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3236.0 - Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2001 to 2026  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/06/2004   
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This publication presents projections of households, families and living arrangements from 2001 to 2026. The projections are based on assumptions about changing living arrangements of the population. Three series (I, II and III) have been produced.


INCREASE IN NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS

The number of households in Australia is projected to increase from 7.4 million in 2001 to between 10.2 and 10.8 million in 2026, an increase of between 39% and 47%. This growth is faster than Australia's projected population growth of 25% for the same period.

Lone person households are projected to show the greatest percentage increase of all household types over the 25-year projection period. This is related to the ageing of the population and the fact that older women, in particular, are more likely to live alone than others. The number of lone person households is projected to increase by between 57% and 105%, from 1.8 million households in 2001 to between 2.8 million and 3.7 million households in 2026.


AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD SIZE

The average household size in Australia is projected to decline from 2.6 people per household in 2001 to between 2.2 and 2.3 people per household in 2026. Australia's household size (2.5) in 2011 is projected to be smaller than New Zealand (2.6) and Japan (2.6), the same as the United States of America (2.5) and Canada (2.5), and larger than England (2.2).


THE CHANGING LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF CHILDREN

The number of children aged 0-14 years in Australia is projected to decline from 4.0 million in 2001 to 3.8 million in 2026. Most of these children live in two-parent families (81% in 2001), with a smaller proportion (19%) in one-parent families. In Series I the number of children in two-parent families is projected to decrease from 3.2 million in 2001 to 3.1 milion in 2026, while the number of children in one-parent families is projected to decrease from 745,000 to 707,000. The Series II and III projections show a decline in the number of children in two-parent families (to between 2.9 million and 2.5 million respectively) and, conversely, an increase in the number of children in one-parent families (to between 875,000 and 1.3 million respectively).


THE LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF YOUNG ADULTS

The age groups 15-34 years are of particular importance in family and household formation. In 2001, 39% of 15-34 year olds (2.2 million) lived with either one or both of their parents, 24% (1.3 million) were parents themselves and 15% (825,000) were partners in couple families without children.

The number of young adults living with one or both of their parents is projected to either remain the same or increase between 2001 and 2026, with the number reaching between 2.2 and 2.4 million in 2026, accounting for between 38% to 41% of all people aged 15-34 years.

In two of the three projection series the number of young adults who are parents themselves is projected to decline between 2001 and 2026, to between 766,000 and 1.2 million, representing between 13% and 20% of young adults. Only in Series I is the number projected to increase, to 1.5 million people, representing one-quarter (25%) of young adults.

A further 896,000 to 976,000 people are projected to be living as partners in couple families without children in 2026, accounting for between 15% to 17% of all people aged 15-34 years.


THE LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF OLDER PEOPLE (AGED 75 YEARS AND OVER)

In 2001 there were 1.1 million people aged 75 years and over in Australia, representing 6% of the total population. Over the period 2001 to 2026 this number is projected to more than double, to 2.5 million people (10% of Australia's population).

In 2001, 40% (447,000 people) of older Australians were living with a partner; 36% were partners in couple only families and 4% were partners in couple families with children. People living alone accounted for a further 34% (383,000) of older Australians while 13% (142,000) lived in non-private dwellings (NPDs).

By 2026 the number of older Australians living with a partner is projected to increase to between 957,000 and 1.2 million people (39% and 49% of all people aged 75 years and over, respectively). The number of people living alone is projected to increase to between 844,000 and 962,000, accounting for between 34% and 39% of older Australians, while the number of people living in NPDs is projected to increase in two of the three series (to between 247,000 to 334,000 people, or 10% to 14% of older Australians) but decrease in the third (to 128,000 people, or 5%).


CHANGING IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY TYPES

Estimates of the number of families in 2001 in this publication differ from 2001 Census counts of families. See paragraph 53 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.

The number of families in Australia is projected to increase from 5.3 million in 2001 to between 6.8 million and 7.1 million in 2026, representing growth of between 27% and 33%. Of all family types, the number of couple families without children are projected to increase most rapidly over the period 2001 to 2026, increasing by between 54% to 73%. Two of the three series project that the number of couple families without children will overtake the number of couple families with children, and become the most common family type in Australia, in either 2011 (Series II) or 2010 (Series III). The growth in the number of couple only families is related to both the ageing of the population, with baby boomers becoming 'empty nesters', and to declining fertility among younger couples.

Two of the three series project that the number of couple families with children will increase slowly over the projection period (between 5% and 19%), while in Series III this family type is projected to decrease by 19% between 2001 and 2026. In contrast, the number of one-parent families is projected to increase by between 29% and 63% over the 25-year period. In 2001, around four out of every five one-parent families (83%) were female one-parent families. This ratio is projected to remain at around the same level between 2001 and 2026.


STATE AND TERRITORY PROJECTIONS

Growth in the number of households (hereafter referred to as 'household growth') is projected to vary markedly across the states and territories, with those projected to experience high population growth between 2001 and 2026 projected to have faster household growth. Household growth is projected to range from between 12% to 23% in Tasmania to between 63% to 76% in Queensland.

New South Wales

The number of households in New South Wales is projected to increase by between 33% and 38%, from 2.5 million in 2001 to between 3.3 and 3.4 million in 2026. Family households, the most common household type in New South Wales, are projected to experience the largest numerical rise, increasing from 1.8 million households in 2001 to between 2.2 million and 2.3 million in 2026, an increase of between 24% to 28%.

Fast growth is projected to occur in lone person households. Female lone person households are projected to increase from 325,000 in 2001 to between 524,000 and 586,000 in 2026, representing growth of between 61% and 81%.

Victoria

The number of households in Victoria is projected to increase by between 35% and 41%, from 1.8 million households in 2001 to between 2.4 million and 2.6 million in 2026.

The number of families in Victoria is projected to increase slightly more slowly than families Australia-wide. From 1.3 million in 2001, the number of families in Victoria is projected to increase by between 24% and 30% to reach between 1.6 million and 1.7 million in 2026.

Queensland

Between 2001 and 2026 Queensland is projected to experience the fastest household growth in Australia. Queensland households are projected to increase by between 63% and 76%, from 1.4 million in 2001 to between 2.3 million and 2.4 million in 2026. This growth is considerably faster than the projected national growth of between 39% and 47%.

Lone person households are projected to increase particularly quickly in Queensland, growing by between 87% and 153% (from 330,000 households in 2001 to between 617,000 and 835,000 in 2026).

In all three series couple families without children are projected to become the most common family type in Queensland, overtaking couple families with children in either 2015 (in Series I) or 2006 (in both Series II and III).

South Australia

Household growth in South Australia is projected to be the second slowest of all the states and territories in Australia, increasing by between 17% and 26%, from 613,000 in 2001 to between 716,000 and 771,000 in 2026.

In 2001, couple families with children were the most common family type in South Australia, accounting for 44% of families. Between 2001 and 2026 this family type is projected to decline, both in number and proportion of all families, in all three series.

In contrast, couple families without children are projected to increase by between 31% and 45% between 2001 and 2026, becoming the most common family type in South Australia in either 2010 (in Series I) or 2005 (in Series II and III).

Western Australia

Western Australia is projected to experience the second highest household growth in Australia over the period 2001 to 2026. Compared to projected national growth of between 39% and 47%, the number of households in Western Australia is projected to increase by between 49% and 60%, from 724,000 in 2001 to between 1.1 million and 1.2 million in 2026.

The fast household growth in Western Australia is attributable to fast growth in lone person households, which are projected to increase by between 72% and 139%, from 179,000 in 2001 to between 307,000 and 428,000 in 2026.

Couple families without children are projected to grow the fastest of all family types in Western Australia, becoming the most common family type by 2019 (Series I), 2009 (Series II) or 2008 (Series III), while one-parent families are projected to increase more rapidly in Western Australia than in Australia overall.

Tasmania

Tasmania's household and family growth is projected to be the slowest of all the states and territories, reflecting the longer-term population decline projected for the state.

Lone person households are projected to be the strongest growing household type in Tasmania, increasing from 53,000 in 2001 to between 71,000 and 99,000 in 2026, representing an increase of between 33% and 86%. This growth is below the projected national growth of between 57% and 105%.

Tasmania's average household size is projected to become the smallest of all states and territories by 2026. The number of people per household in Tasmania is projected to decline from 2.4 in 2001 to between 2.0 and 2.1 in 2026.

In contrast to the projected growth in the number of families in Australia over the next 25 years (between 27% and 33%), Tasmanian families are projected to increase by only 3% to 4% (in Series II and I, respectively), or to decrease by 2% (in Series III) by 2026.

Northern Territory

Household growth in the Northern Territory is projected to be the third fastest of the states and territories, increasing by between 41% and 45%, from 63,000 households in 2001 to between 89,000 and 91,000 households in 2026.

Unlike other states and territories, the Northern Territory has more lone male households (8,000 in 2001) than lone female households (5,000 in 2001). Both household types are projected to increase quickly between 2001 and 2026 (between 55% and 93% for males, and 66% and 153% for females).

Average household size in the Northern Territory is projected to decline from 3.0 people per household in 2001 to 2.7 in 2026, remaining the largest average household size of the states and territories.

The number of couple families without children is projected to increase rapidly over the projection period, increasing by between 50% and 67% from 15,000 families in 2001 to between 23,000 and 26,000 families in 2026.

Australian Capital Territory

The number of households in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is projected to increase by between 31% and 39% over the projection period (a slower rate than Australia), from 120,000 households in 2001 to between 158,000 and 167,000 in 2026.

Couple families without children are projected to increase the most rapidly of all family types in the ACT. From 30,000 families in 2001, couple families without children are projected to increase by between 47% and 68% to reach between 44,000 and 50,000 in 2026. As a result of this growth, couple families without children are projected to become the most common family type in the ACT in two of the three projection series, outnumbering couple families with children in either 2013 (Series II) or 2011 (Series III).


CAPITAL CITY AND BALANCE OF STATE/TERRITORY HOUSEHOLDS

In 2001 around two-thirds (63%) of all households in Australia were located in a capital city, with the remainder (37%) in the balances of state. Little or no change is projected in these proportions over the projection period, with capital cities accounting for between 63% to 64% of all households in Australia in 2026 and the balances of state/territory accounting for the remainder.

Overall, the capital cities are projected to experience higher rates of household growth than the corresponding balances of state/territory, except in Queensland.

In two of the three projection series, Sydney, with 1.5 million households in 2001, is projected to record the greatest numerical increase in households over the projection period, with an extra 545,000 (Series I) to 561,000 (Series II) households by 2026, reaching between 2.0 and 2.1 million households. In Series III the balance of Queensland is projected to record the largest increase, increasing by 586,000 households, slightly more than the increase of 584,000 households projected for Sydney. The number of households in Melbourne is projected to increase by between 498,000 and 566,000 households, from 1.3 million in 2001 to between 1.8 and 1.9 million in 2026.


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