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Population: Census

Information on sex and age

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First release

Key statistics

  • The 2021 Census counted 25,422,788 people in Australia (excludes overseas visitors), an increase of 8.6 per cent since the 2016 Census.
  • 49.3 per cent of the population were male with a median age of 37 years old.
  • 50.7 per cent of the population were female with the median age of 39 years old.

    Population by generation

    A bar chart is shown. The population is broken down by: 12.0% Gen Alpha (0-9 years), 18.2% Gen Z (10-24 years), 21.5% Millennials (25-39 years), 19.3% Gen X (40-54 years), 21.5% Baby Boomers (55-74 years) and 7.5% Interwar (75 years and over)

    Population by generation

    A bar chart shows the Australian population broken down by generations. The population is made up of 12.0 per cent Gen Alpha (0-9 years), 18.2 per cent Gen Z (10-24 years), 21.5 per cent Millennials (25-39 years), 19.3 per cent Gen X (40-54 years), 21.5 per cent Baby Boomers (55-74 years) and 7.5 per cent Interwar (75 years and over).

    Count of persons(a) by state and territory by sex, 2021 Census
    New South Wales                       3,984,166                       4,087,995                       8,072,163
    Victoria                       3,200,963                       3,302,528                       6,503,491
    Queensland                       2,540,404                       2,615,736                       5,156,138
    South Australia                          878,592                          902,924                       1,781,516
    Western Australia                       1,322,855                       1,337,171                       2,660,026
    Tasmania                          273,765                          283,804                          557,571
    Northern Territory                          117,526                          115,075                          232,605
    Australian Capital Territory                          224,361                          230,140                          454,499
    Australia(b)                     12,545,154                     12,877,635                     25,422,788

    Note there are small random adjustments made to all cell values to protect the confidentiality of data. These adjustments may cause the sum of rows or columns to differ by small amounts from table totals.

    (a) Based on place of usual residence. Excludes overseas visitors.

    (b) Includes Other Territories.

    Access Census data

    Population data summary

    Tables in this download:

    1. Population by state and territory
    2. Greater Capital City Statistical Area and Rest of State/Territory by sex
    3. Age by sex
    4. Children by sex by state and territory
    5. Older people by sex by state and territory

    Population data summary


    Articles providing additional information related to this topic include:

    Census data tools

    Search Census data provides a simple way to understand an area at a glance.

    • QuickStats provides a summary of an area including demographics and tables on key characteristics of the people living in the area, their families and their dwellings.
    • Community Profiles provide a comprehensive statistical picture of an area in an Excel spreadsheet, delivering data relating to people, families, and dwellings. 

    Data Explorer is an interactive web browser where you can view, query and download data.

    DataPacks contain comprehensive data about people, families and dwellings for all Census geographies ranging from Australia down to Statistical Area Level 1. 

    Other ABS surveys

    Explore other ABS data on Australia's population

    Key questions in 2021 Census

    This data has been informed by responses to the following questions:

    • Is the person male, female or non-binary sex? 
    • What is the person’s date of birth and age?
    • For each female, how many babies has she ever given birth to? 

    More information: Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary - Population.

    How Census data is used

    Learn how Census data helps community groups, businesses and governments make important decisions.

    Shopping, fun and friendship: Census helps connect older people in Bass Valley

    Beautiful beaches, a relaxed lifestyle and a strong sense of community are just some of the many reasons the residents of Bass Valley in rural Victoria choose to call it home.

    More than a quarter of people who live in Bass Valley are aged over 65, compared to 15 per cent for the rest of Victoria. 

    Bass Valley Community Group Manager, Roderick McIvor, said Census data helps to inform services for the local community. “We look at Census data all the time because it helps us stay on course,” Mr McIvor said.

    “Occasionally people might ask if we should be doing something else, like focusing on youth. From the Census, we know that older people form our largest demographic and really need our help.

    “We can clearly see we have a large ageing population scattered across the Valley, including in some quite isolated locations. This isolation can put older people at risk of being lonely, and it can be hard to do simple things like shopping, social activities and meeting friends.

    “We run a community bus to take passengers into town, out for lunch or to social activities like fishing and karaoke. The Community Group also runs events and clubs that give older people the chance to get together.”

    By using Census data such as the socio-economic status, age and health profile of his community, Mr McIvor has been able to obtain grants to support his clients. Some of the grants have funded upgrading the op shop and starting a computer club.

    “Census data allows us to understand what our community looks like, and working together we can determine where our volunteer services are needed most,” Mr McIvor said.

    “The data gives us an insightful base to start our thinking. That’s why it's so important for people to fill out the Census. It’s essential to keep community services like ours running.”