Younger adults call capital cities home

Media Release

Adults aged 20 to 49 years accounted for just under half (45 per cent) of the population living in Australia's capital cities in 2019, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Outside of the capitals, they made up just over a third (36 per cent).

ABS Director of Demography Lauren Ford said this higher concentration of younger adults in the capital cities could be seen in all states and territories.

"It was most evident in New South Wales and Victoria, with the proportions of people aged 20 to 49 years in Sydney and Melbourne more than 10 percentage points higher than in their regional areas.

"The difference was smallest in the Northern Territory, where 49 per cent of Darwin residents were aged 20 to 49 years compared with 46 per cent of those living outside of the capital."

Proportions of people aged 20-49 years in capital cities and rest of Australia, June 2019

Capital City20-49 years Rest of Australia20-49 years
 %  %
Sydney45.3 Rest of New South Wales35.0
Melbourne45.9 Rest of Victoria35.2
Brisbane43.9 Rest of Queensland37.9
Adelaide40.7 Rest of South Australia32.6
Perth43.0 Rest of Western Australia38.0
Hobart39.1 Rest of Tasmania33.9
Darwin48.9 Rest of Northern Territory46.3
Capital cities combined44.6 Rest of Australia36.1

In contrast, older adults aged 50 years and over accounted for a larger proportion (39 per cent) of people living outside of capital cities compared with 31 per cent of those living within them. 

Statistics in this publication predate COVID-19. 

To find out more about the age distribution of your area, see Regional Population by Age and Sex, Australia, 2019 (cat. no. 3235.0), available for download from the ABS website.

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