2015.1 - Census of Population and Housing: Selected Social and Housing Characteristics for Statistical Local Areas, New South Wales and Jervis Bay, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/09/2002   
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This publication presents a range of social and housing statistics produced from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing for New South Wales (NSW) and the territory of Jervis Bay. For comparative purposes, it includes 1996 Census data presented on 2001 Census geography. In addition, selected 1901 Census data are included in table 1 to mark Australia's Centenary of Federation in 2001. The tables in this publication provide selected characteristics of the population and their housing arrangements for Statistical Divisions (SDs), Statistical Subdivisions (SSDs) and Statistical Local Areas (SLAs). The purpose of these tables is to allow a broad comparison of characteristics between geographic areas. This publication also contains the Basic Community Profile (BCP) for NSW. This set of tables is provided to illustrate the wide range of data available from the Census. The BCP consists of 33 tables. This publication contains the first 21 tables which focus on the social and housing characteristics. The remainder of the BCP, tables 22 to 33, will be published in Census of Population and Housing: Selected Education and Labour Force Characteristics for Statistical Local Areas, New South Wales (Cat. no. 2017.1). The statistics in this publication are mostly presented on the basis of where people were counted on Census Night ('as enumerated' counts). Counts of people based on where they usually live ('usual residence' counts) are also provided.


Census counts should not be confused with the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) official population estimate, the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) which is used for electoral purposes and in assisting in the distribution of government funds to state and local governments. ERP is the definitive population estimate and is derived from the census counts. For example, ERP includes an estimate of Australians temporarily overseas. For a fuller description of population measures and the derivation of ERP, please see paragraphs 7, 8 and 9 of the Explanatory Notes. Appendix 1 includes a table showing census counts and ERP for each State and Territory. One of the important features of the Census is that it describes the characteristics of Australia's population and housing for small geographic areas and small population groups. While not available in this publication, data at the smallest geographic level (Collection District) are available in a range of census products. For more information on these products, please refer to Appendix 2 - Census Products and Services. Concepts and definitions used in this publication are explained in the Glossary and more detailed information is available in the 2001 Census Dictionary (Cat. no. 2901.0). The Explanatory Notes in this publication provide a discussion of the scope and coverage of the Census, the different measures of population, and the limitations of census data. This publication is one of a series of publications which provide data at the SLA level for each State and Territory. A similar publication is also available for the whole of Australia providing data at SSD level. See Appendix 2 (Census Products and Services) for more information.



The Census of Population and Housing conducted on 7 August 2001 counted 6,371,745 people in New South Wales (NSW) on Census Night. This represents an increase of 5.5% (333,049 people) in New South Wales' population since the 1996 Census (6,038,696 people). Of those counted in Australia on Census Night, 6,326,579 people were usual residents of NSW.

Selected person characteristics

New South Wales' population is continuing to age as a result of low fertility and increased life expectancy. The median age in NSW was 35 years in 2001 compared to 34 years in 1996. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over increased to 13.1% (833,419 people) in 2001, from 12.7% in 1996. The proportion of people aged 0-14 years decreased to 20.7% (1,319,498 people) in 2001, from 21.4% in 1996. The proportion of males and females in the population has remained stable, with slightly more females (50.6%) than males (49.4%). New topics for the 2001 Census included Computer use at home and Internet use. For NSW a higher proportion of males (42.9%) used a personal computer at home than females (39.6%). This compares with 43.5% of males and 40.5% of females for Australia as a whole. Similarly, a higher proportion of males (29.6%) than females (25.8%) used the Internet at home in NSW.

Selected ethnic characteristics

The majority of people counted in NSW were Australian born (70.5% or 4,450,772 people). This compares with 72.6% for Australia. The largest overseas born group comprised people born in the United Kingdom at 4.4% (275,130 people), followed by New Zealand (1.7% or 105,708 people), China (1.4% or 85,363 people) and VietNam (1.0% or 63,019 people). English was the only language spoken at home by 75.7% of the NSW population compared with 80.0% for Austalia. Of those people who spoke a language other than English at home, the highest proportion spoke a Chinese language (3.2% or 201,667 people) followed by Arabic (including Lebanese) (2.3% or 145,620 people).

Indigenous people

The number of people who identified as being of Indigenous origin increased by 18.1% to 119,865 people in 2001, up from 101,485 people in 1996. Indigenous people represented 1.9% of the NSW population. This compares with 2.2% for Australia.

Housing characteristics

There were 2,578,042 dwellings counted in NSW, an increase of 7.7% 183,832 dwellings) since 1996. Of these dwellings, 90.9% (2,343,677 dwellings) were occupied private dwellings, 8.8% (227,863 dwellings) were unoccupied private dwellings and 0.3% (6,490 dwellings) were non-private dwellings.

Occupied private dwellings

Dwellings which were fully owned or being purchased accounted for 64.4% of the 2,343,677 occupied private dwellings in NSW. For the occupied private dwellings being purchased (546,195 dwellings), the median monthly housing loan repayment was $1,049, which was the highest of any State or Territory in Australia. The median weekly rent for the 27.5% of occupied private dwellings being rented (645,319 dwellings) was also the highest in Australia at $177.

Household characteristics

Of the 2,343,677 households counted in 2001, 69.3% (1,625,101 households) were family households compared to 71.0% in 1996. The proportion of lone person households was 22.3% (522,487 households), compared with 21.9% in 1996. The proportion of group households fell to 3.6% (85,243 households) in 2001, down from 4.0% in 1996. The Census shows that nearly half of all NSW households (48.3% or 1,131,835 households) used a personal computer at home in the week prior to the Census. This compares with 48.6% of all households for Australia. For the same period, over one third of NSW households (36.5% or 855,276 households) reported using the Internet at home, compared with 36.1% of households for Australia.

Family type

The 2001 Census counted 1,654,583 families in NSW, an increase of 5.0% since 1996. In 2001, almost half (47.8% or 791,475 families) of all families were couples with children, down from 49.8% in 1996. There were corresponding increases in the proportion of couple families without children (34.9%), up from 33.6% in 1996, and one parent families (15.5%), up from 14.8% in 1996.