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Profile of the Australian Population

Australia is the world's largest island and the smallest continent. It is also the largest continent occupied by one nation and the least populated.

The Australian population in 2002 is estimated to be 19.6 million people. The national growth rate is 1.3%. Because of the arid interior, the relatively recent settlement and the fertility of the coastlines, 88% are urban dwellers.

Although Australia is considered to have one of the highest degrees of urban concetration in the world within cities, the density of population is low by international standards, with an average of two persons per square kilometre.

Kath and Kim
Modern Australian Cultural Icons: TV characters "Kath and Kim"

A striking feature of Australia's population is the large number of immigrants who have settled since World War II.

  • At present, one in every four persons is either a first or second generation settler.

The average number of persons per household decreased from 3.31 in 1971 to 2.64 in 2001 due to a change in social attitudes leading to a reduction in the size of families.

  • The average family has 1.76 children, well below population replacement, 22% of adults will never have children and 16.2% have only one child.
  • Marital figures for 2001 show 6.1 marriages per 1000 people. Median age for brides is 28.1 years and for bridegrooms, 30.2 years. 44% of men and 42% of women will never marry.

Of the world's population, 44% now live in countries with births below population replacement.

Population Mix

Of all person living in Australia, 24% were born elsewhere, and 76% were born in Australia.

The main sources of immigration are:

  • UK and Ireland 6.35%
  • New Zealand 1.7%
  • Italy 1.32%
  • China 0.95%
  • Vietnam 0.91%
  • Former yougoslavia 0.82%
  • Greece 0.71%
  • Germany 0.65%
  • Americas 0.59%
  • Philippines 0.56%
  • Netherlands 0.51%
  • Malaysia 0.48%
  • India 0.46%
  • South Africa 0.35%
  • Other European 4.28%
  • Other Asian 2.63%

Spread of Ages in Australia

  • 0-14 years 21.6%
  • 15-24 years 14.5%
  • 25-44 years 30.8%
  • 45-64 years 21.0%
  • 65+ years 12.1

Population Growth Rate by Region

Natiional Population Growth Rate 1.3%

  • NSW 1.1%
  • Vic 1.0%
  • Qld 2.0%
  • SA 0.4%
  • WA 1.8%
  • Tas -0.1%
  • NT 2.2%
  • ACT 0.6%

Australian Population by Religion

Christian %

  • Roman Catholic 27.0
  • Anglican 22.0
  • Uniting Church 7.5
  • Presbyterian & Reformed 3.8
  • Orthadox 2.8
  • Baptist 1.7
  • Lutheran 1.4
  • Pentacostal 1.0
  • Jehovah's Witness 0.5
  • Church of Christ 0.4
  • Salvation army 0.4
  • Other 2.4

Non-Christian

  • Islamic 1.1
  • Buddhist 1.1
  • Jewish 0.4
  • Hindu 0.4
  • Other 0.4
  • No religion 16.6
  • Not stated 9.1