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

The Optus Renter of the Future Report

Monday, January 11, 2016

We were delighted to have been commissioned by Optus to uncover the attitudes, behaviours and technology trends of Australian renters, to develop the Renter of the Future Report. This national research has been launched in partnership with Optus and their Home Wireless Broadband Internet offering, and revealed some interesting insights into who is renting, what defines their situation and what they are looking for in a rental property.

The report highlights that 3 in 10 renters are 'choice renters'. “There’s this idea that the great Aussie dream is to move into a home that you own and if you haven’t done that then the dream hasn’t come true for you. But with generational change that’s just not true. You’ve got a lot of people who are the choice renters because they prefer the lifestyle. And they themselves might be landlords so financially they’re rocketing ahead." - Mark McCrindle.

30% of Australians rent - that's more than own their own home outright and they are twice as likely to be living in medium and high density housing than the average Australian, are almost years younger, and move much more frequently - on average every 1.8 years.

Renters are also tech-savvy, the study showed. “Renters comprise nearly a third of Australian households. For the modern Aussie renter technology underpins and has become completely fused with their lifestyle. This group is among the first to jump onto new technologies, keeping abreast of the latest trends and, where possible, the latest devices. Accessing the internet quickly from their new rental property is a must for them." - Mark McCrindle.

Highlighting the lifestyle aspects that Australians renters seek, the top 3 best things they like about renting are:

  1. The ability to change locations easily (38%)
  2. Easier to upsize or downsize as needed (24%)
  3. Flexibility to travel for extended periods of time (18%)

When asked to list their top five lifestyle features in a home, Aussies revealed what is most important to them in a rental property:

  1. Parking (38%)
  2. Pet-friendly (32%)
  3. Cable internet (31%)
  4. A strong mobile signal (25%)
  5. Number of power points in a room (22%)

Find out more about the findings of the study in the below infographic:

This research in the media

Aussie Sentiment to the Christmas Season

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In the lead up to Christmas, we surveyed 1,012 Australians to discover their sentiment and spending intentions for this Christmas season.

This year, Aussies plan on saving money, staying at home with family and friends and are hoping for technological gifts under the tree.

28% Aussies will do at least half their Christmas shopping online

While online shopping has become an increasing trend, with more than a quarter (28%) of Aussies planning on to complete at least half of their Christmas shopping online, there is still a desire among Australians to complete their Christmas shopping in actual stores, with 39% not doing any shopping online and 34% buying most of their gifts from actual stores.

Comparatively, while the majority of Australians will do their Christmas shopping in-store, the number of Australians who will buy most or all of their Christmas shopping online this year (12%) has increased by 2% since 2013 (10%).

Family and friends are our favourite part of Christmas

The number one thing Australians look forward to about the 2015 Christmas season is spending time with family and friends, indicated by 7 in 10 (69%). Over 2 in 5 (44%) Australians also say that shopping, gift-giving and the Boxing Day sales is what they look forward to most about the season.

Aussies plan on staying at home this holiday season

More than half (54%) of Australians will not be holidaying during this Christmas season. Of those that will be, almost a quarter (23%) will be holidaying within their home state, while 16% will be travelling interstate and 6% overseas.

Technology and clothing high on the wish list, but for many it’s not about the gift

16% of Australians who know what they want for Christmas are most hoping for a technological present of some kind, making it the most hoped for gift of 2015.

The second most hoped for category is clothing/shoes/accessories (14%) followed by experiences (12%) and then food or beverages (11%).

Of the Australians who selected ‘other’ (29%), the majority of them (which comprised 24% of total responders, or almost 1 in 4 Australians) indicated that they did not want any particular present. Of those who indicated that they did not want a particular material gift, but expressed a desire for something, 51% stated it was time with family, 31% were hoping for health / happiness, and 18% peace.

1 in 5 Aussies plan to spend more this Christmas than last year

While Australian’s are more likely to save this Christmas season, Australian’s have a higher likelihood to spend more this Christmas compared to the previous three years, with almost 1 in 5 (18%) planning on spending more this season compared to last year.

Australians who plan on spending less this Christmas season intend to do so by reducing the amount of money spent on gifts. Another method is to buy Christmas supplies in advance when they are on sale, while some Australians will not celebrate Christmas at all to converse their cash.

The top 7 most featured answers included:

  1. Spending less money on presents for family and friends
  2. Buy Christmas supplies when on sale
  3. Making hand-made presents for friends and family
  4. Simply not celebrating Christmas
  5. Cooking less or buying less food for celebrations
  6. Getting organized and buying presents early before the Christmas season
  7. Buying presents only for children.

Download the Australian Christmas Attitudes 2015 report. Click here to download the full report.

An event recap of the Urban Living Index launch

Monday, December 14, 2015

It was a privilege for two of our team, Mark McCrindle and Annie Phillips to attend and present at Urban Taskforce’s launch of the Urban Living Index on Thursday 10th December.

The event was an opportunity to showcase the Urban Living Index and how it can be best utilised as Sydney continues to grow and increase in densification.

The Urban Living Index

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to develop The Urban Living Index, which is going to be used as an ongoing measure for the liveability of suburbs in Sydney. This instrument considers the affordability, community, employability, amenity and accessibility of an area to determine how liveable it is. The challenge for Sydney’s future is to ensure that it responds to population growth yet maintains its world-beating lifestyle and that its liveability rises to match its increasing density. While a city can always improve, the results of the Index show that the city planning and unit development are creating thriving urban communities, as evidenced by the results that show superior liveability in high density Sydney suburbs.

To read the full report, visit the Urban Living Index website here.

Sydney’s most liveable suburbs

Crows Nest-Waverton
Surry Hills
Potts Point – Woolloomooloo

In the media

Sydney Morning Herald - Measuring urban living across Sydney

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