3311.8 - Demography, Australian Capital Territory, 1999  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/12/2000   
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December 12, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

The changing face of Canberra

The ACT population is growing at less than half the national rate and getting older, says a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ACT population growth rate was 0.5% at 30 June 1999 compared with the national rate of 1.1%. The median age of the population was 32.5 years, up from 32.1 years in 1998 and 29.0 in 1989.

Men who live in the ACT can look forward to the longest expectation of life at birth of all States and Territories (77.9 years), 1.7 years higher than Australia-wide. Women who live in the ACT have the fourth highest expectation of life at birth (81.8 years), equal to the national level.

For the first time in six years the ACT did not have the lowest Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of all States and Territories. The ACT's TFR in 1999 was 1.68 babies per woman compared with the national TFR of 1.75. The age of parents having children in the ACT over the past decade has been steadily increasing. The median age of mothers in the ACT in 1999 was 30.2 years and 32.4 years for fathers (where paternity was acknowledged).

The ACT had the lowest death rate in the country, with a standardised death rate of 5.4 per 1,000 population. The median age at death for males in the ACT were lower than the national median ages at death. The two major causes of death for males and females in the ACT were malignant neoplasms (29.8% of all deaths) and ischaemic heart disease (18.6% of all deaths).

The median ages of grooms (30.4 years) and brides (28.2 years) in the ACT was slightly higher than the national medians. Close to three-quarters of all marriages in the ACT were between partners who were cohabiting before marriage.

Marriages which end in divorce are lasting slightly longer in the ACT than Australia-wide. The median duration of marriage to separation in the ACT was 8.4 years, while Australia-wide it was 7.9 years. Wives are still the main applicant for divorce (49%), followed by husbands (28%) and joint applications (23%).These data are for divorces granted in the ACT, not ACT residents.

ACT net interstate migration recorded a loss of 350 persons and net overseas migration recorded a loss of 850 persons in 1999. However net migration of young people aged 15-19 years recorded a large gain.

More details are in ACT State Demography, (cat. no. 3311.8) available from ABS bookshops. The main features of this publication are available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.