3201.0 - Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, Jun 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/12/2007   
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December 12, 2007
Embargoed 11.30 am (AEDT)
Oldest Population: Tasmania Overtakes South Australia

Tasmania had the oldest population of the nation as at 30 June this year, says the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The median age (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) for Tasmania was 39.1 years overtaking South Australia. The migration of young adults to the mainland has contributed to Tasmania's accelerated ageing. South Australia has typically recorded the highest median age, but fell short with 38.9 years at 30 June 2007.

Meanwhile, the Northern Territory remains the youngest, with a median age of 31.1 years. Australia's median age has increased to 36.8 years for 30 June 2007, slightly higher than 12 months earlier, by 0.2 years.

Over the past 20 years (since 1987), the proportion of the population aged under 15 years has dropped by 3.3%. The working age population (15-64 years) has remained relatively stable, increasing from 66.6% to 67.5%. Those aged 65 years and over have also increased from 10.7% to 13.1%.

As fertility rates and the number of births has increased in recent years there has been a noticeable rise in the number of children aged under five years (21,900 children in the 12 months to 30 June 2007). However, this increase has not yet impacted on the number of children aged over five years.

Australia's Ageing Continues

Overall Australia's population continues to age, with the number of people aged 65 years and over at 30 June 2007 increasing by 2.7% (or 72,000 people) on last year. Those aged 85 and over also increased for this period, by a large 7.1%.

The ageing of the population is mainly due to sustained low levels of fertility and increasing life expectancy.

The ABS animated population pyramids for all states, territories and Australia have been updated on the ABS website today.

Further details can be found in Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, June 2007 (cat. no. 3201.0).