Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.


This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).


Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.


This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.


Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.


If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Early this morning, Australia passed a significant population milestone. At 12.51 am on Tuesday, 16 February 2016, Australia officially has a population of 24 million people. But who was the 24 millionth Australian, and what does a population of 24 million mean for our country? Because not everyone is glued to the ABS population clock like us, we thought we'd break down what it all means. We're futurists, after all. Find out more below.

Here's who we are and what we look like:

more analysis of australia at 24 million:

A new population milestone

12 vs 24 million

Myth busting

24 facts about australia at 24 million

View the Australian Bureau of Statistics population clock here.

in the media


A new population milestone

Friday, February 05, 2016

A new population milestone

Australia is fast closing in on the next population milestone of 24 million. In the early minutes of Tuesday 16 February 2016, at 12:51am, Australia will officially hit a population of 24,000,000. Because not everyone will be glued to the ABS Population clock (link) like us, we thought we’d give you an advanced peak at what it will show (we’re futurists after all!).

Doubling Australia’s population- in pace with the world

In 1968, Australia’s population reached 12 million and so it has taken 48 years to double. Interestingly, in 1970, the global population was exactly half what it currently is at 7.3 billion and so the world has taken only slightly less time, 46 years, to double.

More than one third of Australians have seen both Australia, and the world double in population size in their lifetime!

A new million- in record time

Australia reached 23 million on 23 April 2013 which means it has added its 24th million in 2 years, 9 months and 2 days. This is the first time that a million people has been added to Australia’s population in less than 3 years. From 1954 when the population hit 9 million, until 2003 when the population hit 20 million, each addition million was added in a time span of around 4 and a half years. From 20 to 23 million, the time span had decreased to add each million every 3 and a half years (keeping in mind the readjustment in the timing of Australia reaching 22 million which was altered due to population adjustments based on the results of the 2011 Census).

And 17 years ahead of schedule

When Australia’s population reached 19 million on 18 August 1999, the factors of population increase were such that the forecast was for the national population to reach 24 million in 2033. However rather than each new million being added every 7 to 9 years as was forecast based on the trends at the time, Australia is adding an extra million every 3 years (increasing from 21 million to 24 million in 8 years and 8 months).

Baby boom, longevity boom and migration growth

Not only has the fertility rate over the last decade been much higher than predicted (and the consequential record baby boom averaging 300,000 births per year), but the increase in life expectancy was also beyond these predictions. And while net migration numbers have been slowing over the last couple of years, growth from migration was, and still is above the forecasts of the late 20th Century.

40 million by 2050

As recently as 2009 the forecast was for the population to reach 36 million by 2050. However, even based on the more modest population growth rate of 1.5% (well below the highs of 1.9% achieved in recent years), Australia’s population will reach 40 million by mid-century, with the possibility of it being beyond 43 million (based on 1.7% annual growth).

24 million of 7.3 billion

While Australia’s population growth is significant in national terms, our new milestone of 24 million is small compared to the US population of 323 million. And in a global context, Australia’s share of the world’s population is just 0.32% - less than one-third of 1%!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

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


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