The Research FaCS Sheet series was produced by the former Department of Family and Community Services (the former FaCS). The aim of the series was to provide a brief overview of varied social policy research undertaken by FaCS staff or research undertaken in conjunction with external research bodies. The last Research FaCS Sheet was released in 2002.
Children are defined in this FaCS Sheet as 0-17 years of age. At 30 June 1998 there were 4.7 million children aged 0–17 years in Australia. Although the number of children is increasing each year, they make up a declining proportion of the population. In 1971, 34 per cent of the total population were children, declining to 25 per cent in 1997. This decline is expected to continue into the next century. From around 2020, it is projected that for the first time children will form a smaller proportion of the population than people aged 60 and over.