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


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