In the 2021 Census, the number of people counted as usual residents of Queensland was 5.2 million. This was up from 4.7 million in 2016. Fifty years ago, in 1971, the Census counted 1.7 million people. In 2021, just over half of the population lived outside of the capital city area of Greater Brisbane.
Snapshot of Queensland
High level summary data for Queensland in 2021
The median age (AGEP) for people from Queensland has been on the rise. In 1971, the median age was 26 years. The median age was 37 years in 2016 and 38 years in 2021. The Australian median age was 38 years in 2021.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
In the 2021 Census, 237,000 people identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin (INGP) in Queensland, making up 4.6% of the Queensland population. This was an increase from 186,000 counted in 2016, and higher than the Australian percentage of 3.2% in 2021.
For more information, see Queensland: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population summary.
Country of birth
Most people in Queensland were born in Australia (BPLP). The proportion of people who were born overseas has increased over time. In 1971, 12.3% of people were born overseas. This increased to 21.6% in 2016, and 22.7% in 2021.
In 2021, the top five countries of birth in Queensland were:
- Australia (71.4%)
- New Zealand (4.0%)
- England (3.7%)
- India (1.4%)
- China (1.1%)
In 2021, most people in Queensland only used English at home (80.5%) (LANP). This was down from 81.2% in 2016.
After English the most common languages used were Mandarin (1.6%), Vietnamese (0.6%), Punjabi (0.6%) and Spanish (0.6%).
In 2021, the main religious affiliation (RELP) in QLD was Christianity (45.7%). This proportion has decreased over time as people reporting non-Christian religions and no religious affiliation have increased. In 2016, Christian affiliation was 56.0%, and in 1971 it was 87.3%.
In 2021, 5.0% of people in QLD were affiliated with a non-Christian religion. The most common were Buddhism (1.4%), Hinduism (1.3%) and Islam (1.2%).
The percentage of people who identified as having no religion was 41.2% in 2021. This was an increase from 29.7% in 2016, and 5.9% in 1971.
Household and families
Households are getting smaller in Queensland. In 2021, the average number of people who lived in each household in Queensland was 2.5, a decrease from 3.3 people in 1971.
In 2021, 71.0% of households were family households. This was a slight decrease from 71.8% in 2016.
The most common type of family in Queensland was families with children. In 2021, 41.2% of families were couples with children and 16.8% were one parent families.
The 2021 Census counted almost 2 million dwellings across Queensland. This was an increase from 1.8 million in 2016. In 1971 there were 0.5 million occupied private dwellings in QLD.
In 2021 most people lived in separate houses (74.8%), rather than flats, apartments or other dwelling types. This was a decrease from 76.6% in 2016. Over this time the proportion of people who lived in semi-detached housing increased from 10.6% to 11.7% and households who lived in flats or apartments from 11.3% to 12.5%.
In 2021 63.5% of households in QLD were homeowners (owned outright or with a mortgage). This was a slight increase from 62.2% in 2016.
Refers to occupied private dwellings and excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households. Owned with a mortgage includes dwellings being purchased under a shared equity scheme. Rented excludes dwellings being occupied rent-free. Other tenure type and tenure type not stated represent remaining 3.4%.
Source: Tenure type (TEND)