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Newsletters - Demography News - March 2001


At June 2000 capital cities were home to 64% of the Australian population. Taken together capital cities grew by 1.3% over the year to June 2000, accounting for 73% of Australia's population growth over the year. Over the same period the balance of the States and Territories grew by 0.9%.

Over half of Australia's Local Government Areas gained or had a constant population in the year to June 2000, while over 40% experienced population decline. The cities of Brisbane and Gold Coast experienced the largest population increases, up 14,700 and 13,300 respectively. Latrobe City and Wellington Shire, in the balance of Victoria, experienced the largest decreases (-800 and -570 respectively).

In New Zealand, the four cities within the Auckland region experienced the largest growth, together accounting for more than 70% of New Zealand's population growth.

Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 1999-2000 (Cat. no. 3218.0) contains details of population growth for Statistical Local Areas and Local Government Areas, as well as State and national data.

June 2000 Local Government Area population estimates are available on this web site.

Components of 1999-2000 growth - births, deaths and migration - are available on request.


Australia's future population is projected to grow from 19 million in 1999 to between 24 and 28 million in 2051 and to between 23 and 32 million in 2101. The impact of a wide range of fertility, mortality and international migration assumptions, is given in What if?, chapter 2 of Population Projections, Australia 1999-2101 (Cat. no. 3222.0).


A set of 1999-2019 statistical local area and postal area population projections using ASGC 1996 boundaries is now available. The projections are consistent with Series II outlined in Population Projections, Australia, 1999 to 2101 (Cat. No. 3222.0) and take account of the latest demographic trends and land use indicators available to the ABS. While the ABS takes responsibility for the method employed, the assumptions used are the responsibility of the client and the projections are not official ABS statistics. The cost of the projections, by five year age group and sex, for all statistical local areas in a State/Territory ranges from $1,120 in NT to $1,680 in NSW. For Australia the cost is $2,800.

Projections using alternative assumptions and boundaries can be provided.


The median age of the Australian population (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) at June 2000 has increased by almost six years over the last twenty years, from 29 years in June 1980 to 35 years in June 2000. South Australia had the oldest population of all the States and Territories (median age of 37 years) at June 2000, followed by Tasmania (37 years), New South Wales (36 years), Victoria (35 years), Queensland (35 years), Western Australia (34 years) and the Australian Capital Territory (33 years). The Northern Territory had the youngest population in Australia (29 years).

Further information is available in Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories (Cat. no. 3201.0) released on 19 Dec 2000.


Net long-term migration (the excess of arrivals over departures involving a duration of stay of 12 months or more) dominated in net overseas migration in 1999-2000, exceeding gains from net permanent migration for the first time. Net long-term migration contributed 56,100 people, and net permanent migration 51,200 people, while category jumping amounted to a net loss of 8,200 people. The preliminary estimate of net overseas migration for the year 1999-2000 was 99,100 people, which was the highest gain since 1995-96 and reversed the downward trend of the last few years.

Long-term visitors were most likely to have resided in the United Kingdom (14%), New Zealand (7%) or Indonesia (7%) prior to arrival, with almost half (48%) coming for education reasons. Australian residents who departed long-term travelled mainly to the United Kingdom (33%), the United States of America (12%) or Hong Kong (6%), with around one-third travelling for employment reasons.

Australian-born residents departing permanently reached a record high in 1999-2000 (20,300 people), comprising almost half of all permanent departures. Of the overseas-born permanent departures, almost two-thirds were returning to their country of birth. Permanent arrivals reached almost 92,300 during the 12 months, with settlers most likely to have been born in New Zealand (24%), the United Kingdom (10%) or China (7%).

Further information can be found in Migration, Australia 1999-2000 (Cat. no. 3412.0) released on 15 March 2001. The publication also contains three special articles: Illegal entrants and overstayers; Recent migrants in the labour force; and the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia.


With the exception of Victoria and Queensland, all States and Territories recorded net interstate migration losses for the year ended September 2000. New South Wales lost 15,800 persons while Queensland gained 19,400 persons and Victoria gained 7,500.

Further information is available in Australian Demographic Statistics, September Quarter 2000 (Cat. no. 3101.0) released on 22 March 2001. This issue contains September quarter 2000 data for natural increase and interstate migration. It also contains estimated resident population at 30 June 2000 for major population centres, marital status and country of birth. Additionally, two special articles are included: Australia's Regional Population Growth and Deaths of People Aged 25-39 Years.


The 1999 issues of Demography, (State/Territory) (Cat. no. 3311.x) were released in December 2000. The New South Wales issue included a special article on regional fertility in NSW. These publications include core tables on population, births, deaths, migration, marriages and divorces for the particular State/Territory. A chapter on Indigenous data was included in the Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory issues.


The difference between male and female life expectancy at birth in Australia continues to decline. In 1997-1999 life expectancy at birth was 76.2 years for males and 81.8 years for females, a difference of 5.6 years. The highest ever recorded difference of seven years occurred in 1980-82.

The 1999 infant mortality rate was 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, a slight increase from the 1998 rate of 5.0 deaths per 1,000 live births. The Indigenous infant mortality rate is estimated to be two and half times the rate for the total Australian population at 14 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1999.

Deaths Australia 1999 (Cat. no. 3302.0) contains details of deaths by state, age, sex, and cause. In addition time series analysis is included.

A dataset containing Underlying Cause of Death by Sex, Age at Death, State of Usual Residence and ICD10 for 1999 is now available as data cubes in AusStats or on request for other clients.


The assessment in Deaths, Australia 1999 (ABS Cat. No. 3302.0) that from 1990-92 to 1997-99 there appears to be some improvement in the life expectancy of Indigenous people in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory may not be correct. For further information see Demography Working Paper 2001/2 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mortality: Evaluation of Experimental Indigenous Life Tables on this web site. Comments are welcome.


The aim of this one day course is to provide an understanding of the main demographic trends in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) population. The course covers how many and where Indigenous people are, changing propensity to identify as Indigenous, fertility, mortality, migration and how many Indigenous people there may be in the future. Along the way key issues associated with collecting, estimating and projecting the relevant statistics are covered. The course costs $380 per participant (including a light lunch).

The next courses are scheduled for 27 April in Canberra and 24 and 25 May in Darwin. If you would like more information or to register, please contact Tina Brozinic ( 02 6207 0105) for the Canberra course and Megha Raut ( or 08 8943 2122 for the Darwin courses. For general inquiries please contact Shahidullah ( or 02 62525129).


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 $342 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 courses are scheduled for 17 May in Melbourne, and 24 and 25 May in Brisbane. If you would like more information or to register, please contact Kath Horgan for the Melbourne course ( or (03) 9615 7400), and Glen Dunn for the Brisbane courses ( or (07) 3222 6155). For general inquiries please contact Sue Taylor ( or (02) 6252 6141).


A special 2001 Year Book Australia article by Professor Graeme Hugo is available on this web site at Centenary Article - A century of population change in Australia.


Final overseas arrival and departure data for August 2000 onwards are not expected to be published in
Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (ABS Cat. no. 3401.0) before August 2001. Preliminary estimates of short-term arrivals will continue to be published monthly in this publication.

Data from passenger cards completed by persons arriving in or departing from Australia, together with other information available to Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), serve as a source for statistics on overseas arrivals and departures. DIMA is currently automating the processing of passenger cards and ABS has yet to receive relevant data.
    As a consequence of the lack of this data, estimates of national, State and Territory resident populations at 30 September 2000 were not published in Australian Demographic Statistics, September Quarter 2000 (ABS Cat. no. 3101.0) released on 22 March.

    Special arrangements will be put in place to enable State population estimates at 31 December 2000 to be determined before 10 June 2001, a requirement for financial allocation purposes. Further information is contained in Demography Working Paper 2001/1 - Estimating July to December 2000 Net Overseas Migration available on this web site.


    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.


    If you seeking demography or any other ABS data, you can:
          • visit the ABS Demography theme pages on this site
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          • email
          • telephone the National Information Service on 1300 135 070, overseas clients please call 61 2 9268 4909
          • visit the ABS Office in your capital city.

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    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


    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 7612
    Service population 9360 5935
    Births, deaths, marriages and 3222 6047
    Overseas arrivals and 6252 5640
    General or 6252 6639

    Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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