2015.7 - Census of Population and Housing: Selected Social and Housing Characteristics for Statistical Local Areas, Northern Territory, 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 the Northern Territory (NT). For comparative purposes, it includes 1996 Census data presented on 2001 Census geography. In addition, selected 1901 Census data are included for each State in table 1 to mark Australia's Centenary of Federation in 2001. 1901 data for the NT are included in South Australia (SA) as it was not established as a separate entity until 1911. 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 the NT. 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, Northern Territory (Cat. no. 2017.7). 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 (CD) 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 210,664 people in the Northern Territory (NT) on Census Night. This represents an increase of 8.0% (15,563 people) since the 1996 Census (195,101 people). Queensland is the only State or Territory to record a larger increase (8.5%). Of those counted in Australia on Census Night, 188,075 people were usual residents of NT.

Selected person characteristics

The median age in the NT was 30 years in 2001, the lowest of all States and Territories, and compares to 35 years for Australia as a whole. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over increased to 5.3% (11,067 people) in 2001, from 4.9% in 1996. This compares with 12.6% for Australia. The proportion of people aged 0-14 years decreased to 23.6% (49,702 people) in 2001, from 24.8% in 1996. The proportion of males and females in the population has remained stable, with more males (52.3%) than females 47.7%). The NT is Australia's only State or Territory where males outnumber females. New topics for the 2001 Census included Computer use at home and Internet use. For the NT a higher proportion of females (31.8%) used a personal computer at home than males (30.9%). This compares with 43.5% of males and 40.5% of females for Australia. Similarly, a slightly higher proportion of females (20.7%) than males (20.5%) used the Internet at home in the NT. This compares with 29.5% (males) and 25.9% (females) for Australia.

Selected ethnic characteristics

The majority of people counted in the NT were Australian born (77.9% or 157,959 people). This compares with 72.6% for Australia. The largest overseas born group comprised people born in the United Kingdom at 3.9% (7,929 people) followed by New Zealand at 1.8% (3,671 people). No other country accounted for more than one per cent. English was the only language spoken at home by 68.9% (139,711 people) of the population, compared to 80.0% for Australia. Of those who speak a language other than English at home, the highest proportion (15.4% or 31,271 people) spoke an Indigenous language.

Indigenous people

The number of people who identified as being of Indigenous origin increased by 9.7% to 50,785 people in 2001, up from 46,277 people in 1996. The Indigenous population represented 25.1% of the NT population. This compares with 2.2% for Australia. The majority of Indigenous people (81.3% or 41,288 people) live outside of the Darwin Statistical Division. Of these, 10.3% live in Alice Springs, 4.6% in Katherine, and 2.8% in Tennant Creek. The remainder live in more remote areas, mostly in Indigenous communities.

Housing characteristics

There were 72,389 dwellings counted in the NT, an increase of 18.0% (11,068 dwellings) since 1996. This is the highest increase of all States and Territories and compares with a national increase of 8.5%. Of these dwellings, 89.9% (65,057) were occupied private dwellings, 9.6% (6,919) were unoccupied private dwellings and 0.6% (403) were non-private dwellings. Of the non-private dwellings 70.7% (285) were outside the Darwin Statistical Division.

Occupied private dwellings

Dwellings which were fully owned or being purchased accounted for 42.5% of the 65,057 occupied private dwellings in the NT. For the occupied private dwellings being purchased (15,724 dwellings), the median monthly housing loan repayment was $1,000. The NT had the highest proportion of rented dwellings (41.5% or 26,994 dwellings). The median weekly rent for occupied private dwellings being rented was $123. The median monthly housing loan repayment for NT was $1,000, the second highest in Australia after New South Wales $1,049. Conversely, NT's median weekly rent ($123) was the third lowest, followed by South Australia ($117) and Tasmania ($107).

Household characteristics

Of the 65,057 households counted in 2001, 61.9% (40,288 households) were family households, a decrease from 64.6% in 1996. The proportion of lone person households increased to 18.6% (12,083 households), up from 16.7% in 1996. The proportion of group households fell to 4.3% (2,778 households) in 2001, down from 5.0% in 1996. The Census shows that 41.9% of NT households (27,266 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, almost one third of NT households (31.8% or 20,703 households) reported using the Internet at home compared to 36.1% of households for Australia.

Family type

The 2001 Census counted 43,251 families in the NT, an increase of 8.3% since 1996. In 2001, almost half of all families (49.0% or 21,203 families) were couples with children, down from 52.1% in 1996. There was a corresponding increase in the proportion of couple families without children (31.4%), up from 28.6% in 1996. The proportion of one parent families remained steady at 17.8%.