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Newsletters - Demography News - September 2001

In this issue


Between 1992 and 2000, Australia and New Zealand both experienced average annual population growth rates of 1.1%. While Australia's population growth rate was relatively steady over this period, New Zealand's growth rate declined from 1.6% in 1995-96 to 0.5% in 1998-99, largely because of declining levels of net overseas migration.

Within Australia, for the year ended March 2001, Queensland recorded the highest growth rate (1.7%) while Tasmania's growth rate was negative (0.1%). The national annual growth rate was 1.2%. Because ABS has yet to receive relevant data, the preliminary estimate of net overseas migration for March Quarter 2001 (26,800) is an assumption consistent with the medium net overseas migration assumption included in Population Projections, Australia, 1999-2101 (ABS Cat. no. 3222.0). Because net overseas migration is assumed, the resident population at 31 March 2001 is a projection (19.3 million).

Further information is available in Australian Demographic Statistics, March Quarter 2001 (Cat. no. 3101.0) released on 20 September 2001. This issue also contains a special article, Populations of Australia and New Zealand: a comparison and a listing of the contents of the recently released electronic time series, Australian Historical Population Statistics.


If the registered marriage, remarriage, widowing, divorce and mortality rates for 1997-1999 were to continue into the future, of the life span of 76 years for men, 42 years would be spent as never married, 28 years as married, 2 years as widowed and 5 years as divorced. For women, in a life span of 82 years, the equivalent figures are 40 years as never married, 29 years as married, 6 years as widowed and 7 years as divorced.

Comparing babies born in 1985-1987 and 1997-1999 the average life expectancy at birth increased by nearly 4 years for men and 3 years for women. The average life likely to be spent as never married increased by 6 years for men and 8 years for women. Life likely to be spent married decreased by 4 years for men and 5 years for women. Life span likely to be spent as widowed decreased by less than one year for men and by 2 years for women and that spent as divorced increased by 2 years for both men and women over the same period.

Further information is available in Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2000 (Cat. no. 3310.0) released on 23 August 2001.


The population of Darwin Statistical Division (ASGC 2001) which includes Darwin City, Palmerston-East Arm and Litchfield is projected to increase from 103,500 in 1999 to between 126,500 and 184,500 by 2021. Darwin Statistical Division is projected to experience stronger growth than the rest of the Northern Territory, resulting in further concentration of the Northern Territory's population within the cities of Darwin and Palmerston and Litchfield Shire. By 2021, 56-60% of Territorians are projected to be living in these areas compared to 54% in 1999. For further information, see Population Projections, Northern Territory, 1999 to 2021 (ABS Cat. no. 3222.7) which was released on 25 July 2001. The data is available in a manipulative electronic form in AusStats .


The aim of the one day Indigenous Demographic Trends 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, projecting and analysing the relevant statistics are covered. Indigenous Demographic Trends costs $380 per participant and includes copies of three Indigenous publications, morning and afternoon tea and a light lunch.

The next courses are scheduled for 5 October in Adelaide, 8 October in Perth, 18 October in Sydney and 14 November in Brisbane. If you would like more information or to register, please contact Glenn Hamlyn for the Adelaide course ( or (08) 8237 7422), Sue Lee for the Perth course ( or (08) 9360 5935), Helen Gardiner for the Sydney course ( or (02) 9268 4562) and Lorraine Taylor for the Brisbane course ( or (07) 3222 6491). For general inquiries, please contact Shahidullah ( or (02) 6252 5129).


Estimates of the Indigenous population are 'experimental' in that the estimates are affected by changes in the propensity of people to identify as being of Indigenous origin on census forms and satisfactory data on births, deaths and migration are not generally available. 'Experimental' reflects the uncertainty involved. For further information see Demography Working Paper 2001/4 - Issues in Estimating the Indigenous Population


The aim of the one day
Understanding Demographic Data 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, course notes and a copy of Australian Demographic Statistics, Cat. no. 3101.0).

The next courses are scheduled for 23 and 24 October in Perth, 6 and 7 December in Sydney, and Darwin and Alice Springs early in 2002. If you would like more information or to register, please contact Sue Lee for the Perth courses ( or (08) 9360 5935), Michael Deane for the Sydney courses ( or (02) 9268 4629), or Megha Raut for the Darwin and Alice Springs courses ( or (08) 8943 2122). A course may also be offered in Canberra at the end of the year, please contact Tina Brozinic for more details ( or (02) 6207 0105). For general inquiries, please contact Sue Taylor ( or (02) 6252 6141).


If you are after demography data in a manipulative electronic form (eg spreadsheet or data cube) then AusStats could be your answer. AusStats is a web based information service providing you with the ABS' full standard product range (both free and charged material) on-line.

Demographic statistics currently available on AusStats via data cubes and time series spreadsheets include:

  • Population estimates from 1788 as part of Australian Historical Population Statistics.
  • The latest population estimates for Statistical Local Areas.
  • Population projections for States/Territories to 2051.
  • Population projections for Statistical Local Areas and postal areas throughout Australia
  • Household and family projections for Statistical Local Areas throughout Australia.
  • The latest death (including cause of death) data by State/Territory.
  • Expectation of life at single ages (0-100), 1881 onwards as part of Australian Historical Population Statistics.
  • Selected interstate (from 1981) and overseas (from 1991) migration, household estimates (from 1986), components of population change (from 1984).

If you consider that other specific data should be available in a manipulative electronic form, please advise .


The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) has advised that data from its new processing system should now arrive at the ABS by October 2001. DIMA has informed the ABS that it plans to process the backlog of passenger card data (from August 2000 onwards) at the rate of 3 reference months per calendar month.

In accordance with these plans, the ABS intends to publish this backlog of data in quarterly supplementary publications. These supplementary publications will be made available free of charge to subscribers to Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (Cat. No. 3401.0). Each quarterly supplement will contain the tables that appear in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (Cat. No. 3401.0), for each of the 3 reference months of the quarter. The July - September 2000 supplementary publication should be released in December 2001. These supplements containing quarterly data will continue to be published at the rate of one quarter per month until the backlog of Overseas Arrivals and Departures data has been published. AusStats time series data will be updated in accordance with the release of the quarterly supplements.

In addition, preliminary estimates of short term visitor arrivals will continue to be published in the main publication of Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (Cat. No. 3401.0).


Consultation on a review of registered birth and death statistics is due to take place during October 2001. If you would like to be involved in this consultation, please advise .


Demography Working Paper 2001/5 - Evaluation of Administrative Data Sources for Use in Quarterly Estimation of Internal Migration Between 2001 and 2006 has been released. It concludes that Medicare data remains the best administrative data source available for preparing postcensal internal migration estimates. Even though data problems exist, population coverage and timeliness in particular point to its superiority over other data sources.


The demography component produces estimates of the 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 for individual clients. Statistics are also regularly produced on births, deaths, marriages, divorces, overseas arrivals and departures and internal migration. For the ABS and other population surveys, benchmarks to facilitate estimation are provided. In addition to reporting on statistics, courses 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 web site, particularly the Demography theme pages
    • contact your nearest library to see whether it has the ABS statistics you require
    • email
    • telephone 1300 135 070 (clients outside Australia, please call 61 2 9268 4909)
    • visit the ABS Office in your capital city.

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

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

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. 6252 6573 6252 7546
Migration - international and 6252 6522
Marriages and divorces- 6252 7030
Marriages and divorces - 6252 6296
Households and 6252 6141
Indigenous - 8943 2141
Indigenous - 6252 5129
Population - general or 6252 6557

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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