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

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

Archive