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


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