In 2018, there were 12.4 million males in Australia—just under half (49%) of the country’s population. Overall, there are 98.4 males for every 100 females (ABS 2018a).
The typical Australian male is 36.4 years old, lives in a major city, is employed, has a non-school qualification, and is married (ABS 2017, 2018b, 2018c, 2018d, 2019a).
The male population is ageing
In 2018, the majority of Australian males were of working age. In a group of 20 males, 4 (20%) would be boys aged 0–14 years, 13 (66%) would be males of working age (15–64 years) and 3 (15%) would be men aged 65 years and over (ABS 2018a).
Over the last 10 years, the proportion of the total male population in older age groups has been increasing, particularly the 70–74 age group, which has grown by 6.3% since 2006. In comparison, the 0–4 year age group has grown by 0.2% in the same time period (ABS 2018a).
Some males are more disadvantaged than others
In 2015–16, more than 1 in 8 males (13%) were experiencing poverty, and in 2016 around 67,400 were homeless (around 18,400 more than females) (ACOSS 2018, ABS 2018e). In 2019, there were around 39,800 male prisoners in adult corrective services custody (around 11 times as many as females) (ABS 2019b) and around 1 in 20 males (5.4%) were unemployed (ABS 2019a).
Australian males have diverse backgrounds—1 in 3 were born overseas
Almost one-third (29%) of Australian males were born overseas. Of these, the most common countries of birth were England (15%), India (8.4%) and New Zealand (8.3%) (ABS 2018g).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males
In 2016, the estimated resident population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males was nearly 400,000 (3.2% of the male population) (ABS 2018a). Indigenous males tend to be younger than non-Indigenous males—around 1 in 3 (35%) are aged under 15, compared with around 1 in 5 (20%) non-Indigenous males (ABS 2018f).
Around 1 in 6 (17%) Indigenous males speak an Indigenous language and 3 in 5 (61%) identify with a clan, tribal or language group. They are outnumbered by females in older age groups (82 Indigenous men for every 100 Indigenous women aged 65 or over) (ABS 2016, 2018a).
Males outnumber females in remote areas
The density of the male population varies across the country. For example, in Remote and very remote areas, there are 113 males for every 100 females (ABS 2018b), compared with 97 males for every 100 females in Major cities.
According to the 2016 ABS Census (ABS 2018b):
7 in 10 (71%) Australian males live in Major cities
2 in 10 (18%) live in Inner regional areas
fewer than 1 in 10 (8.7%) live in Outer regional areas
1 in 50 (2.2%) live in Remote and very remote areas (ABS 2018b).