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


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