Footnote(s): (a) As at 30 June.
Source(s): ABS Australian Demographic Statistics, December 2010 (cat. no. 3101.0)
Footnote(s): (a) Year ending 30 June.
(b) Contains a break in series at 30 June 2006. See NOM in the glossary.
Many dimensions of Australia’s progress are influenced by the number of people who usually live in Australia, together with their demographic characteristics and distribution. In turn, many dimensions of progress also influence the size and shape of Australia's population.
At June 2010, Australia's resident population was estimated at 22.3 million people. Australia's population has increased by approximately 3.1 million since 2000, when it was recorded at 19.2 million.
Australia's annual population growth rate for the year ending June 2010 was 1.7%. Although higher than in 2000 (1.2%), the 2010 annual population growth rate was lower than the previous year (2.1%), its highest level for the decade.
While there has been a natural increase in the population (the excess of births over deaths) each year in the last decade, the size of this natural increase has generally grown over the last seven years (114,400 in 2003 and 161,500 in 2010). A decreased death rate and increased fertility rate in recent years are the major components of this shift.
The other component of population growth, net overseas migration, varies from year to year depending on government policy as well as political, social and economic conditions. From 2000 to 2006, net overseas migration contributed similar numbers to the population as did natural increase. Since 2007 however, Australia's population increase has been driven mainly by net overseas migration. Net overseas migration reached its highest level of the decade in 2009 (313,400 persons) but fell back to 215,600 in 2010.
During the decade 2000-2010, the median age of Australia’s population increased from 35.2 years to 36.9 years. Over this period, the proportion of the population aged 0-14 years decreased (20.5% down to 18.9%) whilst the proportion of people aged 65 and over increased (from 12.3% to 13.6%).
Over the decade to June 2010, the sex ratio of the total population for Australia did not change (99.2 males per 100 females) although there were differences by age. In both 2000 and 2010, the ratio of males to females was higher in younger ages, whilst greater female longevity saw a higher number of females than males in the older years.
For a more detailed view of the changing age and sex structure of the Australian population try out the ABS animated population pyramids.
For a more in-depth discussion about how Australia's population and how it is changing, please see the Population chapter in Measures of Australia’s Progress, 2010 (cat. no. 1370.0).
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