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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Population

POPULATION SIZE AND GROWTH

Australia's estimated resident population (ERP) at 30 June 2010 was 22.3 million, an increase of 1.6% (or 348,000 people) from the previous year (table 7.1).

The ERP figures for Australia and its states and territories are calculated using a base figure obtained from the most recent Census of Population and Housing (currently the 2006 Census). To obtain ERP figures from the Census results, the raw Census population count is adjusted for visitors from overseas and interstate on Census night, Australian residents temporarily overseas on Census night and an estimate of both the number of people missed and those counted more than once. Table 7.1 illustrates the components used to estimate ERP and population change.


7.1 COMPONENTS OF POPULATION CHANGE AND ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION(a)

ERP at start of period
Births
Deaths
Natural increase(b)
Net overseas migration
ERP at end of period
Increase
Increase
Year
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
%

2004–05(c)
20 127.4
255.9
131.4
124.6
123.8
20 394.8
267.4
1.33
2005–06(c)
20 394.8
263.5
134.0
129.5
146.8
20 697.9
303.1
1.49
2006–07
20 697.9
277.7
136.0
141.7
232.8
21 072.5
374.6
1.81
2007–08
21 072.5
289.5
140.7
148.8
277.3
21 498.5
426.1
2.02
2008–09
21 498.5
297.1
143.7
153.3
299.9
21 951.7
453.2
2.11
2009–10(d)
21 951.7
291.2
141.5
149.7
198.3
22 299.8
348.0
1.59

(a) For further information on the components of population change, please refer to the explanatory notes in Australian Demographic Statistics (3101.0).
(b) The excess of births over deaths.
(c) Differences between total increase and the sum of the components of population change prior to September quarter 2006 are due to intercensal discrepancy.
(d) Preliminary estimate.
Source: Australian Demographic Statistics (3101.0).


Over the past ten years, Australia's ERP has grown by 16% or 3.1 million people. The growth of Australia's population has two components: natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) and net overseas migration (the net gain or loss of population through immigration to Australia and emigration from Australia). For state and territory estimates, a third component, net interstate migration, is also included. Since Federation in 1901, Australia's population has increased by 18.5 million people. Graph 7.2 shows the growth in Australia's population since Federation.


Graph 7.2 POPULATION OF AUSTRALIA



Over the last 50 years, population growth has occurred unevenly across the states and territories (table 7.3). Consequently, the proportion of Australia's population resident in each state and territory has changed over time. From 1960 to 2010, the proportion of the Australian population living in the following states decreased: New South Wales (from 37% to 32%), Victoria (from 28% to 25%), South Australia (9.2% to 7.4%) and Tasmania (3.3% to 2.3%). The proportion of Australia's population living in all other states and territories increased over the same period, with Queensland increasing from 15% to 20%, Western Australia from 7.0% to 10.3%, the Australian Capital Territory from 0.5% to 1.6% and the Northern Territory from 0.2% to 1.0%. Western Australia overtook South Australia to become the fourth most populous state in 1982.


7.3 POPULATION, By state and territory(a)(b)

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.(c)
30 June
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

1960
3 832
2 857
1 496
945
722
344
26
52
10 275
1970
4 522
3 445
1 793
1 158
991
388
79
131
12 507
1980
5 172
3 914
2 266
1 308
1 269
424
118
224
14 695
1990
5 834
4 379
2 899
1 432
1 613
462
164
282
17 065
2000
6 486
4 741
3 562
1 505
1 874
471
196
315
19 153
2005
6 756
5 049
3 995
1 553
2 017
486
206
330
20 395
2006
6 816
5 127
4 091
1 568
2 059
490
211
334
20 698
2007
6 905
5 221
4 196
1 586
2 113
493
215
341
21 072
2008
7 015
5 327
4 309
1 604
2 177
498
221
346
21 499
2009
7 127
5 447
4 425
1 625
2 244
503
226
352
21 952
2010
7 222
5 540
4 506
1 644
2 291
507
229
359
22 300

(a) Includes estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population from 1961 onwards.
(b) Prior to 1971, estimates of the population were based on the number of people actually present in Australia. From 1971 onwards, the concept of estimated resident population (ERP) was introduced. See explanatory notes of Australian Demographic Statistics (3101.0) for more information.
(c) Includes Other territories (Jervis Bay territory, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands) from 1998 onwards.
Source: Australian Historical Population Statistics (3105.0.65.001); Australian Demographic Statistics (3101.0).


COMPONENTS OF POPULATION GROWTH

The Australian population has more than doubled from 10.3 million in 1960 to 22.3 million in 2010. Since the start of the ERP measure in 1971, natural increase has been the main component of population growth in Australia. However, in the last five years, net overseas migration has been the larger contributor to population growth. Net overseas migration is more volatile than natural increase, fluctuating under the influence of government policy as well as political, economic and social conditions in Australia and the rest of the world.

Estimates of annual growth at 30 June due to natural increase and net overseas migration from 1972 to 2010 are shown in graph 7.4.


Graph 7.4 Components of population growth, At 30 June



In 1972, the excess of births over deaths resulted in a natural increase of 161,800 persons. Declining fertility led to a fall in natural increase to between 110,000 and 130,000 before peaking at 141,600 in 1991. Natural increase again dropped to a low of 114,400 persons in 2003. In recent years, due to an increase in births, there has been a rise in natural increase to 153,300 persons in 2009 and 149,700 in 2010. Since 2006, net overseas migration has contributed more people to the population than natural increase, adding 198,300 people in 2010.

In 2010, the crude death rate was 6.4 deaths per 1,000 population, falling from 8.3 in 1972. The crude birth rate declined from 19.9 births per 1,000 population in 1972 to 13.0 in 2010. The lowest crude birth rate during this period, 12.4 births per 1,000 population, was recorded in 2004. Crude birth and death rates from 1972 to 2010 are shown in graph 7.5.


Graph 7.5 Crude birth and death rates(a)



POPULATION AGE AND SEX STRUCTURE

Over the last 50 years, the absolute number of people increased in all age groups. However, the proportion of the population in older age groups has increased while the proportion in younger age groups has declined. Graph 7.6 shows the proportions of the population by age group and sex in 1960 and 2010, illustrating the ageing of Australia's population. Australia's population is ageing because of sustained below replacement level fertility, resulting in proportionally fewer children in the population, and increased life expectancy, resulting in proportionally more older people in the population.


7.6 AGE DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION(a)



In 1960, there were 109,600 more males than females in Australia's population, while in 2010 there were 96,500 more females than males. Since 1979, Australia has had more females than males. At 30 June 2010, the sex ratio of Australia's population was 99.1 males per 100 females.

In 1960, the age composition of the Australian population was as follows: people aged 0-14 years represented 30% of Australia's population, 15-64 years 61%, 65 years and over 8.5%, and people aged 85 years and over 0.4%. Although Australia's population continued to grow after 1960, the proportion of children aged 0-14 years decreased to 19% by 2010. In contrast, the proportion of people aged 15-64 years increased to 68% and the proportion of the population aged 65 years or more increased to 13%. The proportion of people aged 85 years and over increased more than four-fold, from 1960 levels, to 1.8% (graph 7.7).


Graph 7.7 Proportion of population, By age group


The change in the age structure of Australia's population over time is illustrated by the change in the median age (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger). In 2010, the median age of the Australian population was 36.9 years, an increase of 4.8 years over the median age of 32.1 years in 1990. Graph 7.8 shows the median ages of the population of the states and territories in 1990 and 2010.

In 2010, the population of Tasmania had the highest median age of all states and territories (39.9 years), closely followed by South Australia (39.2 years). The Northern Territory (31.3 years) had the lowest median age in 2010.

Tasmania experienced the largest increase in median age over the 20 years to 2010, increasing by 7.8 years from 32.1 years in 1990 to 39.9 years in 2010. The next largest increase was South Australia, increasing by 5.9 years, from 33.3 years in 1990 to 39.2 years in 2010.



Graph 7.8 Median age of population



In 2010, there were just over 3.0 million people aged 65 years or more in Australia, an increase of 92,600 people (3.2%) over 2009. All states and territories experienced growth in this age group, with the Northern Territory experiencing the greatest increase (6.6%) (table 7.9).

The number of people aged 85 years and over in Australia has increased by 5.2% from 2009 to 2010, now equalling 394,500. Again, growth in this age group occurred in all states and territories, with the Australian Capital Territory experiencing the greatest increase of 6.9%.


7.9 OLDER AUSTRALIANS(a) — At 30 June 2010

Aged 65 years and over
Aged 85 years and over


Proportion
of population
in 2010
Population
growth from
2009 to 2010
Proportion
of population
in 2010
Population
growth from
2009 to 2010
%
%
%
%

New South Wales
14.1
3.0
1.9
5.5
Victoria
13.7
2.9
1.8
5.1
Queensland
12.6
3.9
1.5
5.0
South Australia
15.6
2.5
2.3
4.7
Western Australia
12.1
3.6
1.5
5.0
Tasmania
15.6
2.8
1.9
3.7
Northern Territory
5.5
6.6
0.3
6.0
Australian Capital Territory
10.4
4.2
1.3
6.9
Australia(b)
13.5
3.2
1.8
5.2

(a) Persons aged 65 years and over.
(b) Includes Other territories (Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands).
Source: Australian Demographic Statistics (3101.0).

BABY BOOMERS TURN 65 YEARS

In 2011, the first group of the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1946 and about 1965) turned 65 years of age. It was projected that those aged 65 years and over would account for 14% of Australia’s population in 2011 and would increase to 20% of the population in 2030. For more information, see Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101 (3222.0).

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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