Getting to Work: The Great Australian Commute

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The latest census data, released last month, highlights how much commuting will be transformed for Australians in the years ahead. 

Two in three Australians who work, put in at least 35 hours per week (62%) and half of all couple families are two-income earning households (47.4%). Australians also spend longer in the education system, with one in three adults having attained a tertiary qualification, and more than one in five (22%) have a university degree.

However, most of the commuting to work and university relies on driving. Of the nine million daily commuters in Australia, 7 in 10 workers commute by private car (68.4%), which is half a million more than in 2011. Just 1 in 8 (12%) get to work by public transport, and 1 in 20 (4.7%) work from home.

Given the increase in car usage over the last half decade, it is unsurprising to see therefore that most Australian households have at least two cars (54.3%) which is higher than in 2011 (52.6%).

However, nationally the combined public transport infrastructure investment currently under construction is the biggest in Australia’s history and will clearly provide a massive uplift in commuting options in our capital cities. In addition to this, the decade ahead will bring autonomous vehicles, driverless shuttle busses, and electric share bike and scooter options which will help us journey “the last mile” from public transport hubs to our final destination.

The coming decade of transformed transport will facilitate behaviour change and provide our cities with a faster, cheaper, and less car-reliant future.

Changing Face of Sydney Transport

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

From high above, aerial images show Sydney un-earthed. These before and after images detail the changing face of Sydney’s suburbs. Major progress is being made on key Sydney infrastructure projects as the city prepares for ongoing population growth.

 Before After 

Sydney’s growing population

Sydney reached 5 million at the end of June 2016. While it took almost 30 years (1971 – 2000) for Sydney's population to increase from 3 million to 4 million people, it took only another 16 years to reach its next million. 

Growing by 83,000 people every 12 months (at 1.7%, above the national average of 1.4%), the city needs infrastructure to keep pace with this population growth.

NSW projections show that NSW will grow to 9.9 million people by 2036. Sydney is two-thirds of this number, so will reach 6.5 million in the next 20 years, and 8 million by 2050.

How we commute to work in Sydney

Almost 2 in 3 Australian commuters get to work by private car (65.5%, up from 65.3% 5 years ago) with just 1 in 10 relying on public transport. The 2011 Census showed that 58% of Sydneysiders commute to work by car, 9% by train, 5% by bus, and a further 4% walked. 

Social researcher Eliane Miles notes, "Sydney-siders are spending a significant amount of time moving each day. While the average work trip for a Sydneysider is around 35 minutes, for many Sydneysiders the journey to work takes much longer. Commuters in Sydney's outer suburbs are often spending five times this length (up to 2.5 hours) per trip each way. Sydney is investing more in infrastructure than other world cities of comparable population size, and it is critical that investment in both roads and public transport options continues." 

You can watch the full story on Nine News here

About Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the megatrends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.

From the key demographic transformations such as population growth to social trends such as changing household structures, to generational change and the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.

To have Eliane speak at your next event, feel free to contact Kimberley Linco on 02 8824 3422 or

Download Eliane’s professional speakers pack here

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