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!

Homes of the Future: Mark McCrindle discusses housing trends

Thursday, June 16, 2016

What is shaping our built environment?

The first is population growth. Australia has just reached 24 million which means we have added an extra million people in less than 3 years, and most of this growth is in our larger capital cities. This is creating a shift from suburban to urban living; from the traditional horizontal communities to the new vertical ones. In our largest capital cities, two-thirds of all new housing approvals are high or medium density rather than detached homes. This densification is creating walkable communities, multi-use areas where people live, work and play in a more localised space, and of course increased access to transit and transport hubs. The other factor shaping developments is affordability. With rising house prices, Australians are looking for financially sustainable options which meet the needs of both lifestyle and affordability, and create the flexibility for our homes to change in tune with our needs and lifestyles.

What are the current trends and will they last?

While design trends come and go with the changing fashions, there are some broader development trends that are here to stay. The increased access to open spaces, in-door out-door areas, balconies, natural light and bringing vegetation into urban environments are all timeless trends that resonates with our temperate climate and needs. Similarly, with food central to our social environment, open-plan kitchens and meal areas in homes and open social spaces in offices are trends we will see continue.

How is technology affecting it?

Today’s technology is seamlessly integrated into our lives, and we are seeing the same seamless integration into our homes. The internet of things means that lighting, sound, temperature, entertainment and security in our domestic environments are all manageable through our personal devices. The decade ahead will see our pantries and fridges talk to our devices to update shopping lists, our home entertainment experience continue playing seamlessly on our portable devices and our hydrogen cars help power our homes.

Image source: The Clipsal Smart Home range (courtesy of

What are the demographic trends?

Homes of the future will have the flexibility to accommodate multiple generations living under the one roof. They will meet the changing needs of a more culturally diverse community and have clever innovations to facilitate support to Australians living independently in their homes to a much older age than we currently see.

What does the future hold?

While Generation Z, who are just starting their careers, will have to pay more for their homes in the future, these buildings and the built environment in which they sit will far exceed what their parents experienced in their first homes. Not only will the technologies and fittings in the home be exciting but the community spaces, café culture and neighbourhood amenities will continue to adjust and adapt to meet the lifestyle expectations of the 21st Century generations.

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


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