**SUMMARY**

The estimated resident population of Western Australia at 30 June 2003 was 1,952,200 representing an increase of 27,700 persons or 1.4% since June 2002.

Almost three quarters (73%) of the state population resided in the Perth Statistical Division, this proportion has remained virtually unchanged since 1991.

In the 12 months to June 2002, the South West Statistical Division recorded the greatest proportional increase in population of 2.7% (5,500 persons), followed by the Kimberley Statistical Division, 2.1% (700 persons). The population of the Perth Statistical Division increased by 1.5% (21,600 persons). The largest decrease in population was recorded in the Upper Great Southern Statistical Division, 0.7% (140 persons).

**MEDIAN AGE**

The population of Western Australia, like the Australian population in general, has been ageing steadily over the last two decades. The median age of the Western Australian population rose from 35.2 years in 2002 to 35.5 years in 2003. The median age for males and females at June 2003 was 34.9 and 36.2 years respectively.

Among the Statistical Divisions in Western Australia, the Lower Great Southern had the highest median age of 38.2 years. The Lower Great Southern had the highest median age for females, 38.9 years, while the Upper Great Southern had the highest median age for males, 38.0 years. The median age in the Perth Statistical Division was 35.6 years which is an increase of 0.3 years since June 2002. The oldest median ages within the Perth Statistical Division were recorded in Claremont and Fremantle - Inner (41.0 and 41.5 years respectively). Outside the Perth Statistical Division, 19 statistical local areas had a median age over 40 years. These included Toodyay (42.0), Nannup (42.3), Bruce Rock (42.4), Murray (42.6) and Beverley (44.9).

Lower median ages occurred in the remote northern and eastern parts of the state, with the Kimberley having the lowest median age (29.1 years) of any statistical division. This reflects the younger 'working age' profile of the population and the relatively large proportion of Indigenous residents, who have generally higher fertility rates and lower life expectancy. These trends were evident in statistical local areas such as Halls Creek, Ngaanyatjarraku, Derby-West Kimberley, Mullewa, Murchison and Wyndham-West Kimberley which all had median ages under 30.0 years.

**CHILDREN AGED 0-14 YEARS**

In 2003, children aged 0-14 years accounted for 20.4% of the population. This represents a small decline since June 2002 when 20.7% of the population was aged 0-14 years. The statistical divisions with the largest proportion of children aged 0-14 years were the Kimberley and the Pilbara (27% and 26% respectively), while the smallest proportion occurred in the Perth Statistical Division (19%).

For statistical local areas, the smallest proportions of children aged 0-14 were recorded in inner city areas, including Perth - Remainder (6%), Fremantle - Inner (7%), Perth - Inner (7%) and Victoria Park (12%). Outside the Perth Statistical Division, Yalgoo and Wiluna had the smallest proportions of children aged 0-14 with 12% each. The largest proportions of children were recorded in Mullewa (31%), Halls Creek (32%) and Murchison (34%). Within the Perth Statistical Division, Wanneroo - North West had the largest proportion of children aged 0-14 years (28%).

**PEOPLE AGED 15-64 YEARS**

In the 12 months to June 2003, the number of people in the 15-64 year age group ('working age') in Western Australia grew by 1.5% to an estimated 1,331,400 persons, representing 68.2% of the total state population. Across the statistical divisions, Pilbara had the largest proportion of people in this age group (71%), while the Lower Great Southern had the smallest proportion (64%).

In the Perth Statistical Division 69% of persons were in this age group. The proportions were larger in the inner city areas of Perth - Inner (84%), Perth - Remainder (84%) and Fremantle - Inner (81%). Wanneroo - North West had the smallest proportion of persons in the 15-64 year age group within the Perth Statistical Division (63%).

The statistical local areas of Wiluna (85%), Yalgoo (82%), Leonora and Laverton (79% each) had the largest proportions of persons in the 'working age' population outside the Perth Statistical Division. Across the state, the statistical local areas of Kellerberrin (59%), Muckinbudin (59%) and Trayning (60%) had the smallest proportion of people in the 15-64 year age group.

**OLDER PEOPLE AGED 65 YEARS AND OVER**

In the 12 months to June 2003, the number of older people (aged 65 years and over) in Western Australia rose by 3.1%. In this age group, the number of females exceeded the number of males, with 82.0 males for every 100 females.

In June 2003, people aged 65 years and over accounted for 11.4% of the state population. The largest proportions were in the statistical divisions of the South West (13.8%) and Lower Great Southern (14.0%). In contrast, the Pilbara and the Kimberley had only 2.4% and 4.4% of their respective populations in this age group.

Within the Perth Statistical Division, Claremont and Victoria Park, two established residential areas close to the central business district, continue to have the highest proportion of older people (18.6% and 16.9% respectively) while Joondalup - North, on the northern fringe of the metropolitan region, continues to have the smallest proportion (6.6%).

Across the state, the statistical local areas of Kellerberrin (19.1%), Mandurah (18.3%) and Pingelly (16.7%) had relatively high concentrations of people in this age group. The smallest proportions occurred in the shires of Roebourne (1.9%), Coolgardie (2.5%), Wiluna (3.2%) and Wyndam-East Kimberley (3.9%).

**OLDER PEOPLE AGED 85 YEARS AND OVER**

In June 2003, people aged 85 years and over accounted for 1.3% of the total state population and 11% of those aged 65 years and over.

In the 12 months to June 2003, the number of people in this age group rose by 2.9%. Since June 1999, the number of people aged 85 years and over in Western Australia increased by 19%, compared with a total population increase of only 5.5% over the same period. The growth in this age group reflects the increased life expectancy of both men and women. In June 2003, there were more than twice as many females (16,800) as males (7,700) aged 85 years and over.

Only 4 statistical local areas had more than 3% of their population aged 85 years and over - Claremont (3.9%), Victoria Park (3.7%), Stirling - South Eastern (3.6%) and Nedlands (3.4%). Outside the metropolitan area, the statistical local area of Albany - Central had the highest proportion of their population aged 85 years and over (2.7%).

**SEX RATIO**

In June 2003, the sex ratio (number of males per 100 females) for Western Australia was 100.1, with 976,800 males and 975,400 females. Males outnumbered females in all statistical divisions except Perth where there were 709,200 males and 723,900 females. The sex ratio ranged from 98.0 in Perth to 122.1 in the Pilbara.

Within the Perth Statistical Division, the statistical local area of Peppermint Grove had the lowest sex ratio (73.2) and Perth - Inner had the highest (191.8). Outside the Perth Statistical Division, Yalgoo had the highest sex ratio (285.9) and Albany - Central the lowest (91.7).

For people in the 15-64 "working age" group, the highest ratio of males to females was in the statistical local areas dominated by the mining and pastoral industries, such as Yalgoo (333.9), Wiluna (242.4) and Sandstone (211.4). The lowest ratios for this age group occurred in the Perth Statistical Division in the statistical local areas of Peppermint Grove (69.8), Mosman Park (91.3) and in the south of the state in Albany - Central (92.9).