Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.


This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).


Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.


This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.


Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.


If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Early this morning, Australia passed a significant population milestone. At 12.51 am on Tuesday, 16 February 2016, Australia officially has a population of 24 million people. But who was the 24 millionth Australian, and what does a population of 24 million mean for our country? Because not everyone is glued to the ABS population clock like us, we thought we'd break down what it all means. We're futurists, after all. Find out more below.

Here's who we are and what we look like:

more analysis of australia at 24 million:

A new population milestone

12 vs 24 million

Myth busting

24 facts about australia at 24 million

View the Australian Bureau of Statistics population clock here.

in the media


A new population milestone

Friday, February 05, 2016

A new population milestone

Australia is fast closing in on the next population milestone of 24 million. In the early minutes of Tuesday 16 February 2016, at 12:51am, Australia will officially hit a population of 24,000,000. Because not everyone will be glued to the ABS Population clock (link) like us, we thought we’d give you an advanced peak at what it will show (we’re futurists after all!).

Doubling Australia’s population- in pace with the world

In 1968, Australia’s population reached 12 million and so it has taken 48 years to double. Interestingly, in 1970, the global population was exactly half what it currently is at 7.3 billion and so the world has taken only slightly less time, 46 years, to double.

More than one third of Australians have seen both Australia, and the world double in population size in their lifetime!

A new million- in record time

Australia reached 23 million on 23 April 2013 which means it has added its 24th million in 2 years, 9 months and 2 days. This is the first time that a million people has been added to Australia’s population in less than 3 years. From 1954 when the population hit 9 million, until 2003 when the population hit 20 million, each addition million was added in a time span of around 4 and a half years. From 20 to 23 million, the time span had decreased to add each million every 3 and a half years (keeping in mind the readjustment in the timing of Australia reaching 22 million which was altered due to population adjustments based on the results of the 2011 Census).

And 17 years ahead of schedule

When Australia’s population reached 19 million on 18 August 1999, the factors of population increase were such that the forecast was for the national population to reach 24 million in 2033. However rather than each new million being added every 7 to 9 years as was forecast based on the trends at the time, Australia is adding an extra million every 3 years (increasing from 21 million to 24 million in 8 years and 8 months).

Baby boom, longevity boom and migration growth

Not only has the fertility rate over the last decade been much higher than predicted (and the consequential record baby boom averaging 300,000 births per year), but the increase in life expectancy was also beyond these predictions. And while net migration numbers have been slowing over the last couple of years, growth from migration was, and still is above the forecasts of the late 20th Century.

40 million by 2050

As recently as 2009 the forecast was for the population to reach 36 million by 2050. However, even based on the more modest population growth rate of 1.5% (well below the highs of 1.9% achieved in recent years), Australia’s population will reach 40 million by mid-century, with the possibility of it being beyond 43 million (based on 1.7% annual growth).

24 million of 7.3 billion

While Australia’s population growth is significant in national terms, our new milestone of 24 million is small compared to the US population of 323 million. And in a global context, Australia’s share of the world’s population is just 0.32% - less than one-third of 1%!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

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


royal research pack summer income product CBD national wealth Tuesday Trend real social researchers training Black Friday Sales not for profit area poor presentation rich Aussies giving sydney event storytelling in the media Gen X tips keynote post rationalism monarchy gig internet story economic hornsby visual news teleworking year 12 professional development thrive paying to work Aussie narcissism future professional marrickville ACF 2016 home ownership gold coast care support market research urban development FPA budget graphs the hills 10 years eliane miles media seasons world youth day the australian dream investing travel mateship ethnography 2012 breakfast property development Christmas season in depth interviews data visualisation parenting online shopping work from home new york times Christmas Stats insights Queensland case study cancel plans public transport relational unaffordable Christmas research mccrindle research Northern Beaches Christian School weekly earnings australian social research census data tableau volunteers suburban living Research Director digital economy train social analysis australia cartodb video wolloomooloo social change coffee demographic transformations Financial Planning Association Generation X population growth cold investment ABS belief skills hills shire Sydney’s south west apartment 2016 census results housing Australian Census parents WA winter women New Zeland panel CPI ageing population Births future of shopping village events Crime Rates life divorce acf15 engagement grave decision toys Australian Home Australian demographics Engineering Manager group apartments schools students workforce global generations brand Netflix educated know the times outsourcing workplace culture global financial crisis Jura Australia population map potts point moreton bay work Christmas lunch wealth and income distribution social analyst baby names report global retail forecast February 16 media release lifestyle financial generations online Love local Hunter Valley local communities conference father's day careers fresh gender research services average Australian Sydney population sector wide study World Water Day entertainment responsive networking economy live the dream offenders the lucky country mccrindle tea Social Trend ACF2017 James Ward generational trends urban debt australian suburb sydney market home thought leadership SA selfie environment wealth and income publication screenage educhat employers census 2016 learning nativity scene baby name tea states social shifts Kiwi event McCrindle Keynote Speakers research report school royal influence Financial Planning Week office opening not for profit research weather social lives Generation Y statistics results repayments meals families survey design future-proof TDE schools staff urban living Financial Planning Association of Australia chairty commute US mobile group session jobs social trends wellbeing princess charlotte stay home Geoff Brailey Hornsby Shire Council children participants google priorities teachers names career divorce rate Real Estate resilience TEDx NBRS Architecture researcher Royals low density 2020 emerging trends average sydneysider IT Specialists money Australian Population goals neutral bay social enquiry vegemite royal family australian community trends report hobart trends tertiary education Adelaide Sydney Hills Business Chamber financial dreams 40 million cash gig economy McCridle affordable ashley mckenzie Gen Z Expert relevant organisational culture shopping Elderslie-Harrington park identity food insecurity Work place easter investor mccrindle gen alpha Australia Day tuesday surnames government rent meetings census volunteer changing face of sydney baby names safe the changing face of greatness population entrepreneurial students sydneysiders pharmacies bondi millenials leadership car family VIC Mount Annan-Currant Hill university teacher motivate Christmas day speakers pack high density living trends of 2016 religion Channel 7 focus groups baby youth unemployment The ABC of XYZ Christchurch cancelling event society research Duchess of Cambridge world social life moderators guide culture sunny days 1975 Population Clock emerging technologies pyrmont ultimo commuting finance social VET Scouts 2015 maiden forecasting organisations social issues not-for-profit national crime rates woolworths slideshare growth crime student mother's day Mark McCrindle kate middleton communicate healthy future 1980 keynote speaker increasing densification living travelling PSI language Queensland: QLD NSW futurist cloudy days January 26th plans Australian Bureau of Statistics newspaper census fail happiness ideas households average aussie #censusfail define christian infographic wall mining boom household trades digital christmas trees GPO sustainable youth sydney metro poker master internship wealth distribution Wodonga residents spend Cobbitty-Leppington nfp business performance Australians maiden names do people still change their surname after marriage? jobs of the future capital city geomapping Channel Seven screenagers affordability optus McCrindle Speakers sun optimistic national private wealth young people Northern Beaches holiday Performance Sentiment Index professional services hunger unemployment Mark McCrindle in the media baby boom casual Australian Trends study goal resource dreams financial planning long weekend culturally diverse ACF suburbs logan award winner speaker Christmas day weather TAS eliane emerging generations urban taskforce Western Australia research data marketing norwest daily commute Black Friday volunteering cost friends shifts rental stress marriage TED 2016 census data faux-ciliser program optus my business awards NFP event property teaching internships social research workshop alpha communication recap authenticity mentor shbc typical australian generation Z qualitative research NT home owner rising house prices Willowdale the great screenage Myth Lower Hunter Region commuters etiquette survey communities baby names australia report mccrindle in the media insight New South Wales social impact church choice workers global year 7 supply and demand purpose sydney speaker Australian community trends Melbourne staying in presentations NEETs tv social media facts charity charities Tuesday Trends interactive Australian schools food cultural diveristy award growth of sydney Hills Shire Council high density apartments work mates leadersip future proof baby name predictions Caregiver education research social commentary dare to dream communications "know the times" coffee lovers focus group winter blues bus medicine quote social researcher change financial fears HR buildings sydneycity generation alpha visualisation ACT Report sentiments professional speaker proactive engage Maxim Accounting Deaths snapshot trends analyst SRE intern housing market Vocational education community litter Black Friday in Australia wages australian communities trends report capital cities environmental scanning REIV Conference office omnibus energy builders speajer learning styles Kirsten Brewer TEDx Speaker 2013 conference presentation couple sydney property market young australians aussie culture FOMO high school leadership workshop small business hello fresh shopping centre wedding population milestone ipswich Merry Christmas brand experience South Australia Lower Hunter Northern Territory millionth innovative conferences 1994 business index baby boomers christmas financial independence holidays What is food insecurity? urban living index perth forum aged care criminal curiosity debate 24,000,000 christianity follow consumer daily telegraph click mccrinlde Valentine’s Day sports Australian communities anzac Research Executive deloitte entrepreneur Australia street ageing grandparents McCrindle Speaker salary easy rider equip generation Macquarie University Wagga Wagga future proofing public holiday entrepreneurs of today Christmas in Australia millennials data analyst bureau New Zealand dessert DIY manly cars Gen Y Charlotte future of work cica Res Vis christmas 2017 HSC Skilling ACT huffington post VET sector faux-cilising 2017 property market Christmas presents office space employmee Real Estate Institute of Victoria land of the middle class celebration growing population demographics JOMO donate hills high density city sydney hills brisbane house school students fears Sydney Lifestyle Study mythbusting rule keeper australians staying home more socialising overcast tattoos balance Andrew Duffin men hopes Australian Dream sydneysider 23 million housing affordability Canberra university degree SMART research visualisation victoria aged care puzzle Tasmania ashley fell NBRS Australian Families Australian Communities Trends media activity local community learn house prices analysis micro food bank sector surname gen z Northern beaches Event personal growth collaborative cost of living socialites research on coffee mover and shaker middle class public speaker menai demographic trends list the hills shire state community event customer conference speaker cancelling plans consumerism child care collaboration Business analysis Do It Yourself waverton mortgage earning Education Future Forum employment megatrends brands house price wealth public speaking renter of the future crows nest younger generations donation teach stats owning a home trend business earn speakers who is generation z politics wealth inequality education future community engagement System's Architect twentyseventeen 24 million education sector DESTEL royal baby infographics SMSF 2014 ferry cooking experience friendship work-life employmer happy holidays prince george 2016 demographic English Word Up media commentary dream renting the average aussie impact future of education spirituality faith TED talk demography Retail blaxland going out lalor park education showreel Sydney keynote speaker society trends Wellington marriages census results sunburnt country ease of travel challenge Assistant Store Manager financial future The Daily Edition wage contiki learner darwin ACF17 house price rise australian real estate infographic micro apartments workplace property price personalities australian communities forum trends of 2017 domestic new office google for education water education future report REIV National Conference school satisfaction rain transport housing growth Sydney housing trends trend tuesday Bathburst EFF demographer Christmas data rise of local dreaming 1968 sector wide vegetarian professional presenters annual income Territory technology Australia Day 2017 baby name trends non profit social commentator shopper's pick earnings retirement Jura Coffee clothing townhouses pharmacy faux-cilise report leader seasons greetings volunteering data innovation mythbusters cultural diversity