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


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