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Education institution attending


This topic has been updated with 2016 Census data for all areas. What's this?

24% of people in Australia attended an educational institution in 2016.

The share of Australia's population attending educational institutions reflects the age structure of the population, as it is influenced by the number of children attending school; proximity to tertiary education, which can mean young adults leaving home to be nearer to educational facilities and; the degree to which people are seeking out educational opportunities in adulthood, especially in their late teens and early twenties.

This data is often combined with Age Structure to identify areas with significant university student populations.

Derived from the Census question:

'What type of educational institution is the person attending?'

Total population

Education institution attending
Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20162011Change
Type of institutionNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2011 to 2016
Primary school1,926,8818.28.21,755,0118.28.0+171,870
Primary - Government1,314,7875.65.51,181,5935.55.3+133,194
Primary - Catholic380,6031.61.6359,0621.71.7+21,541
Primary - Independent231,4911.01.0214,3561.01.1+17,135
Secondary school1,446,5046.26.21,335,9186.26.2+110,586
Secondary - Government827,5063.53.4773,9503.63.4+53,556
Secondary - Catholic338,3861.41.5307,1431.41.5+31,243
Secondary - Independent280,6121.21.3254,8251.21.3+25,787
Not attending16,189,98269.268.715,002,50369.869.2+1,187,479
Not stated1,707,0287.36.61,510,7467.06.8+196,282

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Education institution attending, 2016
Education institution attending, 2016 Pre-school, Greater Capital Cities: 1.5% Primary school, Greater Capital Cities: 8.2% Primary - Government, Greater Capital Cities: 5.5% Primary - Catholic, Greater Capital Cities: 1.6% Primary - Independent, Greater Capital Cities: 1.0% Secondary school, Greater Capital Cities: 6.2% Secondary - Government, Greater Capital Cities: 3.4% Secondary - Catholic, Greater Capital Cities: 1.5% Secondary - Independent, Greater Capital Cities: 1.3% TAFE, Greater Capital Cities: 1.9% University, Greater Capital Cities: 6.0% Other, Greater Capital Cities: 1.0% Pre-school, Australia: 1.5% Primary school, Australia: 8.2% Primary - Government, Australia: 5.6% Primary - Catholic, Australia: 1.6% Primary - Independent, Australia: 1.0% Secondary school, Australia: 6.2% Secondary - Government, Australia: 3.5% Secondary - Catholic, Australia: 1.4% Secondary - Independent, Australia: 1.2% TAFE, Australia: 1.8% University, Australia: 5.0% Other, Australia: 0.8%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in by .id, the population experts.
Change in education institution attending, 2011 to 2016
Change in education institution attending, 2011 to 2016 Pre-school, Australia: +14,827 Primary school, Australia: +171,870 Primary - Government, Australia: +133,194 Primary - Catholic, Australia: +21,541 Primary - Independent, Australia: +17,135 Secondary school, Australia: +110,586 Secondary - Government, Australia: +53,556 Secondary - Catholic, Australia: +31,243 Secondary - Independent, Australia: +25,787 TAFE, Australia: -48,714 University, Australia: +228,135 Other, Australia: +36,738
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the share of the population attending educational institutions in Australia in 2016 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a similar proportion attending primary school, a similar proportion attending secondary school, and a lower proportion engaged in tertiary level education.

Overall, 8.2% of the population were attending primary school, 6.2% of the population were attending secondary institutions, and 6.8% were learning at a tertiary level, compared with 8.2%, 6.2% and 7.8% respectively for Greater Capital Cities.

The major difference between the share of the population attending learning institutions in Australia and Greater Capital Cities was:

  • A smaller percentage of persons attending University (5.0% compared to 6.0%)

Emerging groups

From 2011 to 2016, Australia's population increased by 1,897,203 people (+8.8%). This represents an average annual change of 1.71% per year over the period.

The largest changes in the number of persons attending education institutions in Australia, between 2011 and 2016 were in those who nominated:

  • University (+228,135 persons)
  • Primary school (+171,870 persons)
  • Primary - Government (+133,194 persons)
  • Secondary school (+110,586 persons)

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