3311.4 - Demography, South Australia, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/12/2002   
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In the year ending December 2001, the estimated resident population of South Australia grew by 0.5% and reached 1,519,000 persons. This State had 7.8% of Australia's population and it has been the fifth most populous state since 1982. The South Australian growth rate was lower than the national level (1.3%) and was the second lowest in the country, above only Tasmania (where population increased by 0.2% in the year to December 2001).

South Australia had the highest proportion of persons aged 65 years and over (15%), followed by Tasmania (14%). The national proportion was 13%.


During 2001 there were 17,300 births registered to 17,000 mothers usually resident in South Australia. The crude birth rate was 11.4 births per 1,000 population and the State's relatively aged population has contributed to this rate being the lowest in Australia since 1985. South Australia's total fertility rate (1.67 babies per woman) was above the rates for Victoria (1.61) and the Australian Capital Territory (1.51) but below the national rate (1.726).


There were 11,900 registered deaths (including 79 infant deaths) of persons usually resident in South Australia in 2001. The median ages at death (76.7 years for males and 82.4 years for females) were above those for the other states and territories in Australia.

Tasmania's and South Australia's higher proportions of older persons partly contributed to their crude death rates (8.2 and 7.8 deaths per 1,000 population) being well above the national rate of 6.6 deaths per 1,000 population. However, when the rates are adjusted for age (standardised death rates), the South Australian rate of 5.5 deaths per 1,000 persons was similar to the national rate of 5.4 deaths per 1,000 persons.

DEATH RATES, Crude and standardised for age by state and territory
(a) Deaths per 1,000 population


In 2001 there were 7,400 marriages registered in South Australia, a decline of 21% since 1991. The crude marriage rate of 4.9 marriages per 1,000 population was below the national rate of 5.3 marriages per 1,000 population.


There were 4,500 divorces granted in South Australia in 2001, an increase of 8% in relation to 1991. The crude divorce rate of 3.0 divorces per 1,000 population was above the national rate of 2.8.



The Adelaide Statistical Division (ASD), which contained 73% of the South Australian population, had 72% of the State's births and 73% of the State's deaths in 2001. The ASD's average total fertility rate over the three years 1999–2001 (1.60 births per woman) was less than the three-year average for the State (1.69 births per woman). The Statistical Subdivision with the lowest total fertility rate in the State was Eastern Adelaide (1.35 babies per woman), which includes the City of Adelaide (0.83 babies per woman).

Rest of State

The Statistical Division of Outer Adelaide, which covers areas including the Barossa Valley, Kangaroo Island, Mount Barker and Victor Harbor, held 8% of the State's population and had 7% of the births and 6% of the deaths in 2001. Total fertility rates over three years ranged from an average of 1.64 babies per woman in the District Council of Yankalilla to 2.48 babies per woman in the District Council of Kangaroo Island.

In 2001, the most populous Statistical Local Areas outside the ASD were the City of Mount Gambier (23,600 persons), City of Whyalla (22,200 persons), Rural City of Murray Bridge (17,100 persons) and the central area of the District Council of Mount Barker (15,600 persons).

Over the period 1999–2001, the Statistical Subdivision with the highest indirect standardised death rate in the State was the Flinders Ranges (6.9 deaths per 1,000 population), while Fleurieu had the lowest (4.8 deaths per 1,000 population).


The publication brings together population, birth, death, migration, marriage and divorce statistics for South Australia. The data will be available in electronic (Excel) format as data cubes on the ABS web site in 2003.


For further information about these statistics, please contact Susan Jones on (08) 8237 7465 or email susan.jones@abs.gov.au.