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


royal Aussies future-proof engagement 2015 baby name Australian demographics micro apartments insights mortgage overcast Generation Y trend tuesday HSC Wodonga census buildings clothing wealth distribution rising house prices consumer logan belief vegetarian earn bus volunteers GPO changing face of sydney moreton bay greatness results innovation Sydney’s south west society trends Social Trend Res Vis professional development Sydney population meals Engineering Manager moderators guide entrepreneur gen alpha jobs personalities mobile speajer Australian Home socialising visualisation retirement renter of the future australian real estate 40 million local communities trends of 2017 organisations Sydney maiden water careers youth unemployment hopes panel Business analysis sector fears NBRS work proactive kate middleton criminal communicate economy millenials school satisfaction Mark McCrindle real Scouts training wealth Aussie ACF2017 states events hills Willowdale entertainment workforce collaboration christmas trees the great screenage participants toys global interactive housing market generation tertiary education baby name predictions professional presenters casual employment 2012 teachers australian community trends report quote dreaming megatrends society screenage Vocational education plans medicine Channel Seven communities mother's day school social lives resource twentyseventeen vegemite organisational culture renting tattoos cash data visualisation sector wide debate employmee aged care puzzle internships Bathburst teleworking Research Executive ethnography surnames local Tuesday Trends global retail younger generations dessert wedding investor social researcher Merry Christmas research services office space sydneycity optimistic sydney metro commuting energy high density contiki infographic Duchess of Cambridge manly community ageing population growth media commentary schools schools students surname Sydney keynote speaker australians staying home more sydney property market high density apartments World Water Day home ownership narcissism "know the times" apartment cancel plans spend English work-life urban taskforce huffington post community event WA trends of 2016 insight demographics money cooking Australian community trends media release research on coffee women australian communities forum Christmas day cars research report alpha newspaper baby names Kiwi Kirsten Brewer pyrmont school students sydney speaker christian entrepreneurial public speaker long weekend mccrindle world youth day easy rider video Melbourne Western Australia family Christchurch wages media activity Tasmania coffee gender Macquarie University mccrinlde stay home Myth world poor Lower Hunter middle class charity future proofing high school purpose Geoff Brailey faux-cilising population milestone teaching food house price rise low density shopper's pick conference presentation affordable financial future conference speaker non profit domestic qualitative research Northern beaches Event healthy future 24,000,000 TEDx hobart workshop Australian communities millennials university degree financial unemployment housing friends keynote public speaking daily telegraph Jura Coffee national private wealth woolworths cloudy days learning styles Wagga Wagga Christmas presents balance Do It Yourself identity research pack future of work growing population TED ageing group royal influence google New Zeland young people learning public holiday budget sydneysiders earning infographic wall intern australian communities trends report research ACF potts point new office social ACF 2016 suburb researcher teach program growth of sydney commuters norwest rain hills shire students award winner sports publication offenders Australian Communities Trends facts religion personal growth housing trends Australian Census earnings generational trends 10 years NBRS Architecture survey affordability finance mccrindle in the media 2017 travel VIC socialites education future sentiments Caregiver deloitte Assistant Store Manager property market analysis eliane financial independence demographic transformations Gen Z Expert australian social research victoria who is generation z cultural diveristy speakers pack Sydney Hills Business Chamber communications donate marriage educhat resilience wellbeing hunger visual 24 million Northern Territory relevant wealth and income distribution Tuesday Trend monarchy social analyst owning a home social analysis urban living index New Zealand the hills baby names report Word Up 2014 23 million digital Lower Hunter Region Australian Trends thrive faux-cilise teacher report local community know the times rich slideshare mining boom sydney market DIY Christmas lunch US live the dream google for education snapshot data analyst New South Wales focus group global financial crisis 2013 James Ward tv social commentary McCrindle Keynote Speakers unaffordable FPA baby population map ABS state Research Director ultimo leadership dream bureau leadership workshop Andrew Duffin house price australian leader anzac stats names daily commute financial dreams faith australia wolloomooloo professional speaker volunteering market research employers Financial Planning Association of Australia entrepreneurs of today going out shopping happiness social researchers social issues customer futurist social change Sydney Lifestyle Study choice workers poker master income sun parents wage chairty work mates eliane miles property price men baby name trends 1975 Christmas data friendship REIV National Conference Black Friday sunny days living environment shopping centre staying in work from home census data Christmas in Australia mateship shbc EFF Deaths Real Estate Institute of Victoria lalor park Work place speaker maiden names Queensland: QLD royal family Black Friday Sales social enquiry housing growth year 12 networking education future report VET brisbane annual income communication summer business index What is food insecurity? train darwin Netflix statistics urban living 1968 land of the middle class Christmas research internship leadersip the lucky country Gen X politics builders research data grandparents sydney hills not-for-profit weekly earnings education case study property NFP event Christmas day weather consumerism McCrindle Speaker christmas investing trend mythbusting public transport households baby boomers tea Education Future Forum Channel 7 property development child care graphs spirituality housing affordability Mount Annan-Currant Hill not for profit Royals children the australian dream equip group session McCrindle Speakers TDE motivate social impact pharmacies ACF17 census 2016 workplace car average aussie home owner giving food bank trades residents JOMO social commentator global generations DESTEL Wellington selfie cold coffee lovers the changing face of micro 1994 NSW define financial planning suburban living Performance Sentiment Index PSI culturally diverse Real Estate optus my business awards sydneysider click office optus mccrindle tea do people still change their surname after marriage? city TED talk Hornsby Shire Council Cobbitty-Leppington christianity census results urban development showreel omnibus internet demography celebration ACT generation Z engage Valentine’s Day Population Clock holiday skills Retail youth keynote speaker hornsby average sydneysider aussie culture dare to dream System's Architect weather menai CPI divorce sustainable investment staff home in depth interviews technology village baby boom culture etiquette Gen Y professional services social media office opening Financial Planning Week economic McCridle social shifts tuesday product food insecurity cartodb crows nest salary apartments brand experience social research speakers Maxim Accounting in the media waverton future Generation X future of shopping national wealth educated business performance survey design capital cities seasons greetings parenting goal collaborative SA language Territory university ipswich gold coast news couple employmer volunteering data financial fears nativity scene Australia Day 2017 Australian Families storytelling small business emerging trends jobs of the future SRE forum focus groups mythbusters Australians conferences 2016 census results lifestyle Adelaide rise of local tips commute life winter the hills shire brands divorce rate social trends princess charlotte VET sector workplace culture TAS future of education townhouses award cica experience Hills Shire Council challenge event prince george faux-ciliser Christmas season cancelling event sunburnt country Hunter Valley Crime Rates rule keeper education sector professional families FOMO 1980 generation alpha the average aussie learn perth trends analyst presentations supply and demand Australia Day millionth area church demographic trends Northern Beaches Christian School #censusfail cost of living demographer marriages urban outsourcing easter Charlotte household goals community engagement aged care capital city nfp change 2016 census sydney event Christmas Stats blaxland Financial Planning Association January 26th young australians ashley fell new york times marketing hello fresh bondi fresh crime responsive IT Specialists royal baby digital economy marrickville 2016 media holidays ease of travel cancelling plans gig economy seasons paying to work student Queensland Skilling Australian Dream HR Australian Population demographic safe presentation father's day population increasing densification repayments Northern Beaches meetings brand population growth future proof online environmental scanning 2020 emerging technologies winter blues impact The Daily Edition business wealth inequality Australian Bureau of Statistics follow not for profit research suburbs Births average Australian relational breakfast career debt house conference mover and shaker priorities shifts care support forecasting recap mentor geomapping authenticity ashley mckenzie emerging generations Love story list acf15 South Australia research visualisation sector wide study christmas 2017 CBD forecast mccrindle research high density living census fail cultural diversity year 7 happy holidays SMART gen z data rent The ABC of XYZ baby names australia report online shopping study trends travelling wealth and income cost Mark McCrindle in the media transport national crime rates dreams charities gig ACT Report NT ferry rental stress curiosity SMSF screenagers social life Elderslie-Harrington park government grave decision NEETs REIV Conference Black Friday in Australia post rationalism generations typical australian February 16 house prices education research Australia street Australian schools thought leadership Jura Australia donation tableau pharmacy ideas learner infographics TEDx Speaker neutral bay innovative Canberra litter volunteer