3311.8 - Demography, Australian Capital Territory, 1997  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/12/1998   
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  • A.C.T. demography differs from national average - ABS (Media Release)


December 16, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

A.C.T. demography differs from national average - ABS

Demography, Australian Capital Territory released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today provides detailed statistics on various aspects of the Territory's population. Highlights for 1997 include:

  • On average, women in the ACT have 1.6 babies throughout their lifetime. This is less than the Australian average of 1.8 babies and is the lowest of all States and Territories. It is also well below the level of 2.1 babies per woman needed to replace the population.
  • ACT women are having their babies later in life than they were a decade ago. The median age of mothers has steadily increased over the last ten years from 28.5 years in 1987 to 29.8 years in 1997. In 1997, the highest number of births occurred to women aged 30-34 years.

  • Men born in the ACT in 1997 can expect to live longer than men born in any other State or Territory (77.1 years). However, women born in the ACT have a shorter life expectancy (81.3 years) than those in Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria.
  • The major causes of death in the ACT in 1997 were cancer and heart disease. About 27% of male and 28% of female deaths were due to cancer, while 30% of male and 23% of female deaths were due to heart disease.

  • Just one half of men and women in the ACT will marry at least once at some point in their lives. Over the past ten years, the likelihood of ever marrying has been consistently lower for men and women in the ACT when compared with men and women Australia-wide.
  • Only 10% of marriages registered in the ACT were between parties both born in the Territory. A further 27% of marriages involved one party born in the Territory.
  • Men and women in the ACT are marrying later than they were 10 years ago. In 1997, the median age for first-time grooms was 27.4 years and for first-time brides 25.9 years, whereas in 1987 the comparative median ages were 26.0 and 24.0 years.

  • Divorces registered in the ACT show that the age at which people divorce has increased over the past decade. In 1997 the median age at divorce was 40.3 years for men and 37.4 years for women, whereas in 1987 the medians were 37.9 years and 34.8 years respectively.
  • In 1997, marriages that ended in divorce lasted for a median of 11.4 years. Over the past ten years this median length has varied only slightly.
  • Wives are still the main applicants for divorce in the ACT, applying for 46% of divorces. However, the number of joint applications has increased over the past ten years, from 9% of divorces in 1987 to 23% in 1997.

Details are in Demography, Australian Capital Territory (cat. no. 3311.8) which is available from ABS Bookshops.