Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate this page
ABS Home
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
Newsletters - Demography News - December 2000


The preliminary estimated resident population of Australia at June 2000 was 19.2 million persons. The population increased by 219,900 persons in 1999-00 (120,800 from natural increase and 99,100 from net overseas migration).

At 1.2%, Australia's population growth rate for the year ended June 2000 was below the world rate of 1.3%. The Australian rate was similar to those experienced by New Zealand (also 1.2%), Thailand (1.0%), China and the United States of America (each 0.9%). Japan (0.2%), Germany and the United Kingdom (each 0.3%) experienced lower population growth rates than Australia, while Singapore (3.6%) and Papua New Guinea (2.5%) experienced higher growth rates.

Further information is available in Australian Demographic Statistics, June Quarter 2000 (Cat. No. 3101.0) released on 14 December 2000.


For the first time, ABS will be publishing State level experimental life tables for the Indigenous population in Deaths, Australia, 1999 (Cat. No 3302.0) due for release on 18 December. Because of the small number of registered deaths and/or very low coverage, Indigenous life tables for 1997-99 were not produced for Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Experimental estimates have been produced for the Torres Strait Islander population. The June 1996 estimate of the Torres Strait Islander population was 42,400 (11% of the total Indigenous population, 386,000 persons). More than half (54%) of the Torres Strait Islander population lived in Queensland (27% in the Torres Strait Area) while the remaining 46% were dispersed throughout the rest of Australia. Further information is available in Australian Demographic Statistics, June Quarter 2000 (Cat. No. 3101.0) released on 14 December 2000.


The aim of this one day course is to provide an understanding of the framework of demographic data and the processes which shape the population. The course covers the relationship between Census data and Estimated Resident Population data; components of population growth; population projections; estimating the population of small areas; some tools for analysing demographic data and population dynamics and costs $327 per participant (including a light lunch).

The course continues to be well received and is contributing to a better understanding and use of ABS's demographic data among a wide range of clients from Commonwealth, State and Local Government bodies, business and community groups.

The next course is scheduled for 15 March 2001 in Adelaide. If you would like more information or to register, please contact Natasha Radcliffe ( or (08) 8237 7347). It is likely that a course will be scheduled in Canberra in early March 2001. If you would like more information or to register, please contact Tina Brozinic ( or (02) 6207 0105). For general inquiries please contact Sue Taylor ( or (02) 6252 6141).


Nearly half of all mothers (47%) who registered a baby in 1999 were aged 30 years and over, this was up from one quarter (24%) in 1979. By 1999, women aged 30-34 years had overtaken those aged 25-29 in having the highest fertility rate (108.5 babies per 1,000 women).

The age of women having a baby has steadily increased over time. A mother's median age (where half of mothers were below and half above that age) has increased from 26.5 years in 1979 to 29.7 in 1999, the highest since the beginning of the twentieth century. ABS projections assume the median age of mothers will reach 31.2 years by 2008.

The number of births registered in Australia during 1999 (248,900) declined marginally compared to 1998, reflecting the continuation of declining fertility in Australia. This fall in fertility is associated with the decline in the number of births to young women. On 1999 rates, a woman can expect to have 1.75 babies in her life, well below the level needed for a woman to replace herself and her partner (2.1 births per woman). Australia's fertility has been at below replacement level since 1976. Currently, it is lower than that of the United States of America (2.0) and New Zealand (1.9) but above the levels of Canada (1.5), Japan (1.4) and many European countries such as Italy (1.2).

Teenage girls are now less likely to be mothers. The teenage fertility rate (the number of births in a given year per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years) has been declining since the 1970s, such that teenage girls are now less likely to be mothers than they were thirty years ago. The rate of childbearing among Australian teenage girls peaked at 55.5 births per 1,000 females in 1971, before falling to half its peak level (27.6) by 1980, and reaching its lowest ever rate of 18.1 births per 1,000 females in 1999.

Of all births registered in 1999, 43% were first births, 32% were second births and the remaining (25%) were third or higher births. If these trends were to continue, it is estimated that over a quarter (26%) of all women would remain childless at the end of their reproductive life.

Further information can be found in Births, Australia 1999 (Cat. No. 3301.0) released on 16 November 2000. The publication also contains three special articles, Food and nutrient consumption during pregnancy, Teenage fertility and Birth order specific fertility rates in Australia, 1986-1999.


Malignant neoplasms (cancer) remains the biggest killer and accounted for 27% of the 128,102 deaths registered in 1999. While the number of cancer deaths increased between 1998 and 1999, the standardised death rate for cancer decreased by 1.3%, while the standardised death rate for all causes decreased 2.2% for this period. Other leading causes of death included ischaemic heart diseases (22% of total), and cerebrovascular diseases (10%). Deaths from external causes accounted for 7% of total deaths in 1999 with accidents being the largest contributor and accounted for 4% of total deaths. In 1999 there were 2,133 perinatal deaths. Perinatal deaths comprised stillbirths and deaths of infants within 28 days of birth.

Further information is available in Causes of Death, Australia 1999 (Cat. No. 3303.0) released on 11 December 2000.


In 1999, seven out of every 10 of Australia's 7.2 million households owned the homes they were living in (either with or without a mortgage). The overall proportion of owner and renter households remains unchanged from 1994.

Life-cycle stages have a strong impact on the tenure of Australian households, generally following a pattern of renting in early adulthood, moving to home purchase and mortgages as relationships and families are formed, and on to outright ownership in older age. For example, young people under 35 and living on their own were most likely to be renting (62%). Only 32% of this group owned their own home (most with a mortgage and some without), compared to 52% of young couples without children. Most (77%) of couples with dependent children owned their own home. However, one parent households with dependent children were more likely to be renting (58%), than to own their home (40%). The majority of couples with non-dependent children owned their home outright (60%), while for older couples with no children and where the reference person aged 65 or over, this proportion was even higher (88%).

The majority (57%) of Australian homes were reported to be 20 or more years old. In general, Australia's housing stock is in good condition, with the majority of households (80%) reporting no major structural problems with their dwelling.

Further details are contained in Australian Housing Survey: Housing Characteristics, Costs and Conditions (Cat. No. 4182.0).


The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs has announced delays in data delivery during the transition to a new data processing system. As a consequence, final August 2000 data is not expected to be published until March 2001 in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (Cat. No 3401.0).

Preliminary estimates of November 2000 overseas visitor arrivals are due to be published on 21 December 2000 in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (Cat. No 3401.0).


A joint study by Siew-Ean Khoo and Peter McDonald from the Australian National University for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and ABS has been released. The results of this study are presented in Demography Working Paper 2000/4 - Category Jumping : Trends, Demographic Impact and Measurement Issues, which is available on the ABS web site - select Themes/Demography/ABS Demography Working Papers. Comments are welcome.


Quarterly interstate migration data, as published in Table 23 of Australian Demographic Statistics (Cat. No 3101.0) is now available as a multidimensional dataset in AusStats.

For more information on AusStats please refer to our AusStats Catalogue entry, or call our National Inquiry Service (NIS) on 1300 135 070. Overseas clients please call 61 2 9268 4909.


Population by Age and Sex, (State) (Cat. No. 3235.x) contains data at the Statistical Local Area level and is generally published one year after the reference date. ABS is proposing to discontinue this publication and release the data in electronic form only - as a multidimensional data set in AusStats or in any other form specified by clients. Consultation on this issue will take place during February 2001. If you would like to be involved in this consultation, please advise David Jayne ( or 07 3222 6060).


The Demography Program produces estimates of the total population by age, sex, country of birth, registered marital status and geographical distribution, estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and estimates of families and households. Statistics are also regularly produced on births, deaths, marriages, divorces, overseas arrivals and departures, and internal migration. Projections of the population, families and households according to specified demographic assumptions are published on a regular basis and produced for individual clients. In addition to reporting on these statistics, courses on understanding demographic data are conducted and an email newsletter is sent to major clients.

Key contacts

If you seeking demography or any other ABS data, you can:
    • visit the ABS web site at (for demography data select Themes then Demography)
    • contact your nearest library to see whether it has the ABS statistics you require
    • email
    • telephone the National Information Service on 1300 135 070 or
    • visit the ABS Office in your capital city.

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

To order particular ABS publication(s), please call (02) 6252 5249.

To receive ABS Demography News as an email, unsubscribe or change your email address, please contact Tita Tabije (

If you wish to discuss issues and/or data, contacts are as outlined below.

Demographic issues 6252 6573 6252 5117
Migration - international and 6252 6522
Marriages and divorces- 6252 7030
Marriages and divorces - 6252 6296
Households and 6252 6141
Indigenous - 8943 2141
Indigenous - estimates and 6252 7083
General or 6252 6557

Demographic data

Population estimates - 6252 5184
Population estimates - 8237 7370
Population projections 6252 7612
Indigenous population estimates and 6252 7083
Household 6252 6027
Household and family 6252 6141
Service population 9360 5935
Births, deaths, marriages and 3222 6047
Overseas arrivals and 6252 5640
General or 6252 6639

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.