Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.


This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).


Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.


This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.


Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.


If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Early this morning, Australia passed a significant population milestone. At 12.51 am on Tuesday, 16 February 2016, Australia officially has a population of 24 million people. But who was the 24 millionth Australian, and what does a population of 24 million mean for our country? Because not everyone is glued to the ABS population clock like us, we thought we'd break down what it all means. We're futurists, after all. Find out more below.

Here's who we are and what we look like:

more analysis of australia at 24 million:

A new population milestone

12 vs 24 million

Myth busting

24 facts about australia at 24 million

View the Australian Bureau of Statistics population clock here.

in the media


A new population milestone

Friday, February 05, 2016

A new population milestone

Australia is fast closing in on the next population milestone of 24 million. In the early minutes of Tuesday 16 February 2016, at 12:51am, Australia will officially hit a population of 24,000,000. Because not everyone will be glued to the ABS Population clock (link) like us, we thought we’d give you an advanced peak at what it will show (we’re futurists after all!).

Doubling Australia’s population- in pace with the world

In 1968, Australia’s population reached 12 million and so it has taken 48 years to double. Interestingly, in 1970, the global population was exactly half what it currently is at 7.3 billion and so the world has taken only slightly less time, 46 years, to double.

More than one third of Australians have seen both Australia, and the world double in population size in their lifetime!

A new million- in record time

Australia reached 23 million on 23 April 2013 which means it has added its 24th million in 2 years, 9 months and 2 days. This is the first time that a million people has been added to Australia’s population in less than 3 years. From 1954 when the population hit 9 million, until 2003 when the population hit 20 million, each addition million was added in a time span of around 4 and a half years. From 20 to 23 million, the time span had decreased to add each million every 3 and a half years (keeping in mind the readjustment in the timing of Australia reaching 22 million which was altered due to population adjustments based on the results of the 2011 Census).

And 17 years ahead of schedule

When Australia’s population reached 19 million on 18 August 1999, the factors of population increase were such that the forecast was for the national population to reach 24 million in 2033. However rather than each new million being added every 7 to 9 years as was forecast based on the trends at the time, Australia is adding an extra million every 3 years (increasing from 21 million to 24 million in 8 years and 8 months).

Baby boom, longevity boom and migration growth

Not only has the fertility rate over the last decade been much higher than predicted (and the consequential record baby boom averaging 300,000 births per year), but the increase in life expectancy was also beyond these predictions. And while net migration numbers have been slowing over the last couple of years, growth from migration was, and still is above the forecasts of the late 20th Century.

40 million by 2050

As recently as 2009 the forecast was for the population to reach 36 million by 2050. However, even based on the more modest population growth rate of 1.5% (well below the highs of 1.9% achieved in recent years), Australia’s population will reach 40 million by mid-century, with the possibility of it being beyond 43 million (based on 1.7% annual growth).

24 million of 7.3 billion

While Australia’s population growth is significant in national terms, our new milestone of 24 million is small compared to the US population of 323 million. And in a global context, Australia’s share of the world’s population is just 0.32% - less than one-third of 1%!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

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


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