1370.0.55.001 - Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/10/2012   
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Graph Image for The Australian population(a)
Graph Image for The Australian population - components of growth

Footnote(s): (a) Year ending 30 June. (b) Estimates for the period September 2006 to June 2011 have a status of Preliminary Rebased, reflecting the results of the 2011 Census and are subject to final rebasing to the 2011 Census in June 2013. (c) Estimates of net overseas migration (NOM) contain a break in time series. Estimates for September quarter 2006 onwards use an improved methodology; caution should be exercised when comparing estimates over time.

Source(s): ABS Australian Demographic Statistics, December, 2010 (cat. no. 3101.0)

Many dimensions of Australia’s progress are influenced by the number of people who usually live in Australia, together with their demographic characteristics and distribution. In turn, many dimensions of progress also influence the size and shape of Australia's population.

At June 2011, Australia's resident population was estimated at 22.3 million people, an increase of approximately 2.9 million since 2001, when it was recorded at 19.4 million.

Australia's annual population growth rate for the year ending June 2011 was 1.2%. Although similar to rates in the early 2000s, the 2011 annual population growth rate was slightly lower than for the previous year (1.3%), and much lower than 2008 and 2009, which had the highest growth rates for the decade (both 1.8%).

There has been a natural increase in Australia’s population (the excess of births over deaths) over last decade. The other component of population growth, net overseas migration, which can vary from year to year due to government policy, and social and economic conditions, has also contributed to the increase in our population.

Between 2001 and 2006, natural increase and net overseas migration contributed similar numbers to the population. However, since 2007, net overseas migration has been the main driver of Australia’s population increase, reaching its highest level of the decade in 2009 (299,800 persons) before falling to 170,300 in 2011. While the population’s natural increase has grown over the past decade, partly due to a decreased death rate and increased fertility rate, its contribution to Australia’s population was comparatively lower (rising from 141,700 in 2007 to 150,500 in 2011).

During the decade 2001–2011, the median age of Australia’s population increased from 35.7 years to 37.3 years. Over this period, the proportion of the population aged 0-14 years decreased from 20.5% down to 18.9%, whilst the proportion of people aged 65 and over increased from 12.5% to 13.8%.

Over the decade to June 2011, the sex ratio of the total population for Australia increased slightly from 98.4 males per 100 females in 2001 to 98.9 males per 100 females in 2011, although there were differences by age. In both 2001 and 2011, the ratio of males to females was higher in younger ages, whilst greater female longevity saw a higher number of females than males in the older years.

For a more detailed view of the changing age and sex structure of the Australian population try out the ABS animated population pyramids.

For a more in-depth discussion about how Australia's population and how it is changing, please see the Population chapter in Measures of Australia’s Progress, 2010 (cat. no. 1370.0).


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