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


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