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


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