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


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