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


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