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Australian Population

The Face of a Nation


Aussie girl on Australia Day

The Australian population is diverse

© 1999 Australian Tourism Commission

  • Australian population update: According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics report in early June 2009, the Australian population had hit 21.6 million by the end of 2008.

The Australian population hit 21 million on June 29, 2007, seconds after 9.33pm, Australian eastern standard time.

The population milestone announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics was based on the estimated resident population on December 31, 2006, and assumed growth since then of one birth every 1 minute and 56 seconds, one death every 3 minutes and 59 seconds, and a net gain of one international migrant every 3 minutes and 15 seconds, leading to an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 45 seconds.

Median age

With the release on June 27, 2007, of the 2006 national census results, the portrait of the average Australian is of a person with the median age of 37, with the average male slightly younger at 36.

For all Australians aged 15 years and over, the 2006 census recorded a median weekly gross personal income of $400–$599. Men had a higher median income ($600–$799), while the median income of women was lower ($250–$399).

Family type

The most common family type in Australia was a couple with children. Just over 45 per cent of all families, or 2.4 million families, were in this group, the highest proportion of them being in the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.

Of all couple families with children, most were young families with children under 15 years (69 per cent, or 1.6 million couple families). These families might also have included dependent students (aged 15–24 years) and non-dependent children still living with their parents.

Couples families with children under 15 were the most common family type in every state and territory. The Northern Territory had the highest proportion, with 80 per cent of all couple families with children falling into this group.

Indigenous population

Just over 2 per cent of the population identified themselves as being of indigenous (Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) origin. Since the 2001 census, the indigenous population had increased by 11 per cent (45,000 persons) to 455,031.

Citizenship and ethnic background

Eighty-six per cent of the population were Australian citizens. Twenty-two per cent were born overseas.

The top five countries of birth were Australia (70.9 per cent), England (4.3 per cent), New Zealand (2 per cent), China (1 per cent), Italy (1 per cent), Vietnam (0.8 per cent).

English was the predominant language spoken at home.


Predominant religions were Catholic, Anglican, none, Uniting Church, and Presbyterian and Reformed.

Marital status

Nearly 8 milliion (49.6 per cent) were married. Just over 5 million (33.2 per cent) had never married. Just over 1.8 million (11.3 per cent) were separated or divorced, and nearly 937,000 were widowed.

More 2006 census results and details at the Australian Bureau of Statistics site.

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