Australian families – some basic facts

Australian families – some basic facts

  • As of March 2015, there were 23.71 million residents in Australia. See the Population Clock by the ABS(link is external) for current estimate of the resident population of Australia.
  • According to the estimated population by the ABS (2015), children aged 0-14 years make up 19% of the population while people aged 65 years and older account for 15% of the population. That is, two-thirds of the population are 15-64 years old (66%) – the group that is traditionally treated as being of “working age”.
  • Australia’s population is culturally and ethnically diverse.
    • According to the 2011 Census data, about one-quarter of the population was born overseas and many residents who were born in Australia have a parent who was born in another country.
    • Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders represent 2.5% of the population.
  • The 2011 Census data revealed that there were about 8.18 million households and 5.68 million families. 1
    • Around one in four households is occupied by one person. For statistical purposes, the ABS defines families as: Two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering; and who are usually resident in the same household. That is, members of families who live in different households are not treated as part of the same family unit.
  • Around one-half of the population aged 15 years and older is married.
    • The median age at first marriage is 29.9 years for men and 28.3 years for women in 2013.
    • Over the last decade, between 11 to 14 couples in every 1000 marriages are granted a divorce each year.
    • Women who become mothers do so typically at age 25 to 34 years. In 2012, the median age of women who gave birth to their first child was 29 years.


  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015). Australia demographic statistics, March Quarter 2015 (Catalogue no. 3101.0). Canberra: ABS.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012). The 2011 Census Place of Enumeration Profile (Catalogue no. 2004.0). Canberra: ABS.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012). Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2011 (Catalogue no. 3310.0). Canberra: ABS.
  • Hilder, L., Zhichao, Z., Parker, M., Jahan, S., & Chambers, G.M. (2014). Australia’s mothers and babies 2012. (Perinatal statistics series no. 30. Cat. no. PER 69.) Canberra: AIHW.

1. The numbers of households and families were from the 2011 Census Place of Enumeration Profile. These numbers are larger than those based in the 2011 Census Basic Community Profile which was based on the counts of people at place of usual residence at the Census night.


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