24 facts about Australia at 24 million

Friday, January 22, 2016

As Australia closes in on the next population milestone of 24 million, which it will reach in February, social researcher Mark McCrindle analyses what life was like when the population was half this- and how we have changed in the 48 years since.

  1. Australia hit 12 million in 1968 and has doubled since then to hit 24 million in 2016. Over the 48 years from 1968 to 2016 Australia’s population increased by 12 million. Over the previous 48 years (1920 to 1968) the population increased by just 6.5 million.

  2. More people live in the three cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane today than lived in the whole nation in 1968.

  3. More than 1 in 3 Australians (8.6 million) have seen the population of the nation double in their lifetime.

  4. In the time that Australia’s population has doubled, (1968 to 2016), Tasmania has only increased by one-third (36%) while the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have increased more than two and a half times (252% and 263% respectively)!

  5. In 1968, there were 83,807 more males than females while today there are 121,292 more females than males
  6. 1968 = 101.3 males per 100 females

    2016 = 99.0 males per 100 females

  7. 29% of the population in 1968 was aged 0-14 compared to under 19% of the population today, however there are still 1 million more under 15’s today than then.
  8. 0-14 years

    1968: 29%, 3,486,000

    2016: 18.8%, 4, 476,045

  9. In the time that the population has doubled, the number of Australians aged over 65 has more than tripled from 8.4% of the population (1,014,000) to today’s 15% of the population (3,569,556).

  10. The rate of marriages has dropped by over 40% since 1968 from 8.8 per 1000 population to 5.2 today. However there are around 20,000 more marriages annually than the 106,000 seen in 1968.

  11. The total birth rate has decreased by a quarter since 1968, from an average of 2.34 births per woman to 1.8 today. However with a population twice as large there are far more births today, exceeding 300,000 annually compared to 240,906 in 1968.

  12. The death rate has dropped by almost 30% since 1968 and life expectancy has increased by 13.2 years for males and 10.9 years for females to now exceed 80 for males and 85 for females.

  13. Standard variable interest rates were exactly the same in 1968 as today, at 5.4% while inflation was slightly higher (2.6%) compared to today (1.5%).

  14. The male average hourly wage was $1.22 and the weekly full time wage was $48.93 which in today’s dollars is $567. The current average weekly full time earnings is almost three times this at $1,484.50.

  15. Back then 1 Australian dollar bought 1.11 US dollars compared to 0.73 US dollars today.

  16. The maximum marginal tax rate was much higher at 68.4% on $32,000 and over while for the 2015-16 financial year it is 45% on $180,000 and over. The tax free threshold has also increased from $416 ($4,800 in today’s dollars) to $18,200 today.

  17. The company tax rate was 40% for private companies and 45% for public companies while for the 2015-16 year it is 30% and 28.5% for small businesses.

  18. While our population is twice as large, our economy is five times the size it was in 1968. Back then Australia’s GDP was $28,817 million ($334,072m in today’s dollars) while for the 2014-15 financial year was $1,619,195m.

  19. Men are participating in the workforce much less (male participation rate has dropped from 83.7% to 70.8%) while women are participating much more (up from 37.7% to 59.6%).

  20. Homes cost 5 times more. The median Sydney house price was around $18,000 (in today’s dollars this equates to $195,300) compared to the current Sydney median house price which exceeds $1 million.

  21. But milk, butter and potatoes cost less today.

  22. In 1968 TV was black and white, music was played on record players and the moon had not been reached.

  23. John Farnham’s Sadie the Cleaning Lady was the top song for five weeks and 1968 was the year that Hugh Jackman and Kylie Minogue were born.

  24. The postage rate in 1968 was 5 cents for a standard letter compared to $1 today. Most suburbs had twice-daily delivery service compared to the current 3-day delivery times.

  25. In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Australia bagged 5 gold medals (17 in total) compared to an AOC target of 13 gold medals (and 37 in total) for Rio in 2016.

  26. Australia was still getting used to the new currency system, moving from the Australian pound to the Australian dollar from 1966 and we’ve gained two new coins and two new notes since then.

  27. The coins in use were the 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins. There were also notes with values of $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20.



About Mark McCrindle

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.

Download Mark's speaking pack here

Sydney's Rising Star Suburbs

Monday, January 04, 2016

Analysis of the Urban Living Index shows the
top 3 growth areas to watch

The Urban Living Index rates each of Sydney’s suburbs based on five key liveability factors: Community, Employability, Amenity, Accessibility and importantly, Affordability.

While some of Sydney’s most glamorous suburbs such as Bondi, Neutral Bay and Manly did very well on the first four measures, they did not do well in the affordability category. The cost of living and the cost of housing are currently red-hot issues for Sydney siders and so affordability is in many ways the priority issue with the other lifestyle measures remaining purely theoretical for those priced out of an area.

The majority of Sydneysiders (51%) believe that their area will be even less affordable in three years’ time than it is today- which is almost five times as many as those who believe their area will become more affordable. And most strikingly, almost 9 in 10 Sydney residents (88%) state that housing affordability will be a massive or significant challenge for the next generation.

With this in mind, we have analysed the Urban Living Index data of all Sydney suburbs to find the areas that have excellent affordability- but also rate very well on the other lifestyle measures.

While there are 25 suburbs that score 15 or above (out of 20) for affordability, there are three areas in this list that have great results in the other liveability categories as well.

1st Lalor Park

Lalor Park and the adjoining Kings Langley toped our hot spotting list. The affordability score (15) was excellent, and these suburbs have an amenity score (a measure of the number of shops, restaurants, arts and recreation facilities and educational options in the suburb) which was very good. In fact these suburbs scored higher on the local amenity provisions than suburbs including Newport, Wahroonga and Frenchs Forest. Similarly Lalor Park and Kings Langley scored well on accessibility (a measure that looks at public transport, employment access and walkability of an area) and above beach and harbour side suburbs like Avalon and Rose Bay.

While the overall score for Lalor Park-Kings Langley is in the “Very Good” category, its excellent affordability ranking makes it a suburb likely to boom.

2nd Menai

Menai and the adjoining suburbs of Lucas Heights and Woronora are the next suburbs set to take off based on this analysis. Relative to other Sydney suburbs, the affordability is in the excellent category and this is matched by the employability category. So the combination of good employment numbers, a significant local economy and access to housing more affordable than much of Sydney, this area in Sydney’s south is a clear hotspot.

3rd Blaxland

The third most rated area from this affordability and liveability analysis is Blaxland at the foot of the Blue Mountains and the adjoining suburbs of Warrimoo and Lapstone. Just 8 minutes from the M4 motorway, and less than 10 minutes from the Western Sydney suburbs of Penrith and Emu Plains, this area has become part of Sydney’s greater west yet the affordability, along with the community and amenity scores lift it above many areas in the outer western Sydney ring.

As the urban living index data shows, liveability depends on more than just water views and beach access- the practical factors of educational options, employment access, public transport and other built amenity and of course affordability all make an area desirable and facilitate lifestyle. That is why each of these areas have rated on the Index above the well-heeled suburbs of Palm Beach, Belrose and Vaucluse and it is why they stand out as rising stars.

This research we conducted for Urban Taskforce Australia is an example of robust research generating significant media activity and reader interest. This particular piece was summarised in the Sydney Morning Herald here, and as you can see from the image below was in the top 5 most read columns on the day in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Melbourne Age and the Brisbane Times.

For more information

The Urban Living Index was developed by McCrindle for Urban Taskforce Australia. More information and interactive maps are available at www.urbanlivingindex.com

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