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