Country Idealist Profiles

Australia profile – Demographics

Posted in Australia, Australia Basics, Australia General by blopote on June 23, 2008

Total Population (April 2008): 21,267,000

Population at end Sep qtr 2007

New South Wales: 6 908.9

Victoria: 5 226.4

Queensland: 4 201.1

South Australia: 1 588.5

Western Australia: 2 118.5

Tasmania: 494.5

Northern Territory: 216.5

Australian Capital Territory: 340.3

Australia(a): 21 097.1

(a) Includes Other Territories comprising Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Australian aborigines: In 1976 and 1993 the Australian government enacted land-rights legislation that has returned to the aborigines a degree of autonomy, and court decisions in 1992, 1996, and 2006 have recognized aboriginal property and native title rights. The recent increase in aboriginal population reflects improved living conditions and a broad and inclusive definition of aboriginal identity on the part of the government. Their average standard of living and life expectancy, however, are not comparable with that of most Australians. In 1999 the Australian government issued an official expression of regret for past mistreatment of aborigines, but has opposed issuing the formal national apology sought by aborigine leaders, fearing that would encourage claims for compensation.

For more information go to:

Languages: English 79%, native and other languages

Ethnicity/race: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%

Religions:Roman Catholic 26%, Anglican 21%, other Christian 21%, Buddhist 2%, Islam 2%, other 1%, none 15% (2001)

Literacy rate: 99%% (2003 est.)

Ageing population:
Australia’s population, like that of most developed countries, is ageing as a result of sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy. This is resulting in proportionally fewer children (under 15 years of age) in the population. The median age (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) of the Australian population has increased by 5.5 years over the last two decades, from 31.3 years at 30 June 1987 to 36.8 years at 30 June 2007. Between 30 June 2006 and 2007 the median age increased by 0.2 years.Over the next several decades, population ageing is expected to have significant implications for Australia including health, labour force participation, housing and demand for skilled labour (Productivity Commission 2005, Economic Implications of an Ageing Australia, Research Report, Canberra). At 30 June 2007, Tasmania had the oldest population of all the states and territories with a median age of 39.1 years. The second oldest was South Australia with a median age of 38.9 years, followed by New South Wales (37.0 years), Victoria (36.9 years), Western Australia (36.4 years), Queensland (36.2 years), the Australian Capital Territory (34.6 years) and the Northern Territory (31.1 years).

Median Age of population – At 30 June

Tasmania experienced the largest increase in median age over the last 20 years, increasing by 8.1 years from 31.0 years in 1987 to 39.1 years in 2007. The emigration of younger adults from Tasmania to the Australian mainland has contributed to this accelerated agein.

Population change, Age group1987 to 2007p

Between 30 June 1987 and 30 June 2007, the proportion of Australia’s population aged 15-64 years has remained relatively stable, increasing from 66.6% to 67.5% of the total population. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over has increased from 10.7% to 13.1%. During the same period, the proportion of population aged 85 years and over has doubled from 0.8% of the population at 30 June 1987 to 1.6% of the total population at 30 June 2007. The proportion aged under 15 years decreased from 22.7% to 19.4%.

Population Growth Rate, Year ended current quarter

Population growth

Population structure, Age and sexAustralia1987 and 2007p

Working age population aged (15-64 years): The number of people aged 15-64 years (working age population) increased by 1.6% (or 220,200 persons) in the year ended 30 June 2007. Queensland and Western Australia (2.3%), and the Northern Territory (2.2%) each recorded growth rates for 15-64 year olds higher than the national average. The Australian Capital Territory and Victoria (1.6%), South Australia and New South Wales (1.1%), and Tasmania (0.6%) each recorded growth rates for 15-64 year olds lower than the national average.



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