Chapter 2: A profile of Queensland's population
With a population estimated at 4.4 million people at 30 June 2009, Queensland is the third most populous state and home to 20.1% of Australia’s total population of 21.9 million. The growth and distribution of Queensland’s population has a strong influence on the current and future health service needs. This chapter describes the recent growth and projected population changes in Queensland, and outlines the distribution of the population in terms of age, sex, geographic location, socioeconomic status, Indigenous status, country of birth, and language spoken at home.
[Chapter 2, pdf, 560 kb]
In Chapter 2:
Population growth [pdf]
- Queensland’s population is increasing more rapidly than that of any other state or territory at 2.5% per year or about 100,000 people per year.62
- Queensland’s population is projected to almost double in the 46 years to 2056 from 4.4 million to 8 million people,65 overtaking Victoria to become the second most populous jurisdiction and home to almost one-quarter (24.6%) of Australia’s population.
Age and sex distribution [pdf]
- Queensland’s population is ageing, due to increasing life expectancy at birth, the current population age structure and relatively low levels of fertility.67
- The median age in Queensland is increasing from 34.4 years in 1999 to 36.2 years in 2009 and is projected to increase to 40 years in 2026.68
- In contrast, the estimated median age of Indigenous Queenslanders in 2006 was 20.4 years.71
Geographic distribution [pdf]
- Queensland has the largest proportion of people who live in outer regional, remote, and very remote areas compared to other Australian jurisdictions.74
- The non-Indigenous population is largely centred in major city areas (60%), with only 2.8% living in remote or very remote areas.75
- In contrast, 22% of Indigenous Queenslanders live in remote or very remote areas, with only 28% in major cities.75
Areas of socioeconomic disadvantage [pdf]
- A large proportion of Indigenous Queenslanders live in areas of greatest disadvantage (46%), compared to 20% of the total population.75,76
- However, 92% of the population living in areas of greatest disadvantage are non-Indigenous people.75,76
Indigenous status [pdf]
- In 2008, there were an estimated 152,527 Indigenous Queenslanders, 3.6% of the total Queensland population.72
- By 2021, Queensland is projected to have the largest population of Indigenous Australians with about 214,000 persons.71
Culturally and linguistically diverse populations [pdf]
- In the 2006 Census, almost 700,000 usual residents of Queensland reported being born overseas, one-fifth of whom had recently arrived (in the previous five years).81
- Nearly half of those born overseas were born in the United Kingdom (27.6%) or New Zealand (21.3%).81
- Sub-Saharan Africa was the region with the largest proportion of recent arrivals (40.4%), followed closely by North Africa and the Middle East, North-East Asia, and Southern and Central Asia.81
- Around 300,000 usual residents of Queensland, or 7.8% of the population, reported in 2006 that they spoke a language other than English at home.81
- Planning levels for humanitarian entrants to Queensland annually are 1,000 under the refugee program, 540 special humanitarian program entrants and 60 onshore visa grants to asylum seekers.
- Queensland Health focuses on the needs of several priority population groups including refugees, Australian South Sea Islanders and Pacific Islanders.