Who are Australia's males?

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There are 12.5 million males of all ages in Australia, just under half (49%) of the country’s population, in 2021. Overall, there are 97.4 males for every 100 females (ABS 2021a).

The typical Australian male is 37 years old, has a life expectancy of 81.3 years, lives in a major city, is employed, has a non-school qualification, but is less likely to have a university degree compared with Australia’s females (ABS 2022q).

The male population is ageing

Over the last nearly 20 years the median age of males, where half the male population is older and half is younger, has increased from 35.3 years in 2003 to 37.7 years in 2022 (ABS 2023c).

Over the last 10 years, the proportion of the male population aged 65 and over has also increased – from 13% of the total male population in 2012 to 16% in 2022. Percentage growth over the same 10-year period shows that males aged 65 and over grew by 39%, compared with those aged under 18, which grew by 11%, and those aged 18–64, which grew by 10% (ABS 2012, ABS 2023b).

Some males are more disadvantaged

One in 8 (13%) males in all age groups are living under the poverty line, defined as those living on after-tax household incomes below 50% of the median household income (Davidson, et al. 2020).

Around 69,000 males are considered homeless, with the greatest proportion being in the 25–34 age range (ABS 2018a). In 2021-22, around 100,300 males presented to Specialist Homelessness Services as homeless, or at risk of homelessness (AIHW 2022n).

There are around 37,600 male prisoners in adult corrective services custody (around 13 times as many as females) with the greatest proportion in the 30-34 age group (ABS 2021e). The most common offence relates to acts intended to cause injury (26%) (ABS 2021e).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males

There are nearly 500,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males as at 30 June 2021, representing 3.9% of the male population (ABS 2021b, ABS 2022b).

The typical Indigenous male is younger than non-Indigenous males. Around 3 in 10 (34%) are aged under 15, compared with around 20% of non-Indigenous males (ABS 2021a). They are outnumbered by females in older age groups, with 85.5 Indigenous males for every 100 Indigenous females aged 65 and over (ABS 2022b).

Around 3 in 5 (61%) Indigenous males aged 15 and over identify with a clan, tribal or language group and 17% speak an Indigenous language, in 2014–15 (ABS 2016).

The disease groups causing the most ill health and death in Indigenous males are mental and substance use disorders, injuries and cardiovascular diseases (AIHW 2022e).

For more information on burden of disease in Indigenous Australians, please see Disease burden among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

To learn more, see Indigenous Australians.

Australian males have diverse backgrounds – almost 3 in 10 are born overseas.

Almost one third (29%) of Australian males are born overseas, in 2021. Of these, the most common countries of birth are England (13%), India (10.5%), New Zealand (7.8%) and China (7.2%) (ABS 2022a).

Males outnumber females in remote areas

The density of the male population varies across the country. For example, in 2021, in Remote and very remote areas, there are 108 males for every 100 females compared with 97 males for every 100 females in Major cities (ABS 2021f).

According to the latest available data from the 2021 ABS Census (ABS 2021f):

7 in 10 (72%) Australian males live in Major cities

2 in 10 (18%) live in Inner regional areas

fewer than 1 in 10 (8.2%) live in Outer regional areas

1 in 50 (2.0%) live in Remote and very remote areas.