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)

2001 Census - Australia's big picture

Today's release of 2001 Census figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) paints a big picture of Australia as a nation with an increasing but aging population, where many were born overseas and live in a dwelling that is either owned or being purchased.

Census Night on 7 August 2001 recorded 18,972,350 people in Australia representing an increase of 6.0% in the population since the 1996 Census. Queensland's population showed the largest growth with an increase of 8.5%, while Tasmania's population decreased by 0.7%.

People identifying themselves as Indigenous increased from 352,970 people in 1996 to 410,003 in 2001. The Indigenous population represented 2.2% of the total Australian population, up from 2.0% in 1996.

Australian born people accounted for 71.8% of the population in 2001, down from 73.9% in 1996. English was the only language spoken at home by 79.1% of the population, a decrease from 81.4% in 1996. Of those people who spoke a language other than English at home, the highest proportion spoke Italian at 1.9%.

Low fertility and increased life expectancy were factors contributing to Australia's aging population. The median age in Australia was 35 years in 2001 compared to 34 years in 1996. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over increased to 12.6% in 2001, from 12.1% in 1996. The proportion of people aged 0-14 years decreased to 20.7% in 2001, from 21.5% in 1996.

The proportion of males and females in the population remained stable, with females accounting for 50.7% of the population and males 49.3%.

The number of dwellings recorded in the 2001 Census increased by 8.5% or 615,179, since 1996. Of the 7,810,352 dwellings recorded, 90.5% were occupied private dwellings, 9.2% were unoccupied private dwellings and 0.3% were non-private dwellings.

Dwellings fully owned or being purchased accounted for 66.2% of the 7,072,202 occupied private dwellings in Australia. The median monthly housing loan repayment of the 1,872,132 occupied private dwellings being purchased was $870. The median weekly rent of the 1,858,324 occupied private dwellings being rented was $154.

Of the more than 7 million households counted in 2001, 68.8% were family households, a decrease from 70.6% in 1996. The proportion of lone person households increased to 22.9%, up from 22.1% in 1996. The proportion of group households fell to 3.7% in 2001, down from 4.1% in 1996.

The 2001 Census counted 4,936,828 families in Australia, an increase of 6.0% since 1996. In 2001, 47.0% of all families were couples with children, down from 49.6% in 1996. There were corresponding increases in the proportion of couple families without children (35.7%), up from 34.1% in 1996, and lone parent families (15.4%), up from 14.5% in 1996.

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 this 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.