209,000 people. This was 16.5% (29,700 people) higher than the net overseas migration estimated for the year ended 31 December 2015 (179,300 people).

NOM arrivals increased by 8.5% (40,700 people) between the years ended 31 December 2015 (480,500 people) and 31 December 2016 (521,200 people).

NOM departures increased by 3.7% (11,000 people) between the years ended 31 December 2015 (301,200 people) and 31 December 2016 (312,200 people).

The preliminary NOM estimate for the December quarter 2016 (46,500 people) was 27.5% (10,000 people) higher than the estimate for the December quarter 2015 (36,500 people).


STATES AND TERRITORIES: POPULATION AND GROWTH

The preliminary ERP for each state and territory at 31 December 2016 was as follows:
  • New South Wales 7,797,800;
  • Victoria 6,244,200;
  • Queensland 4,883,700;
  • South Australia 1,717,000;
  • Western Australia 2,567,800;
  • Tasmania 519,100;
  • Northern Territory 245,000; and
  • Australian Capital Territory 406,400.

Positive population growth occurred in all states and territories in the year ended 31 December 2016. Victoria recorded the fastest growth rate of all states and territories at 2.4%. The Northern Territory recorded the slowest growth rate at 0.3%.


COMPONENTS OF POPULATION CHANGE

At the state and territory level, population growth has four components: natural increase, net overseas migration (NOM), net interstate migration and intercensal difference. Intercensal difference has been calculated in the preliminary rebasing process.

Although all states and territories experienced positive population growth in the year ended 31 December 2016, the proportion that each of these components contributed to population growth varied between the states and territories.

For the year ended 31 December 2016, natural increase was the major contributor to population change in Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. NOM was the major contributor to population change in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. Net interstate migration losses occurred in all states and territories except Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.


Natural Increase

Births

Compared with the previous year, the total number of births registered for the year ended 31 December 2016 increased in all states and territories except New South Wales (down 0.7%), the Northern Territory (down 2.6%) and the Australian Capital Territory (down 5.6%).

The largest percentage increase was recorded in Victoria, increasing by 11.9% (8,800 births). This was followed by Tasmania (6.1%) and South Australia (1.2%). For more information, see table 13.

Deaths

The total number of deaths registered for the year ended 31 December 2016 decreased in the Northern Territory (down 11.7%), Victoria (down 3.6%), South Australia (down 1.1%) and Tasmania (down 0.2%).

The Australian Capital Territory recorded the largest percentage increase at 2.1% (100 deaths). This was followed by Western Australia (1.8%), New South Wales (1.2%) and Queensland (0.7%). For more information, see table 14.

Preliminary estimates of births and deaths are subject to fluctuations caused by lags or accumulations in the reporting of birth and death registrations (for more information see paragraphs 10-11 of the Explanatory Notes).


Net Overseas Migration

All states and territories recorded positive NOM for the year ending 31 December 2016. Compared with the previous year, NOM increased in Queensland (up 25.1%), New South Wales (up 20.8%%), Victoria (up 18.1%), and Tasmania (up 16.0%). All other states and territories recorded decreases in NOM when compared with the previous year. The largest percentage decrease in NOM was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory at 12.2% (300 people). This was followed by the Northern Territory which decreased by 8.7% (100 people), Western Australia by 3.2% (400 people) and South Australia which decreased by 2.9% (by 300 people). For more information, see table 16.

NOM arrivals

The number of NOM arrivals for the year ended 31 December 2016 increased in Victoria (up 12.1%), New South Wales (up 11.3%), Tasmania (up 9.9%), Queensland (up 6.9%) and the Australian Capital Territory (up 1.4%). The largest percentage decreases in NOM arrivals was recorded in the Northern Territory at 4.3% (300 people). This was followed by Western Australia at 1.1% (600 people) and South Australia at 0.4% (100 people). For more information, see table 16.

NOM departures

Compared with the previous year, the number of NOM departures for the year ended 31 December 2016 increased in Tasmania (up 7.4%), Victoria (up 6.9%), the Australian Capital Territory (up 6.5%), New South Wales (up 4.6%), South Australia (up 1.7%) and Queensland (up 1.6%). The largest percentage decrease was recorded in the Northern Territory at 3.5%. This was followed by Western Australia at 0.4%. For more information, see table 16.


Net Interstate Migration

In the year ended 31 December 2016, Victoria, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania recorded net interstate migration gains. Victoria continued a recent trend of having the highest net gain with 18,000 people, up from 13,000 people in the year ended 31 December 2015. This was followed by Queensland (14,700 people), the Australian Capital Territory (600 people) and Tasmania (500 people). Net losses from interstate migration were recorded in New South Wales (12,800 people), Western Australia (10,800), South Australia (6,900 people) and the Northern Territory (3,200 people). For more information, see table 17.

Interstate Migration, Arrivals, Departures and Net - States and territories - year ending December 2016
Graph: Interstate Migration, Arrivals, Departures and Net—States and territories—year ending December 2016