To assist in separating the opinions and conjecture from statistical reality, we've set out to do some myth-busting! From “the rise of childlessness”, “regional Australia in decline” and “the man drought” to “marriage out of favour” and “refugee arrivals driving population growth”, social analyst and demographer Mark McCrindle reveals the facts. Download the full Social Analysis here.
Myth 1: A growing percentage of women remaining childless
While Australia's crude birth rate has declined over the years, this is not because a greater proportion of women are remaining childless. Smaller families are now more common; for example, of women aged 60-64, 55% had three or more children compared to just 34% of women aged in their forties. Women in their forties were instead most likely to have fewer than three children.
Myth 2: Regional Australia is in decline
Actually the inner-regional areas of Australia (as distinct from the more remote regions) are growing as fast as our major cities (1.5%). The fastest growth rates in Australia are actually in regional centres and areas such asLake Macquarie north of Sydney, or Shoalhaven on the South Coast, Mandurah and Exmouth in Western Australia and Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in Queensland all grew faster than their respective capitals.
Myth 3: There's a 'man drought' in Australia
When looking at the gender ratio across the entire population, the 99.2 males per 100 females appears to indicate a gender disparity, or “man drought”. However from birth there is anything but a man drought with 105
males are born for every 100 females in Australia.
Myth 4: The institution of marriage is out of favour
While the crude marriage rate has fallen from 5.4 over the last two decades, there are actually more marriages today than ever before, exceeding 121,000 per annum. And the marriage rate of some age groups is actually
increasing: 30-34 females are now more likely to marry than ever before. Marriages are also lasting longer, with the average length of a marriage (that ends in divorce) now lasting 12.5 years (up from 10.2 in 1990). While thetotal number of remarriages has been declining constantly for more than 20 years (now around 25,000 per year), the number of first time marriages has been consistently increasing over this period and now exceeds 95,000 per year. Furthermore, the crude divorce rate is down, currently sitting at 2.3 from 2.5 in 1990.
Click here to see the latest data in infographic form on marriages in Australia.
Read the full Social Analysis here.