1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Jun 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/07/2008   
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Population characteristics

In June 2007, Western Australia's estimated resident population was 2.11 million persons. From June 2006 to June 2007, Western Australia had the highest growth in the nation, which was an increase of 46,800 persons (2%) from June 2006 and 307,700 persons (17%) from June 1997. In percentage terms, Western Australia's population growth of 17% between June 1997 and June 2007 was higher than the national average of 13% and was the second highest among the states and territories behind Queensland with 23%.

In June 2007, the median age (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) of the Western Australian population was 36.4 years. This is slightly younger than the national median age of 36.8 years. The median age of the Western Australian population increased from 33.5 years in 1997.

The ratio of males to females aged 0-64 years increased slightly between 1997 and 2007 (103.8 and 104.7 males per 100 females respectively). However, for those aged 65 years and over, the ratio increased from 79.7 to 85.7 males per 100 females over the same ten year period. In 2006, life expectancy at birth was 83.8 years for females and 79.1 years for males in Western Australia. Between 1997 and 2006, the difference in life expectancy between males and females fell from 5.9 to 4.7 years.

Causes of death

In 2006, there were 11,600 deaths registered in Western Australia. The underlying causes of death were mainly cancer (malignant neoplasms), ischaemic heart disease and stroke - together accounting for more than half (55%) of all deaths. Cancer was the leading underlying cause of 3,600 deaths. Of those deaths, 20% (714) were caused by cancers of the trachea, bronchus and lungs. From 1996 to 2006, the proportion of deaths caused by cancer increased from 28% to 31%. Ischaemic heart disease accounted for 16.3% (1,900) of deaths in 2006, a decrease from 22% of deaths in 1996. Stroke accounted for 7.6% (880) of deaths in 2006, slightly lower than in 1996 (9.5%).

LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH, Proportion of total deaths - Western Australia
Graph: LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH, Proportion of total deaths—Western Australia

In 2006, the leading cause of death for persons aged 15-24 years in Western Australia was transport accidents, accounting for 39% (71 deaths) of deaths in this age group. The proportion was higher for males than females (43% compared to 30% respectively). Suicide accounted for 17% of deaths in the 15-24 year age group, with the proportion of males and females almost identical (both 17%).