4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, April 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2013   
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29 May 2013
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra Time)

ABS Celebrates Canberra's Centenary

In celebration of Canberra's centenary, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released a special Australian Social Trends article exploring the growth of Canberra over the last 100 years.

Using data as far back as the 1911 Census, the article found that the contemporary Canberra of today is a youthful, culturally and socially diverse city - a far cry from the largely male, Christian farming community of 1911, where sheep outnumbered people.

Denise Carlton, Director of the ABS ACT Regional Office said "the number of people in the ACT has increased from less than 2,000 in 1911 to over 357,000 on Census night 2011."

"Around one in five ACT residents were aged 20-29 years in 2011 which was the the most in any 10-year age group. We also found that two-thirds of these younger Canberrans have lived interstate or overseas in the five years prior to Census night."

The analysis found that the ACT is a multicultural city, with around one-quarter of ACT residents in 2011 born overseas.

"ACT overseas-born residents today come from a wide range of different countries, the most common of which were countries in Asia. This is a contrast from 1911, when just 10 per cent of people in the ACT were born overseas, nine out of ten of them from Britain and Ireland," Ms Carlton commented.

"At about 55 per cent, the ACT also has the lowest proportion of people identifying as Christian of any state and territory. Back in 1911, almost the entire population of the ACT were Christian."

In 2011, just under half of ACT residents aged 15 years or over were married, while 11 per cent were in a de facto relationship. Just over 1 per cent of these couples were same-sex couples - the highest proportion of all states and territories.

Further details can be found in the article Centenary of Canberra, available for free download from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au

Media notes:

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.