These stats are really interesting.
Who we are as Australians in 2015
- 3 HOURS AGO FEBRUARY 14, 2015 8:30PM
Australia is a culturally diverse country. Source: News Corp Australia
AUSTRALIANS often view themselves through an old-fashioned whitebread prism of mum, dad, two kids, two cars and a house in the suburbs with a pool or an injury-inducing trampoline.
But times have moved on (and on) and what Australia looks like isn’t the ‘Aussie dream’ of days of yore. Dad isn’t a company man who’s stuck with the same firm for 30 years and the kids aren’t leaving school after year 10 for an apprenticeship — well, some still are, but not in the same volume.
Social research firm McCrindle has put together a look at what Australia is in 2015.
— Nuclear families (mum, dad and kid/s) used to be the ideal of the past. But it’s becoming less and less common as Australians decide the make-up of their family doesn’t have to conform to ‘social norms’ or expectations. While nuclear families still account for a third of Australia’s total 9.1 million households, within a few years, the most common households will be couple-only families.
Couple-only households will outstrip nuclear families within a couple of years. Here, Big Brother winner Benjamin Norris is pictured with his partner Benjamin Williams. Source: News Corp Australia
— The rise of the couple-only household is due to there being more of them at both the younger and older ends of the scale. People in their twenties and thirties are delaying the birth of their first child while at the end, people are living longer.
— The average Australian household is now 2.6 persons, significantly down from 4.5 persons in 1911. But something weird has happened. After a century of shrinkage, the 2.6 figure is actually a small bounce from the 2.53 figure of 2011. Apparently, household size has increased, albeit marginally, because of the multigenerational effect where mum and dad are now dealing with both adult kids still living at home and elderly parents who’ve moved in.
— There’s now a nifty acronym for those not-so-youngsters sponging off their parents: Gen Y KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings). Ouch. To be fair to, housing affordability in our capital cities has become a real issue. Sydney’s median house price is now $850,000 and you can save a lot of money mooching off mum and dad, even if it’s eating into their retirement. Demographer and social researcher Mark McCrindle said this burden on parents is an opportunity cost as they could have downsized from the family home and invested the extra money for their retirement.
— We’re in the midst of a baby boom with more than 350,000 babies born every year.
Our birthrate is currently 1.9 babies per couple. Source: News Corp Australia
— Gen Ys will have more babies per couple than Gen Xs did. When Gen X hit their fertility peak, it coincided with Australia’s lowest birthrate at 1.7 babies. But with Gen Y near their fertility peak, that number has gone up to 1.9. Mr McCrindle said: “Partly it’s because there is or was a bit more financial support such as the baby bonus and paid parental leave but there is a general social trend towards larger families. Gen Y are more focused on the broader view of life rather than just career and earnings. And workplaces are a bit more flexible as well so it’s paved the way to go for an extra child.”
- However, constant chatter on rising cost of living is pushing the average age at first birth up higher to almost 31 years old for the mother. “People are trying to get a bit more financial support behind them so they’re delaying the start of that first kid,” Mr McCrindle said. “Which means there’s less (biological) time to fit in more kids.”
— ‘Company men’ are things of the past, well and truly. The average employment tenure in Australia is now only 3.3 years. Assuming you start work at 18 years of age and retire completely by the time you’re 75, the average Aussie will have 17 jobs over their lifetime, and will have dabbled in five different careers.
Workplaces have to be more flexible to accommodate the rising Gen Y workforce. Source: News Limited
— The Australian labour force is almost half the population at 11.7 million people. Of these, 70 per cent of workers are employed full time while the other 30 per cent work part time.
— Gen Y now makes up 34 per cent of the Australian workforce, scraping past their Gen X counterparts, who are on 31 per cent. With a higher Gen Y workforce, leaders from older generations may need to adapt their style and approach to get the most out of the tech-savvy and more educated cohort. “There’s been a move from an autocratic leadership style to a model of flat structures,” Mr McCrindle said. “The leader that is more accommodating and encourages collaboration will get the most of out of Gen Ys.”
- The workforce will increasingly become more educated. Only one in 10 of those aged 70 and over have a uni degree but one in five baby boomers have a university education. Of Gen Xs, one in four have a bachelor degree or above while one in three Gen Ys are degree-educated. But Gen Zs (currently aged six to 20) will be the most educated of them all with half of them expected to earn a university degree.
One in two of today’s teenagers will earn a university degree. Source: News Corp Australia
— Australia’s annual population growth rate is 1.6 per cent, which equals 364,000 people a year. Fifty-eight per cent of the increase is coming through migration while the rest is from natural increases of 300,900 births against 148,000 deaths.
— Close to 27 per cent of Australians are now born overseas while 46 per cent of households have at least one parent who was born overseas.
— Australia is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, with 300 different ancestries.
— 30 years ago, the top five countries people migrate from were New Zealand and four European countries, according to Mark McCrindle. Now, China and India are in the top five, while Vietnam and the Philippines are sixth and seventh. Mr McCrindle said: “In this Asian century, we’re more connected to Asia and all that highlights our cultural diversity.”
A quintessential Australian family. Source: News Corp Australia
- “The very DNA of Australia is we’ve come from some place or other — except for the First Australians. We find that in our research, the vast majority of Australians have a positive view of migration,” Mr McCrindle said. “We live it and we taste it. It’s more than just personal connections, it’s also our travels and our culinary tastes. Australia is a barbecue lunch followed by a laksa dinner. The only time we see any push-back is when there’s concern about infrastructure due to population growth but that’s more to do with government planning than cultural diversity.”