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2001 Census of Population and Housing - 00 1901 Australian Snapshot
 
 


A Snapshot of Australia, 1901


Census CountsDwellings
People of Indigenous OriginTable 1. 1901 Population Counts for States
AgeTable 2. 1901 Median Ages for States
BirthplaceTable 3. 1901 State by Birthplace
Registered Marital StatusTable 4. 1901 Registered Marital Status
Level of EducationTable 5. 1901 Education by Sex for States
OccupationTable 6. 1901 Occupation by Sex for States
Individual IncomeTable 7. 1901 Dwellings


Census Counts

In celebration of Australia's Centenary of Federation, data from the Censuses of Australian States in 1901 is included in this Snapshot, along with generally comparative data from the 2001 Census. Due to different methodologies and question content, data from the 1901 and 2001 Censuses are not always directly comparable.

In 1901, there were 3,773,801 people (1,977,928 males and 1,795,873 females) counted in Australia.

On Census Night, 7 August 2001, there were 18,972,350 people (9,362,021 males and 9,610,329 females) counted in Australia.(1)

Footnote 1: 2001 Census figures for people counted in Australia include overseas visitors.



People of Indigenous Origin

In 1901, the new Commonwealth acquired the constitutional power to make laws concerning 'Census and Statistics'. There was some debate concerning the inclusion of tribal Aborigines in the calculation of Australia's population. The debate concluded with section 127 of the Constitution, which stated that in reckoning population, "Aboriginal natives" would not be included in the calculation, although they may have been counted in the Census. Section 127 was introduced principally so that the numbers of Federal politicians per State, as well as per capita Commonwealth grants, would be based on the total population of European and assimilated part-Aboriginal people. Section 127 was removed from the Constitution following a referendum in 1967. From 1971 Aboriginal people were included in the Census count.

There were 410,003 people (2.2%) (201,988 males and 208,015 females) in Australia who identified as being of Indigenous origin in the 2001 Census.(2)

Footnote 2: The 2001 Census question on Indigenous origin asked whether each person was of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.



Age(3)

In 1901, the median age of people in Australia was 22 years (23 years for males and 21 years for females).(4)

The median age of people in the 2001 Census was 35 years (34 years for males and 36 years for females).(5)

Footnote 3: Median ages are rounded to the nearest whole number.
Footnote 4: The 1901 median ages for Australia were derived using time series data of age classifications from the Census of the Commonwealth of Australia 1911.
Footnote 5: In the 2001 Census, median age figures exclude overseas visitors.



Birthplace

In 1901, 2,908,303 people (77.2%) counted in Australia were Australian-born and 857,576 (22.8%) stated that they were born overseas.

In 1901, the three main countries of birth for those born overseas were:

United Kingdom 679,159 (18.0%),
Other European Countries 74,673 (2.0%), and;
Asia Countries 47,014 (1.3%).

In the 2001 Census, 13,629,685 people (72.6%) stated that they were Australian-born, and 4,105,444 people (21.9%) stated that they were born overseas.(6)

Of those born overseas, the three main countries of birth in the 2001 Census were:

United Kingdom 1,036,245 (5.5%),
New Zealand 355,765 (1.9%), and;
Italy 218,718 (1.2%).

Footnote 6: In the 2001 Census, birthplace calculations exclude overseas visitors.


Registered Marital Status


In 1901, there were 1,132,255 married people (46.3%) (563,917 males and 568,338 females), 2,375 divorced people (0.1%) (1,228 males and 1,147 females), 163,779 widowed people (6.7%) (56,830 males and 106,949 females) and 1,139,644 people who had never been married (46.6%) (678,631 males and 461,013 females).(7)

In the 2001 Census, there were 7,635,947 married people (51.4%) (3,813,773 males and 3,822,174 females), 509,923 separated people (3.4%) (232,584 males and 277,339 females), 1,099,391 divorced people (7.4%) (479,915 males and 619,476 females), 919,904 widowed people (6.2%) (181,472 males and 738,432 females) and 4,691,609 people who had never been married (31.6%) (2,550,880 males and 2,140,729 females).(8)

Footnote 7: 1901 figures are derived by aggregating the 1901 State Censuses. Counts only include people aged 15 years and over. For South Australia 'divorced' was categorised under widowed.
Footnote 8: 2001 figures for Registered Marital Status only include persons aged 15 years and over, and exclude overseas visitors.



Level of Education

In 1901, 2,992,915 people (84.2%), (1,558,914 males and 1,434,001 females) stated they could read and write, 77,058 people (2.2%), (36,621 males and 40,437 females) stated they could read only and 463,252 people (13.0%), (255,961 males and 207,291 females) stated they could not read or write.(9)

Literacy based questions are no longer asked in the Census, therefore a comparison between 1901 and 2001 figures is not possible.

Footnote 9: Figures from the 1901 state censuses. Counts include people aged 5 years and over. For Tasmania only percentages of the population in each group were recorded. So, the percentages had to be multiplied by the total population counts to arrive at the required values.



Occupation

In 1901, there were 111,134 people (2.9%), (69,899 males and 41,235 females) whose occupation was classed as Professional, 201,036 people (5.3%), (50,335 males and 150,701 females) classed as Domestic, 222,658 people (5.9%), (188,144 males and 34,514 females) classed as Commercial, 122,159 people (3.2%), (118,730 males and 3,429 females) classed as Transport and Communication, 426,166 people (11.3%), (350,596 males and 75,570 females) classed as Industrial and 533,107 people (14.1%), (494,163 males and 38,944 females) classed as Primary Producers.(10)

In the 2001 Census, 764,823 (9.2%) people (550,655 males and 214,168 females) were employed as Managers and Administrators, 1,514,096 (18.2%) people (718,617 males and 795,479 females) were employed as Professionals, 975,653 (11.8%) people (546,159 males and 429,494 females) were employed as Associate Professionals, 1,018,903 (12.3%) people (906,687 males and 112,216 females) were employed as Tradespersons and Related workers, 1,366,701 (16.5%) people (390,015 males and 976,686 females) were employed as Intermediate Clerical, Sales and Service Workers and 717,457 (8.7%) people (453,115 males and 264,342 females) were employed as Labourers and Related Workers.(11)

Footnote 10: 1901 figures derived by aggregating the 1901 state censuses.
Footnote 11: 2001 Census figures for Occupation include employed persons aged 15 years and over, and exclude overseas visitors.



Individual Income

Income figures were not collected in the 1901 Census but were estimated from various sources at the time. For 1901, the mean annual income per inhabitant (including children aged under 15 years) was 46.

The median annual individual income for people aged 15 years and over in the 2001 Census, while not directly comparable with 1901, was $15,600 - $20,748.


Dwellings


In 1901, 786,331 dwellings were counted. Of these dwellings, 459,558 (58.4%) were made from Wood, Iron, Lath & Plaster, Slab, Bark, Mud, etc, 266,246 (33.8%) were made from Stone, Brick, Concrete, etc; and 42,967 (5.6%) were made from Calico, Canvas etc.(12)

It is not possible to directly compare dwelling composition between 1901 and 2001 as this information is no longer collected in the Census.

In the 2001 Census, there were a total of 7,072,202 occupied private dwellings comprising 5,327,309 separate houses (75.3%), 632,176 semi detached, row or terrace houses and townhouses (8.9%), 923,139 flats, units or apartments (13.1%) and 134,274 other dwellings (1.9%).(13)

Footnote 12: Dwellings under construction have been included in dwelling counts. The categories of materials have been grouped to provide comparable categories across states. The category "Wood, Iron, Lath & Plaster, Slab, Bark, Mud etc" includes wattle, dab and metal. The category "Stone, Brick, Concrete etc" includes adobe and pise. The category "Calico, Canvas etc" includes linen, tents, drays and hessian.
Footnote 13: The 2001 results are for occupied private dwellings only.



Table 1. 1901 Population Counts for States

Male
Female
Total

New South Wales
710,005
644,841
1,354,846
Victoria
603,720
597,350
1,201,070
Queensland
277,003
221,126
498,129
South Australia
184,701
178,456
363,157
Western Australia
112,875
71,249
184,124
Tasmania
89,624
82,851
172,475
Total AUSTRALIA
1,977,928
1,795,873
3,773,801

Note: In 1901, New South Wales included the area now known as the Australian Capital Territory. Figures for South Australia included the Northern Territory.
Data Source: Official Year Book of Australia No. 1 1901-1907.


Table 2. 1901 Median Ages for States

Male
Female
Total

New South Wales
23
20
21
Victoria
23
23
23
Queensland
24
19
22
South Australia
22
21
21
Western Australia
28
22
26
Tasmania
21
20
21
Total AUSTRALIA
23
21
22

Note: In 1901, New South Wales included the area now known as the Australian Capital Territory. Figures for South Australia included the Northern Territory.
Data Source: 1901 State Censuses (Census of Queensland 1901, South Australian Census 1901, Census Western Australia 1901, Census of Victoria 1901, Census New South Wales 1901, Census of Tasmania 1901).


Table 3. 1901 State by Birthplace
Australia
United Kingdom
Other European
Countries
Asia
New Zealand
Other (a)
Not Stated
Total

New South Wales
1,079,154
220,401
20,151
14,208
10,589
8,905
1,438
1,354,846
Victoria
940,830
214,371
16,548
8,793
9,020
6,352
5,156
1,201,070
Queensland
323,436
126,159
21,174
13,878
1,571
11,577
334
498,129
South Australia
289,993
56,862
9,326
4,376
711
1,624
265
363,157
Western Australia
126,952
41,551
6,076
4,810
2,704
1,789
242
184,124
Tasmania
147,938
19,815
1,398
949
1,193
695
487
172,475
Total AUSTRALIA
2,908,303
679,159
74,673
47,014
25,788
30,942
7,922
3,773,801

(a) Other includes those Born at Sea.
Note: In 1901, New South Wales included the area now known as the Australian Capital Territory. Figures for South Australia included the Northern Territory.
Data Source: Official Year Book of Australia No. 1 1901-1907.


Table 4. 1901 Registered Marital Status

Never Married
Married
Widowed
Divorced
Not Stated
Total
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Persons

New South Wales
237,896
161,688
202,920
206,184
19,451
35,207
692
708
2,690
414
463,649
404,201
867,850
Victoria
197,949
167,276
176,160
182,841
19,973
43,021
289
331
2,636
1,231
397,007
394,700
791,707
Queensland
104,412
48,319
72,213
71,469
6,812
10,218
101
44
465
111
184,003
130,161
314,164
South Australia
59,357
48,094
54,754
55,341
5,102
10,719
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
119,213
114,154
233,367
Western Australia
50,611
14,579
32,063
27,043
2,932
3,112
111
42
313
48
86,030
44,824
130,854
Tasmania
28,406
21,057
25,807
25,460
2,560
4,672
35
22
305
126
57,113
51,337
108,450
Total AUSTRALIA
678,631
461,013
563,917
568,338
56,830
106,949
1,228
1,147
6,409
1,930
1,307,015
1,139,377
2,446,392

Note: In 1901, New South Wales included the area now known as the Australian Capital Territory. Figures for South Australia included the Northern Territory.
Data Source: Official Year Book of Australia No. 1 1901-1907.


Table 5. 1901 Education by Sex for States

Cannot Read
Read Only
Read and Write
Not Specified
Total aged 5+
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Persons

New South Wales
133,152
120,030
14,288
15,110
554,374
509,100
n/a
n/a
701,814
644,240
1,346,054
Victoria
27,160
20,107
9,339
11,678
492,113
491,644
8,464
8,850
537,076
532,279
1,069,355
Queensland
68,452
46,447
5,827
5,874
204,866
170,280
947
573
280,092
223,174
503,266
South Australia
12,971
10,586
3,678
4,544
147,513
143,235
n/a
n/a
164,162
158,365
322,527
Western Australia
6,302
3,884
1,571
1,334
90,968
55,188
729
362
99,570
60,768
160,338
Tasmania
7,924
6,237
1,918
1,897
69,080
64,554
n/a
n/a
78,922
72,688
151,610
Total AUSTRALIA
255,961
207,291
36,621
40,437
1,558,914
1,434,001
10,140
9,785
1,861,636
1,691,514
3,553,150

Note: No data is available for the ACT for 1901 as it was part of New South Wales at this time.
Northern Territory was included as part of South Australia in the 1901 Census of South Australia.
Not stated/specified does not appear to be available for South Australia (including Northern Territory), New South Wales and Tasmania.
Tasmanian figures are calculated from percentages.



Table 6. 1901 Occupation by Sex for States


Professional

Domestic

Commercial
Transport & Communication

Industrial
Primary
Producers
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female

New South Wales
26,855
14,529
20,128
52,690
67,097
10,567
42,822
1,045
122,692
23,996
168,212
4,642
Victoria
20,380
14,841
13,128
53,676
64,632
14,415
30,318
1,198
113,507
32,706
140,112
24,998
Queensland
9,122
4,486
7,791
16,402
22,958
3,524
17,745
341
44,065
7,407
79,421
3,090
South Australia
5,372
3,485
3,452
14,529
17,080
3,085
12,591
259
34,255
6,978
45,898
3,263
Western Australia
5,103
1,964
4,373
6,930
10,280
1,523
10,736
256
19,602
2,208
35,081
491
Tasmania
3,067
1,930
1,463
6,474
6,097
1,400
4,518
330
16,475
2,275
25,439
2,460
Total AUSTRALIA
69,899
41,235
50,335
150,701
188,144
34,514
118,730
3,429
350,596
75,570
494,163
38,944

Note: No data is available for the ACT for 1901 as it was part of New South Wales at this time.
Northern Territory was included as part of South Australia in the 1901 Census of South Australia.
(a) This total Includes the unemployed.
Data Source: Official Year Book of Australia No. 1 1901-1907.


Table 7. 1901 Dwelling Counts and Materials Used

Materials Used in Dwellings
Wood, Iron, Lath and
Plaster, Slab etc.
Stone, Brick,
Concrete etc.

Calico, Canvas, Tents etc.

Not Specified

Total Dwellings

New South Wales
150,814
105,197
8,874
3,886
268,771
Victoria
169,252
75,696
3,423
5,285
253,656
Queensland (a)
83,634
2,548
9,609
4,819 (a)
100,610
South Australia
12,258
61,279
1,564
753
75,854
Western Australia
18,380
13,467
18,628
495
50,970
Tasmania
25,220
8,059
869
2,322
36,470
Total AUSTRALIA
459,558
266,246
42,967
17,560
786,331

(a) Count for Not Specified in Queensland includes Ships (203) and Drays (263).
Note: In 1901, New South Wales included the area now known as the Australian Capital Territory. Figures for South Australia included the Northern Territory.
Data Source: 1901 State Censuses (Census of Queensland 1901, South Australian Census 1901, Census Western Australia 1901, Census of Victoria 1901, Census New South Wales 1901, Census of Tasmania 1901).




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