Myth Busting and Fact Checking – Analysis of 5 statements on Australia’s Demographics

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We've set out to do some myth-busting on Australian demographics just in time for Australia Day. From the "land of the long weekend" to "Australia as the sunburnt country", social researcher, Mark McCrindle reveals the facts on Australian demographics.

There are more New Zealanders living in Australia than in wellington

In 2014, 617,000 New Zealand born individuals were recorded to be living in Australia. New Zealand’s 3 largest cities by population are Auckland with over 1.4 million, Wellington (398,300) and Christchurch (381, 800). Therefore, there are far more New Zealanders that call Australia home than Wellington or Christchurch home.

Yet at the same time, 62,712 Australian-born individuals lived in New Zealand with approximately 20,000 Australian-born individuals living in Auckland.

In the month of April 2015, there was a net inflow of 100 migrants from Australia to New Zealand. This was the first month that NZ experienced a net gain of individuals from Australia since 1991.

Even though the growth of New Zealanders living in Australia has slowed, there are indeed more New Zealanders living in Australia than the entire populations of Wellington and Christchurch.

Australia, the land of the long weekend

While Australia is sometimes called the land of the long weekend, the number of public holidays in Australia still falls well behind many other countries around the world. India, has 21 public holidays a year, ranking them the country with the most public holidays. This is followed by South-East Asian countries which average between 11 and 15 public holidays a year. On the other end of the spectrum, the UK, Spain and Canada only have 8 public holidays a year. Furthermore, under Australian workplace law, full time employees are granted 20 annual leave days per year, while workers in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are given 30 days of leave.

In most years, Australia has 3 long weekends (Easter Monday, Labour day and Queens birthday), and while there are other countries with more holidays and annual leave, it is certainly part of our national culture that Australians make the most of these long weekend holidays offered throughout the year.

Australia as the ‘sunburnt country’

A ‘Sunburnt Country’ might be categorised by a hot and dry climate. While Australia has gained its reputation as the sunburnt country from the famous poem “My Country”, how does it fair among the other countries around the world?

With a scale from 1 to 11 for UV levels, Sydney has an average UV level of 6.2 over the year while Darwin has the highest average level of 10.75. On the other side of the world, cities like Los Angeles also recorded average UV levels of 6.3, but Paris only registered an average UV level of 3.5 over the year.

From 2011-15, Australia averaged 534mm of rainfall, but the US and UK recorded 715 and 1,220 mm of rainfall respectively.

Australia definitely has mid to high UV levels and a national rainfall far below most other developed nations. Therefore, the poetic term of Australia as the sunburnt country can be validated.

Do half of all marriages end up in divorce in Australia?

As of 2014, the number of marriages in Australia (121,197) was 9% more than the number of marriages 10 years ago. This accounted for a rate of 5.2 marriages per 1000 individuals however, over the same decade, the number of divorces in 2014 (46,498) declined by 4% since 1994, with only 2.0 divorces per 1000 individuals.

Therefore, the current divorce rate is just 38.4% of the current marriage rate and the divorce rate is falling faster than the marriage rate. Additionally, the length of those marriages that end is increasing, with the median duration to divorce being extended to 12 years compared to just 10.9-years in 1994.

Consequently, based on this analysis, it is not the case that half of all marriages end in divorce, but based on comparing national marriage and divorce rates, it can be estimated that around 1 in 3 marriages will end in divorce.  

Australia is a small business nation

The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines small businesses as those that employ between 5 and 19 people, and generally a term that encompasses micro-businesses, which employ between 1-4 people and non-employing businesses.

As of June 2014, 61% of all Australian businesses are non employing businesses. Of the employing businesses, 27% are microbusinesses, 10% are small businesses (5-19 employees), almost 2% are medium businesses (20-199 employees) and just under 1% are large businesses (200 or more).

Therefore, small businesses (including micro and non-employers) account for 98% of all actively trading businesses in Australia, there are almost 2.1 million of these small or micro enterprises, so Australia is indeed a small business nation. 


Mark is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.


Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


40 million average Australian Work place market research debate 1968 post rationalism goal data visualisation pharmacy couple young australians increasing densification sentiments consumer seasons wealth distribution results 2014 tea teach trend household baby names australia report brand sunburnt country Australians sector wide study society trends mateship socialites ashley fell litter in depth interviews culture program community personalities Real Estate Institute of Victoria youth unemployment sustainable kate middleton students Wellington 23 million Channel 7 entrepreneurs of today offenders analysis growing population jobs of the future small business trends of 2017 cold Real Estate 1975 generation Z property price leadership workshop Christmas lunch menai ipswich prince george educated stats the hills shire year 7 easy rider capital city IT Specialists list The ABC of XYZ 2016 social enquiry work faith demography micro apartments daily commute 24 million VIC grave decision safe baby name hornsby resource Kiwi entertainment Financial Planning Association of Australia cars Tuesday Trends social commentary population map holidays report staff conferences sports JOMO professional development mccrindle Hills Shire Council motivate trends of 2016 middle class Macquarie University media activity shopping ease of travel family forum jobs mentor pharmacies TAS nfp Aussies Gen X holiday meetings baby boomers learner news public holiday social lives story presentations earning event follow marrickville Northern Beaches Christian School career Financial Planning Association survey equip average sydneysider unaffordable snapshot graphs future of education fears builders world low density survey design Christmas season ferry winter blues technology brands grandparents suburbs staying in collaborative average aussie slideshare manly princess charlotte research data commuters video online shopping contiki village personal growth paying to work Valentine’s Day global Financial Planning Week optimistic Northern Beaches townhouses sydney metro shopping centre wolloomooloo leadership vegemite marketing McCrindle Speakers housing training Australia Day 2017 February 16 wages Births bus volunteers business index interactive social shifts financial independence economy urban living index the average aussie not-for-profit high density millenials monarchy the hills click facts trends analyst christian geomapping ethnography politics ACF social impact language sector wide not for profit affordability neutral bay city rent huffington post researcher Channel Seven organisations DIY global financial crisis cica apartments long weekend parents #censusfail Tasmania friends educhat school satisfaction housing affordability wedding media release events google for education potts point population growth business performance engagement tattoos public speaking employers Skilling daily telegraph demographics internships youth mythbusters growth focus groups study visual shopper's pick environment australian communities trends report infographic capital cities SRE woolworths cooking schools investor sector overcast DESTEL australians staying home more waverton demographic trends micro CPI housing market changing face of sydney social trends Mark McCrindle bondi rise of local group business engage home owner summer forecast gold coast new york times social media royal 2015 non profit communications social researcher SMART gen alpha New Zealand workforce moreton bay life PSI dare to dream relevant sun norwest Australian Population new office social Generation X blaxland SA Adelaide eliane miles cultural diversity Love environmental scanning hobart faux-cilise spend research report tertiary education mccrindle tea Wagga Wagga Netflix poker master pyrmont Western Australia education future report weather conference presentation the changing face of omnibus emerging technologies forecasting church faux-cilising communicate social commentator gen z Australian demographics investment Northern Territory networking VET sector newspaper urban taskforce Australian Bureau of Statistics public speaker education future Australian Families 2017 marriages future christmas high density living social change royal baby population milestone cash baby boom NBRS speakers ACT entrepreneurial proactive ACF 2016 brand experience families education sector Generation Y narcissism work-life religion high density apartments Do It Yourself South Australia ashley mckenzie debt breakfast affordable priorities FPA suburb Bathburst student parenting education research teachers learning mortgage earn NSW future proofing group session The Daily Edition Res Vis cartodb property travel research pack 2016 census etiquette demographer tips office crows nest learning styles goals SMSF poor VET teacher plans digital learn area marriage emerging generations System's Architect 24,000,000 change rule keeper TDE rich car budget workplace renting recap home Sydney the australian dream professional speaker Christchurch salary Hornsby Shire Council bureau economic culturally diverse EFF real Territory generational trends community engagement lifestyle rising house prices baby name trends Word Up James Ward states futurist collaboration research visualisation repayments divorce generation house professional services Gen Y employment customer data financial cloudy days year 12 media presentation women teleworking trend tuesday media commentary divorce rate wealth and income distribution product child care home ownership ideas careers tuesday charity research services resilience commute 10 years investing vegetarian sydneycity clothing participants government schools students winter social research in the media Research Executive residents 2016 census results define dessert Tuesday Trend healthy future Aussie conference New South Wales baby name predictions optus my business awards local community aussie culture young people house price rise census 2016 sydneysider Crime Rates authenticity gender Australia Day 2013 cancel plans coffee impact water office space social analysis shbc insight brisbane dreaming REIV National Conference thrive Assistant Store Manager perth relational responsive father's day annual income darwin national wealth sydneysiders world youth day school students future of work tableau Engineering Manager friendship school megatrends ageing celebration Kirsten Brewer baby names owning a home finance 2020 NBRS Architecture hills shire Queensland identity cost Northern beaches Event shifts Myth teaching land of the middle class criminal australian communities forum workshop 1980 wealth tv leader emerging trends moderators guide local purpose lalor park food cancelling plans CBD anzac christianity financial future house prices thought leadership cost of living aged care workplace culture curiosity Australian Trends trends house price crime census results Scouts balance qualitative research FOMO fresh suburban living socialising social issues men trades society unemployment weekly earnings entrepreneur 2012 australia Geoff Brailey earnings greatness happiness know the times challenge generation alpha internet GPO wealth and income royal family Christmas presents Charlotte national crime rates demographic transformations Population Clock national private wealth Sydney Hills Business Chamber twentyseventeen online royal influence global generations acf15 optus education Wodonga hello fresh rental stress internship Vocational education aged care puzzle award alpha google energy Australian Census buildings New Zeland australian social research award winner income mover and shaker office opening mccrindle research belief visualisation "know the times" quote wage outsourcing high school university NT travelling stay home going out population NEETs financial dreams infographic wall selfie children social life Caregiver wellbeing mining boom WA urban living sydney hills panel experience financial fears research spirituality deloitte innovative keynote Australian Communities Trends names publication future proof faux-ciliser Sydney keynote speaker conference speaker Australian Dream ABS logan Andrew Duffin medicine baby names report storytelling Duchess of Cambridge typical australian supply and demand Australian schools sydney event innovation urban skills Deaths easter communities toys train living Queensland: QLD rain Merry Christmas professional ultimo hopes data analyst eliane sunny days case study intern statistics demographic ageing population Canberra work mates REIV Conference consumerism 1994 insights HSC mother's day organisational culture communication cancelling event generations housing growth dream property market victoria World Water Day baby English Royals census January 26th Australian Home Melbourne mythbusting census fail Social Trend domestic transport mccrindle in the media housing trends community event Australian communities households renter of the future future-proof state millionth sydney speaker mobile Education Future Forum future of shopping university degree focus group meals social researchers retirement apartment millennials local communities keynote speaker