King Island raining men

IF YOU’RE single and looking for love then King Island is the place to go. According to the part-released Census 2021 data King Island has more men than women and plenty of singles as well.

The data shows the gender population split on King Island is 52.3 per cent men, to 47.7 per cent women, meaning a total of 73 more men than women on the Island. This compares to both Tasmania and Australia overall which has more women than men (50.9-49.1 and 50.7 to 49.3). Almost 40% of males are single, not married or in a defacto type relationship. Women who identified as single, not married or in a defacto type relationship are not too far behind at just over third of the island’s female population.

The Census 2021 results released at the beginning of July give an insight into the people and their lifestyles on King Island. Australia-wide the 2021 census revealed a growing nation — more than 25 million people — that is more diverse than ever. There were no major differences in King Island between 2016 and 2021 although the overall population has increased. The population on census night was 1,617. This represented an increase of 34 people, or 2.2 per cent since the 2016 and an average annual population change of 0.43% per year over the period. In 2021, King Island had lower proportion of children (under 18) and a higher proportion of persons aged 60 or older than Tasmania. Broadly, the island population is Boomer 30% (born between 1946 and 1964), Gen X 18% (born 1965 – 1980) and Millennial 19% (born 1981 – 1996).

Overall, 19.3% of the population was aged between 0 and 17, and 30.9% were aged 60 years and over, compared with 20.0% and 27.8% respectively for Tasmania. The major differences between the age structure of King Island and Tasmania were:
• a larger percentage of “Older workers and pre-retirees” (15.2% compared to 13.1%);
• a larger percentage of “Empty nesters and retirees” (15.0% compared to 13.2%); • a larger percentage of “Seniors” (13.9% compared to 12.3%);
• a smaller percentage of “Tertiary education and independence” (4.5% compared to 7.6%).

In 2021, King Island had 17.8% of households made up of couples of all ages with children, compared to 24.0% in Tasmania. There were 88 couples, 12% of households, with young children. Older couples without children account for 15% of total households in 2021. Households without children include couples without children and lone-person households. They require different services depending on the age of the people in the households. For example, young couples who have not had children (yet) compared to older “empty nester” couples whose children may have left home.

The Census has shown that fewer King Islanders are religious or affiliate with a particular belief system. More than half of those responding to a question about religion and beliefs, almost 57 per cent, chose Secular Beliefs and Other Spiritual Beliefs and No Religious Affiliation. A further 11 per cent did not state a religious affiliation. These results are in line with overall Tasmanian data and while it is 10% higher than the Australian census reporting, is consistent with and reflects the overall changes in diversity, social attitudes, and belief systems in Australia. Statistician Dr David Gruen said the religion question held a special place in the Census. “It is one of the few topics that has been in every one of Australia’s 18 Censuses and is the only question that is voluntary,” Dr Gruen said. “Despite being voluntary, we saw an increase in the proportion of people answering the question, from 91 per cent in 2016 to 93 per cent in 2021. “For the first time, fewer than half of Australians identified as Christian, though Christianity remained the nation’s most common religion.” Christianity is also the most common religion on King Island with 30.5% per cent identifying as Christian. This has fallen from 38.5 per cent in 2016 and from 54.1 per cent in 2011. The larger denominations are Anglican (12.4%) and Catholic (11.4%) and Uniting Church (6.7%).

There were no major shifts demonstrated in population around the Country of Birth data. In 2016, 79.6% of the island’s population were born in Australia and in 2021, 76.7% of people were Australian born. In Census 2016 and in 2021, the most common overseas countries of birth were England, New Zealand, Netherlands, Philippines, South Africa, and Germany. King Island has people born in India, Sri Lanka, US and other. A substantial number (83), given our small population, did not state their place of birth and this would impact the understanding of our cultural diversity.

The 2021 census asked Australians to report their “ancestry.” Respondents had the option of reporting up to two ancestries on their Census form. 65 % of King Island people had both parents born in Australia and 15.6% of people had both parents born overseas. The most common ancestries on King Island were Australian (40.6%), Anglo Celtic and German (4.3%). Calculated percentages represent a proportion of all responses from people in King Island, including those who did not state an ancestry. Most King Islanders only speak English at home (83.6%). Other languages spoken at home included German, Sinhalese, Tagalog, Filipino, Russian, Afrikaans, Dutch, Italian, Vietnamese, Punjabi, and Urdu. It will not surprise anyone that the data reveals 423 people or 31.5% of the King Island population did voluntary work through an organisation or group (last 12 months) compared to 18% in Tasmania and 14 per cent of Australia.

Looking at incomes and unpaid work, women are 2.3 times as likely as men to do at least 15 hours of unpaid housework per week. The 2021 King Island Personal median income is $845 which is above the level for Tasmania which has the lowest personal median income in Australia at $701. The national median personal income is $805. This is a $143 increase since 2016. The median family income per week for King Island and Tasmania is $1719, and this is almost a fifth lower than the national median. The island’s household median income is 24% less than the national median. As was the case elsewhere in Tasmania, there was also a large proportion of unoccupied houses on Census night. The data showed the island had 652 (79.9%) occupied private dwellings and 160 (19.6%) unoccupied private dwellings.

The 2021 Census reports the island has a total of 888 private dwellings of all types. In 2016 there were 806 private dwellings of all types. (The Census data excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households). Most King Islanders live in a house. 622 (95.4%) of private dwellings are separate houses. Three quarters of the separate houses have three or more bedrooms and the average number of people per household in all private dwellings is 2.1. 234 King Island people (35.5%) live in single or lone households. 67.5% of occupied private dwellings are owned outright or owned with a mortgage. A quarter of occupied properties are rented. 53 (8.2%) occupied properties are rent free, have a life tenure scheme or other tenure type. This is three times higher than in Tasmania and Australia. In 2021, about four in five households submitted their census answers online. “The census was conducted at an unprecedented time in Australia’s history and provides a unique snapshot of the population during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is different from previous censuses,” Dr Gruen said.

Census data about employment, occupation and other topics will be released in October this year.

%d bloggers like this: