State/territory entitlement to electoral divisions

Updated: 25 August 2016

Current entitlement

The number of the people of the Commonwealth and of the several states and territories ascertained on 31 August 2017.

State/territory Number of the people 1
States
New South Wales 7,797,791
Victoria 6,244,227
Queensland 4,883,739
Western Australia 2,567,788
South Australia 1,716,966
Tasmania 519,050
Territories
Australian Capital Territory2 3 419,256
Northern Territory 4 247,512
Norfolk Island 1,756
The Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands 550
The Territory of Christmas Island 1,914
Australian Antarctic Territory 57
Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands 0
Coral Sea Islands Territory 3
Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands 0
The Commonwealth 5 23,729,561

1 This ascertainment has been made using statistics supplied to the Electoral Commissioner by the Australian Statistician on 28 July 2017 in accordance with section 47 of the Electoral Act and published in the Australian Demographic Statistics, December Quarter 2016 (ABS cat. no. 3101.0) on 27 June 2017.

2 Under sub-section 4(1) of the Electoral Act, the Jervis Bay territory is taken to be part of the ACT.

3 Pursuant to sub-section 48(2C) of the Electoral Act, as Norfolk Island is not entitled to a member of the House of Representatives, the population is added to the population of the Australian Capital Territory and the number of members of the House of Representatives to which the Australian Capital Territory is entitled is recalculated.

4 Pursuant to sub-section 48(2C) of the Electoral Act, as the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Territory of Christmas Island are not entitled to a member of the House of Representatives, the populations of both are added to the population of the Northern Territory and the number of members of the House of Representatives to which the Northern Territory is entitled is recalculated.

5 Under section 45 of the Electoral Act the total number of people of the Commonwealth does not include the numbers of people of the territories.

The population quota

Under section 48(2)(a) of the Electoral Act, the population quota is the number of the people of the Commonwealth divided by twice the number of Senators for the states.

Number of people of the Commonwealth (total population of the six states) = 23,729,561

Twice the number of Senators for the states = 144

Population quota = 164,788.61806 (as at 31 August 2017)

The determination

The number of members of the House of Representatives to be chosen in each state and territory was determined on 31 August 2017 by dividing the number of people in each state and territory by the quota and rounding the result to the nearest whole number.

State/territory Total population Population quota Result Members Change
New South Wales 7,797,791 164,788.61806 47.31996 47 -
Victoria 6,244,227 164,788.61806 37.89234 38 +1
Queensland 4,883,739 164,788.61806 29.63639 30 -
Western Australia 2,567,788 164,788.61806 15.58231 16 -
South Australia 1,716,966 164,788.61806 10.41920 10 -1
Tasmania 6 519,050 164,788.61806 3.14979 5 -
Australian Capital Territory 7 419,256 164,788.61806 2.54420 3 +1
Northern Territory 8 247,512 164,788.61806 1.50200 2 -
Total number of members of the House of Representatives 151 +1

6 Tasmania is guaranteed a minimum of five members under section 24 of the Constitution.

7 Under sub-section 4(1) of the Electoral Act the Jervis Bay territory is taken to be part of the ACT. Under sub-section 48(2C) of the Electoral Act, Norfolk Island taken for the purposes of this determination to be part of the ACT because it lacks sufficient population to qualify for representation in its own right.

8 Under sub-section 48(2C) of the Electoral Act, the territories of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island are taken for the purposes of this determination to be part of the Northern Territory because they lack sufficient population to qualify for representation in their own right.

When the next entitlement determination will occur

Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act), the Electoral Commissioner is required to use the latest official published statistics of the Commonwealth to ascertain the Australian population on the day after the one year anniversary of the first meeting of the House of Representatives.

The Electoral Commissioner then makes a determination of the number of members of the House of Representatives each state is entitled to. A similar exercise is used to calculate the entitlements of the territories.

How entitlement is determined

State and territory entitlements are calculated by dividing the total population figure for the Commonwealth, excluding territory populations, by twice the number of Senators for the states to obtain the population quota.

Total population of the six states / (Number of Senators for the states x 2) = Population quota

The population of each state and territory is then divided by the population quota, and the result rounded to the nearest whole number to determine the number of members of the House of the Representatives the state or territory is entitled to.

Total population of individual state or territory / Population quota = Number of members

Note: In calculating the number of members of the House of Representatives for a state or territory, if the remainder is more than 0.5, the figure for the number of members is rounded up. If the remainder is less than or equal to 0.5, the figure is rounded down (i.e. 2.5 = 2 members, and 2.52 = 3 members).