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Australia in pictures



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14 PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY BRIEFING BOOK | KEY ISSUES FOR THE 45TH PARLIAMENT

Australia in pictures Sue Johnson, Statistics and Mapping

Estimated resident population by state and territory: 1985, 2005 and 2015

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian Demographic Statistics, December 2015, cat. no. 3101.0.

Between 1985 and 2015, the proportion of Australians living in Queensland (Qld) and Western Australia (WA) increased, while the Northern Territory (NT) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) maintained their share of population. Over the thirty year period, Qld and WA recorded average annual growth of 2.1% and 2.0% respectively, compared with the Australian average of 1.4%.

Estimated resident population by age: 1985 and 2015

Source: ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics, December 2015, cat. no. 3101.0.

Over the 30 years to 2015, Australia’s population has aged. The proportion aged under 15 years has fallen from 23.8% to 18.8%, and the proportion aged 65 years and over has increased from 10.3% to 15.0%.

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Australia’s overseas born population by country of birth: 1981 and 2011

1981 2011

Country No.

% of all overseas born Country No.

% of all overseas born

United Kingdom 1,086,625 36.5 United Kingdom 1,101,082 20.8

Italy 275,883 9.3 New Zealand 483,397 9.1

New Zealand 176,713 5.9 China (excl. SARs

and Taiwan)

318,969 6.0

Yugoslavia 149,335 5.0 India 295,362 5.6

Greece 146,625 4.9 Italy 185,403 3.5

Germany 110,758 3.7 Vietnam 185,036 3.5

Netherlands 96,044 3.2 Philippines 171,234 3.2

Poland 59,441 2.0 South Africa 145,682 2.8

Malta 57,001 1.9 Malaysia 116,196 2.2

Lebanon 49,623 1.7 Germany 108,001 2.0

Source: ABS, Census of Population and Housing, 1981 and Census of Population and Housing (Tablebuilder), 2011, cat. no. 2103.0.

The proportion of Australians born overseas increased from 16.8% in 1981 to 24.6% in 2011. Over this period, there has been a shift away from the United Kingdom and Europe, and growth in migration from Asia.

Employment by business size: 2014-15

Source: ABS, Australian Industry, 2014-15, cat. no. 8155.0.

Small businesses employed 4.8 million people, or 44.8% of all those employed in 2014-15. This was followed by large businesses, which employed 31.7% (3.4 million people), while medium size businesses employed 23.5% (2.5 million people).