24 facts about Australia at 24 million

Friday, January 22, 2016

As Australia closes in on the next population milestone of 24 million, which it will reach in February, social researcher Mark McCrindle analyses what life was like when the population was half this- and how we have changed in the 48 years since.

  1. Australia hit 12 million in 1968 and has doubled since then to hit 24 million in 2016. Over the 48 years from 1968 to 2016 Australia’s population increased by 12 million. Over the previous 48 years (1920 to 1968) the population increased by just 6.5 million.

  2. More people live in the three cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane today than lived in the whole nation in 1968.

  3. More than 1 in 3 Australians (8.6 million) have seen the population of the nation double in their lifetime.

  4. In the time that Australia’s population has doubled, (1968 to 2016), Tasmania has only increased by one-third (36%) while the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have increased more than two and a half times (252% and 263% respectively)!

  5. In 1968, there were 83,807 more males than females while today there are 121,292 more females than males
  6. 1968 = 101.3 males per 100 females

    2016 = 99.0 males per 100 females

  7. 29% of the population in 1968 was aged 0-14 compared to under 19% of the population today, however there are still 1 million more under 15’s today than then.
  8. 0-14 years

    1968: 29%, 3,486,000

    2016: 18.8%, 4, 476,045

  9. In the time that the population has doubled, the number of Australians aged over 65 has more than tripled from 8.4% of the population (1,014,000) to today’s 15% of the population (3,569,556).

  10. The rate of marriages has dropped by over 40% since 1968 from 8.8 per 1000 population to 5.2 today. However there are around 20,000 more marriages annually than the 106,000 seen in 1968.

  11. The total birth rate has decreased by a quarter since 1968, from an average of 2.34 births per woman to 1.8 today. However with a population twice as large there are far more births today, exceeding 300,000 annually compared to 240,906 in 1968.

  12. The death rate has dropped by almost 30% since 1968 and life expectancy has increased by 13.2 years for males and 10.9 years for females to now exceed 80 for males and 85 for females.

  13. Standard variable interest rates were exactly the same in 1968 as today, at 5.4% while inflation was slightly higher (2.6%) compared to today (1.5%).

  14. The male average hourly wage was $1.22 and the weekly full time wage was $48.93 which in today’s dollars is $567. The current average weekly full time earnings is almost three times this at $1,484.50.

  15. Back then 1 Australian dollar bought 1.11 US dollars compared to 0.73 US dollars today.

  16. The maximum marginal tax rate was much higher at 68.4% on $32,000 and over while for the 2015-16 financial year it is 45% on $180,000 and over. The tax free threshold has also increased from $416 ($4,800 in today’s dollars) to $18,200 today.

  17. The company tax rate was 40% for private companies and 45% for public companies while for the 2015-16 year it is 30% and 28.5% for small businesses.

  18. While our population is twice as large, our economy is five times the size it was in 1968. Back then Australia’s GDP was $28,817 million ($334,072m in today’s dollars) while for the 2014-15 financial year was $1,619,195m.

  19. Men are participating in the workforce much less (male participation rate has dropped from 83.7% to 70.8%) while women are participating much more (up from 37.7% to 59.6%).

  20. Homes cost 5 times more. The median Sydney house price was around $18,000 (in today’s dollars this equates to $195,300) compared to the current Sydney median house price which exceeds $1 million.

  21. But milk, butter and potatoes cost less today.

  22. In 1968 TV was black and white, music was played on record players and the moon had not been reached.

  23. John Farnham’s Sadie the Cleaning Lady was the top song for five weeks and 1968 was the year that Hugh Jackman and Kylie Minogue were born.

  24. The postage rate in 1968 was 5 cents for a standard letter compared to $1 today. Most suburbs had twice-daily delivery service compared to the current 3-day delivery times.

  25. In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Australia bagged 5 gold medals (17 in total) compared to an AOC target of 13 gold medals (and 37 in total) for Rio in 2016.

  26. Australia was still getting used to the new currency system, moving from the Australian pound to the Australian dollar from 1966 and we’ve gained two new coins and two new notes since then.

  27. The coins in use were the 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins. There were also notes with values of $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20.



About Mark McCrindle

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.

Download Mark's speaking pack here

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