1387.3 - Queensland in Review, 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/11/2003  Ceased
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Contents >> Population Characteristics

Links to ABS publications mentioned in the text can be found under 'Other Related Articles' at the bottom of the page.


Population statistics are measures of the size, growth, composition and distribution of the population as well as the components that shape population change. They underpin the discussion of a wide range of issues relating to wellbeing. In addition, population topics of interest in themselves include immigration, multiculturalism, ageing and population sustainability.

Queensland's estimated resident population at 30 June 2001 was 3,635,121 persons. Queensland’s population has shown steady growth over the past decade, progressively increasing its share of the Australian total. In common with most Western societies, the population is gradually ageing as birth rates decline and life expectancy increases.


There are two sources of population data for Queensland used in these web pages:

  • The Census of Population and Housing is conducted every 5 years and provides two basic counts of population: 'Place of enumeration' counts include every person who spent census night in Queensland (excluding foreign diplomats and their families), based on where they stayed that night. 'Place of usual residence' counts include every person who usually lives in Queensland regardless of where they were counted in Australia. On the census form, each person is asked to state his or her address of usual residence, as well as where they actually were on census night. One of the important features of the census is that it describes the characteristics of Australia's population and housing for small geographic areas and small population groups.
  • The Estimated Resident Population (ERP) is the official ABS estimate of the population. It is compiled as at 30 June of each census year and updated quarterly between censuses for each of the States and Territories, and annually for smaller areas (Statistical Local Areas). The ERP is derived from the census usual residence counts. These counts are adjusted upwards to compensate for census underenumeration, and then further adjusted (also upwards) to include an estimate of the number of Australian residents who were temporarily overseas on census night. A further adjustment is then made because the census does not fall on 30 June. An explanation of the conceptual basis for population estimates is given in Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods, in the ABS Statistical Concepts Library on this site.

For a summary table which highlights the differences between census counts and ERP, see the following extract APPENDIX 1 ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION from the ABS publication Census of Population and Housing: Selected Social and Housing Characteristics, Australia (cat. no. 2015.0).

A full discussion of the different population measures, and when they are available, was featured in the June 2002 issue of Western Australian Statistical Indicators (cat. no. 1367.5).

For an explanation of the methods used to estimate Statistical Local Area populations see the explanatory notes of Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand (cat. no. 3218.0).

For the latest official population figures see the quarterly ABS publication Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).

Researchers and users of data are also encouraged to refer to relevant topics relating to ABS Statistical concepts and classifications within the ABS Statistical Concepts Library and for reference material on ABS statistical collections, the Directory of Statistical Sources.

This section contains the following subsection :
      Population size and distribution, 1859 to 2001
      The Ageing Population in Queensland (1971, 2001 and 2031)
      Indigenous Population (1971-2001)

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