3201.0 - Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, Jun 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/12/2000   
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  • Larger and older population: Australia by age and sex (Media Release)


December 19, 2000
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Larger and older population: Australia by age and sex

Australia's population is ageing due to sustained levels of low fertility and increased life expectancy, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The median age of the Australian population (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) at June 2000 has increased by almost six years over the last twenty years, from 29 years in June 1980 to 35 years in June 2000.

South Australia had the oldest population of all the States and Territories (median age of 37 years) at June 2000, followed by Tasmania (37 years), New South Wales (36 years), Victoria (35 years), Queensland (35 years), Western Australia (34 years) and the Australian Capital Territory (33 years). The Northern Territory had the youngest population in Australia (29 years).

The age structure of Australia's population is closest to that of Canada and the United States. European countries, Japan and Hong Kong have older populations than Australia. In contrast, countries from the Asian regions have younger populations comprising proportionally more children and far fewer older people.

Over the last five years the proportion of children (aged 0-14 years) in the Australian population has declined from 22% to 20%, while the proportion of people aged 15-64 years and 65 years and over each has increased half a percentage point. Countries with older populations than Australia, such as Italy, Japan, Greece, France and Singapore experienced declines in both the child population (aged 0-14 years) and the working age population (aged 15-64 years) over the same period.

At June 2000, the Australian resident population reached 19.2 million people, increasing by 219,900 people (or 1.2%) over the past 12 months.

More details are available in Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories (cat. no. 3201.0) available in all ABS Bookshops. A sumary of the main features of this publication can be found on this site.