Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate this page
ABS Home
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
Newsletters - Demography News - June 2003


The demography component produces estimates of population by age, sex, country of birth, Indigenous status, registered marital status, geographical distribution and estimates of families and households. Projections of the population, families and households, according to specified demographic assumptions, are published on a regular basis and produced on request. Statistics are also regularly produced on births, deaths, marriages, divorces, overseas arrivals and departures and internal migration. The demography area also produces estimation benchmarks for population surveys conducted by the ABS. In addition to reporting on statistics, courses are conducted and an email newsletter is sent to national and international government and commonwealth agencies and other major clients.


The growth in Australia's population has two components; natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and net overseas migration (net permanent and long-term movement plus an adjustment for category jumping). Since Federation natural increase has generally contributed more to annual population growth than net overseas migration. This was not the case for the year ended December 2002 when net overseas migration exceeded natural increase by 23,000 persons. Natural increase slowed marginally, while net migration increased over the same period. Net overseas migration in the year ended December 2002 (139,000) was the second highest number recorded since the year ended December 1988 (172,800 persons).

The preliminary estimated resident population (ERP) of Australia at 31 December 2002 was 19,786,600 persons, an increase of 255,100 persons from 31 December 2001 and 59,100 persons from September 2002. The national growth rate during the 12 months ended December 2002 was 1.3% the same as the growth rate for the previous 12 months.

The December Quarter 2002 issue of
Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) was released on 5 June 2003. Together with regular data, it includes a special article, Population Mobility, detailing statistics and analysis about internal migration within Australia.

For more information please contact Anne Ward on (02) 6252 6296 or


In the 12 months to June 2002, the Australian resident population increased by 249,500, reaching 19,662,800 persons in total, with growth in all states and territories. Over the 20 years to 2002, the Australian population increased by 4,478,500 (29%). Since 1982 there has been slow growth (6%) in the number of children (aged 0-14 years) in the population. In contrast, the number of persons aged 15-64 years has increased by 33%, and the number of persons aged 65 years and over has increased by 66%. This disparate growth pattern reflects a shift in the age structure of the total population, commensurate with gradual population ageing.

The Census edition of Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories (cat. no. 3201.0) was released on 27 March, 2003. This issue contains final estimates of the resident population of Australian states and territories as at 30 June 1997 to 2001 and preliminary estimates as at 30 June 2002, based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. The publication contains estimates of population for each state and territory classified by sex and single years of age (0 - 84), as well as grouped ages, sex ratios, median and mean ages of the population.

For more information please contact Genevieve Heard on (02) 6252 7883 or


Melbourne experienced the largest population growth of Australia's state and territory capital cities in the year to June 2002, increasing by 52,500 people, while Sydney experienced the second largest increase (42,700 people). This was the first year since 1990-91 that Melbourne's growth was larger than Sydney's. Brisbane recorded the fastest population growth in 2001-02, increasing by 2.3% (38,700 people).

Within Melbourne, large increases in population were recorded in outer suburban areas such as the Local Government Areas (LGA) of Casey (up 10,100 people), Melton (5,900) and Wyndham (5,500), while in Sydney the largest growth was recorded in Blacktown (5,300 people), Baulkham Hills (4,500) and Liverpool (4,400). This pattern was also apparent in the other capital cities, with significant growth in outer suburban areas such as Parkinson-Drewvale in Brisbane, Salisbury in Adelaide, Wanneroo in Perth, Bakewell in Darwin, Kingborough in Hobart and Amaroo in Canberra, although the magnitude of these increases was smaller than that of those recorded in Melbourne and Sydney.

Inner city areas of capital cities continued to experience high levels of growth in 2001-02. The LGA with the fastest increasing population in Australia was the city of Perth (up 11.8%), while the LGAs of the city of Sydney and city of Melbourne also experienced continuing high growth (up 6.8% and 6.5% respectively).

Population growth in many coastal regions continued during 2001-02. The largest increase in population outside of capital cities occurred in the city of Gold Coast in Queensland. In New South Wales, increases in population were recorded in every coastal LGA outside Sydney, while in Victoria the LGAs of Bass Coast and Surf Coast continued to experience high growth.

Further information, including final 1997 and 2001 estimates for Statistical Local Areas and Local Government Areas, as well as state/territory and national data, may be found in the publication Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2001-02 (cat. no. 3218.0). LGA population estimates for June 2002 are also available freely on the ABS website <>

For more information please contact Matthew Montgomery on (02) 6252 6487 or


The Demography Section of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has commenced work on the 2002-2101 population projections for Australia, the states and territories, and for each capital city and balance of state/territory. The projections for Australia will go out to the year 2101 while the projections for the state/territory and the capital city/balance to 2051. The Population Projections, Australia (cat. no. 3222.0) publication and associated electronic data are scheduled for release on 26 August 2003.

The ABS uses the cohort-component method for these projections, which requires various assumptions to be made on future levels of fertility, mortality, overseas migration and interstate migration. This method begins with a base population for each sex by single years of age and advances it year by year by applying these assumptions. These assumptions are formulated on the basis of past demographic trends, both in Australia and overseas.

The process of developing the population projection assumptions involves consultation with various private and government departments at both the national and state/territory level to ensure relevance of the projections to users. This consultation occurred during March/April 2003 and some assumptions were revised. These assumptions are now final and work has commenced on projecting the populations by age and sex.

For more information please contact Katrina Phelan on (02) 6252 6573 or


Historically, the impact of migration on Australia's population has largely been due to net permanent movement. However, in 2001-02, net long-term movement of people into Australia was more than twice net permanent movement. Net long-term movement is the excess of overseas arrivals over overseas departures, involving a duration of stay of 12 months or more, excluding permanent movement.

2001-02 was the third year in a row where net long-term movement exceeded net permanent movement. Net long-term movement has grown steadily since 1991. In 2001-02, net permanent movement reached its lowest level for the past twently years. This was largely as a result of growth in permanent departures of Australian residents. For more information, see Migration, Australia 2000-01 and 2001-02 (cat. no. 3412.0), released on 28 May 2003.

For more information please contact Ian Appleby on (02) 6252 6141 or


More than eight in ten Australians (85%) lived within 50 kilometres of the coastline in 2001. 87% of people lived in urban areas with a population greater than 1000 people. Apart from the Australian Capital Territory, where the city of Canberra accounted for 99.3% of the population, the highest levels of urbanisation occurred in New South Wales and Victoria (89% each).

In 2001, 97% of Australia's total population lived in either major cities, inner regional areas or outer regional areas, while 3% lived in remote or very remote areas. 74% of the Indigenous population lived in major cities, inner regional areas or outer regional areas in 2001, while 26% lived in remote or very remote areas. In the Northern Territory, 81% of the Indigenous population lived in either remote or very remote areas.

Between 1996 and 2001, 6.8 million people (42% of the population) changed their address within Australia, with younger adults, recent overseas migrants and the Indigenous Australians being the most mobile population groups. The only states or territories to experience a net gain through interstate migration between 1996 and 2001 were Queensland (with 92,200 people), Victoria (6,400) and Western Australia (2,900).

Further information is available from
Census of Population and Housing: Population Growth and Distribution, Australia (cat. no. 2035.0). This publication provides information about population change in Australia between the 1996 and 2001 Censuses. It includes information on the growth, location and mobility of the population at the national, state and regional levels. A major focus of the publication is the characteristics and volume of interstate and intrastate movement between 1996 and 2001.

For more information please contact Jacqui Cristiano on (02) 6252 7117 or


The ABS has recently undertaken a review of the dissemination strategy for Overseas Arrival and Departure Statistics. Based on stakeholder feedback on the ABS Demography Working Paper 2003/4 - A New Dissemination Strategy for Overseas Arrival and Departure Statistics (circulated in May 2003), the following changes are set to occur;

  • The monthly publication, Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia ( 3401.0) will contain final data only - effective as of 24 July 2003.
  • Preliminary estimates of short-term visitor arrivals will be released electronically on the ABS website http:\\ - effective as of 24 July 2003. The electronic release, Short-term Visitor Arrivals to Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 3401.0.55.001) can be found at the ABS Homepage and selecting Main Features (located under Statistical Products and Services) and then Migration. This electronic release will cease from the end of 2003.
  • Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia will no longer provide calendar and financial year to date data and analysis - effective as of 11 August 2003.
  • The table structure in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0) will be modified - effective as of 11 August 2003.
  • Associated Time Series Spreadsheets will be updated to reflect the modified table structure presented in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0) - effective as of 11 August 2003.
  • Additional quarterly Time Series Spreadsheets (as specified in the Working Paper mentioned above) will be added to the Time Series Spreadsheet collection - date yet to be announced.

For more information please contact Olivia Agius on (02) 6252 5640 or


'Understanding Demographic Data,' the popular one-day seminar offered by ABS Demography, will be held in Adelaide and Darwin in August 2003, and in Sydney in November 2003. The Brisbane and Hobart offices of the ABS may also host the course in the latter half of the year.

The seminar provides an understanding of the demographic data framework and the processes which shape the population, and includes practical exercises in the analysis of demographic data. Key issues covered include:
    • Relationship of Census counts to Estimated Resident Population.
    • Components of population growth: births; deaths; internal and overseas migration.
    • How the ABS produces population estimates and projections, including for small areas.
    • The relevance of demographic data to social and economic issues.
    • Tools for demographic analysis, with practical exercises.
    • Population dynamics such as population momentum, ageing and migration effects on the population profile.

Course notes and a copy of
Australian Demographic Statistics are provided. The cost per participant is $342, which includes a light lunch.

For more information please contact Genevieve Heard on (02) 6252 7883 or


If you are seeking demography or any other ABS data, you can:
      • visit the ABS web site, particularly the Demography theme pages and How to Access ABS Statistics
      • contact your nearest library to see whether it has the ABS statistics you require. A range of ABS publications are available from libraries Australia wide. Where is my closest library and what will I find there?
      • telephone 1300 135 070 (clients outside Australia, please call 61 2 9268 4909)
      • email
      • visit the ABS Office in your capital city - see a list of ABS Office Addresses.

To subscribe to publications on a regular basis, email or call 1300 366 323.

Individual publications and other products can be purchased by:
Visiting an ABS Bookshop - see a list of
ABS Office Addresses
Phoning the ABS - on 1300 135 070
Fax an order form - fill in the
Publication Order Form and fax it to the ABS
On-line from the ABS Website - ABS Products Available to Purchase Online

To receive ABS Demography News as an email, unsubscribe or change your email address, please email

If you wish to discuss statistical issues, contacts are as outlined below. (02) 6252 6573 (02) 6252 5117
Migration - international and (02) 6252 6522
Overseas Arrivals and (02) 6252 5640
Marriages and divorces - (02) 6252 7030
Marriages and divorces - (02) 6252 6296
Households and (02) 6252 6487
Indigenous - (02) 6252 6663
Indigenous - (02) 6252 5129
Population (02) 6252 6573
Population - general and (02) 6252 6557

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.