Australia at 12 vs 24 million

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Australia’s population will soar to 24 million this year, but what exactly did the country look like when the population was half that? The year was 1968 – John Gorton was Prime Minister, our soldiers were still in Vietnam and it was the year that Kylie Minogue and Hugh Jackman were born.

But since then Australia’s population has sky rocketed. The population has doubled since 1968. We had just hit 12 million back then, and next month we will hit 24 million people nationally. In fact 1 in 3 Aussies have seen the population double in their lifetime.

The rate of marriages has dropped by over 40% since then, and in 1968 the average woman had 2.34 babies, compared to today’s 1.8.

Weekly earnings have also increased over the last 48 years. If we go back to 1968, the average hourly rate was $1.22, and that meant that the weekly wage was about $48.00 per week. Comparatively, today’s average earnings – if you put it in annual terms – is about $88,000 per year.

While wages have risen so too has the cost of living, and owning your own home is now 5 times more expensive than it was 48 years ago. Back in 1968 the average Sydney home would set you back $18,000, compared to the average Sydney median house price of $1 million today.

But the good news is that milk, butter and potatoes all cost less today. A litre of milk back then was 19 cents, in today’s dollars that’s actually $2.00, which is more expensive than a litre of milk today which is about $1.25.


Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international following. He is recognised as a leader in tracking emerging issues and researching social trends. As an award winning social researcher and an engaging public speaker, Mark has appeared across many television networks and other media. He is a best-selling author, an influential thought leader, TEDx speaker and Principal of McCrindle Research. His advisory, communications and research company, McCrindle, count among its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and leading international brands.


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