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New Page 1 Age specific
Age pyramid
Ageing of the population
Category jumpers
Chain immigration
Cohort effect
Crude rates
Demographic transition theory
Dependency ratio
Estimated Resident Population
Expectation of Life
Family - Demography
Family - Genealogy
Family Migration
First marriage ratio
Gini Coefficient/Index
Grant of resident status (GORS)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Infant mortality rate
Internal migration
Labour force participation rate
Life table
Live Births
Long-term Movement
Median Age
Migration Program
Natural Increase
Net Migration
Net Reproduction Rate
Permanent movement
Persons not in the labour force
Population policy
Rate of population growth
Sex Ratio
Skill Migration
Special Eligibility
Total fertility rate (TFR)
Unemployment Rate

Age specific This means that the given rate is expressed in terms of experience within each age group.  For example, age-specific fertility rates are usually expressed in terms of the experience of women within each of the five-year age groups; 15-19, 20-24, 25-29 years, etc. or they can also be expressed in terms of single age rates.


Age pyramid is the name given to the diagram representing the age structure of the population, usually in five-year age groups and for males and females separately.  The age structure of the population is usually roughly in the shape of a pyramid because mortality progressively reduces the number in each birth cohort as it ages.  The age pyramid is useful to show the existence of an unusually large or small cohort and, in this way, not only conveys a lot about a country's past demographic history, but also a great deal about its demographic future.


Ageing of the population involves a consideration of the proportion of the population aged 65 and over, and the way this proportion is continuing to increase, mostly due to the decline in fertility and the projected low fertility rates compared with those occurring previously.


Categoryjumpers Netpermanentandlong-termmovementfigurescanbe affected by changes in travel intentions, such as when an overseas visitor arriving in Australia for a short-term visit subsequently applies and is granted resident status, thereby changing his or her travel category from short-term to permanent.  An adjustment for category 'umping has been applied to net permanent and long-term movement.


Chain immigration refers to immigration mediated through the linkages of family members or kin networks.


Cohort A cohort refers to the group of people who were born in a given year or group of years.  For example, the 1900 birth cohort refers to the people who were born around 1900.


Cohort effect Social changes that may be attributable to a specific cohort of people.


Crude rates are usually calculated by dividing the number of vital events which occurred in a population in one calendar year by the size of the population at the middle of that year.  According to the ABS, the crude birth rate is the number of live births per 1 000 mean estimated resident population.  Other crude rates, such as the crude death rate, the crude marriage rate and the crude divorce rate, can also be calculated by dividing the number of the particular vital event in a calendar or financial year by the mean estimated resident population, and multiplying by 1000.


Demographic transition theory is a theory concerning the process of change from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates, related to changes in social and economic development.


Demography is the scientific study of human populations, primarily with respect to their size, their structure and their development.  Demography encompasses many aspects of population, but the most fundamental concerns are child-bearing and birth rates, dying and death rates, and migration and migration rates.  These factors of fertility, mortality and migration, in turn, affect the growth rate, size, density and distribution of populations.  Demographers also study the characteristics of human populations, especially the numbers of people at different ages and the balance between the sexes.


Dependency ratio This is a way of indicating the burden of non-workers on workers.  The conventional measure of dependency is the sum of persons aged 0-14 years and 65 years or more as a ratio of the number of persons aged 15-64 years.  The labour force dependency ratio is the sum of persons aged 0- 1 4 years and the number of persons not in the labour force as a ratio of the number of persons in the labour force.  The advantage of the latter is that it takes into account variations in the labour force participation of women, and changes in the age at entry and age of retirement from the labour force.  The employment dependency ratio is the sum of persons aged 0- 1 4 years and persons who are not employed (including those not in the labour force and those who are unemployed) as a ratio of the number of people who are employed.  This has the additional advantage of taking into account changing levels of unemployment.


Diasporas refers to people living outside of their country of citizenship.

Divorce refers to decrees of dissolution of marriage.


Emigration The emigration statistics used in this publication are derived from passenger cards and refer to people who have indicated on their cards that they were residents departing permanently.  These include former settlers departing permanently and Australian- and foreign-born persons who, on leaving Australia permanently, gave no indication they had been former settlers.  The terms emigrant and immigrant are used when an individual crosses a national boundary.  To the government of the sending countries these people are emigrants, people who have left their country of origin.  The government of receiving countries classify these same individuals as immigrants, people who are entering the country.


Estimated resident population is the official ABS estimate of the Australian population.  It is based on the results of the population census and is compiled for census dates and updated for post-census dates.  These intercensal estimates of the resident population are revised each time a population census is taken.


Expectation of life is the average number of years that a person could expect to live from a given age according to a given set of age-specific mortality rates.  The most common use of this is with regard to the expectation of life at birth.  The expectation of life is derived from a life table.


Family - Demography Two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationships or other blood relationship


Family - Genealogy A family can be defined for genealogy purposes. The family tree is a chart used to show the connections between individuals, consisting of the individuals' names (usually accompanied by dates, and often also places and occupations) connected by various types of line representing marriages, extra-marital unions, and births. Sometimes the use of the term is limited to the natural fatherhood line of descent.

Family Migration component of the immigration program consists of two categories-Preferential and Concessional.  Family migrants must be sponsored by a relative who is living in Australia.  The Preferential family category covers the following relatives of an Australian citizen or legal permanent resident living in Australia: spouse; fiancee; unmarried, dependent child; child under 18 years coming for adoption; parent (meeting balance of family test); aged dependent relative; last remaining brother, sister or adult child; orphaned, unmarried relative under 18 years; special need relative.  The Concessional family category covers the following relatives of an Australian citizen or legal permanent resident living in Australia: nondependent child; non-dependent brother or sister; non-dependent niece or nephew; parent of working age not meeting balance of family test.


First marriage ratio is the number of males or females of a certain age marrying for the first time per 1 000 mid-year population of males or females of the same age irrespective of marital status.


Gini Coefficient/Index The Lorenz curve is used to describe inequality in wealth or income. The Lorenz curve is a function of the cumulative proportion of individuals ordered according cumulative proportion of their wealth or income. If all individuals have the same wealth, the Lorenz curve is a straight diagonal line, called the line of equality. If there is any inequality in size, then the Lorenz curve falls below the line of equality. The total amount of inequality is summarized by the Gini coefficient, which is the ratio of the area between the line of equality and the Lorenz curve, and the total triangular area under the line of equality. Some people use it as a Gini Index from 0% to 100%. The Lorenz curve was invented if 1905 by Max O. Lorenz, an American economist, and the Gini coefficient was invented in 1912 by Italian statistician Corrado Gini.


Grant of resident status (GORS) This provision under the Migration Act caters for people who have travelled to Australia as other than visaed migrants and whose circumstances are or become such that a change to permanent resident status is warranted (for example, refugees and those who marry Australian residents or citizens).  GORS has been known as PEPAE (Permanent Entry Permits After Entry) since 19 December 1989.


Gross domestic product (GDP) A measurement in dollar terms of the aggregate goods produced and services provided within an economy over a year and excluding income earned outside the country.  Considered one of the main yardsticks of the health and vitality of an economy.

Household A group of two or more related or unrelated people who usually reside in the same dwelling, who regard themselves as a household and who make common provision for food or other essentials for living; or a person living in a dwelling without combining with any other person. A household may comprise more than one family.


Humanitarian Programis separate from the Migration Program and covers refugees and others in special humanitarian need. A major component of the humanitarian program is the offshore resettlement program, which assists people in humanitarian need overseas for whom resettlement in another country is the only option. The onshore protection component is for those people already in Australia who arrived on temporary visas or in an unauthorised manner, and who claim Australia’s protection.


Infant mortality rate is defined as the number of deaths of infants under 1 year of age registered in a given year per 1000 live births registered in the same year.


Internal migration refers to the movement of people within the boundaries of a nation-state.


Labour force participation rate For any group, the number of that group in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the civilian population aged 15 and over in the same group.  Institutionalised persons are excluded.


Life table This is a set of data derived from the mortality rates at each age of the population during a given year or group of years.  In particular, a life table shows age-specific mortality rates, the proportion surviving from an initial 1 00 000 at birth to each age, and the average number of years expected to be lived from each age by sex.  Survival rates can also be calculated to give probabilities of surviving from one age to another.  Life table stationary population occurs when, after a long period of replacement level fertility and constant mortality, the population develops an unchanging age structure where the proportion in each age group is the same as the proportion of survivors from birth to that age group as derived from a life table.


Live births A live birth refers to the delivery of a child, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, who after being born, breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as heart-beat.


Longevity is the ability to resist death and is thus the length of time one can live.


Long-term movement is defined as the arrivals of visitors (except those who hold migrant visas) and the temporary departures by Australian residents with the intention to stay, in Australia or abroad respectively, for twelve months or more, together with the departure of visitors and the return of Australian residents who had stayed in Australia or abroad, for twelve months or more.


Marriage UndertheAustralianMarriageAct]961,marriagesmaybecelebrated by a minister of religion registered as an authorised celebrant, by a district registrar or by other persons authorised by the Attorney-General.  Notice of the intended marriage must be given to the celebrant at least one calendar month, but within three calendar months before the marriage.  A celebrant must transmit an official certificate of the marriage for registration to a district registrar in the State in which the marriage took place.


Median age This is the age which divides a population exactly into two halves, or the age at which one-half of the persons have experienced a given event.  For example, one-half of the population is below the median age, and one-half is above it.


Migrant is a person who makes a permanent change in his or her regular place of residence.  Return migrant is a person who moves back to his or her previous place of residence.


Migration refers to the movement of individuals or groups from one place of residence to another when they have the intention of remaining in the new place for some substantial period of time.  Mass migration refers to the movement of individuals from one place to another as a result of social patterns and collective behaviour.


Migration program is made up of three major components: Family Migration, Skill Migration, and Special Eligibility.


Natural increase is one component of increase in population during a given year, and is the excess of the number of births over the number of deaths recorded during a given year.


Net migration is a component of population increase during a given year (natural increase is the other).  Total net migration is used to indicate the difference between total recorded arrivals and total recorded departures.  ABS adopts the convention of deriving the net migration component from the difference between long-term and permanent arrivals and long-term and permanent departures, with a small adjustment for 'category jumping'.


Net reproduction rate (NRR) is the total number of daughters that a woman would bear throughout her lifetime if she experienced a given set of agespecific fertility rates and a given set of mortality conditions.  An NRR of unity means that a woman would exactly replace herself.  This is known as replacement level fertility.


Permanent movement comprises arrivals of settlers (that is, persons who hold immigrant visas, regardless of stated intended period of stay); New Zealand citizens who indicate an intention to settle; those who are otherwise eligible to settle (for example, overseas-born children of Australian citizens), and permanent departures of Australian residents, including former residents (that is, those who on departure state they do not intend to return to Australia).


Persons not in the labour force Persons who were not in the categories employed or unemployed.  This category includes persons who were solely engaged in home duties, retired persons, pensioners, persons in institutions (hospitals, gaols, sanatoriums, etc.) and trainee teachers.


Population policy is a legitimate act by a governmental authority that aims to influence the growth, decline, size, composition, or distribution of a population.

Quartile is a data point in a distribution of values which when sorted in ascending order divides the lowest 25% of values from the higher 75% of values (Lower Quartile) or divides the highest 25% of values from the lower 75% of values (Upper Quartile).


Rate of population growth This is usually expressed as the annual rate of growth or the average annual rate of population growth (over a five-year period, for example).  The annual rate equals the increase in the population over a given twelve-month period as a ratio of the size of the population at the beginning of the period, usually expressed as a percentage.


Skill Migration component of the immigration program covers a number of categories for persons with special occupational skills or a business background who will make an economic contribution to Australia.  Tripartite Negotiated Arrangements (TNA), exists for skilled people nominated by an employer within an industry-wide agreement between government, employers and unions providing for overseas recruitment of workers in an agreed set of occupations.  Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) is for skilled people nominated for a specific skilled position by an Australian employer.  Business Migration Program is for successful business persons intending to establish a business venture in Australia or enter a joint venture agreement in Australia with an Australian business partner. Distinguished Talent is for distinguished individuals with special or unique talents of obvious benefit to Australia.  Independent is for unsponsored applicants whose education, skills and ready employability will contribute to the Australian economy.


Special Eligibility component of the immigration program covers former citizens of Australia, former residents of Australia, and family reunion (New Zealand citizen) for non-New Zealand citizen family unit members of New Zealand citizens.  In addition, there are two categories for which visas are not required; New Zealand Citizens refers to the arrival of New Zealand citizens under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement; Other refers primarily to the arrival in Australia of Australian children born overseas, and also includes residents of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Norfolk Island etc., and persons granted Australian citizenship overseas.


Total fertility rate (TFR) is derived from the sum of the age-specific fertility rates relating to a given year, and represents the average number of children that a woman would bear throughout her lifetime if she experienced a given set of age-specific fertility rates, ignoring the effect of mortality.  TFRs based on calendar year age-specific fertility rates are subject to annual fluctuations in births, and while they represent each year's experience, they do not represent the lifetime experience of real generations or cohorts of women.


Sex ratio is calculated by taking the number of males in a population and dividing it by the number of females in the same population.  The sex ratio is usually expressed as the number of males per 1 00 females.


Unemployment rate For any group, the number of unemployed expressed as a percentage of the labour force (employed plus unemployed) in the same group.