3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Jun 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2004   
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1 This quarterly publication contains the most recent estimates of the resident populations (ERP) of Australia and the states and territories based on the results of the Census of Population and Housing held on 7 August 2001 (with various adjustments described in paragraph 4). The publication also contains estimates of the number of households by household size as well as the latest available statistics of births, deaths (including infant deaths) and overseas and interstate migration. In addition, the publication includes estimates of the resident population by age and region, population projections for Australia and experimental estimates and projections of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Periodically, articles on specific demographic topics will be released on the ABS web site in conjunction with this publication.

2 Following the 1992 amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act to include the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands as part of geographic Australia, population estimates commencing from September quarter 1993 include estimates for these two territories. To reflect this change, another category of the state and territory level has been created, known as Other Territories. Other Territories include Jervis Bay Territory, previously included with the Australian Capital Territory, as well as Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, previously excluded from population estimates for Australia. Data for Other and External Territories are detailed separately in table 7.

3 Estimates for Australian External Territories will be updated annually as at 30 June unless a more recent estimate is required for a determination under Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.


4 Australia’s population estimates for the period since 1971 are compiled according to the place of usual residence of the population. An explanation of the place of usual residence conceptual basis for population estimates is given in Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods.

Method of estimation

5 The estimated resident population is an estimate of the Australian population obtained by adding to the estimated population at the beginning of each period the components of natural increase (on a usual residence basis) and net overseas migration. For the states and territories, account is also taken of estimated interstate movements involving a change of usual residence. Estimates of the resident population are based on census counts by place of usual residence, to which are added the estimated net census undercount and Australian residents estimated to have been temporarily overseas at the time of the census. Overseas visitors in Australia are excluded from this calculation.

6 After each census (at 30 June of the census year), estimates for the preceding intercensal period are revised by incorporating an additional adjustment (intercensal discrepancy) to ensure that the total intercensal increase agrees with the difference between the estimated resident populations at the two 30 June dates in the respective census years.

Natural increase: births and deaths

7 The births and deaths data in this release are shown by state and territory of usual residence, using year/quarter of occurrence for revised and final data and year/quarter of registration for preliminary data. This may affect comparison within relevant tables. For preliminary estimates, births and deaths by quarter of registration are used as a proxy for quarter of occurrence. For revised estimates, a factor has been applied to the number of occurrences to allow for these occurrences which are yet to be registered. For final estimates after 30 June 1991, year/quarter of occurrence data are used.

Net overseas migration

8 Conceptually, net overseas migration (NOM) is the difference between permanent and long-term arrivals, and permanent and long-term departures. Estimates of NOM are derived from information provided on incoming and outgoing passenger cards, as well as other data supplied by the DIMIA. Data on the intended duration of stay of overseas visitors arriving in Australia and the intended duration of absence of Australian residents travelling overseas are used to determine the numbers of permanent and long-term arrivals, and permanent and long-term departures. Passenger card data are also used to calculate migration adjustments and determine the state and territory distribution of NOM. The processes of adjusting movement data on travellers' stated intentions to reflect their actual behaviour are complex, and depend upon the amount and type of movement data available at a particular point in time. The methods currently used compare data on actual travel movements over a one year period with those first advised by individual travellers, and are explained in more detail in Demography Working Paper 2003/5 - Net Overseas Migration: Adjusting for Actual Duration of Stay or Absence. In order to conduct such a comparison, data for a 15 month period (i.e. one year plus one quarter) are required. The adjustment methods described in the working paper have been applied to NOM data from the September quarter 2001 onwards and will be subject to further investigation and improvement with the accumulation of additional data and time series. For more information see the Technical Note - Measuring Net Overseas Migration.

Net interstate migration

9 Estimates of interstate migration since June 1986 have been derived from the latest census data on interstate movement in the preceding one year and unidentified information on interstate changes of address advised to the Health Insurance Commission in the process of administering Medicare.


10 For the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, most prison data was received for processing via electronic data files. During the post-processing evaluation cycle, it was established that the male and female counts for Queensland prisons (only) were incorrectly captured. This resulted in the publication of incorrect census counts for males and females for various Queensland geographical areas and, as a consequence the incorrect numbers for males and females for Queensland and Australia. Revised population estimates for the 2001-02 financial year phased in a correction for this error. Information on the geographical areas affected are available in the 2001 Census Working Paper-Fact Sheet: Correction of Prison Data for Queensland.


11 The average annual growth rate, r, is calculated as a percentage using the formula: Equation: rateofgrowthwhere P0 is the population at the start of the period, Pn is the population at the end of the period and n is the length of the period between Pn and P0 in years.


12 Estimates of the Indigenous population are experimental in that the standard approach to population estimation is not possible because satisfactory data on births, deaths and internal migration are not generally available. Furthermore, there is significant intercensal volatility in census counts of the Indigenous population, thus adding to the problem of estimating the true Indigenous population. This volatility can in part be attributed to changes to the Indigenous population that can not be attributed to natural increase or interstate migration. As a result, a method based on the use of life tables is used to produce time series data. For further details see Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 3238.0).


13 Experimental estimates of the Indigenous population as at 30 June 2001 are used as the base population for projections of the Indigenous population to 30 June 2009. A low and a high projection series have been generated, and respectively imply a low and high overall growth rate of the Indigenous population. The low series assumes a change to the Indigenous population is a result of natural increase and, for states and territories, a result of interstate migration. The high series assumes an increase in the Indigenous population observed between the 1996 and 2001 censuses which cannot be attributed to natural increase. For further details see Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1991-2009 (cat. no. 3238.0).


14 Estimates of households are based on the estimated resident population series, to which propensities to form households are applied. These propensities were estimated from the Census of Population and Housing, and updated using the monthly Labour Force Survey. A detailed description of the method used to produce household estimates is contained in Household Estimates 1986, 1991-94 (cat. no. 3229.0).


15 Overseas arrival and departure statistics are derived from a combination of full enumeration and sampling. All permanent movements and all movements with a duration of stay of one year or more are fully enumerated and processed. All movements with a duration of stay of less than one year are sampled. Statistics relating to these movements are therefore estimates which may differ from statistics which would have been obtained if details of all these movements had been processed.

16 From July 1998 the DIMIA is able to determine the actual length of stay for departing overseas visitors and arriving Australian residents which was previously collected from information on intended length of stay supplied on the arrival or departure card by the passenger. This new method has resulted in a change in data distribution with the number of passengers staying for one year exactly declining significantly.


17 Population projections presented in this publication are not predictions or forecasts. They are an assessment of what would happen to Australia's population if the assumed levels of components of population change - births, deaths and migration - were to hold for the next 50-100 years.

18 The ERP at June 2002 is the base for the projections series. The three series published in this publication and their assumptions are as follows:

  • Series A - assumes that the total fertility rate (TFR) will reach 1.8 babies per woman by 2011 and then remain constant, life expectancy at birth will continue to improve through to 2050-51 reaching 92.2 years for males and 95.0 years for females, net overseas migration (NOM) of 125,000 per year from 2005-06 through to 2050-51, and high flows of interstate migration.
  • Series B - assumes that the TFR will fall to 1.6 babies per woman by 2011 and then remain constant, life expectancy at birth will continue to improve each year, though at a declining rate, and will reach 84.2 years for males and 87.7 year for females in 2050-51, NOM of 100,000 per year from 2005-06 through to 2050-51, and medium flows of interstate migration.
  • Series C - assumes that the TFR will fall to 1.4 babies per woman by 2011 and then remain constant, life expectancy at birth will continue to improve each year, though at a declining rate, and will reach 84.2 years for males and 87.7 years for females in 2050-51, NOM of 70,000 per year from 2005-06 through to 2050-51, and small flows of interstate migration.
    For additional series and information (e.g. age, sex, states/territories and capital cities/balances of state) see
    Population Projections, Australia, 2002-2101 (cat. no. 3222.0).


19 In this publication population estimates and their components have sometimes been rounded to the nearest hundred. Neither rounded figures nor unrounded figures should be assumed to be accurate to the last digit shown.

20 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of component items and totals.


21 Other ABS products which may be of interest to users include:

  • AusStats - electronic data <https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats>
  • Australian Demographic Trends, cat. no. 3102.0
  • Australian Historical Population Statistics, cat. no. 3105.0.65.001
  • Births, Australia, cat. no. 3301.0
  • Deaths, Australia, cat. no. 3302.0
  • Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods
  • Demography, cat. no. 3311.1-8 - state and territory specific publications
  • Estimated Resident Population by Country of Birth, Age and Sex, cat. no. 3221.0 - issued annually to 1994
  • Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1991 to 2009, cat. no. 3238.0
  • Household Estimates, Australia, cat. no. 3229.0
  • Interstate Arrivals and Departures - from September quarter 1986, Dataset, <https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats>
  • Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing, Data Quality - Undercount, Australia, 2001, cat. no. 2940.0
  • Marriages and Divorces, Australia, cat. no. 3310.0 - includes data on the marital status of the estimated resident population of Australia
  • Migration, Australia, cat. no. 3412.0 - includes data on the country of birth of the estimated resident population of Australia
  • Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, cat. no. 3401.0 - issued monthly
  • Population by Age and Sex: Australian States and Territories, cat. no. 3201.0
  • Population Projections, Australia, cat. no. 3222.0
  • Underlying Cause of Death by Sex and Age at Death, State of Usual Residence and ICD-10 - from 1999, Dataset, <https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats>


22 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

23 AusStats is a web based information service which provides ABS full standard product range online. It also includes companion data in multidimensional datasets in SuperTABLE format, and time series spreadsheets.

24 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.

25 Statistics of overseas arrivals and departures and related data are also published regularly by DIMIA (see the Department’s quarterly publication, Immigration Update) and by the Bureau of Tourism Research (on international travel and tourism).