2015.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Selected Social and Housing Characteristics, Australia, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/06/2002  Reissue
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June 17, 2002
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Snapshot of a century - How we've changed

Latest census figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that since Federation in 1901, Australia's population, as counted by the census, has increased by more than 15 million people, the average Australian is older and there are now more females than males.

The Census of Population and Housing is Australia's official snapshot of the nation and provides Australians with an opportunity to see how they have changed over the first century since Federation.

Australia's population, as counted in the year of federation, was 3,773,801*. In 2001, 18,972,350 people were counted in the census. State populations as counted in the 1901 Census and 2001 Census were:-

1901 Census Population Count (`000)
2001 Census Population Count (`000)
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
Formed part of New South Wales in 1901
South Australia
Northern Territory
Formed part of South Australia in 1901
Western Australia
    ' Under the Constitution at Federation, 'Aboriginal natives' were not included in the calculation of the population, although they may have been counted in the Census. This changed following a referendum in 1967.'

Australia had a younger population in 1901. Since 1901 the median age of Australia's population increased from 22 years to 35 years. The proportion of people aged 0-14 years decreased from 35.1% in 1901 to 20.7% in 2001 and the proportion of people aged 65 years and over increased from 4.0% to 12.6%.

In 1901 males accounted for 52.4% of the Australian population. In 2001, females made up the greater proportion of Australia's population at 50.7%.

Australia and the United Kingdom (including Ireland) was the birthplace for 95.1% of the population in 1901. This decreased to 77.6% of the population in the 2001 Census.

More census information down to local areas is available on this site.

Media please note:

State, capital city, suburban and regional media - comparisons and rankings for your area are available in the Census publication Selected Social and Housing Characteristics, Australia (Cat. No. 2015.0). For those unable to attend the national launch or State/Territory events, a copy is available by emailing client.services@abs.gov.au

This site also has a vast array of 2001 Census data. The website contains a narrative snapshot series, plus basic community profile tables from the local to the national level.

Ethnic media - a special language profile for over 70 different languages has been developed for media and is available by facsimile. To receive a profile for your particular language, forward your details (including language of interest, telephone and facsimile numbers) to facsimile (02) 6252 8002 .

Indigenous media - A specialised set of indigenous profiles are available on ths site.

2001 Census news file footage - of census processing and census form destruction has been distributed to major metropolitian and regional TV Newsrooms.

Stills images - are available at www.aapmedianet.com.au under the 2001 Census category.