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AGE AND SEX DISTRIBUTION
The following graph (called a population pyramid) compares the age/sex structure of the population residing in capital city SDs with that of the population residing in the remainder of Australia. Each dark bar illustrates the percentage contribution of a sex and five-year age group to the total population of the capital city SDs in Australia, and each light bar illustrates the percentage contribution to the population of the remainder of Australia. For example, the graph shows that in June 2008 3.3% of the combined population of the capital city SDs were males aged 0-4 years.
A noticeable feature of the age distribution of Australia's population in June 2008 was the high proportion that people aged between 20 and 39 years made up in capital city SDs (30.7%) compared with the remainder of Australia (24.7%). This illustrates the attraction of young to middle-aged adults to education, employment and other opportunities in Australian capital cities. In contrast, older adults aged 45 years and over represented a greater proportion of the population in the remainder of Australia than in capital city SDs.
The population pyramid also highlights differences between the sexes. For June 2008 the most notable was the higher proportions of women in the population aged 75 years and over, illustrated by the bars on the right-hand side of the graph being longer than those on the left. This was evident in both capital city SDs and the remainder of Australia. The difference was most marked among the population aged 85 years and over and is attributable to the longer life expectancies of Australian women.
At June 2008, 13.7 million people (63.9%) resided in Australia's capital city SDs compared with 7.7 million (36.1%) in the remainder of Australia. A slightly greater number of females than males resided in capital cities (6.91 million compared to 6.78 million) while there were slightly more males than females in the remainder of Australia (3.88 million compared to 3.86 million).
A greater number of both males and females in all age groups resided in capital city SDs. The extent to which capital city SDs had a greater share of the population varied across the different age groups. For example, 70.2% (1.1 million people) of the population aged between 25 and 29 years resided in capital city SDs compared with 58.2% (484,500 people) of the population aged 65 to 69 years.
At June 2008, the median age of Australia's population (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) was 36.9 years, up from 36.1 years in June 2003. The median age of males increased from 35.3 years in June 2003 to 36.1 years in June 2008. Females continued to have a higher median age than males, rising from 36.9 years to 37.6 years over the same five-year period, reflecting their longer life expectancies.
At June 2003, South Australia was the "oldest" state or territory in Australia with a median age of 38.2 years. Since then, there has been an increase in the median age in each state and territory, the largest of which occurred in Tasmania (up 1.4 years). As a result, Tasmania had the highest median age in the country at June 2008 (39.4 years), slightly ahead of South Australia (39.0 years). The state or territory with the lowest median age at June 2008 was the Northern Territory (31.1 years), as was the case in June 2003 (30.3 years).
The SDs with the highest median ages at June 2008 were Yorke and Lower North (SA) (46.0 years) and Mid-North Coast (NSW) (44.2 years). The SDs with the lowest median ages were Northern Territory - Bal (29.0 years) and North West (Qld) (30.3 years).
CHILDREN (UNDER 15 YEARS OF AGE)
The total number of children aged 0 to 14 years at June 2008 was 4.1 million, having increased 124,800 (3.1%) since June 2003. The proportion of children in the population, however, had decreased from 20.1% to 19.3% over this period.
In the five years to June 2008, there were large increases in the number of children aged under 15 years in Queensland (68,100), Victoria (32,600) and Western Australia (26,800), but the other states and territories had stable or slightly decreasing populations aged less than 15 years.
The Northern Territory continued to have the highest proportion of children at 23.8%, while South Australia had the lowest at 18.1%.
The SDs with the highest proportions of children were Northern Territory - Bal (26.3%), North West (Qld) (25.3%), Kimberley (WA) (25.0%) and Pilbara (WA) (24.8%). The SDs with the lowest proportions of children were Adelaide (SA) (17.4%), Yorke and Lower North (SA) (17.8%), Gold Coast (Qld) (17.9%) and Melbourne (Vic.) (18.4%).
WORKING AGE POPULATION (AGED 15-64 YEARS)
In June 2008, 67.5% of Australia's population were of working age (15 to 64 years). The number of people in this age group increased by 1.1 million (8.3%) since June 2003 to reach 14.5 million people.
There was an increase in the number of people aged between 15 and 64 years in all states and territories over the five years to June 2008, with the largest and fastest increases occurring in Queensland (340,400 people or 13.3%). Both the smallest and slowest increases in working age population occurred in Tasmania (12,800 people or 4.1%).
Tasmania also had the lowest proportion of its population aged 15 to 64 years (65.5%) while the Australian Capital Territory had the highest (71.5%).
The four SDs with the highest proportions of people aged 15 to 64 years in June 2008 were Pilbara (WA) (72.7%), Darwin (NT) (72.5%), Canberra (ACT) (71.5%) and Kimberley (WA) (70.2%). The four with the lowest proportions were Yorke and Lower North (SA) (61.2%), Wimmera (Vic.) (61.5%), Mid-North Coast (NSW) (61.6%) and Wide Bay-Burnett (Qld) (62.4%).
PEOPLE AGED 65 YEARS AND OVER
In the five years to June 2008, the number of people aged 65 years and over increased by 300,000 (or 11.8%) to reach 2.8 million. The proportion of the population in this age group also increased, rising from 12.7% to 13.2%.
There was an increase in the number of people aged 65 years and above in each state and territory between June 2003 and June 2008. The largest increase (80,300 people) occurred in New South Wales and the smallest (3,200) occurred in the Northern Territory; however, this equated to the fastest growth in the country (39.8%). The slowest growth in this age group occurred in South Australia (8.4%).
South Australia had the highest proportion of its population aged 65 years and over (15.3%), closely followed by Tasmania (15.0%). The Northern Territory had the lowest proportion (5.1%).
South Australia's Yorke and Lower North SD had the highest proportion of its population aged 65 years and over (21.0%), followed by Mid-North Coast (NSW) (19.7%), Wimmera (Vic.) (19.6%) and East Gippsland (Vic.) (18.4%). The four SDs with the lowest proportions were Pilbara (WA) (2.5%), Northern Territory - Bal (4.3%), Kimberley (WA) (4.7%) and Darwin (NT) (5.8%).
At June 2008, there were 109,900 more females than males residing in Australia, with 10.8 million females and 10.7 million males. This equates to a sex ratio (the number of males per 100 females) of 99.0, up from 98.5 in June 2003. The sex ratio varied among the states and territories, ranging from 97.3 in Tasmania to 107.7 in the Northern Territory. Only in the Northern Territory and Western Australia did men outnumber women.
In each state the sex ratio in the capital city SD in June 2008 was lower than the sex ratio in the remainder of the state. In the Northern Territory, though, Darwin SD's sex ratio was 111.7 while the sex ratio in the remainder of the territory was 103.0. The only other capital city SD in which there were more males than females was Perth, with a sex ratio of 100.6.
The SDs with the highest sex ratios were the Pilbara (WA) (128.7), North West (Qld) (115.8) and South Eastern (WA) (114.8), which all have significant resources sector activity. The SDs with the lowest sex ratios were the capital city SDs of Greater Hobart (Tas.) (94.8) and Adelaide (SA) (95.5), followed by the Sunshine Coast (Qld) (96.4).
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