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Regional population by age and sex

Statistics about the population by age and sex for Australia's capital cities and regions

Reference period
2018
Released
29/08/2019

Key statistics

  • The median age for capital cities (35.9 years) was younger than the rest of Australia (41.1).
  • The oldest capital was Hobart with a median age of 39.7 years.
  • Darwin was the only capital with more males than females.

The median age is defined as the age at which half the population is older and half is younger. 
The sex ratio is defined as the number of males per 100 females. 
Any reference to capital city refers to Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA), and any reference to area refers to Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2).

Capital cities

  • People aged 20 to 24 years made up 38% of the combined capital city population, compared with 30% of the population in the rest of Australia.
  • Older adults aged 45 years and over made up a smaller proportion of the population in capital cities (37%) than in the rest of Australia (45%).
  • In both capital cities and the rest of Australia, there were higher proportions of females than males in the older age groups.
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Median age and sex ratio

  • Hobart had the oldest median age of all capital cities at 39.7 years, ahead of Adelaide at 38.8.
  • Darwin was the youngest capital city with a median age of 33.9 years, followed by the Australian Capital Territory at 35.1.
  • Adelaide had the lowest sex ratio of all capital cities (96.7 males per 100 females), while Darwin had the highest (110.9). 
Capital cityMedian age (years)Sex ratio
Sydney35.898.9
Melbourne35.697.9
Brisbane35.497.8
Adelaide38.896.7
Perth36.498.9
Hobart39.799.1
Darwin33.9110.9
Canberra35.198.0
Total capital cities35.998.3
Total Australia37.398.4

Regions

Median age

The areas with the oldest median ages were all popular retirement destinations on the coast including: 

  • Tea Gardens - Hawks Nest (62.7 years) and Tuncurry (61.1) in New South Wales
  • Bribie Island (60.0) and Cooloola (59.5) in Queensland

The areas with the lowest median ages were: 

  • Acton (21.6 years) and Duntroon (22.3) in the Australian Capital Territory, which had large populations of students or military personnel
  • Yarrabah (22.8) and Northern Peninsula (23.2) in Queensland, which had high proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Areas with the oldest median ages

SA2SA4Median age (years)
Tea Gardens - Hawks NestHunter Valley exc Newcastle (NSW)62.7
TuncurryMid North Coast (NSW)61.1
Bribie IslandMoreton Bay - North (Qld)60.0
CooloolaWide Bay (Qld)59.5
Sussex Inlet - BerraraSouthern Highlands and Shoalhaven (NSW)59.2

Areas with the youngest median ages

SA2SA4Median age (years)
ActonAustralian Capital Territory21.6
DuntroonAustralian Capital Territory22.3
YarrabahCairns (Qld)22.8
Northern PeninsulaQueensland - Outback23.2
St LuciaBrisbane - West24.2

Sex ratio

The areas with the highest sex ratios were: 

  • Howard Springs (306.3 males per 100 females) in Darwin, which contains the Darwin Correctional Centre
  • East Pilbara (292.1) and Ashburton (245.1) in Western Australia, which are areas with significant mining activity

The areas with the lowest sex ratios were:

  • Deakin (82.0 males per 100 females) in the Australian Capital Territory and Mosman Park - Peppermint Grove (84.6) in Perth, which both also contain boarding schools for girls
  • the Sydney areas of Woollahra (82.4), and Castle Hill - East (84.7) which has a relatively high number of aged care residents, reflecting the longer life expectancy of females 

Areas with the highest sex ratios

SA2SA4Sex ratio
Howard SpringsDarwin306.3
East PilbaraWestern Australia - Outback (North)292.1
AshburtonWestern Australia - Outback (North)245.1
WacolIpswich (Qld)241.0
DuntroonAustralian Capital Territory229.2

Areas with the lowest sex ratios

SA2SA4Sex ratio
DeakinAustralian Capital Territory82.0
WoollahraSydney - Eastern Suburbs82.4
Mosman Park - Peppermint GrovePerth - Inner84.6
Castle Hill - EastSydney - Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury84.7
Millbank - AvocaWide Bay (Qld)85.1

New South Wales

  • Greater Sydney had a younger age distribution than the rest of New South Wales. 
  • People aged 20 to 39 years made up 32% of Sydney's population, compared with 23% in the rest of the state.
  • People aged 60 years or over made up 19% of Sydney's population, compared with 27% in the rest of New South Wales.
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Median age

In the five years to June 2018, the median age decreased slightly from 36.0 to 35.8 years in Sydney, and increased from 41.5 to 42.1 years in the rest of New South Wales.
 
In 2018, the areas with the highest median ages were regional areas on or near the coast including: 

  • Tea Gardens - Hawks Nest (62.7 years) near Port Stephens
  • Tuncurry (61.1) on the Mid North Coast
  • Sussex Inlet - Berrara (59.2) on the south coast

The areas with the lowest median ages contained or were near higher education campuses, including: 

  • Kensington (25.8 years) which contains the University of NSW, and neighbouring Kingsford (26.5)
  • areas in major regional centres such as Shortland - Jesmond (25.8) in Newcastle, Wagga Wagga - North (28.5) and Tamworth - West (29.7)

Sex ratio

The sex ratio was higher in Sydney (98.9) than in the rest of New South Wales (97.8).

The areas with the highest sex ratios were: 

  • Auburn - North in western Sydney (141.4 males per 100 females)
  • Junee (136.7) which contains the Junee Correctional Centre
  • Surry Hills (132.4), Darlinghurst (132.0), and Potts Point - Woolloomooloo (129.9), all in inner Sydney

The areas with the lowest sex ratios were:

  • Woollahra (82.4) in Sydney's east
  • Castle Hill - East (84.7) in Sydney's north-west

Victoria

  • Greater Melbourne had a younger age distribution than the rest of Victoria, as younger adults tend to migrate out of regional areas to pursue work and education in the capital city.
  • People aged 20 to 44 years made up 39% of the population in Melbourne, compared with 29% in the rest of the state.
  • There was a lower proportion of people aged 50 years and over in Melbourne (30%) than in the rest of Victoria (40%).
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Median age

The median age of Melbourne was 35.6 years, which was younger than for the rest of Victoria (42.3 years).

The areas with oldest median ages were popular coastal retirement areas, including:

  • Point Lonsdale - Queenscliff (58.8 years) and neighbouring Portarlington (58.1), both in Geelong 
  • Paynesville (58.6), Orbost (54.5) and Lakes Entrance (53.8) in the Gippsland region

The five areas with the youngest median ages were all in Greater Melbourne, including:

  • Carlton (24.6 years) and Parkville (26.4), which are adjacent to the University of Melbourne
  • Clayton (25.0) which contains the main Monash University campus

Sex ratio

The sex ratio was slightly lower in Melbourne (97.9) than in the rest of Victoria (98.2).

The areas with the highest sex ratios in Victoria were:

  • Rockbank - Mount Cottrell (158.0 males per 100 females) and Rosedale (143.7), both of which contain large male prisons
  • Beaufort (124.9) and Ararat (117.9), both in rural Victoria

The areas with the lowest sex ratios were:

  • Mornington (87.9 males per 100 females) and Point Lonsdale - Queenscliff (88.4) on the coast
  • the inner-city areas of South Yarra - West (88.0), Carlton (88.0) and Balwyn (88.4)

Queensland

  • Greater Brisbane had a higher proportion of its population aged 20 to 44 years (37%) than the rest of Queensland (31%), reflecting the pattern of young adults moving to capital cities to pursue work and education.
  • In contrast, Brisbane had a lower proportion aged 45 years and over (37%) than the rest of the state (43%).
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Median age

The median age of Brisbane (35.4 years) was younger than for the rest of Queensland (39.4). 

The areas with the oldest median ages were on the coast, including:

  • Bribie Island (60.0 years) in the Moreton Bay region
  • Cooloola (59.5) in the Wide Bay region
  • Redland Islands (56.9) in Brisbane's east

The areas with the youngest median ages were:

  • Yarrabah (22.8 years) near Cairns and Northern Peninsula (23.2) in the far north of the state, which both had predominantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • St Lucia (24.2) in Greater Brisbane and Douglas (24.8) in Townsville, reflecting the large numbers of university students in these areas

Sex ratio

Females outnumbered males in both Brisbane (with a sex ratio of 97.8) and the rest of Queensland (98.2). 

The areas with the highest sex ratios were:

  • Wacol (241.0 males per 100 females), which contains a male prison
  • Tablelands (151.2) in the state's far north 
  • Broadsound - Nebo (134.3) in the Bowen Basin region

The areas with the lowest sex ratios were:

  • Millbank - Avoca (85.1), a suburb of Bundaberg
  • Newtown (86.5), a suburb of Toowoomba

South Australia

  • Greater Adelaide had a younger age distribution than the rest of South Australia.
  • People aged 20 to 39 years made up 28% of the population in Adelaide, compared with 21% in the rest of the state. This is indicative of young adults moving to the capital city for employment or education purposes.
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Median age

The median age in Adelaide (38.8 years) was six years lower than in the rest of the state (45.0).

The areas with the oldest median ages were popular retirement destinations on the coast, including:

  • Goolwa - Port Elliot (59.0 years) and Victor Harbor (58.1) on the Fleurieu Peninsula 
  • Yorke Peninsula - South (56.8), Yorke Peninsula - North (55.4) and Moonta (54.8) on the Yorke Peninsula

The areas with the youngest median ages were:

  • APY Lands in the state's north (28.2 years), which had a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Munno Para West - Angle Vale (29.0) and Davoren Park (29.3) on the northern fringe of Greater Adelaide
  • inner-city Adelaide (29.5)

Sex ratio

Adelaide had more females than males (with a sex ratio of 96.7), while in the rest of South Australia there were more males than females (101.1).

The areas with the highest sex ratios were:

  • Outback (162.9 males per 100 females), which covers much of the state's north-east
  • Grant (131.5) in the state's south-east 
  • the mining town of Roxby Downs (130.1)

The areas with the lowest sex ratios were:

  • Warradale (86.6 males per 100 females), a southern suburb of Adelaide
  • Victor Harbor (88.1) on the Fleurieu Peninsula

Western Australia

  • Greater Perth had a lower proportion of its population aged less than 15 years (19%) compared with the rest of Western Australia (21%).
  • Conversely, Perth had a higher proportion aged 15 to 34 years (29%) than the rest of the state (24%). This is consistent with young adults moving to the capital city for employment or education purposes.
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Median age

The median age of the population in Perth was 36.4 years, while the median age in the rest of Western Australia was 39.0 years.

The areas with the oldest median ages were popular retirement and tree-change/sea-change locations, including:

  • York - Beverley (52.3 years) and Toodyay (51.6) in the northern wheat belt
  • Pemberton (50.4) in the state's south-west 

The areas with the youngest median ages were:

  • Roebuck (27.7 years) in the state's far north
  • Halls Creek (28.4) in the Kimberley region

Sex ratio

Females outnumbered males in Perth (with a sex ratio of 98.9), while males outnumbered females in the rest of Western Australia (104.3).

The areas with the highest sex ratios were:

  • East Pilbara (292.1 males per 100 females), Ashburton (245.1), Roebourne (161.5) and Meekatharra (150.3), which are all areas of significant mining activity
  • Chidlow (228.4), which contains a large male prison facility

The areas with the lowest sex ratios were:

  • Mosman Park - Peppermint Grove (84.6 males per 100 females), an inner suburb of Perth 
  • Albany (87.2) in the state's south

Tasmania

  • Tasmania had a lower proportion of people aged 20 to 44 years (29%) than for Australia (35%). This in part reflects young adults pursuing education and employment opportunities interstate.
  • Tasmania also had a higher proportion of people aged 45 years and over (47%) than Australia as a whole (40%). This partly reflects a trend of adults in this age group moving to the state.
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Median age

The median age of Greater Hobart (39.7 years) was younger than for the Rest of Tasmania (44.3 years). 

The areas with the oldest median ages were:

  • Forestier - Tasman (56.4 years), Triabunna - Bicheno (56.1) and St Helens - Scamander (55.3), all on Tasmania's eastern seaboard

The areas with the youngest median ages were:

  • Mowbray (31.3 years) in Launceston, which is close to the University of Tasmania and other educational facilities
  • Bridgewater - Gagebrook (31.9) and Rokeby (32.4), both in Greater Hobart

Sex ratio

The sex ratio was higher in Hobart (99.1) than in the rest of Tasmania (97.2).

The areas with the highest sex ratios were:

  • Risdon Vale (130.2 males per 100 females) in Hobart's north-eastern suburbs, due in part to the male population of Risdon Prison
  • Central Highlands (115.6) and Waratah (113.9) in regional Tasmania

The areas with the lowest sex ratios were:

  • Newstead (86.8) and Norwood (87.7), both inner suburbs of Launceston
  • Devonport (87.9) and Miandetta - Don (88.4), both on Tasmania's north coast

Northern Territory

  • Greater Darwin had a lower proportion of its population under 25 years of age (32%) compared with the rest of the Northern Territory (38%).
  • Darwin had a higher proportion of people aged 25 years and above (68%) compared with the rest of the Northern Territory (62%).
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Median age

The median age in Darwin (33.9 years) was higher than in the rest of the Northern Territory (31.2 years). 

The areas with the oldest median ages were:

  • Ross (45.7 years) which is a suburb of Alice Springs
  • Alligator (43.1) in the Top End
  • Virginia (40.4) in the Litchfield region

The areas with the youngest median ages were:

  • Gulf (25.9 years) and Victoria River (26.1), both in the Katherine region
  • East Arnhem (26.4) in the territory's north-east

Sex ratio

Males outnumbered females in both Darwin (110.9 males per 100 females) and the rest of the Northern Territory (103.0).

The areas with the highest sex ratios included:

  • Howard Springs (306.3 males per 100 females) and Larrakeyah (124.6), both with large numbers of defence force personnel
  • Weddell (127.7) in Litchfield 

The areas with the lowest sex ratios were:

  • Tanami (87.7 males per 100 females) and Yuendumu - Anmatjere (93.2), both in central Australia
  • Mount Johns (91.3), Flynn (93.3) and East Side (94.0) which are all suburbs of Alice Springs

Australian Capital Territory

  • The proportion of young adults in the Australian Capital Territory was relatively high compared with Australia, reflecting the number of people in this age group who move there for tertiary education or employment. 
  • People aged 20 to 39 years accounted for 33% of the territory's population, compared with 29% of Australia's population.
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Median age

At June 2018, the median age in the Australian Capital Territory was 35.1 years, younger than Australia's median age (37.3 years). 

The areas with the oldest median ages were:

  • Yarralumla (49.9 years) in southern Canberra
  • Isaacs (48.0) and O'Malley (47.1), both in Woden Valley

The areas with the youngest median ages were:

  • Acton (21.6 years) which contains the Australian National University
  • Duntroon (22.3) which has large numbers of defence force personnel

Sex ratio

There were 98.0 males for every 100 females in the Australian Capital Territory.

The areas with the highest sex ratios were:

  • Duntroon (229.2 males for every 100 females) which contains the Royal Military College 
  • Reid (113.0) in northern Canberra
  • Lawson (112.3), a new suburb in the Belconnen region

The areas with the lowest sex ratios were:

  • Deakin (82.0 males per 100 females) in southern Canberra
  • Acton (86.4) and Ainslie (87.0), both in northern Canberra

Data downloads

Data cubes

Population estimates by age and sex, regions of Australia (ASGS 2016), 2018

Population estimates by age and sex, summary statistics (ASGS 2016), 2013 and 2018

Population estimates by age and sex, Local Government Areas (ASGS 2018), 2018

Population estimates by age and sex, summary statistics - Local Government Areas (ASGS 2018), 2018

Geopackages

Population estimates by age and sex, Statistical Areas Level 2 (ASGS 2016), 2018, in GeoPackage

Population estimates by age and sex, Local Government Areas (ASGS 2018), 2018, in GeoPackage