The population at September 30 2016 was 1,710,800 people an increase of 9,400 (0.6%) over the previous year. There are more females than males in the population and the average age is 37. There were roughly 25,000 people of Indigenous origin living in the region. More then three quarters of the state’s population (78%) resided in Greater Adelaide. At June 2015, South Australia had a median age (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) of 39.9 years. This was the second highest of all states and territories, behind Tasmania at 41.9 years. The median age of females (41.1 years) in South Australia was higher than males (38.8).


Of the population, 75% were Australian-born with the remaining residents hailing from the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. English was the only language spoken at home by 84% of the population, with Italian, Greek and Vietnamese the next most common languages spoken.


In November 2011, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in SA was 5.3%, unchanged from the October 2011 rate. At the same time, the trend unemployment rate was also 5.3%, equal to the national rate and unchanged for the last 6 months. In total, there were 822,500 employed persons in South Australia, 442,700 employed males and 378,200 employed females. Of all employed males in SA in  2011, 18.2% were working part-time, compared to 52.4% of all employed females who were working on a part-time basis.

During the week prior to Census 635,325 people in South Australia (347,687 males and 287,638 females) were employed, representing 92% of the labour force. Of these 63% were working full-time. Within the total workforce 9% were employed as Managers and Administrators and 17% as Professionals. 


The industries in SA which made the greatest contribution to the state’s gross product in 2010-11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (10.4%), Financial and insurance services (8.7%), Ownership of dwellings (8.3%), Construction (6.9%), and Health care and social assistance (6.7).

From 2000-01 to 2010-11, the Construction industry recorded a 100.4% increase in value added. This represented the highest increase of all industries in SA. During the same period, the Manufacturing industry recorded the largest decrease of 15.6%.

At the end of June 2009 there were 144,500 operating businesses in SA, or 1,700 less than at the same time in the previous year.

The vast majority of these were small businesses, with 63.6% of the total being non-employing businesses and a further 32.2% of the total employing from 1-19 employees.

In 2009-10 the top five overseas exports from SA were Alcoholic beverages (SITC 112), Iron ore and concentrates (SITC 281), Copper ores and concentrates (SITC 283), Copper (SITC 682) and Wheat (SITC 041).

In 2009-10 the top five overseas imports into SA were Petroleum oils (excl. crude) (SITC 334), Motor cars (SITC 781), Motor vehicles for the transport of goods (SITC 782), Motor vehicle parts and accessories (SITC 784) and Rotating electric plant and parts (SITC 716).