Myth Busting and Fact Checking – Analysis of 5 statements on Australia’s Demographics

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We've set out to do some myth-busting on Australian demographics just in time for Australia Day. From the "land of the long weekend" to "Australia as the sunburnt country", social researcher, Mark McCrindle reveals the facts on Australian demographics.

There are more New Zealanders living in Australia than in wellington

In 2014, 617,000 New Zealand born individuals were recorded to be living in Australia. New Zealand’s 3 largest cities by population are Auckland with over 1.4 million, Wellington (398,300) and Christchurch (381, 800). Therefore, there are far more New Zealanders that call Australia home than Wellington or Christchurch home.

Yet at the same time, 62,712 Australian-born individuals lived in New Zealand with approximately 20,000 Australian-born individuals living in Auckland.

In the month of April 2015, there was a net inflow of 100 migrants from Australia to New Zealand. This was the first month that NZ experienced a net gain of individuals from Australia since 1991.

Even though the growth of New Zealanders living in Australia has slowed, there are indeed more New Zealanders living in Australia than the entire populations of Wellington and Christchurch.

Australia, the land of the long weekend

While Australia is sometimes called the land of the long weekend, the number of public holidays in Australia still falls well behind many other countries around the world. India, has 21 public holidays a year, ranking them the country with the most public holidays. This is followed by South-East Asian countries which average between 11 and 15 public holidays a year. On the other end of the spectrum, the UK, Spain and Canada only have 8 public holidays a year. Furthermore, under Australian workplace law, full time employees are granted 20 annual leave days per year, while workers in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are given 30 days of leave.

In most years, Australia has 3 long weekends (Easter Monday, Labour day and Queens birthday), and while there are other countries with more holidays and annual leave, it is certainly part of our national culture that Australians make the most of these long weekend holidays offered throughout the year.

Australia as the ‘sunburnt country’

A ‘Sunburnt Country’ might be categorised by a hot and dry climate. While Australia has gained its reputation as the sunburnt country from the famous poem “My Country”, how does it fair among the other countries around the world?

With a scale from 1 to 11 for UV levels, Sydney has an average UV level of 6.2 over the year while Darwin has the highest average level of 10.75. On the other side of the world, cities like Los Angeles also recorded average UV levels of 6.3, but Paris only registered an average UV level of 3.5 over the year.

From 2011-15, Australia averaged 534mm of rainfall, but the US and UK recorded 715 and 1,220 mm of rainfall respectively.

Australia definitely has mid to high UV levels and a national rainfall far below most other developed nations. Therefore, the poetic term of Australia as the sunburnt country can be validated.

Do half of all marriages end up in divorce in Australia?

As of 2014, the number of marriages in Australia (121,197) was 9% more than the number of marriages 10 years ago. This accounted for a rate of 5.2 marriages per 1000 individuals however, over the same decade, the number of divorces in 2014 (46,498) declined by 4% since 1994, with only 2.0 divorces per 1000 individuals.

Therefore, the current divorce rate is just 38.4% of the current marriage rate and the divorce rate is falling faster than the marriage rate. Additionally, the length of those marriages that end is increasing, with the median duration to divorce being extended to 12 years compared to just 10.9-years in 1994.

Consequently, based on this analysis, it is not the case that half of all marriages end in divorce, but based on comparing national marriage and divorce rates, it can be estimated that around 1 in 3 marriages will end in divorce.  

Australia is a small business nation

The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines small businesses as those that employ between 5 and 19 people, and generally a term that encompasses micro-businesses, which employ between 1-4 people and non-employing businesses.

As of June 2014, 61% of all Australian businesses are non employing businesses. Of the employing businesses, 27% are microbusinesses, 10% are small businesses (5-19 employees), almost 2% are medium businesses (20-199 employees) and just under 1% are large businesses (200 or more).

Therefore, small businesses (including micro and non-employers) account for 98% of all actively trading businesses in Australia, there are almost 2.1 million of these small or micro enterprises, so Australia is indeed a small business nation. 


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.


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


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