3201.0 - Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, Jun 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/12/2006   
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December 13, 2006
Embargoed 11:30am (AEDT)

First Australian baby boomers reach 60: ABS

The first of Australia's baby boomers born in 1946 turned 60 years of age this year.

Around 218,000 people born in 1945-46 turned 60 last financial year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The remaining baby boomers will reach this milestone over the next two decades, with the largest age group, who were born in 1963, turning 60 in the year 2023.

Australia's population continues to age, with the number of people aged 60 years and over up 3% on last year (reaching 3.7 million people). The ageing of the population is mainly due to sustained low levels of fertility and increasing life expectancy.

The working age population (those aged 15-64 years) increased largely due to more teenagers turning 15 years than those turning 65 years in the 12 months to 30 June 2006. However this is not projected to continue - the number of 15-year-olds are set to decline due to falls in the number of births throughout the 1990s, and the number of 65-year-olds will swell as the first of the baby boomers reach 65 in 2011.

Over the past 20 years (between 1986 and 2006), the proportion of the population aged under 15 years has dropped from 23% to 19% of the total population. The working age group (15-64 years) has remained stable, increasing from 66% to 67%. Those aged 65 years and over have increased from 11% to 13%.

The number of people aged 85 years or over has doubled compared with 20 years ago from 129,300 to 338,000 people at 30 June 2006.

The median age (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) has increased 5.8 years over the last two decades to 36.9 years at 30 June 2006. Both South Australia and Tasmania have the oldest populations each with a median age of 39 years. The Northern Territory remains the youngest, with a median age of 31 years.

New population pyramid

New animated population pyramids for all states and territories were released on the ABS web site today.

Animated Population Pyramids

A population pyramid is a graph showing the age and sex distribution of a population. It is a useful tool in revealing information about a population's history and future possibilities. Animated population pyramids show the change of population distribution over time.

Further details can be found in Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories June 2006 (cat. no. 3201.0).