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


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