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4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, March 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/03/2009   
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MEDIA RELEASE
March 25, 2009Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEDT)
16/2009 (State)

Renewable energy use and population growth in the states and territories

Over half the households in the Northern Territory used solar energy in 2008, according to figures released today in Australian Social Trends, the now quarterly snapshot of society from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The report also shows that Queensland's population will grow more than other states and territories and may overtake Victoria by 2050.

Renewable energy
Over half (55%) of all households in the Northern Territory used solar energy in 2008 - a larger proportion than any other state or territory. Western Australia (22%) and Queensland (9%) were second and third respectively.

In March 2008, households in the Australian Capital Territory had the highest rate of GreenPower awareness (71%, including 5% who said they were paying for GreenPower) while Western Australia were least aware (39%).

Population growth and ageing
Queensland is projected to double its population in 50 years, adding 4.6 million people by 2056 (based on a medium set of assumptions about births, deaths and migration in this time).

New South Wales and Victoria are each projected to add 3.3 million to their populations. Queensland's rapid growth will see it overtake Victoria as Australia's second most populous state in 2050. New South Wales is projected to remain Australia's largest state with 10 million people by 2056.

Areas outside of capital cities are projected to continue to have higher proportions of older people (aged 65 or over) than capital cities. Many older people retire to regional coastal centres.

By 2056, areas outside the capital cities in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania are projected to have less than 2 people of working age for every older person, compared with 3 working age people for the capital cities in these states (except Hobart, which is projected to have 2 working age people for every older person).

Darwin is projected to remain the youngest city, with nearly 5 people of working age for every older person.

Media note: while most of the articles in Australian Social Trends relate to national data, some include state/territory information. This media release contains all of that information.

Australian Social Trends - state/territory information

NSW
Vic
Qld
SA
WA
Tas
NT
ACT
Aus.
Renewable energy
Households using solar energy, 2008 (%)
5.7
3.0
8.8
6.9
21.8
*3.3
55.0
4.6
7.6
Households aware of GreenPower(a), 2008 (%)
53.9
60.0
43.7
51.1
39.4
n.a.
n.a.
70.8
52.0
Population growth and ageing(b)
Projected population in 2056, State total, Series B(b)
10.2
8.5
8.7
2.2
4.3
0.6
0.4
0.5
35.5(c)
Projected population in 2056, capital cities, Series B(b) (million)
7.0
6.8
4.0
1.7
3.4
0.3
0.2
0.5
23.8
Projected ratio of older people (65+) to working age (15-64) in 2056, capital cities Series B(b) (%)
32.5
34.6
31.2
39.3
34.1
43.4
20.8
31.5
33.5
Projected ratio of older people (65+) to working age (15-64) in 2056,balance of state Series B(b) (%)
54.5
54.0
42.2
52.7
45.8
54.4
12.3
..
47.8

. . not applicable
n.a. not available
* has a relative standard error of greater than 25%
(a) Households can choose to use renewable energy as part of their electricity supply, via GreenPower. The numbers only cover the states/territories participating in the National GreenPower Accreditation Program when the ABS survey was conducted (in March 2008). The 'awareness' figure includes people who were already paying for GreenPower.
(b) Population projections are not predictions or forecasts. They just show what would happen to the population if a set of assumptions about future levels of fertility, deaths, net overseas migration and net internal migration were to hold for the next 50 years. These projections are based on 'Series B' (this series assumes medium levels of net overseas migration, interstate migration, fertility and life expectancy).
(c) The slight difference between the total and the sum of the component items is due to rounding.

When reporting on ABS data, please attribute either the Australian Bureau of Statistics or ABS as the source.

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