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


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