The numbers are up

A plenary session at APP2019.

Profession continues to grow its numbers, with a stronger female presence, according to new Pharmacy Board data

The number of registered pharmacists has continued to climb, with close to one thousand additional pharmacists registered over the past twelve months.

A growing profession

The latest AHPRA data, released by the Pharmacy Board of Australia in its quarterly newsletter last week show that in March 2020 there were 32,777 registered pharmacists.

Of these, 29,620 held general registration, another 1865 held provisional registration, 18 held limited registration (undergoing postgraduate training or supervised practice) and 1274 were non-practising.

The numbers have grown from 31,785 registered pharmacists in March 2019.

In May 2012, the earliest data on the Board website, there were 26,434 registered pharmacists.


The percentage of female pharmacists has also continued to increase.

In March 2020, 63.1% of the profession was female, slightly higher the 62.8% reported in the previous March. (57.29% of pharmacists were female in May 2012.)

The female dominance was highest in the ACT (66.1%) and lowest in Tasmania (60.6%).

Age breakdown

The largest five-year age bracket is among pharmacists aged 30-34 years, of whom there are 6,597.

There are 5,967 aged 25-29 years, and 5,442 aged 30-34 years. 

There are 826 registered pharmacists aged over 70 years, of whom 170 are 80 or more years of age.

Interestingly, the number of pharmacists aged under 25 years has dropped slightly from the 2019 figure (down by 7 to 2,131), as has that of those in the 25-29 age bracket (down by 115).

Those aged in their 30s had increased – up by 188 in the cohort aged 30-34, and by 392 in those aged 35-39. 

There were also nearly 300 more pharmacists aged in the 40-44 years bracket when compared to the previous year. 


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