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


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