Who are Australia's males?

As at 30 June 2017, there were 12.2 million males living in Australia (49.6% of the total population), which means there were 98.4 males for every 100 females (ABS 2018a). Most males (68%) were younger than 50 and 15% were 65 or over. Their median age was 36.4 years, which is lower than the median age for females of 38.1 years (ABS 2018i).

Males are a diverse population, with differing health behaviours, conditions and health service use across a range of characteristics. The characteristics of five particular population groups are described below.

Age group

In 2017, 23% of the total male population were aged under 18, 62% were aged 18–64, and 15% were aged 65 or over (ABS 2018a). The number of men aged 65 and over is increasing (by the year 2040 they are projected to account for about 18% of the total male population) (ABS 2018h), they are outnumbered by females (86 males for every 100 females), 10% are widowed, 18% live alone, and 15% need assistance with one or more of the core everyday activities of self-care, mobility and communication  (ABS 2018c; ABS 2018d).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males

In 2016, the estimated residential population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males was nearly 400,000 (3.3% of the male population)  (ABS 2018a). Indigenous males tend to be younger than non-Indigenous males (35% aged less than 15, compared with 19% of non-Indigenous males) (ABS 2018e). They are culturally diverse (17% speak an Indigenous language and 61% identify with a clan, tribal or language group), and they are outnumbered by females in older age groups (82 males for every 100 females aged 65 or over) (ABS 2016; ABS 2018a).

Remoteness

From the 2016 ABS census, 71% of the Australian male population live in Major cities, 18% live in Inner regional areas, 8.7% live in Outer regional areas, and 2.2% live in Remote and Very remote areas (ABS 2018c). Males living in Remote and Very remote areas outnumber females (113 males for every 100 females) and are community-minded (16% volunteer for a group or organisation, compared with 13% of males living in Major cities) (ABS 2018c).

Socioeconomic disadvantage

Some Australian males are more disadvantaged than others. Thirteen per cent of males are experiencing poverty and around 67,400 are homeless (ABS 2018b; ACOSS 2016). There are nearly 38,000 Australian male prisoners in adult corrective services custody (ABS 2017b). Nearly 4 out of 5 males (79%) aged 15–64 are employed and 61% of 15–74 year old males have a non-school qualification (ABS 2017a; ABS 2018f).

Region of birth

Almost a third (29%) of the Australian male population were born overseas. Of those born overseas, the majority were born in England (followed by India, New Zealand and China), and overseas-born males are outnumbered by overseas-born females (96 males for every 100 females) (ABS 2018g).

References

  • ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2016. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014–15. ABS cat. no. 4714.0. Canberra.
  • ABS 2017a. Education and Work, Australia, May 2017. ABS cat. no. 6227.0. Canberra: ABS.
  • ABS 2017b. Prisoners in Australia, 2017. ABS cat. no. 4517.0. Canberra: ABS.
  • ABS 2018a. Australian Demographic Statistics: March 2018. ABS cat. no. 3101.0. Canberra: ABS.
  • ABS 2018b. Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2016. ABS cat. no. 2049.0. Canberra: ABS.
  • ABS 2018c. Census of Population and Housing, 2016: Microdata (Table Builder). ABS.
  • ABS 2018d. Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia – Stories from the Census, 2016. ABS cat. no. 2071.0. Canberra: ABS. 
  • ABS 2018e. Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2016. ABS cat. no. 3238.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.
  • ABS 2018f. Labour Force, Australia, Oct 2018. ABS cat. no. 6202.0. Canberra: ABS.
  • ABS 2018g. Migration, Australia, 2016–17. ABS cat. no. 3412.0. Canberra: ABS.
  • ABS 2018h. Population Projections, Australia, 2017 (base) ­– 2066. ABS cat. no. 3222.0. Canberra: ABS.
  • ABS 2018i. Regional Population by Age and Sex, Australia, 2017. ABS cat. no. 3235.0. Canberra: ABS.
  • ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Service) 2016. Poverty in Australia 2016. NSW: ACOSS.