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


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