In 1996 South Australia’s population accounted for 8.1% of the population of Australia. South Australia’s estimated resident population at 30 June 1996 was 1,474,253. The population of the Adelaide Statistical Division was 1,079,112 which accounted for 73.2% of the total population of the State. In the other Statistical Divisions in South Australia, the Outer Adelaide Statistical Division had a population of 104,385 (7.1%), Yorke and Lower North 44,058 (3.0%), Murray Lands 67,456 (4.6%), South East 62,707 (4.3%), Eyre 33,011 (2.2%) and Northern 83,524 (5.7%).
In the five years between 30th June 1991 and 1996 South Australia’s population increased by 27,954 (1.9%) from 1,446,299 to 1,474,253. The Adelaide and Outer Adelaide Statistical Divisions experienced an increased in population by 21,951 (2.1%) and 11,185 (12%) respectively. The Northern Statistical Division experienced a population loss of 5,074 (-5.7%) and the population of the remaining Statistical Divisions was fairly stable.
The number of persons aged 65 years or over increased by 10.7% between 1991 and 1996, from 186,723 to 206,637. In 1996 persons aged 65 or over accounted for 14.0% of the population, compared to 12.9% in 1991. The number of persons aged under 15 years increased by 299 between 1991 and 1996, to 299,515. In 1996 persons aged under 15 years comprised 20.3% of the population, compared to 20.7% in 1991.
In 1996 South Australia’s total fertility rate (TFR) was 1.74. TFR indicates the average number of live births a woman would have during her child-bearing years if the fertility rates observed in each age group were applied throughout a woman’s lifetime. The Australian TFR was around 1.8 in 1996. In 1961 South Australia’s TFR was around 3.7, slightly above the Australian average, however since 1966 the State has recorded a lower TFR than Australia. The decline in fertility in South Australia has been accompanied by a progressive shift to an older age at child-bearing.
In 1996 South Australia’s rate of natural increase was the lowest in Australia, due to low fertility and high mortality rates associated with the State’s older age structure. The medium age of South Australia’s population was 35.6 years, the oldest in Australia. South Australia also recorded the lowest proportion of children under 15 years of age in Australia and the largest proportion of its population aged 65 years and over.