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3201.0 - Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, Jun 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/12/2006   
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NOTES


ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This issue contains revised estimates of the resident population of Australian states and territories as at 30 June 2005 and preliminary estimates as at 30 June 2006. These are based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing.


The next issue of this publication to be released in December 2007 will contain revised and preliminary population estimates based on the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. The first release of preliminary population estimates based on the 2006 Census of Population and Housing will be in Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) on 5 June 2007.


In recognition of the inherent accuracy involved in population estimation, population figures over 1,000 in the text are rounded to the nearest hundred, and figures less than 1,000 are rounded to the nearest ten. While unrounded figures are provided in tables, accuracy to the last digit is not claimed and should not be assumed.


It is recommended that the relevant statistics be rounded by users for commentary based on the statistics in this publication. All data are affected by errors in reporting and processing. No reliance should be placed on statistics with small values.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Neil Scott on Canberra (02) 6252 6296.



SUMMARY COMMENTARY


INTRODUCTION

In the 12 months to 30 June 2006, the Australian population increased by 265,700 people, reaching 20,605,500. The annual growth rate for the year ended 30 June 2006 (1.3%) was slightly higher than that recorded for the year ended 30 June 2005 (1.2%).



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 5.8 years over the last two decades, from 31.1 years at 30 June 1986 to 36.9 years at 30 June 2006. Between 30 June 2005 and 2006 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).



STATES AND TERRITORIES

At 30 June 2006, South Australia and Tasmania had the oldest populations of all the states and territories, both with a median age of 39.0 years. The second oldest was New South Wales with a median age of 37.1 years, followed by Victoria (37.0 years), Western Australia (36.4 years), Queensland (36.1 years), the Australian Capital Territory (34.7 years) and the Northern Territory (31.0 years).

Median Age of population - At 30 June

Graph: Median Age of population - At 30 June



Tasmania experienced the largest increase in median age over the last 20 years, increasing by 8.5 years from 30.5 years in 1986 to 39.0 years in 2006. The emigration of younger adults from Tasmania to the Australian mainland has contributed to this accelerated ageing, see Migration, Australia (cat. no. 3412.0).

Population change, Age group - Australia - 1986 to 2006p

Graph: Population change, Age group—Australia—1986 to 2006p



Between 30 June 1986 and 30 June 2006, the proportion of population aged 15-64 years has remained relatively stable, increasing from 66.4% to 67.4% of the total population. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over has increased from 10.5% to 13.3%. During the same period, the proportion of population aged 85 years and over has doubled from 0.8% of the population at 30 June 1986 to 1.6% of the total population at 30 June 2006. The proportion aged under 15 years decreased from 23.1% to 19.3%.

POPULATION CHANGE, Age and sex - Australia - 1986 and 2006p


Diagram: Population Change, Age and sex—Australia—1986 and 2006p



MODAL AGE

The age with the most number of people in Australia was 35 years with 324,200 people. This corresponds to children born during the baby boom echo in the early 1970s. 1971-72 was the year with the most number of births recorded in Australia. However, the modal age for the ACT is 24 years which corresponds to migration of younger adults to Canberra for education and employment.



CHILDREN (UNDER 15 YEARS OF AGE)

The number of children aged 0-14 years in the population increased by 5,190 in the 12 months to 30 June 2006. During this period the number of children aged 5-9 and 10-14 decreased by 4,080 and 3,120 respectively. However, these decreases were offset by an increase of 12,390 children in the 0-4 year age group.


In the year ended 30 June 2006, Western Australia recorded the largest percentage increase (1.1%) in the number of children aged 0-14 years. Queensland also recorded a positive growth in 0-14 year olds of 0.8%, as did the Northern Territory and Victoria which recorded increases of 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. New South Wales recorded the largest percentage decrease in population aged 0-14 years (down 0.5%), followed by Tasmania (down 0.4%), the Australian Capital Territory (down 0.3%) and South Australia (down 0.1%).


Between 30 June 1986 and 30 June 2006, the proportion of population aged 0-14 years decreased by 3.8 percentage points from 23.1% to 19.3%.



WORKING AGE POPULATION (AGED 15-64 YEARS)

The number of people aged 15-64 years (working age population) increased by 1.4% (or 195,100 persons) in the year ended June 2006. Western Australia (2.1%), Queensland (2.0%), the Northern Territory (1.7%) and Victoria (1.5%) each recorded growth rates for 15-64 year olds higher than the national average. The remaining states and territories all experienced increases below the national average; New South Wales (1.0%), the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia (0.9%) and Tasmania (0.7%).


During the 20 years between 30 June 1986 and 30 June 2006, the proportion of population aged 15-64 years increased from 66.4% to 67.4%.


In the year ended 30 June 2006, there were 283,700 young people aged fifteen who entered the working age population while 169,700 people turned 65 years and left the working age population. However, this excess of 15 year olds over 65 year olds is projected to decline over the next decade. The major causes for this decline are because the first cohort of the baby boomers (those born in 1946) will reach the age of 65 years in 2011 leaving the working age population, while the number of 15 year olds entering the working age population will decline due to the fall in fertility and the number of births recorded through the 1990s.



OLDER PEOPLE

In the 12 months to 30 June 2006, the number of people aged 65 years and over in Australia increased by 65,400 people representing a 2.5% increase. The proportion of the population aged 65 years and over increased from 10.5% to 13.3% between 30 June 1986 and 30 June 2006.

Population aged 65 years or more, Australia - At 30 June

Graph: Population aged 65 years or more, Australia—At 30 June



All states and territories experienced growth in their populations aged 65 years and over. The Northern Territory (8.1%), the Australian Capital Territory (3.5%), Queensland (3.2%) and Western Australia (3.0%) experienced the greatest increase in the numbers of persons aged 65 years and over.

1 Population aged 65 years or more, proportion and growth

Proportion of population in 2006
Population growth in 2005-2006
State
%
%

New South Wales
13.9
2.1
Victoria
13.6
2.4
Queensland
12.2
3.2
South Australia
15.3
1.5
Western Australia
11.9
3.0
Tasmania
14.7
2.1
Northern Territory
4.9
8.1
Australian Capital Territory
9.8
3.5
Australia
13.3
2.5


Aged 85 years and over

In the 12 months to 30 June 2006, the number of people aged 85 years and over increased by 25,100 people (8.0%) to reach 338,000. Over the past two decades, the number of elderly people increased by 161%, compared with a total population growth of 29% over the same period. Increased life expectancy for both males and females has contributed to this rise. Reflecting higher life expectancy at birth for females compared with males, there were over twice as many females (227,000) than males (111,000) in this age group at 30 June 2006.


In the year ended June 2006, the largest increases in the number of people aged 85 years and over occurred in the Northern Territory (15.1%), followed by Australian Capital Territory (10.7%), Victoria (8.3%), New South Wales (8.1%), Queensland (8.0%), South Australia (7.7%), Western Australia (7.1%) and Tasmania (6.5%).



SEX RATIOS

At 30 June 2006, the sex ratio of the total population for Australia was 99.1 males per 100 females. At birth, the sex ratio for Australia in 2005 was 105.6 males per 100 females (see Births, Australia (cat. no. 3301.0)). This excess of males in the earlier years contrasts with the opposite situation in the older years and for the total population which can be attributed to female longevity.

Sex Ratio, States and territories - At 30 June

Graph: Sex Ratio, States and territories—At 30 June



Across the states and territories in 2005-06, Tasmania, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and New South Wales all had lower number of males than females. Tasmania had the lowest sex ratio, with 97.5 males per 100 females. Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory had an excess of males compared to females. The Northern Territory had the highest sex ratio with 112.1 males per 100 females. Migration can influence sex ratios, especially in the younger working ages where there may be a greater representation of male migrants.



INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON

Population ageing is a major characteristic of most developed countries. In countries such as Italy, Japan and Greece the number of people aged 65 years and over already exceeds the number of children aged 0-14 years. Population ageing is caused by sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy, which has resulted in fewer children in the population. In Australia, based on the latest Series B population projections, the number of people aged 65 years and over is projected to exceed the number of children aged 0-14 years around the year 2016. For more information, see Population Projections, Australia (cat. no. 3222.0).


According to United Nations projections, all countries selected for analysis are expected to experience decreases in the proportion of children in their populations between 2005 and 2010. In most of these countries, the decrease in children aged 0-14 years is expected to be accompanied by increases in the proportions of people aged 15-64 years or people aged 65 years and over. Countries like Italy and Japan are expected to experience proportional declines in their populations aged 15-64 years as well as their populations aged 0-14 years, and are expected to experience large proportional increases in their population aged 65 years and over.

2 Population age structure, International comparison

2005
2010(a)
Aged
0-14
years
Aged
15-64
years
Aged
65 years
and over
Median
Age
Aged
0-14
years
Aged
15-64
years
Aged
65 years
and over
Median
Age
Total
fertility
rate(b)
Life
expectancy
(c)
Selected Countries
%
%
%
years
%
%
%
years
rate
years

Australia
19.6
67.3
13.1
36.7
18.4
67.3
14.3
38.2
1.8
82.0
Canada
17.6
69.3
13.1
38.6
16.0
69.8
14.2
40.1
1.5
80.7
China (exl. SARs and Taiwan)
21.4
71.0
7.6
32.6
19.5
72.2
8.3
34.9
1.7
72.6
France
18.2
65.2
16.6
39.3
18.0
65.1
16.9
40.5
1.9
80.0
Greece
14.3
67.5
18.2
39.7
13.9
67.8
18.4
41.5
1.3
78.7
Hong Kong (SAR of China)
14.4
73.6
12.0
38.9
13.3
74.3
12.4
41.1
1.0
82.2
India
32.1
62.7
5.3
24.3
29.9
64.4
5.7
25.6
2.8
64.9
Indonesia
28.3
66.2
5.5
26.5
26.8
67.2
6.0
28.2
2.2
68.7
Italy
14.0
66.0
20.0
42.3
13.7
65.2
21.1
44.3
1.4
80.6
Japan
14.0
66.3
19.7
42.9
13.7
63.8
22.4
44.4
1.4
82.8
Korea, Republic of
18.6
72.0
9.4
35.1
15.8
72.9
11.3
38.0
1.2
78.2
Malaysia
32.4
63.0
4.6
24.7
29.6
65.4
5.1
26.3
2.6
74.1
New Zealand
21.3
66.4
12.3
35.8
20.0
66.8
13.2
37.0
2.0
79.8
Papua New Guinea
40.3
57.3
2.4
19.7
37.2
60.4
2.5
20.7
3.6
57.1
Philippines
35.1
61.0
3.9
22.2
32.4
63.2
4.3
23.6
2.8
71.6
Singapore
19.5
72.0
8.5
37.5
15.6
74.3
10.0
40.6
1.3
79.4
South Africa
32.6
63.1
4.2
23.5
31.5
63.4
5.1
23.9
2.6
44.1
Sweden
17.5
65.3
17.2
40.1
16.2
65.3
18.6
41.1
1.7
80.8
United Kingdom
17.9
66.1
16.0
39.0
16.9
66.6
16.5
40.3
1.7
79.0
United States of America
20.8
66.9
12.3
36.1
20.0
67.2
12.8
36.6
2.0
77.9
Viet Nam
29.5
65.0
5.4
24.9
26.3
68.3
5.4
26.9
2.1
71.9

(a) International data are United Nations medium variant projections. Australian data are ABS medium series (Series B) projections.
(b) Births per woman. United Nations and ABS projections are medium variant projections for the period 2005-2010.
(c) Life expectancy at birth. United nations and ABS projections are medium variant projections for the period 2005-2010, for males and females combined.
United Nations World Population Prospects, 2004 Revision; ABS Estimated Resident Population; ABS, Population Projections, Australia 2004 to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0).


According to Australian Bureau of Statistics projections, the proportion of children in the Australian population is expected to decline by more than one percentage point between 2005 and 2010, from 19.6% to 18.4%, while the proportion of people aged 15-64 years is expected to remain stable at 67.3%. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over is expected to increase by more than one percentage point from 13.1% to 14.3%.


In 2005, the age structure of Australia's population was similar to that of Canada and the United States of America. Generally, the European countries and Japan had smaller proportions of children and higher proportions of older people than Australia. In contrast, other countries in Asia tended to have proportionally more children and far fewer older people, generally reflecting considerably higher fertility rates and lower life expectancies at birth than those experienced in Australia.


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