3311.8 - Demography, Australian Capital Territory, 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2001   
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December 11, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

ACT has lowest birth and death rates in Australia

The ACT recorded the lowest fertility rate in the country in 2000, along with the lowest death rate, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

The total fertility rate (TFR) continued its long-term decline, to 1.61 babies per woman in 2000, compared to the national TFR of 1.75. The standardised death rate was 5.1 deaths per 1,000 population, compared to the national rate of 5.7.

Males in the ACT had a higher life expectancy at birth than males in any other State or Territory at 78.3 years, while life expectancy at birth for ACT females (82.3 years) was the second highest in the country. The leading causes of death were cancer (32% of all male deaths and 28% of all female deaths) and ischaemic heart disease (19% of all male deaths and 20% of all female deaths).

The ACT's population growth rate of 0.8% in 2000 was lower than the national rate (1.2%) and was the third lowest rate of the States and Territories. However the Gungahlin-Hall Subdivision recorded an increase of 9% in population between June 1999 and June 2000. The ACT population remains younger than the Australian population as a whole, with a median age (the age at which half the population were older and half were younger) of 32.8 years in 2000, compared to the national median age of 35.2 years. Consistent with the national trend, the population of the ACT continues to age, the median age having increased by 3.5 years since 1990.

The ACT gained 260 people through overseas migration in 2000, but for the seventh consecutive year recorded a population loss through interstate migration (-630 people). The largest gains through both overseas and interstate migration were made in the 15-24 years age group, while losses were recorded across many age groups.

There were 1,700 marriages registered in the ACT in 2000. The median ages of ACT grooms and brides were 30.1 years and 28.2 years respectively. The proportion of marriages between partners who cohabited prior to marriage reached the three-quarter mark (75%).

The median duration of marriages ending in divorce in 2000 was the highest recorded since the introduction of the Family Law Act in 1976, both for the ACT (12.3 years) and Australia-wide (11.6 years). Applications made by wives accounted for almost half (48%) of all divorces in the ACT, while 29% of applications were made by husbands, and 23% were joint applications. This data is for divorces granted in the ACT, not necessarily ACT residents.

More details can be found in Demography, Australian Capital Territory (cat. no. 3311.8). Copies of this publication are available in ABS bookshop in capital cities. A summary of the main features may be found on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication ctontact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.