1-1. Population

1-1-1. Population by region

1-1-2. Population by age and sex



At 30 June 2017, the estimated resident population of South Australia was just above 1.7 million people, representing about one in 14 (7.0%) of the total Australian population (24.6 million people).1

Over the decade 2007-2017, South Australia's population has grown by about 150,000 people, or an average 1.0% per year. This is less than the 1.7% annualised growth rate over the same period for Australia as a whole.1

Roughly speaking, out of every ten people that have joined the South Australian community over this time, around eight came via net overseas migration and five through natural increase, offset by three lost to net interstate migration.2

At 30 June 2015 (latest available), the estimated resident Aboriginal population of South Australia was 40,646 people, representing 2.4% of the 2015 state population.3


1-1-1. Population by region

  • Over a quarter of South Australia's population live outside of metropolitan Adelaide.
  • Over the last decade, Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network has had the fastest growing population.

SA Health divides South Australia into local health networks (LHNs) to manage the delivery of public hospital services, and other community based health services, as determined by the South Australian state government. LHNs comprise single or groups of public hospitals, and have a geographical or functional connection.

The LHNs are accountable to the state government for performance management and planning.

In 2017, over a quarter (28.9%) of South Australia's population lived outside of metropolitan Adelaide, very slightly lower than a decade earlier. Since 2007, the biggest percentage increase in population growth amongst South Australia's Local Health Networks has been in the Barossa Hills Fleurieu LHN (up 14.3%).1


Estimated Resident Population, 2017 and 2007
Local Health Network no. persons, 2017 % persons, 2017 no. persons, 2007 % persons, 2007
Northern Adelaide 399,635 23.2% 348,233 22.2%
Central Adelaide 460,589 26.7% 423,722 27.0%
Southern Adelaide 364,560 21.2% 335,078 21.3%
Metropolitan Adelaide 1,224,784 71.1% 1,107,033 70.5%
Barossa Hills Fleurieu 198,193 11.5% 172,591 11.0%
Eyre and Far North 40,514 2.4% 38,955 2.5%
Flinders and Upper North 44,732 2.6% 45,937 2.9%
Riverland Mallee Coorong 71,798 4.2% 68,741 4.4%
South East 66,743 3.9% 63,886 4.1%
Yorke & Northern 76,784 4.5% 73,476 4.7%
Country Health SA 498,764 28.9% 463,586 29.5%
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 1,723,548 100.0% 1,570,619 100.0%
AUSTRALIA 24,598,933   20,827,622  

 Data source: ABS 2017a


1-1-2. Population by age and sex

  • South Australia has an older population than Australia generally.

South Australia has an older population than Australia overall. In 2015, an estimated 17.4% of South Australians were aged 65 years or over, compared to 15.0% for the Australian population as a whole. Proportionally more of the 65 years and older population are female than male.3

The age-sex profile of the Aboriginal population in South Australia is substantially different than the state’s population overall. In 2015 (the latest year for which data is available), almost half (53.6%) of all Aboriginal people in South Australia were aged under 25 years compared to 30.5% of the overall state population. Proportionally, 4.1% of Aboriginal people in South Australia were aged 65 years and over in 2015, compared to 17.4% of the state’s total population. This structural difference is also evident in the large gaps in estimated median ages between the Aboriginal and state population.3


Estimated median age (years) by sex and region, 2015

Region males females persons
South Australia - all 39 41 40
South Australia - Aboriginal people 22 24 23
Australia - all 37 38 37

 Data source: ABS 2017c


South Australian population by age (years) and sex -- All SA (2015) and Aboriginal SA (2015*)

1-1 age-sex

* 2015 latest available for comparison


  1. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2017a), ‘ERP by SA2 and above (ASGS 2016), 2001 onwards', ABS.Stat (beta), viewed 3 August 2018.
  2. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2017b), 'TABLE 2. Population Change, Components - States and Territories (Number)', Australian Demographic Statistics, cat. no. 3101.0, viewed 13 August 2018.
  3. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2017c), Customised Table, Population, South Australia, 2015, Indigenous Status, age and sex, viewed 22 May 2017.