ABS Census: What it says about Australia

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Sydney Harbour Bridge
The lights of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge can be seen before they were switched off for Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia, March 19, 2016. Reuters/David Gray

The latest national census has revealed that Australia is a fast changing, culturally diverse nation. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) pulse also updated the estimated resident population in Australia, which has become home to 24.4 million people by December 31, 2016.

The pulse also revealed that Australia is still an English speaking country, with 72.7 percent of people who said they spoke only English at home. The highest rate of people who spoke only English was in Tasmania at 88 percent. The lowest percentage was recorded at the Northern Territory at 58 percent.

At the same time, the nation remains predominantly religious. Sixty percent of people reported they are affiliated with a religion. But the proportion of those who reported no religious affiliation rose to 30 percent last year. This is in comparison with 22 percent five years ago and almost twice the 16 percent in 2001.

Also, Aussies are getting older. The pulse learned that there are 664,473 additional people aged 65 and over since 2011. In Tasmania, almost one in five people are aged 65 and over. The Apple Isle also has the highest median age in Australia (42 years), ahead of South Australia (40 years).

The percentage of people who reported having Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin rose last year, accounting for 2.8 percent of the population. The population size rose by 18.4 percent since 2011 and almost double since 1996, with at least 649,171 people claiming they have Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Australian Statistician David Kalisch said the ABS was pleased to present the dataset for Australia as he acknowledged the participation of Aussies. He stressed that the latest census data provides a “detailed, accurate and fascinating picture of Australia” and the communities here.

“Once again, thanks to the participation of millions of Australians in last year’s Census, the ABS has today unveiled a comprehensive range of Census data that provides valuable insights into the makeup of our population and will be used to inform critical decisions that guide the future of our nation over the coming years,” he said according to a press release. The Independent Assurance Panel has assured the latest pulse can be utilised with confidence.

The 2016 census data can also be viewed in full online. Tools like QuickStats and Community Profiles can be used to access latest data from the ABS website for your area.

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