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Population projections and demographics

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The state government provides age and sex population projections at several levels:

  • state
  • statistical division
  • statistical local area
  • local government area
  • South Australian government region.

The projections are updated every five years following the release of final figures from the most recent Census of Population and Housing published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Population projections for South Australia and statistical divisions 2011-2041

projected population and demographic change for South Australia infographic thumbnail

These population projections comprise three series (high, medium and low). They reflect the likely range of population futures for South Australia and its statistical divisions. The medium series is the likely outcome at the time of publication, while the high and low series enable management of risks if a population trend that is higher or lower than the medium series emerges.

The factsheet (PDF, 245 KB)  summarises projected population and demographic change for South Australia.

The report on Population projections for South Australia and statistical divisions 2011-2041 (PDF, 2122 KB) summarises the assumptions used to develop the projections and outlines the demographic context of the projection outcomes and their demographic significance.

The projections are based on the 2011 Census of Population and Housing and supersede those published in 2010. The South Australian Cabinet approved the projections and endorsed their use by State agencies on 10 August 2015.

Local area population projections 2011-2031

Age by sex projections are produced for the 127 statistical local areas, 70 local government areas and 12 South Australian government regions in the State. They are aggregated by five-year age groups for five-year intervals over the period 2011-2031. Because of the inherent uncertainties in small area projections, it is not appropriate to project beyond a 20-year horizon.

Users of these projections should carefully read the explanatory notes (PDF, 22 KB) before downloading the projections.

Cautionary note about using population projections

Population projections are not forecasts of the future. They are estimates of the future size, age structure and geographic distribution of populations based on particular assumptions about future fertility, mortality and migration. Actual future populations will vary from these projections.

South Australia's current population

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the preliminary estimated resident population (ERP) of South Australia at 30 September 2015 was 1,701,100 people. This is an increase of 12,400 people since 30 September 2014 and an annual growth rate of 0.7%. Australia’s growth rate over the same period was 1.3%.

Population growth is driven by natural increase (births minus deaths) and net migration (overseas and interstate).  Net migration contributed 51% of South Australia’s population growth in the 12 months to September 2015.  Positive net overseas migration helped to counter South Australia’s net interstate population losses.

South Australia's components of growth, 2014-15

2014-2015 Growth 13100 | Natural increase 6450 | Births 20000 | Deaths 13550 | Net migration 6650 | Net overseas migration 10400 | Net interstate migration -3750

Year ended 30 September 2015

More information is available from Australian Demographic Statistics - ABS catalogue 3101.0 and the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's Population Estimates Brief.

Population change 2008-2013

The population of South Australia continues to grow and its composition is ever changing. In the five year period between 2008 and 2013, South Australia's population increased from 1.59 million to 1.67 million, at an average of 16,432 persons per year.

The following report provides a concise overview of recent population change and demographic trends in South Australia. It also provides important contextual information about South Australia and its regions, and is used in the development of population projections.

Population Change 2008-13 South Australia and its Regions (PDF, 2356 KB)

Other websites

Australian Population Association
Australian Population and Migration Research Centre (APMRC)
Australian Demographic Statistics - ABS catalogue 3101.0
Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2014 - ABS catalogue 3235.0