21,507, 717

That’s how many Aussies there are… at least that was the figure on 9 August 2011 when our latest census was taken.

At the first one, in 1911, there were about 4.5 million of us (generally speaking, I mean, I’m not that old), and interestingly about 1,900 of those counted in 1911 were still alive at the 2011 census!

Twenty six per cent of Australia’s population was born overseas and a further 20 per cent had at least one overseas-born parent, while 53 per cent are third-generation Australians (those who have grandparents born overseas). Despite the several waves of immigration from different regions since the second world war, the UK is still the most common country of birth for those born overseas (21%), with New Zealanders at 9.1% and Chinese-born people at 6%. People born in India made up 5.6% of those born overseas and Italians 3.5%.

More than three quarters (76.8%) of us only speak English at home, while the most commonly spoken languages other than English are Mandarin (1.6%), Italian (1.4%), Arabic (1.3%), Cantonese (1.2%) and Greek (1.2%).

One in ten of us live alone and the average household had 2.6 people. Our median age is 37.3 years and about 14% of the population is over 65 years.

Non-Christian faiths are increasing in parallel with the pattern of migration. Other faiths reported were Buddhism (2.5%), Islam (2.2%) and Hinduism (1.3%). Just over 22% of people claimed no religion, a figure that has been increasing each census. Three out of four people claim to have a faith, though, and 61.1% of the population identify with a Christian denomination.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is 548,370. Somewhat surprising is that 32.9% of ATSI people live in capital cities. The median age for indigenous Australians is 21 years – a whopping 16 less than the national figure – and only 3.8% are aged 65 years and over.

State by state:

State/Territory Growth since last census Total population Indigenous population
New South Wales 5.6% 6,917,656 172,624
Victoria 8.5% 5,354,040 37,991
Queensland 11% 4,332,737 155,825
Western Australia 14.3% 2,239,171 69,665
South Australia 5.4% 1,596,570 30,431
Tasmania 4% 495,351 19,625
Australian Capital Territory 10.2% 357,220 5,184
Northern Territory 9.9% 211,943 56,779

Of Victoria’s total population of 5.3 million, almost four million live in Melbourne. In other words, four out of five Victorians live in our capital.

More information at the Australian Bureau of Statistics census site.