Australian Bureau of Statistics
3235.0 - Population by Age and Sex, Australia, 2006
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/07/2007 First Issue
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The estimated resident population of Australia at 30 June 2006 was 20.7 million people, having increased by 1.3 million people (or 6.6%) since June 2001.
In 2006, just under a third (32.9%) of Australia's population resided in New South Wales, a slight decrease since 2001 (33.9%). Queensland was both the fastest and largest growing state from June 2001 to June 2006, with an increase of 462,600 people or 12.7%. While all states and territories experienced population growth between June 2001 and June 2006, the Northern Territory had the smallest increase (12,900 people or 6.5%). New South Wales and South Australia grew at a slower rate than the remaining states and territories, both increasing by 3.7% since June 2001.
At June 2006, the Sydney Statistical Division (SD) contained 20.7% of Australia's population, compared with 21.3% at June 2001. The Gold Coast was the fastest growing SD between June 2001 and June 2006 (19.8%), while the capital city SD with the fastest growth over this period was Brisbane, with an increase of 11.7% (191,300 people). Melbourne had the largest growth of all capital city SDs, with an increase of 272,700 people (7.9%). The capital city SD with the smallest growth between June 2001 and June 2006 was Darwin, which increased by 7,500 people (7.0%), while Adelaide grew at the slowest rate, with an increase of 3.4% over this period.
In the following analysis only the national estimates include Other Territories, and references to Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) include only those with populations exceeding 2,000 people (or 1,000 people for the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory).
Australia has an ageing population. Between June 2001 and June 2006 the proportion of males and females in the four youngest five-year age groups decreased, while the proportions in most of the age groups above 55 years increased.
AGE AND SEX DISTRIBUTION, AUSTRALIA, 2001 AND 2006
The median age of Australia's population, the age at which half the population is older and half is younger, was 36.6 years at June 2006, compared with 35.7 years at June 2001 and 34 years at June 1996.
The median age of every state and territory increased in the decade to June 2006. Although South Australia had the highest median age of all the states and territories in June 1996 and June 2001, Tasmania had the highest median age of 38.8 years at June 2006. The Northern Territory continued to have the lowest median age (30.9 years at June 2006).
Among the SDs in Australia, the highest median ages at June 2006 were in Yorke and Lower North (SA) (45.1 years) and Mid-North Coast (NSW) (43.4 years). The SDs with the lowest median ages were Northern Territory - Bal (28.5 years) and Kimberley (WA) (29.9 years).
CHILDREN (UNDER 15 YEARS OF AGE)
The total number of children aged 0 to 14 years (4.1 million) has been steadily increasing since 1996 (3.9 million) and 2001 (4.0 million). However, the proportion of children in the population has declined from 21.4% in 1996, to 20.5% in 2001, to 19.6% at June 2006.
The Northern Territory continued to have the highest proportion of children (24.5%) of all states and territories, while South Australia continued to have the lowest proportion (19.3%).
The SD with the highest proportion of its population aged under 15 in 2006 was Northern Territory - Bal (27.4%) and the lowest was in Adelaide (17.6%)
From June 2001 to June 2006, Queensland continued to have the largest and fastest growth in the number of children aged 0 to 14 (62,000 children or 8.0%). New South Wales recorded the largest decline in this period, with 11,400 less children, while the Australian Capital Territory had the fastest decline (4.3% or 2800 children). In contrast, over the five-year period from June 1996 to June 2001, South Australia recorded the largest decline in children aged 0 to 14 years (7,800 or 2.6%), and Tasmania recorded the fastest decline (6.5% or 6,800 children).
AGED 0-4 YEARS
Although the proportion of the Australian population who were aged 0 to 4 years decreased from 6.6% in June 2001 to 6.3% in June 2006, the number increased by 26,300 to 1.3 million at June 2006, and there were numerous areas with proportions of young children much higher than the national average.
In general, the areas with the highest proportions of children aged 0 to 4 years in June 2006 were in regional or outer suburban areas. In New South Wales, the LGAs with the highest proportions of children aged under 5 years were the inland areas of Brewarrina (A) (9.3%), Bourke (A) (8.8%) and Moree Plains (A) (8.6%). The outer suburban Camden (A) also had a large percentage of young children at June 2006, at 8.5%.
In Victoria, Melton (S) (8.8%), Wyndham (C) (8.1%) and Casey (C) (7.8%), all on the outer fringes of the Melbourne SD, had the highest proportion of young children and infants, while in Queensland, the five areas with the highest proportions of young children were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Council areas, for example, Doomadgee (S) (15.2%) and Mornington (S) (14.7%). Within Brisbane SD, Wakerley, an outer south-eastern suburb, had the largest proportion of children, at 12.5%.
The South Australian area with the largest proportion of children aged 0 to 4 years was the mining community of Roxby Downs (M) (10.3%), followed by Anangu Pitjantjatjara (AC) (8.7%). Within the Adelaide SD, the large northern LGA of Playford (C) had the highest percentage of young children, at 7.4%.
Other regional areas with high proportions of people aged 0 to 4 years were the Western Australian LGAs of Ashburton (S) (10.8%), Halls Creek (S) (10.7%) and Derby-West Kimberley (S) (10.3%), all in the north of the state. In the Greater Hobart SD, Brighton (M) had the highest proportion of people aged 0 to 4 years (9.0%), while outside the Greater Hobart SD, Circular Head (M) and George Town (M) had large percentages of children, both with 7.1%.
In the Northern Territory, the two SLAs with the largest percentages of children were both Indigenous Community Government Councils, Thamarrurr (CGC) (15.6%) and Yugul Mangi (CGC) (13.9%), while the third largest proportion of children was in the SLA of City - Remainder (13.6%).
In the Australian Capital Territory, the outer suburban SLAs of Amaroo (12.4%), Dunlop (10.7%) and Gungahlin (10.6%) had the highest percentages of children under 5 years of age.
The five Statistical Subdivisions with the highest proportions of children aged 0 to 4 years were all in the Northern Territory: Daly (14.0%), Palmerston-East Arm (10.7%), Alligator (10.4%), Lower Top End NT (10.3%) and Bathurst-Melville (10.1%). The five Statistical Subdivisions with the lowest proportion of children under 5 years of age were Inner Brisbane (3.5%), Inner Melbourne (4.0%), South Canberra (4.0%), Gold Coast East (4.4%) and Yorke (SA) (4.6%).
WORKING AGE POPULATION (AGED 15-64 YEARS)
In June 2006, 67.5% of the Australian population were of working age (15-64 years), up from 66.9% in June 2001 and 66.6% in June 1996. In those ten years the number of people of working age has increased by 1.8 million to 14.0 million at June 2006.
The Australian Capital Territory (71.8%) had the highest proportion of people aged 15-64 years in June 2006, while Tasmania had the lowest (65.7%). The SD with the highest proportion of people aged 15-64 years was Darwin (72.8%) and the lowest was in Yorke and Lower North (SA) (61.2%).
The number and proportion of people aged 15-64 increased in all states and territories between June 2001 and June 2006. Both the largest increase and the largest percentage increase were recorded in Queensland (329,300 people or 13.5%). The smallest growth occurred in the Northern Territory, with an increase of 10,200 people, and the smallest percentage increase occurred in New South Wales (4.4% or 192,500 people).
An issue facing areas outside of the capital city SDs in Australia is the relatively low numbers and proportions of young adults (aged between 20 and 34 years). Many people in this age group move to capital cities or overseas in search of employment, partnering and other lifestyle opportunities.
AGE AND SEX DISTRIBUTION (%), CAPITAL CITIES AND REST OF AUSTRALIA, JUNE 2006
Capital city SDs are home to almost two-thirds (64%) of the Australian population. However, the share of the population living in the capital city SDs and the remainder of Australia is not evenly spread across all age groups. For example, capital city SDs have only 60% of Australia's people aged 10-14 years (846,000 in capital city SDs compared with 554,700 in the remainder of Australia), but have almost 70% of the people in age groups between 20 and 34 years. In the 25-29 year age group the remainder of Australia has only 30% (422,300) of the population, so has less than half the number of people in that age group than the eight capital city SDs (984,100).
AGE AND SEX DISTRIBUTION ('000), CAPITAL CITIES AND REST OF AUSTRALIA, JUNE 2006
AGED 65 YEARS AND OVER
The proportion of people aged 65 years and over in June 2006 was 13.0%, compared with 12.5% in June 2001 and 12.0% in June 1996. Since June 1996, the population in this age group has increased by 484,100 to reach 2.7 million at June 2006.
South Australia had the highest proportion of people aged over 65 years in June 2006 (15.1%), while the Northern Territory had the lowest (4.6%).
The SD with the highest proportion of people aged 65 years and over in June 2006 was Yorke and Lower North (SA) (20.5%), followed by Mid-North Coast (NSW) and Wimmera (Vic) (both 19.1%). The SD with the smallest proportion of people aged 65 years and over was Pilbara (WA), with 2.3%.
The population aged 65 years and over has been steadily increasing since June 1996 in all states and territories. The largest percentage increase from June 2001 to June 2006 occurred in the Northern Territory (32% or 2400 people), and the smallest occurred in South Australia (6.9%).
AGED 85 YEARS AND OVER
In 2006, the proportion of people aged 85 years and over in Australia was 1.6% (322,000 people). In the five years to June 2006 the number of people aged 85 years and over increased by 56,800, which was a smaller increase than the net 63,300 people entering this group between June 1996 and June 2001. This slowing of the increase in this age group may seem at odds with the overall ageing trend and declining mortality rates. However, the population cohort turning 85 years old between June 2001 and June 2006 were born during and shortly after World War I, a time when there were less births in Australia than there had been in the previous five years because of the large numbers of men who were overseas or casualties of the war.
At June 2006 South Australia had the highest proportion of people aged 85 years and over, at around 2% of the total population, and the Northern Territory had the lowest proportion (0.3%).
The SDs with the largest proportions of people aged 85 years and over were Wimmera (Vic) (2.5% or 1240 people) and Yorke and Lower North (SA) (2.4% or 1100 people). The SDs with the smallest proportions of people in this age group were Pilbara (WA) (0.1%) and Darwin (0.2%).
From June 2001 to June 2006, the population aged 85 years and over increased in all states and territories except the Northern Territory, where it remained fairly steady. The largest percentage increase was in the Australian Capital Territory (34.5% or 870 people).
At June 2006, there were 120,800 more females in Australia than males, with 10.3 million males compared with 10.4 million females at June 2006, resulting in a sex ratio of 98.8 (number of males per 100 females). The Northern Territory had the highest sex ratio with 108.0 males per 100 females, while Tasmania had the lowest, at 97.3.
The SDs with the lowest sex ratios in Australia were Greater Hobart (Tas) (94.4), Adelaide (SA) (95.5) and Sunshine Coast (Qld) (96.5). The SD with the highest sex ratio was the mining area of Pilbara (WA) (126.4).
In all states and territories, excluding the Northern Territory, the sex ratio was lower in the capital city SDs than in the remainder of the state. Darwin was the only capital city SD in which there were more males than females, with a sex ratio of 112.7. In contrast, the capital city SD with the most females per males was Greater Hobart, with a sex ratio of 94.4.
PEOPLE AGED 25-34 YEARS
Australia-wide there were about the same numbers of males and females aged 25-34 years (about 1.45 million each). However, there were several Local Government Areas with disproportionate numbers of females and males in that age group. The top five LGAs where females significantly outnumbered males in that age group were in Queensland and Western Australia. The Queensland LGA of Eacham (S) had the lowest sex ratio for the 25-34 years age group (78.9), with Monto (S) also recording a low sex ratio, at 82.2. In Western Australia, Northam (S) (79.3), Denmark (S) (79.6) and York (S) (81.0) also had relatively low sex ratios.
The top five LGAs where males outnumbered females in the 25-34 years age group had prisons or mining operations located within their borders. They were Junee (A) (NSW), where there were just over two males for every female (a sex ratio of 208.0), Ravensthorpe (S) (WA) (188.6), Tumbarumba (A) (NSW) (156.4), Central Darling (A) (NSW) (147.6) and East Pilbara (S) (WA) (145.3).
The number of females aged 65 years and over in Australia (1.48 million) was 22% higher than the number of males in this age group (1.21 million), leading to a sex ratio of 82.0. The sex ratio continued to decline rapidly with age, with females aged 85 years and over (217,700) more than doubling the number of males (104,300), resulting in a sex ratio of 47.9.
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This page last updated 18 August 2008