Australia Then and Now: 30 Years of Change

Saturday, January 25, 2014
Australia Then and Now McCrindle

Click here to download the infographic.


Australia is a nation in transition. In the span of a generation, Australia’s population has increased by more than half. Demographically we are ageing, with an average age 7 years older than it was 3 decades ago, but with a life expectancy 7 years greater than it was in 1984.

Our growing population is being achieved not only through this increased longevity, but also through record births- more than 300,000 per year. This is more than 25% higher than the peak of the original post-war baby boom. Yet as significant as this natural increase is, the largest source of our population grow immigration, with significant shifts in the Top 5 countries of birth. In 1984, the Top 5 countries of arrival were all European (and New Zealand) while today both China and India are in the Top 5 with Vietnam and the Philippines not far behind.

While the population has increased by 51% since 1984, the workforce has increased by 81%. Three decades ago the average full time worker took home just under $19,000 per year in a time when the average house price was less than $150,000. Today annual earnings exceed $73,000 with the average house price in most capital cities exceeding $520,000. From an employment perspective, the Australian workforce has transitioned from industrial in 1984 to professional today. The largest industries by workforce were all industrial in 1984 while today professional, scientific, technical, IT and the financial sectors make up the biggest employers along with mining and utilities.

In 1984 almost 2 in 3 Australians were married while today less than half are. And the “never married” proportion has increased from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3. From a religious perspective, Christianity is still the religion of more than 3 in 5 Australians, down from 3 in 4 in 1984. Meanwhile the “no religion” proportion has doubled and the “religion other than Christianity” numbers have increased from 265,600 to 1.68 million today.

In addition to these demographic changes, the shifts in our national identity are significant. Certainly the old affections run deep however there is a recognition of Australia as a cultural hub, a technology exporter, a fashion destination, a small business nation and a nation hosting iconic events.

It seems that Australians are comfortable in their own skin- embracing of this sunburnt country with all its iconic landmarks, yet proud of the cultural achievements and our diverse cities. There’s an understated confidence that welcomes the world to this unique landscape, yet has the posture to proudly list off our cultural achievements.

There is a depth to our reflections on 21st Century Australia. The iconic language and Australiana is retained and reinterpreted with a new sophistication, and without the cringe. Our cultural identity is also being interpreted beyond the beach or sport. Multiculturalism has come of age in Australia. You can tell because there is little self consciousness and even less tokenism expressed. Rather the cultural mix is in our national DNA, it’s part of our lifestyle- it’s who we are. The fact that more than 1 in 4 of us weren’t born here seems unremarkable- as though it has always been thus. Many comments celebrated the richness of our lifestyle that comes through the input of so many cultures.

Amidst massive national and global change, the Aussie spirit is alive and growing in the 21st Century. What it means to be Australian has morphed to meet the challenges and diversity of our changing times. Australians hold strongly to an identity and “Aussie values” yet these are more sophisticated and mature, and represent our place in a world of global interactions.

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


Tags

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

Archive