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POPULATION OF THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY, 30 June
The ACT's population grew by 0.4% between June 2002 and June 2003, compared to a national growth rate of 1.2% over the same period. This growth was the lowest annual increase recorded in the ACT since 1998, when the population increased by 0.3%. At June 2003 the population of the ACT made up 1.6% of Australia's population.
The Statistical Subdivision (SSD) of Gungahlin–Hall experienced a 7% increase in population between 2002 and 2003. This was the fastest population growth of all SSDs in the ACT. The Statistical Local Areas (SLA) of Dunlop (up 770 people), Amaroo (up 730), Gungahlin-Hall - SSD Balance (up 600) and Nicholls (up 500) experienced the largest population growth of all SLAs in the ACT over the same period.
ANNUAL POPULATION CHANGE, 30 June
AGE AND SEX STRUCTURE
At June 2003 there were 97.5 males for every 100 females in the ACT, compared to 98.6 males for every 100 females in Australia.
The population of the ACT is younger than the total Australian population. At June 2003, the median age of the ACT population (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) was 33.8 years, compared to a national median age of 36.1 years.
Within the ACT, SSDs of Gungahlin–Hall and Tuggeranong had the youngest populations, with median ages of 30.5 years and 32.0 years respectively, followed by North Canberra and Belconnen (both 33.3 years). Weston Creek–Stromlo (39.7 years), Woden Valley (39.3 years) and South Canberra (38.6 years) had the highest median ages.
The ACT has lower proportions of people at all ages over 57 years than Australia, but higher proportions of people aged between 13 and 57 years (other than ages 40 and 42). The proportions of young adults (aged between 18 to 28 years) in the ACT are particularly high compared to Australia, reflecting the number of people in this age group who move to Canberra to undertake tertiary education or employment.
AGE STRUCTURE OF THE POPULATION–ACT and Australia, 2003
Population under 15 years
The population aged under 15 years was 63,900 (20% of the population of the ACT) at June 2003. One-quarter (25%) of the population of Tuggeranong SSD was aged under 15 years. In the Tuggeranong SLAs of Banks, Conder and Theodore this proportion was around 30%. Gungahlin–Hall SSD (25%) also had a high proportion of children aged under 15 years.
Population 15 to 24 years
The population aged 15 to 24 years was 52,300 (16% of the population of the ACT) at June 2003. The highest proportion of people in this age group was in North Canberra SSD (21%), followed by Belconnen SSD (18%). The SLAs with the highest proportion of people aged 15 to 24 were those with large student populations, in particular Acton (80%), with the Australian National University, Duntroon (69%), with the Australian Defence Force Academy, Bruce (41%), with the University of Canberra, and Belconnen Town Centre (35%).
Population 65 years and over
The population aged 65 years and over was 29,300 (9% of the population of the ACT) at June 2003. The highest proportions of people aged 65 years and over were in the SSDs of South Canberra (16%), Woden Valley (15%) and North Canberra (13%). Almost one-quarter (23%) of the population of the SLA of Deakin, in the inner south, were aged 65 years and over.
Consistent with the national trend, the population of the ACT is continuing to age. The median age of the ACT population (33.8 years in 2003) has increased 0.2 years since 2002, 3.7 years since 1993 and 6.4 years since 1983. By comparison the median age of the Australian population has increased 6.0 years since 1983.
Over the last three decades the ACT has experienced a steady decline in the proportion of the population aged under 15 years and a steady increase in the proportion aged 65 years and over. Since 1993 the number of children aged under 15 years has decreased by 7% (from 68,300 to 63,800), the population aged 65 years and over has increased by 47% (from 20,000 to 29,300), and the population aged 85 years and over has more than doubled (from 1,300 to 2,900).
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