AustraliaCommunity profile
census-message-logo

2016 Census data will be released soon and we're busy behind the scenes getting this website ready. Read our plan.

Skip to content

Australia had a similar proportion of pre-schoolers and a higher proportion of persons at post retirement age than Greater Capital Cities in 2011.

The Age Structure of Australia provides key insights into the level of demand for age based services and facilities such as child care. It is an indicator of Australia's residential role and function and how it is likely to change in the future.

Service age groups divide the population into age categories that reflect typical life-stages. They indicate the level of demand for services that target people at different stages in life and how that demand is changing.

To get a more complete picture Australia's Age Structure should be viewed in conjunction with Household Types and Dwelling Types.

Derived from the Census question:

'What is the person's date of birth (or age last birthday)?'

Total population

Age structure - Service age groups
Australia - Total persons (Usual residence)20112006Change
Service age group (years)Number%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Babies and pre-schoolers (0 to 4)1,420,9136.66.61,260,3996.36.4+160,514
Primary schoolers (5 to 11)1,895,4388.88.61,851,2539.39.0+44,185
Secondary schoolers (12 to 17)1,673,1587.87.51,653,9148.38.1+19,244
Tertiary education and independence (18 to 24)2,020,0489.410.01,875,9209.410.1+144,128
Young workforce (25 to 34)2,966,25513.815.02,676,39113.514.5+289,864
Parents and homebuilders (35 to 49)4,566,51621.221.74,384,56522.122.4+181,951
Older workers and pre-retirees (50 to 59)2,744,23812.812.32,550,39012.812.5+193,848
Empty nesters and retirees (60 to 69)2,125,2199.99.11,715,4658.68.0+409,754
Seniors (70 to 84)1,690,1987.97.21,564,1437.97.4+126,055
Elderly aged (85 and over)402,7081.91.8319,6931.61.6+83,015

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Age structure - service age groups, 2011
Age structure - service age groups, 2011 Babies and pre-schoolers (0 to 4), Greater Capital Cities: 6.6% Primary schoolers (5 to 11), Greater Capital Cities: 8.6% Secondary schoolers (12 to 17), Greater Capital Cities: 7.5% Tertiary education and independence (18 to 24), Greater Capital Cities: 10.0% Young workforce (25 to 34), Greater Capital Cities: 15.0% Parents and homebuilders (35 to 49), Greater Capital Cities: 21.7% Older workers and pre-retirees (50 to 59), Greater Capital Cities: 12.3% Empty nesters and retirees (60 to 69), Greater Capital Cities: 9.1% Seniors (70 to 84), Greater Capital Cities: 7.2% Elderly aged (85 and over), Greater Capital Cities: 1.8% Babies and pre-schoolers (0 to 4), Australia: 6.6% Primary schoolers (5 to 11), Australia: 8.8% Secondary schoolers (12 to 17), Australia: 7.8% Tertiary education and independence (18 to 24), Australia: 9.4% Young workforce (25 to 34), Australia: 13.8% Parents and homebuilders (35 to 49), Australia: 21.2% Older workers and pre-retirees (50 to 59), Australia: 12.8% Empty nesters and retirees (60 to 69), Australia: 9.9% Seniors (70 to 84), Australia: 7.9% Elderly aged (85 and over), Australia: 1.9%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in age structure - service age groups, 2006 to 2011
Change in age structure - service age groups, 2006 to 2011 Babies and pre-schoolers (0 to 4), Australia: +160,514 Primary schoolers (5 to 11), Australia: +44,185 Secondary schoolers (12 to 17), Australia: +19,244 Tertiary education and independence (18 to 24), Australia: +144,128 Young workforce (25 to 34), Australia: +289,864 Parents and homebuilders (35 to 49), Australia: +181,951 Older workers and pre-retirees (50 to 59), Australia: +193,848 Empty nesters and retirees (60 to 69), Australia: +409,754 Seniors (70 to 84), Australia: +126,055 Elderly aged (85 and over), Australia: +83,015
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the service age groups of Australia in 2011 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a similar proportion of people in the younger age groups (0 to 17 years) and a higher proportion of people in the older age groups (60+ years).

Overall, 23.2% of the population was aged between 0 and 17, and 19.6% were aged 60 years and over, compared with 22.8% and 18.2% respectively for Greater Capital Cities.

The major differences between the age structure of Australia and Greater Capital Cities were:

  • A larger percentage of 'Empty nesters and retirees' (9.9% compared to 9.1%)
  • A smaller percentage of 'Young workforce' (13.8% compared to 15.0%)

Emerging groups

From 2006 to 2011, Australia's population increased by 1,652,558 people (8.3%). This represents an average annual population change of 1.61% per year over the period.

The largest changes in the age structure in this area between 2006 and 2011 were in the age groups:

  • Empty nesters and retirees (60 to 69) (+409,754 people)
  • Young workforce (25 to 34) (+289,864 people)
  • Older workers and pre-retirees (50 to 59) (+193,848 people)
  • Parents and homebuilders (35 to 49) (+181,951 people)

v16.07.05-1.0.8