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The Northern Territory is Suffering from a Severe Drought of Women

The state government has pledged millions of dollars toward balancing out the gender ratio.
Gavin Butler
Melbourne, AU
Marines training at Robertson Barracks, in the NT. Image via MarForPac/Cpl. Carlos Cruz Jr.

The Northern Territory is officially the manliest state in Australia. That’s according to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which reveals that the Top End had 108.1 men for every 100 women in the year 2016-17. And it’s only getting worse, with that number having grown by almost two-and-a-half men per 100 over the previous 12 months.

The drought of females in the Territory is so severe that the Government is putting tens of millions of dollars toward luring more up north and balancing out the ratio.


In a ten-year population plan released earlier this year, the NT Government pledged to “commission further research… on drivers of attraction and retention of younger women,” and roll out “a suite of new incentives” to persuade them to make the move. Because frankly, they're sick of not having more females around.

“Research has consistently shown that there isn’t enough women here in the Top End,” said Chief Minister Michael Gunner, in conversation with NT News. “That’s why we are investing $50 million in a population strategy that will target certain sectors including early career women to the Territory.”

The population plan notes that “Specific strategies should be employed to attract and retain women,” and also promises to deliver—among other things—“programs that increase participation rates of women in AFL.” And while female young professionals are the main priority, the program “will not exclude professional women at later stages of their career, or professional men.”

Howard Springs, just east of Darwin, is the worst in terms of male saturation, with almost three times more men than women making up the area’s population. Weddell, Darwin City, Larrakeyah, and Sandover near Alice Springs are the next most man-packed.

The ABS figures further revealed that the Northern Territory, with a median age of just 32.6 years, is also the state with the youngest population in Australia.

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