From the Archives, 1982: A female majority in Australia after 193 years

First published in The Age on April 1, 1982

A male minority after 193 years

For the first time since white settlement, females outnumber males in Australia, figures from the 1981 census show.

Women outnumbered men in 1981 in Australia for the first time. Credit:Anotonin Cermak

The Bureau of Statistics figures released yesterday put Australia’s population at 30 June last year at 14,926,800 — 7,477,200 of them females and 7,449,600 males — a difference of 27,600.

A 1981 census collection folder.Credit:Frederick Murray

While the census did not reveal Australia’s 15 millionth citizen, Government officials say this has since happened — probably in October or November.

A combination of death and immigration has changed the structure of Australian society. Women live longer than men, and introduction of the family reunion immigration programme has more than offset the traditional 105 to 100 birth ratio of male to female.

They show a marked slowdown in the population growth rate. The population increased by 893,000 between the last census in 1976 and 1981, representing an average annual growth rate of 1.24 per cent, compared with 1.44 per cent between 1971 and 1976.

The 1976 census showed a male margin of 31,000, but by 1981 females outnumbered males by 27,600. New South Wales and Victoria are the main centres of the increase in female population. Both States are targets for immigrants.

While these two States now have the most marked female dominance, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory remain male outposts. (The ACT is balanced —112,800 to 112,800).

The figures show Victoria shared the lowest annual population growth rate of 0.7 per cent in the five years to 1981 with South Australia and Tasmania.

The highest rates were in Queensland with 2.31 per cent and Western Australia with 1.97 per cent.

Victoria’s population in the census was 3,948,600, a rise of only 138,200 from the 1976 census.

The population of New South Wales at the latest census was 5,237,100; Queensland 2,345,300; South Australia 1,319,300; Western Australia 1,299,100; Tasmania 427,300; Northern Territory 124,500 and the ACT 225.600.

For the first time the census revealed the overseas tourist pattern, and Australia is losing. At 30 June last year 134,500 Australians were “temporarily overseas” while overseas visitors totalled just 52,400.

Most Viewed in National

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article