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


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