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


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