Australia Population 2016
Australia is an Oceanian nation made up of the mainland of the Australia continent, Tasmania island, and several smaller islands. In 2015, Australia has an estimated population of 23.9 million, up from the official 2011 census results of 21.7 million.
Australia is the 52nd largest country in the world in terms of population, between Yemen and Madagascar. It is also the most populous country in Oceania, three times more populous than its neighbour Papua New Guinea (7 million) and 5 times more populous than New Zealand (4.4 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/square mile. This makes it one of the least densely populated countries in the world - only Mongolia, Western Sahara, Suriname, Mauritania and Botswana have fewer people per square kilometer than Australia. Some parts of Australia are even less densely populated - in the Northern Territory, for example, every square kilometer holds just 0.2 people. Most of Australia's population is concentrated on or around the more hospitable coastal areas.
The most recent Australian census was held in 2011 and the results, released in June 2012 confirmed that the population of Australia on census night (9 August 2011) was 21,727,158.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (the organization which runs the census), also releases estimates of the Australian population. Their latest formal prediction was that the population on 31 December 2011 was 22,485,300, around 750,000 higher than the census results would indicate. The Australian Bureau of Statistics use this information to produce an Australian Population Clock which at the time of writing this article (12 August 2012) reported that the estimated population of Australia in 2012 was 22,697,961.
Largest Cities in Australia
There are five Australian cities with a population of more than a million people. Take a look at the tabbed box below for details of each city.
Sydney (4.4 million)
Sydney, home of the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and host to the 2000 Summer Olympics is Australia's largest and most cosmopolitan city. It is also the capital and largest city of New South Wales. The 2011 census revealed it's population to be 4,391,674, an increase of 6.6% in just five years.
Melbourne (4.0 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.
Brisbane (2.1 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, it's population has grown by an impressive 11.5%.
Perth (1.7 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 staggering growth rate of 14.3% in just five years.
Adelaide (1.2 million)
Adelaide, capital of South Australia is home to 1,225,235 people. It's growth rate of 5.9% would be the envy of many European or North American cities, but among Australia's rapidly growing five major cities, it takes the wooden spoon and is in danger of being left behind.
As well as the five cities listed above, Canberra, the capital of Australia, is the country's eight largest city, home to 358,600 people.
Hobart, the only state or national capital not listed has 211,656 residents, making it Australia's eleventh most populous city.
Population of Australian States and Territories
There are five Australian states, ranging in population from 7.2 million to 0.5 million in population. A brief summary of each state, plus Australia's two largest territories, can be found in the tabbed box below.
New South Wales (7.2 million)
New South Wales is Australia’s largest state, home to an estimated population of 7,247,700 in January 2012. It's capital, and largest city, is Sydney. If New South Wales was a country, it would be Bulgaria.
Victoria (5.6 million)
Victoria, named after the English Queen, is Australia’s second largest state. It’s population in January 2012 was 5,574,500. It’s largest city is Melbourne, Australia’s second city, where three quarters of all Victorians live. If Victoria was a country, it would be Denmark.
Queensland (4.5 million)
Queensland, is Australia's third largest state. It's population in January 2012 was 5,513,000. It's largest city is Brisbane. If Queensland were a country, it would be Georgia.
Western Australia (2.4 million)
Western Australia is home to 2,387,200 people. It's capital city, Perth, is home to more than 1.7 of WA's 2.4 million residents. If Western Australia were a country, it would be Jamaica.
South Australia (1.6 million)
South Australia, in the centre of Australia's south coast, is home to 1,645,000 people. It's largest city is its capital, Adelaide, which is home to all but 400,000 of South Australia's residents. If South Australia were a country, it would be Qatar.
Tasmania (0.5 million)
Tasmania is Australias smallest state, although still more populous than any of its territories. Home to 511,700 people in January 2012, it's largest city is Hobart, population 215,000. If Tasmania were a country, it would be Luxembourg.
Australian Capital Territory (0.37 million)
The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave inside of New South Wales. Home to Australia's capital city Canberra, 370,700 people live in the ACT. If it were a country, it would be the Bahamas.
Northern Territory (0.23 million)
The least densely populated part of Australia, and one of the least densely populated parts of the world, only 232,400 people live in the Northern Territory. It's largest city is Darwin, where more than half of the Territory's residents make their homes. If the Northern Territory were a country, it would be Vanuatu.
The Australian population census of 2006 also showed that of the 19,855,288 declared residents, 37.13% of the population claimed their ancestry to be Australian. Those that claimed to be of English ancestry contributed to 32 per cent of the final statistics. Other figures included Irish at 9%, Scottish at 8%, Italian at 4% and Greek at 2%.
Australia's population has quadrupled since WWI, mostly due to immigration. After WWII and through 2000, nearly 6 million immigrants came to Australia, accounting for 2 out of every 7 Australians. At the last census in 2011, almost 25% of Australians were born in another country and 43% had at least one overseas-born parent. The most common immigrant groups in Australia include: the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, India, and Vietnam.
In 2011, the official indigenous population of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders as at 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 37.42 years.