The estimated resident population of Australia at 30 June 2004 was 20,111,300, an increase of 238,700 (1.2%) since 2003.
In 2004 approximately one third (33.5%) of Australia's population resided in New South Wales. Between 2003 and 2004 the largest and fastest growing state was Queensland with an increase of 81,000 persons (2.1%). While all states increased in population, the Australian Capital Territory had the smallest increase (0.2% or 660 persons).
The Sydney Statistical Division (SD) contained 21.0% of Australia's population, a proportion virtually unchanged since 2003 (21.2%). Brisbane was the fastest growing capital city SD in the country with an increase of 2.3% (39,700 persons). The capital city SD with the largest growth was Melbourne with an increase of 44,800 persons (1.3%), while Canberra had both the smallest and slowest growth over the same period (0.2% or 640 persons).
In the following analysis only national estimates include Other Territories.
The median age, the age at which half the population is older and half is younger, increased slightly in Australia between 2003 and 2004, from 36.2 years to 36.4 years. South Australia's median age (38.5 years) continues to be the highest of all states and territories of Australia. The Northern Territory had the lowest median age (30.6 years).
Amongst the SDs in Australia, the highest median ages were recorded by Yorke and Lower North (SA) (44.5 years) and Mid-North Coast (NSW) (42.4 years). The SDs with the lowest median ages were Northern Territory - Bal (NT) (28.4 years) and Kimberley (WA) (29.4 years).
CHILDREN (UNDER 15 YEARS)
In 2004, children aged 0 to 14 years comprised 19.8% of Australia's population. The total number of children has fallen from 3,981,500 persons in 2003 to 3,981,000 in 2004, a decrease of 0.01%. South Australia had the lowest proportion of children (18.6%) of all states and territories. The Northern Territory had the highest proportion aged under 15 years (25.3%).
The SD with the highest proportion of its population aged under 15 in 2004 was Northern Territory - Bal (NT) (28.4%) and the lowest was Adelaide (SA) (17.9%).
Queensland recorded the highest increase in the number of children aged 0 to 14 between 2003 and 2004 (0.8% or 6,600 persons). Other states that recorded an increase were Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. New South Wales recorded the largest decline (0.4% or 5,400 persons).
PERSONS AGED 15 TO 44 YEARS
In 2004 the proportion of persons aged 15 to 44 years in Australia was 43.1%. The total number of persons in this age group increased by 0.7% between 2003 and 2004 from 8,605,500 to 8,666,600 persons. Tasmania (39.7%) had the lowest proportion of persons aged 15 to 44 of all states and territories, while the Northern Territory had the highest proportion (49.3%).
The SD with the highest proportion of persons aged 15 to 44 years was Pilbara (WA) (51.7%), while the lowest was Yorke and Lower North (SA) (32.3%).
From 2003 to 2004 Queensland recorded the highest increase in this age group (1.8% or 29,000 persons), while the largest decrease was in the Australian Capital Territory (0.8% or 580 persons)
PERSONS AGED 45 TO 64 YEARS
The percentage of Australia's population aged 45 to 64 years in 2004 was 24.2%. The total number of persons in this age group rose from 4,739,200 persons in 2003 to 4,858,800 in 2004, an increase of 2.5%. With 25.9% of its population aged 45 to 64 years, Tasmania had the highest proportion in this age group of all the states and territories while the Northern Territory (21.0%) had the lowest proportion.
The SD with the highest proportion of 45 to 64 year old persons was Yorke and Lower North (SA) (28.9%), and the lowest was Kimberley (WA) (18.0%).
Between 2003 and 2004 the population aged 45 to 64 years increased in all states and territories. The largest percentage increase was in Queensland (3.4% or 31,100 persons). Among the SDs in the country, South West (WA) had the greatest percentage increase between 2003 and 2004 (5.6% or 2,800 persons).
PERSONS AGED 65 YEARS AND OVER
In 2004 the proportion of Australia's population aged 65 years and over was 13.0%.The total number of persons in this age group increased by 58,500 from 2003 to 2004, an increase of 2.3%. South Australia had the highest population aged 65 years and over of all states and territories with 15.0% (230,800 persons). The lowest proportion of persons aged 65 years and over in 2004 was in the Northern Territory (4.4%).
The SD with the highest proportion of its population aged 65 years and over was Yorke and Lower North (SA) (20.3%), followed by Wimmera (Vic) (19.0%). The smallest proportions of people aged 65 years and over were recorded in Pilbara (WA) with 2.5% (990 persons).
PERSONS AGED 85 YEARS AND OVER
In 2004 the proportion of people aged 85 years and over in Australia was 1.5% (298,300 persons). South Australia had the highest proportion of people in this age group of all states and territories, with 1.9% of its total state population. The Northern Territory (0.3%) had the lowest proportion of people aged 85 years and over.
From 2003 to 2004 the total population aged 85 years and over increased by 4.1% (12,000 persons). The growth in this age group is in part due to increased life expectancy of both men and women.
The SDs with the largest proportion of their population aged 85 years and over were Wimmera (Vic) (2.5% or 1,300 persons) and Yorke and Lower North (SA) (2.3% or 1,000 persons). The smallest proportions of people aged 85 years and over were recorded in Australian Capital Territory - Bal (ACT) with no population aged 85 years and over, and Pilbara (WA) with 0.2% (100 persons).
In June 2004 females outnumbered males in Australia by 122,200. With 9,994,500 males and 10,116,800 females at June 2004, the nation's sex ratio (number of males per 100 females) was 98.8. The Northern Territory had the highest sex ratio of all the states and territories in 2004 with 111.0, while Victoria had the lowest ratio (97.4).
The SDs with the lowest sex ratios in Australia were Greater Hobart (Tas) (95.5), Adelaide (SA) (96.4) and Central Highlands (Vic) (96.6). The highest sex ratios were in Pilbara (WA) (123.0), Australian Capital Territory - Bal (ACT) (122.5), North West (Qld) (117.0) and South Eastern (WA) (114.9).
The number of females aged 65 years and over in Australia (1,439,400) was almost 25% higher than the number of males in this age group (1,165,500) in 2004. Considering persons aged 85 years and over, there was more than twice as many females (203,500) as males (94,800). The lower sex ratios for the more elderly age groups reflects the greater life expectancy of women.
THE DIFFERING AGE STRUCTURES OF 'URBAN' AND 'NON-URBAN' AUSTRALIA
In the following discussion 'urban' Australia has been defined as those residents who live within a capital city Statistical Division or within a Statistical District with a population of greater than 100,000 people at June 2004, while 'non-urban' Australia is the remainder of the Australian population.
At June 2004 urban residents accounted for 15.1 million people, three quarters (75.0%) of the Australian population. Australia's eight capital cities were home to 12.8 million of these urban dwellers. The remainder of the population accounted for 5.0 million people, or one quarter (25.0%) of the total population. The urban population increased by 192,100 people in 2003-04 while non-urban Australia increased by 46,500 people, which was less than a quarter of the total population increase of 238,700 people.
The age distributions of urban and non-urban Australia in 2004 show variations in three distinct age groups. The urban population has proportionally fewer people in two age groups, those aged 2 to 17 years of age and those aged 42 years and over. Conversely, non-urban Australia has proportionally fewer people aged 18 to 41. The largest differences between urban and non-urban populations exist for young adults aged 21 to 25 years, as a result of the movement of many young people from non-urban to urban Australia. Much of this movement can be attributed to the life cycle stage where young adults move from home to continue their education, for employment opportunities, independence or a change of life style.
In 2004 the median ages of Australia's urban and non-urban populations were 35.8 years and 38.3 years respectively. In 1989, the reverse applied with the median age of the urban and non-urban populations being 32.0 years and 31.5 years respectively. The median age of non-urban Australia in 1989 was half a year lower than urban Australia, and by 2004 this difference had increased to 2.4 years. Although Australia's population as a whole is ageing, the population of non-urban Australia is ageing faster.
AGE DISTRIBUTION - Urban and non-urban Australia, June 2004
AGE STRUCTURE - Non-urban Australia, June 1989 and 2004
The age structure of non-urban Australia has changed over the past fifteen years. Between 1989 and 2004 the proportions of all age groups 40 years and over increased. These age groups include the majority of the baby boomers (persons born in the period 1946 to 1966). Conversely, the proportions of all age groups under 40 years have decreased reflecting Australia's declining fertility rate. Although both urban and non-urban Australia have declining fertility rates there has been a larger decrease in the proportions of children aged 0 to 4 years for non-urban Australia. In 1989 the proportion of the non-urban population aged 0 to 4 was 8.3%, while by 2004 it was 6.4%. Over the past fifteen years the largest decrease in the non-urban population was in the proportion of persons aged 25 to 29 years, which decreased from 7.9% in 1989 to 5.4% in 2004.
The sex ratio (the number of males per 100 females) for non-urban Australia has changed more than urban Australia over the past fifteen years. In 1989 the sex ratio for the non-urban population was 103.4, decreasing to 101.7 in 2004. In contrast, urban Australia had more females than males in 1989 with a sex ratio of 98.2, decreasing to 97.8 in 2004. This was a smaller decrease than for non-urban Australia.