Australia Population 2017
Australia is the 53th largest country in the world in terms of population, between Cote Cameroon and Madagascar. It is also the most populous country in Oceania, three times more populous than its neighbour Papua New Guinea (8.2 million) and 5 times more populous than New Zealand (4.5 million).
As the 6th largest nation in the world, Australia has a very low population density of just 3 people per square kilometer, or 7 per square mile. This makes it one of the least densely populated countries in the world. Mongolia, Western Sahara and Suriname have fewer people per square kilometer than Australia. Some parts of Australia are even less densely populated. In the Northern Territory, every square kilometer holds just 0.2 people. Most of Australia's population is concentrated on or around the more hospitable coastal areas, as you can see in the density map further down the page.
The most recent Australian census was held in 2011 and confirmed that the population of Australia on census night (August 9 2011) was 21,507,717. The 2016 census is currently in progress, and the results will be released in April 2017. The Australian Bureau of Statistics also provides the Australian Population Clock, which uses population indicators to estimate the current population count.
Largest Cities in Australia
There are five Australian cities with a population of more than a million people..
Sydney (4.9 million)
Sydney is the home of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics. Sydney is Australia's largest and most cosmopolitan city. It is also the capital and largest city of New South Wales. The 2011 census revealed its population to be 4,391,674, an increase of 6.6% over the 2006 numbers. 2016 estimates placed the population at 4,920,970, which accounts for 20% of the nation's total population.
Melbourne (4.5 million)
Melbourne, Australia's second city and great rival to Sydney, is the capital of Victoria. Situated on the south coast, it was home to 3,999,982 people at the time of the 2011 census. It is growing even more quickly than Sydney and is forecast to become Australia's largest city within 25 years. According to 2016 estimates, the population is 4,529,496, which is 19.05% of Australia's population.
Brisbane (2.3 million)
Brisbane, capital of Queensland, had a population of 2,065,996 on the day of the 2011 census. In the five years since the 2006 census, its population grew by an impressive 11.5%. Estimates in 2016 put the population around 2,308,720, or 9.71% of the nation's overall population.
Perth (2 million)
Perth, capital of Western Australia, is the fastest growing state capital in Australia. It's population went up from 1,512,105 in 2006 to 1,728,867 in 2011, a growth rate of 14.3% in just five years. Growth has continued through 2016, with a population estimated to be 2,039,193.
Adelaide (1.3 million)
Adelaide, capital of South Australia, is home to 1,316,779 people. Its growth rate of 5.9% from 2006-2011 makes it the slowest growing city among Australia's 5 largest cities.
As well as the five cities listed above, Canberra, the capital of Australia, is the country's eighth largest city, home to an estimated 424,666 people.
Hobart, the only state or national capital not listed, has an estimated 220,593 residents, making it Australia's eleventh most populous city.
Population of Australian States and Territories
There are five Australian states, ranging in population from 0.5 million to 7.2 million in population.
New South Wales (7.6 million)
New South Wales is Australia’s largest state, home to an estimated 7,618,200 people in 2016. Its capital and largest city is Sydney.
Victoria (5.9 million)
Victoria, named after the English Queen, is Australia’s second largest state. Its estimated population 2016 was 5,938,100. Its largest city is Melbourne, Australia’s second city, where three quarters of all Victorians live.
Queensland (4.7 million)
Queensland is Australia's third largest state. Its estimated population in 2016 was 4,779,400. Queensland's largest city is Brisbane.
Western Australia (2.5 million)
Western Australia is home to an estimated 2,591,600 people. Its capital city, Perth, is home to 2 million of WA's 2.5 million residents.
South Australia (1.6 million)
South Australia, which is located in the center of Australia's south coast, is home to approximately 1,698,600 people. Its largest city is its capital, Adelaide, which is home to all but 400,000 of South Australia's residents.
Tasmania (0.5 million)
Tasmania is Australias smallest state, although still more populous than any of its territories. Home to approximately 516,600 people, its largest city is Hobart, which has a population of over 220,000.
Australian Capital Territory (390,800)
The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave inside of New South Wales. Home to Australia's capital city Canberra, 390,800 people live in the ACT.
Northern Territory (244,600)
The Northern Territory has an esimated 244,600 residents, making it the least densely populated part of Australia and one of the least densely populated areas in the world. Its largest city is Darwin, where more than half of the Territory's residents make their homes.
The Australian population census of 2011 showed that of the 21,507,717 declared residents, 25.4% of the population claimed their ancestry to be Australian. Those that claimed to be of English ancestry represented 25.9% of the total population. Other figures included Irish at 7.5%, Scottish at 6.4% and Italian at 3.3%.
Australia's population has quadrupled since World War I, mostly due to immigration. From the end of World War II through 2000, nearly 6 million immigrants came to Australia, accounting for 2 out of every 7 Australians. At the last census in 2011, over 30% of Australians were born in another country and over 46% had at least one overseas-born parent. The most common immigration sources in Australia are the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, India, and Vietnam.
In 2011, the official indigenous population of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders was over 548,000, or 2.5% of the total population, up from 116,000 in 1976. This increase is due in part to the fact that many people with at least some indigenous heritage were undercounted before.
As with other developed countries, Australia's demographics are shifting toward an older population. The median age in Australia is 37 years.