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20/03/2009 Note: Updated Time Series Spreadsheets for Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, Jun 2008 (cat. no. 3201.0) have been released on Friday, 20 March 2009. This product contains Time Series Spreadsheets containing population by single year of age and sex for each state and territory from June 1971 to June 2008. Figures from 30 June 2007 onwards have been revised following scheduled annual revisions for 2006-07 financial year.
Tasmania experienced the largest increase in median age over the last 20 years, increasing by 8.0 years from 31.4 years in 1988 to 39.4 years in 2008. The emigration of younger adults from Tasmania to the Australian mainland has contributed to this accelerated ageing, see Migration, Australia (cat. no. 3412.0).
Between 30 June 1988 and 30 June 2008, the proportion of Australia's population aged 15-64 years has remained relatively stable, increasing from 66.8% to 67.5% of the total population. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over has increased from 10.8% to 13.3%. During the same period, the proportion of population aged 85 years and over has more than doubled from 0.8% of the population at 30 June 1988 to 1.7% of the total population at 30 June 2008. The proportion aged under 15 years decreased from 22.4% to 19.3%.
The age with the greatest number of people in Australia at 30 June 2008 was 37 years with 330,400 people. This corresponds to children born during the baby boom echo in the early 1970s. In contrast with the national figure, the modal age for the Australian Capital Territory is 25 and 26 years with 6,200 people each, which corresponds to migration of younger adults to Canberra for education and employment.
CHILDREN (UNDER 15 YEARS OF AGE)
The number of children aged 0-14 years in the population increased by 42,300 in the 12 months to 30 June 2008. The number of children aged 0-4 increased by 37,700, 5-9 increased by 4,400 and 10-14 increased by 150. While fertility rates and the number of births have increased in recent years, this does not impact on the number of children in older ages of 5-14 years.
In the year ended 30 June 2008, Western Australia recorded the largest percentage increase (2.4%) in the number of children aged 0-14 years. Queensland recorded positive growth of 1.9%, as did Victoria (1.4%), the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory (both 0.9%), South Australia (0.6%), and Tasmania (0.5%). New South Wales remained relatively unchanged with a drop of 0.1%.
Between 30 June 1988 and 30 June 2008, the proportion of population aged 0-14 years decreased by 3.1 percentage points from 22.4% to 19.3%.
WORKING AGE POPULATION (AGED 15-64 YEARS)
The number of people aged 15-64 years (working age population) increased by 1.8% (or 249,100 persons) in the year ended 30 June 2008. Western Australia (2.7%), the Northen Territory (2.5%), Queensland (2.4%) and Victoria (1.8%) each recorded growth rates for 15-64 year olds higher than or equal to the national figure. New South Wales (1.3%), the Australian Capital Territory (1.1%), South Australia (1.1%), and Tasmania (0.8%) each recorded growth rates for 15-64 year olds lower than the national figure.
During the 20 years between 30 June 1988 and 30 June 2008, the proportion of population aged 15-64 years increased from 66.8% to 67.5%.
In the year ended 30 June 2008, there were 287,300 young people aged fifteen who entered the working age population while 178,800 people turned 65 years and left the working age population. However, this excess of 15 year olds over 65 year olds is projected to decline over the next decade. The major causes for this decline are because the first cohort of the baby boomers (those born in 1946) will reach the age of 65 years in 2011 leaving the working age population, while the number of 15 year olds entering the working age population will decline due to the fall in fertility and the number of births recorded through the 1990s.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2008, the number of people aged 65 years and over in Australia increased by 67,600 people representing a 2.4% increase. The proportion of the population aged 65 years and over increased from 10.8% to 13.3% between 30 June 1988 and 30 June 2008.
All states and territories experienced growth in their populations aged 65 years and over in the year ended 30 June 2008. The Northern Territory (6.6%), the Australian Capital Territory (3.7%), Western Australia (3.2%) and Queensland (3.0%) experienced the greatest increase in the numbers of persons aged 65 years and over.
Aged 85 years and over
In the 12 months to 30 June 2008, the number of people aged 85 years and over increased by 20,700 people (6.0%) to reach 364,900. Over the past two decades, the number of elderly people increased by 165%, compared with a total population growth of 29% over the same period. Increased life expectancy for both males and females has contributed to this rise. There were almost twice as many females (241,700) than males (123,100) in this age group at 30 June 2008 which reflects the higher life expectancy at birth for females compared with males.
In the year ended June 2008, the largest increases in the number of people aged 85 years and over occurred in the Australian Capital Territory (9.6%), followed by the Northern Territory (8.8%), New South Wales (6.3%), Western Australia and South Australia (6.2%), Victoria and Queensland (5.7%), and Tasmania (4.9%).
Aged 100 years and over
In the 12 months ending 30 June 2008, the number of centenarians increased by 540 people (19.0%) to reach 3,400. This represents an almost threefold increase over the past two decades since 1988 (1,100).
There were more than three times as many females (2,600) than males (720) in this age group at 30 June 2008, reflecting the higher life expectancy at birth for females compared with males.
The sex ratio relates to the number of males per 100 females in a population or subpopulation. The sex ratio at birth is approximately 105 males per 100 females. Higher male mortality rates at younger ages results in the ratio approaching 100 for the 30-64 years age group. Net Overseas Migration can also influence the sex ratio, especially in the younger working ages where there is often a greater proportion of male migrants. Above age 65, the sex ratio reduces markedly due to the impact of higher male mortality on this population group.
At 30 June 2008, the sex ratio of the total population for Australia was 98.9 males per 100 females. At birth, the sex ratio for Australia in 2007 was 105.5 males per 100 females (see Births, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 3301.0)). This excess of males in the earlier years contrasts with the opposite situation in the older years and for the total population which can be attributed to female longevity.
Across the states and territories in 2007-08, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland all had lower numbers of males than females. Tasmania had the lowest sex ratio, with 97.4 males per 100 females. Western Australia and the Northern Territory had an excess of males over to females. The Northern Territory had the highest sex ratio with 108.6 males per 100 females.
Population ageing is a notable demographic characteristic of most developed countries. In countries such as Japan, Italy and Greece the proportion of people aged 65 years and over already exceeds the proportion of children aged 0-14 years. Population ageing is caused by sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy, which has resulted in proportionally fewer children in the population. In Australia, based on the latest Series B population projections, the number of people aged 65 years and over is projected to exceed the number of children aged 0-14 years around the year 2025. For more information, see Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0).
According to United Nations projections, all countries selected for analysis are expected to experience decreases in the proportion of children aged 0-14 years in their populations between 2005 and 2010. In most of these countries, the decrease in the proportion of children aged 0-14 years is expected to be accompanied by increases in the proportions of people aged 15-64 years or people aged 65 years and over. Countries like Japan and Italy are expected to experience proportional declines in their populations aged 15-64 years as well as their populations aged 0-14 years, and are expected to experience large proportional increases in their population aged 65 years and over.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics projections, the proportion of children (aged 0-14 years) in the Australian population is expected to decline by almost one percentage point between 2005 and 2010, from 19.7% to 19.0%, while the proportion of people aged 15-64 years is expected to decrease slightly, from 67.4% to 67.3%. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over is expected to increase by almost one percentage point from 12.9% to 13.7%.
In 2005, the age structure of Australia's population was similar to that of Canada and the United States of America. Generally, the European countries and Japan had smaller proportions of children and higher proportions of older people than Australia. In contrast, other countries in Asia tended to have proportionally more children and far fewer older people, generally reflecting considerably higher fertility rates and lower life expectancies at birth than those experienced in Australia.
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