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


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