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


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