Whilst the marriage rate has been slowly declining over the decades, as our population grows, there are still more weddings now than there were a decade ago. We hit the peak number of weddings in 2012 with over 123,000 weddings that year.
The average female is getting married at 28.3 today and males at 29.9, this has been pushed back by about 5 years over the last 3 decades.
The total number of divorces has been declining - there are fewer now than any time in the last 20 years, as both the divorce rate and divorce numbers have been declining. 10 years ago the divorce rate was 2.7 per 1,000 people, one year ago it was 2.2. and it is now 2.1 per 1,000 people.
Whilst 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce, they are lasting longer than 2 decades ago. In 1993, the average length of marriages that ended in divorce was 10.7 years, today they are lasting 12.1 years on average.
There are on average 326 weddings across Australia per day. This swings between over 2,000 weddings on a popular Saturday to just 37 weddings on Christmas Day!
77% of Australian couples cohabitate before getting married.
Most popular times to get married during the year are Spring and Autumn, in the months of November and March.
The least popular months are June and July each of which only hosts 5% of yearly marriages.
Popular wedding dates are on the increase, with 923 marriages held on Australia Day.
What does the Australia of today really look like? With the typical length of employment being 3.3 years and Australians today working on average 17 jobs in their lifetime, we are seeing a shift from job stability to job flexibility. The rise of the couple only household means the nuclear family is on the decline. Because kids are staying at home longer, they've been named the KIPPERS (Kids in Parents Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings). And in the midst of the current baby boom, Australian's are having children later in life.
Research director Claire Madden gives insight into these trends and the changing Australian landscape, and the importance of understanding the shifts and trends occurring in our society today.
Nuclear family no longer most common household
For the first time in Australia's history, the nuclear family will no longer be the most common household – while today they make up 33% of all households, within just a year the couple only household will be the most common type of household.
With the decline of the nuclear household structure, we are often seeing three generations living under one roof: Baby boomers are being sandwiched by taking care of their own parents (the builders), while still having their Gen Y children living with them and studying.
This type of arrangement is a significant financial advantage for Gen Y KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings) who may be saving $15,000 per year on rent alone by living with their parents. For mum and dad, however, retirement plans are delayed and retirement savings significantly decrease. Baby Boomer parents, while enjoying the social interactions available in a multigenerational household, can often feel the pressure and may feel like their hard work is being taken for granted.
Household size grows after a century of shrinkage
Household size has been declining for the last 100 years. In 1911, the average household size for Australia was 4.5. By 2006, it had fallen to 2.53. But in 2011, something remarkable happened. Household size increased. Only by a small amount, but enough to raise it to the current 2.6 people per household. The multi-gen household and boomerang kids have turned around a 100-year trend and created expanding household size.
Employment and Job Mobility
Australia is approaching 24 million people, and our labour force is close to half our total population at 11.7 million people. Of these, 70% are employed on a full time basis and 30% are part time workers. Currently our unemployment rate is at about 6.2%.
Australia’s job mobility is a long way from job for life- in fact it’s closer to three jobs per decade! Today the national average tenure in a job is 3.3 years (3 years and 4 months), based on voluntary turnover of around 15% per annum.
If this plays out consistently in the life of a school leaver today, and assuming they start their working life aged 18 (in a part-time role) and are retired from all work by 75, they will have 17 different employers in their lifetime. Based on 3 jobs before upskilling or career changing, this means that they will also have 5 separate careers in their lifetime.
Record births, older parents, increase in family size
We are currently experiencing a baby boom in Australia, with birth numbers setting new records and exceeding 300,000 per year, more than were born in the original baby boom post WWII. It is not that more women are deciding to have children, but those that are having children are deciding to have more than previously, and as a result Australia is seeing an increase in the family size.
Gen Y will produce more children than any previous generation in Australia’s history. While the number of children per Gen Y family is significantly less than that of their grandparents (in 1961 the total fertility rate hit 3.5 births per woman), Generation Y parents are having more children per couple than Generation X did. When Generation X were in their peak fertility years (turning 31 in 2001), this coincided with the very year Australia hit its lowest birth rate ever recorded in Australia (1.7). Now as Generation Y are reaching their peak fertility years we have a birth rate significantly higher, hovering around 1.9.
Natural increase and Migration
Australia's annual growth rate is 1.6% which equates to 364,800 people over the last year. In 2008 net overseas migration was 459,904 (therefore population growth numbers in the last year were 95, 104 less than they were 7 years ago).
Annual growth is comprised of two factors: natural increase (births minus deaths) and net overseas migration (permanent arrivals minus permanent departures). A permanent arrival is defined by someone living in Australia for 12 months or more (or 12 months over a 16 month period). The same time frames apply to permanent departures.
58% of Australia’s population increase is through migration which was 212,500 people last year. In 2008 net overseas migration was 315,700 which equates to 103,200 fewer last year than 7 years ago. 42% of Australia’s population growth was through natural increase which was 152,300 people.
Analysis of the latest ABS marriages data (ABS cat 3310.0) shows that there are more weddings today than a decade ago. And with the ‘in-between’ seasons (Autumn and Spring) deemed the most popular times of year to tie the knot, wedding venues in Australia should brace for a few busy days over the coming months.
Marriages on the decline?
While the number of marriages taking place each year in Australia has been rising for more than a decade, recent figures show that marriages are on the decrease, with an average of 118,962 marriages taking place per year, a figure that is down 4,282 since 2011.
This means that we see an average of 326 marriages occurring per day across Australia, with the most happening in New South Wales, followed closely by Queensland.
Bride and Groom getting older
First time Brides & Grooms are getting older: The average age of first time brides is now over 28 and around 30 for first time grooms. There are now less than half as many grooms aged 20-24 as there were in 1993. And while brides we most commonly aged 20-24 in 1990 today they rank third after those aged 25-29 and 30-34. In 2013 there were 77 Australians that married for the first time who were aged over 75!
Cohabitation still dominant, but decreasing
Up until recently, the number of Australians living together prior to marriage had risen every year since records on this began more than a decade ago. In 2010 this figure peaked at 79%, but has since decreased slightly to 77%. While on the decline, this still means that currently, almost 4 in 5 Australian couples live together before marrying.
Culturally Diverse Marriages
55% of couples married are both born in Australia, while the remainder (45%) have one or both partners born overseas.
Autumn and spring the time to wed
November (spring) and March (autumn) are the most popular months to get married, each hosting 12% of Australia’s yearly marriages. October is also quite popular, hosting 11% followed by April (10%).
The least likely month to wed in Australia is the dead of winter – June and July – each hosting 5% of Australia’s yearly marriages.
Saturday Weddings most popular
Saturdays are by far the most popular day to get married, on which 56% of all weddings take place. Sunday is also a popular day, with 15% of weddings taking place on a Sunday, a figure that is up from 13% in 2011.
Time and money challenges may be the factors influencing couples to get creative with their marriage date. Some interesting choices in 2013 included, 59 marriages on New Year’s Day.
Social Researcher Mark McCrindle said Australia is seeing a migration away from wedding in the hot Summer months ‘due to greater competition for venues, higher venue prices and the increased flexibility with taking leave from work outside these months, which influence couples as they choose a date. Like the travel industry, shoulder seasons are beginning to replace the summer months as a more desirable option when it comes to tying the knot’.
Close to 3 in 4 (73%) weddings are conducted by a civil celebrant, while the remaining 27% are religious.
"The trend to civil weddings is also driving the season. With church attendances declining, the one-time Australians were likely to pass through the church doors was for a wedding, but now just 27% of all weddings are conducted by ministers of religion. This has led to a trend of more varied locations for ceremonies, many of these with an outdoor aesthetic where the climate matters more than for the church wedding,” said Social Researcher Mark McCrindle.
First marriage, remarriage and divorce
72% of all marriages are first marriages, with the remaining 28% remarriages.
Divorces have slowed to 48,000 per year, with the median age of females getting divorced 42.9 and 47.0 for males.
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Here at McCrindle we love Australia and everything about it - the people, Aussie spirit, weather and community. As 2015 kicks off we bring to you a visualised overview of Australia’s Population and Generational Profile, to help you understand the demographics of this great country and so you can blitz that next trivia night!
The Population Map
This year Australia’s population is predicated to hit 24 million!
Our population growth rate (1.6%) means that we are growing by 364,800 people each year! Net overseas migration accounts for more than half (58%) of this growth, while the remaining 42% is accredited to natural increase.
Sydney is home to the most Aussie’s (almost 5 million), followed by Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
There are 9.1 million households in Australia, and on average 2.6 people live in them.
The median age of Australian’s today is 37.3, and our life expectancy is around 82 years old.
Aussie’s are most likely to get married in their late twenties (29.1) and become parents in their early thirties (31.9). Our fertility rate (1.9) is even higher than the OECD average (1.7)!
Our Generational Profile
Australia is made up of 6 generations, spanning those in their 80’s and above (the Builder’s) to our newborns today (Generation Alpha). Each generation has grown up in a definitive time of unique challenge and opportunity, and how the times have changed! For example, while just 1 in 10 Builders obtained a university degree, half of our emerging generation Alpha’s are predicated to do the same.
What we do
At McCrindle, our expertise is analysing findings and effectively communicating insights and strategies. Our skills are in designing and deploying world class social and market research. Our purpose is advising organisations to respond strategically in changing times. As social researchers we help organisations, brands and communities know the times.
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We are in the midst of a generational landmark, as Australia’s “Digital Integrators” (Generation Z) began sitting their final school exams last year, and the first Generation Alpha’s begin their schooling career this year. Below we provide an explanation about each of these generations, and some interesting facts about them.
The students of our world today who are currently at school and university are the children of Generation X, the cohort that follows Generation Y, and who are born between 1995 and 2009. They are Generation Z.
Generation Z are the largest generation ever, comprising around 20% of Australia’s population and almost 30% of the world’s population. Globally there are almost 2 billion of them.
They are the first fully global generation, shaped in the 21st century, connected through digital devices, and engaged through social media.
GEN Z FACTS
AKA ‘generation connected’ or ‘dot com kids’
1 in 2 predicted to obtain a uni degree
By 2025, will make up 27% of the workforce
Predicted to work 17 jobs, 5 careers and live in 15 homes in their lifetime
2,000,000,000 Gen Zs globally
Use slanguage like ‘Cray cray’, ‘Defs’, ‘Fomo’ and ‘YOLO’
Following our Gen Zeds are our pre-schooler and kindergarteners of today – Gen Alpha.
Born since the year 2010 they are aged 0-5, they are the children of Gen Y, and there are 1.6 million of them in Australia. They are truly the millennial generation, born and shaped fully in the 21st century, and the first generation that we will see in record numbers in the 22nd century as well. They are logged on and linked up – known as ‘digital natives’. They are the most materially endowed and technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet!
GEN ALPHA FACTS
2.5 million Gen Alpha’s born around the globe each week
Most popular boys names: Oliver, William, Jack, Noah, Jackson
Most popular girls names: Charlotte, Olivia, Ava, Emily and Mia
What will Australia look like in 2034, the year when first cohort of Generation Alphas are in their early 20s?
The population of Melbourne will be 5.9 million (that’s larger than the whole of Victoria today).
Australia will have reached 32 million (up from 23 million currently).
The global population will be 8.8 billion (that’s twice what it was when the parents of Generation Alpha were born in the early 1980’s).
India will have surpassed China as the world’s most populous nation.
There will be more Australians aged over 60 than under 20 for the first time in our history (a sign of our ageing population).
Australia’s median age (where half the population is younger and half is older) will be 40. It was 29 when the parents of Gen Alpha were born.
The most common household type will be the couple, no kids households, for the first time ever eclipsing the nuclear family of today (couple with children).
For a visual representation of the data, please see our Gen Z and Gen Alpha Infographic.
At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.
For us research is not a list of survey methods but a passion to find answers. It is more than a matter of questionnaires and focus groups – it is a quest to make the unknown known. The best research clarifies the complex and reveals insights in a way that can be seen and not just read.
Only when the findings are visually displayed, engagingly presented and strategically workshopped can they have maximum impact – and be implemented effectively.
The launch of the iPad in 2010 coincided with the beginning of our current generation of children, Generation Alpha – and there are now 2.5 million Gen Alphas being born around the globe each week.
As school starts back this week, we welcome Gen Alpha to the beginning of their educated life, as they commence their formal learning process.
WHO IS GEN ALPHA?
Following our Gen Zeds are our pre-schooler and kindergarteners of today – Gen Alpha.
Born since the year 2010 they are aged 0-5, they are the children of Gen Y, and there are 1.6 million of them in Australia. If they’re a boy they’re likely to be called Oliver, William, Jack, Noah or James. And if they’re a girl, Charlotte, Olivia, Ava, Emily or Amelia are the top 5 most common Gen Alpha names.
Gen Alphas began being born with the launch of the iPad in 2010, and already a third of Australians use a tablet.
A GENERATION OF DIGITAL NATIVES
Gen Alpha were born into a world of iPhones (in fact the word of the year in 2010 when they were first born was “app”), YouTube (there are now 100 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute, and in this environment they are more influenced by the visual and the video than the written and the verbal), and Instagram (where life is photographed and shared instantly and globally).
It’s a world of Screenagers where not only do they multi-screen and multi-task, but where glass has become the new medium for content dissemination and unlike the medium of paper, it is kinaesthetic, visual, interactive, connective and still portable. Glass was something that Gen Ys were told to look through and keep their fingers off – for Gen Alpha, glass is a medium through which they touch, talk, and look at. And whilst Baby Boomers remember the introduction of the colour TV in the 1960s and 70s, Gen Alphas are being shaped in a world where they can view a YouTube video from a smartphone onto the home TV.
It’s truly the millennial generation, born and shaped fully in the 21st century, and the first generation that in record numbers will see in the 22nd century as well. They are logged on and linked up – digital natives. They are the most materially endowed and technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet!
THE MOST FORMALLY EDUCATED GENERATION TO DATE
Gen Alpha babies are the product of Australia's second and bigger baby boom, and they will grow up to be smarter, richer and healthier, obtaining the highest level of formal education in history.
Because their parents will indulge them in more formal education and at an earlier age, Gen Alpha will have access to more information than any other generation gone before. Their formal education has never been equalled in the history of the world, with a predicted 1 in 2 Gen Alphas to obtain a university degree.
Generation Alpha will surpass even the praised and sophisticated Zeds in terms of education, with 90 per cent predicted to complete Year 12, compared to 79.9 per cent today, and with the majority going on to tertiary education in some form.
A shift in educational engagement is also occurring for Gen Alpha, changing from structural and auditory to engaging, visual, multimodal and hands-on methods of educating this emerging generation.
INFOGRAPHIC AND MEDIA CONTACT
Please see the below infographic for a visual representation of the data.
For further information, interviews or images please contact the McCrindle Research office on 02 8824 3422 or email@example.com.
As a nation, there are traits that have defined Australia for decades, but as the times shift and trends emerge we take a look at the extent to which these are still relevant in defining us today.
1. The Lucky Country
Statistics show that Australia is doing better than ever when it comes to health, education, economic opportunities, and even political participation.
The economy is on a steady increase, even despite a recent global economic crisis. Cash flow is increasing with the net disposable income for everyday Australians now $10,000 more than it was a decade ago.
We value independence but in a community-minded way. As Aussies we recognise that individual achievement rarely occurs without a helping hand from others. After all we call this the lucky country—we don’t take the credit for it all ourselves. Despite our differences we know that when adversity strikes, whether in the form of personal tragedy, natural disasters or international conflict, there’ll usually be a fellow Aussie there to help out. It’s the tradition of the digger, the character of mateship, and it’s still the essence of the Australian community.
Compared to the unemployment rate of the US, UK and France, Australia’s unemployment rate is lowest at just 5.8
The EU, G20, OECD and USA have all experienced a recession during the last 7 years, whereby Australia has not
Over the last 10 years Australia’s life expectancy has increased by 2 years
Over the last 40 years our life expectancy has increased by 10 years
2. Big Australia
Australia’s population exceeded 23 million on 23 April 2013. Having doubled since 1966, this rise is fuelled by an increase in birth rate, life expectancy and migration. These factors have allowed Australia to grow at a rate of 1.7% per year, above the world average of 1.0%. Not only is Australia the fastest growing OECD nation, but its population is increasing faster than Indonesia, India, and Malaysia.
Australia’s population is growing by 1.7% annually
Australia currently has a population of 23 million people, with an increase of 397,200 people
Natural increase accounts for 40% of growth, adding 154,500 people to the population
Net overseas migration accounts for 60% of the population increase, increasing Australia’s population by 228,000 people
Australia’s population density is 2.99 people per km2
Vertical communities - with record population growth comes increase densification, where we now live up and not out
Traditional detached homes vs housing approvals. More new homes in greater Sydney are medium density than detached homes
3. The Clever Country
The Top 5 industries 30 years ago were all industrial (mining, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transport) whereas today there has been a shift to professional industries (Top 5 are mining, technical, IT, financial, and utilities).
While once derogatorily referred to as the world’s quarry, it turns out that we are the clever country after all with more people than ever employed in science and technical roles. The Australian workforce has undergone significant structural change and we’ve moved from an industrial base to a knowledge base.
The average years of schooling Australian’s engage in is 12 years
The number of patents granted by Australia annually is 17,877
1 in 5 Baby Boomers, 1 in 4 generation X’s, 1 in 3 generation Y’s have a university degree and 1 in 2 generation Z’s will have a university degree
4. The Land of the Middle Class
Australia is the land of the fair go, where people are taken at face value and class and values based on where people are from or where they were educated don’t rate highly in interactions. Lifestyles are busy and our lives are complex but our culture is down-to-earth, and mainstream recreations are simple. Regardless of income or social status, there are rich pleasures offered in Australia, and these are all the more appreciated in times of rising living costs.
It is a collaborative rather than individualistic culture and this teamwork, a mix of mateship and altruism, creates a context where neighbourhoods and communities are defined by diversity and connecting rather than class and hierarchies.
Australia’s median household income is $47,736. This is 2.6 times Spain’s average household income and 47 times the income of more than 30 other countries with household income below $1,100 (Spain’s is $18,531, Greece $15,823)
The average capital city house price in Australia is $2.5 million
5. The Small Business Nation
Australia has always been an entrepreneurial nation, with small business the backbone of the economy and the labour force. The Australian spirit of independence, a DIY attitude and the courage to give things a go are strongly demonstrated in these latest business statistics. The tough economic times and the terrain in which small business operates is having an impact, however, with only half (51%) of new business starts surviving 4 years in operation. For many Australians, the entrepreneurial dream is still alive but as demonstrated by the survival rates of new businesses, without better support, only a minority will achieve success.
There are 2.1 million businesses in Australia
Just 39% are employing businesses
69% of employing businesses are micro and have 1-4 employees, 6.2% are small (5-19 employees), 24.3% are medium (20-199 employees) while just 0.5% of businesses are large and employ over 200 employees
50% of new businesses cease operation within 3.5 years of establishment
1 in 10 cease operation every year
6. Land of the Long Weekend
Australians enjoy between 11 and 12 public holidays in addition to the 4 weeks annual leave for employees, which is more public holidays than many countries, and twice the annual leave of the average worker in the US. However Australians also work amongst the longest hours when compared to other developed nations and some of the most years of schooling. The “no worries” attitude is strong but it is more “no worries- we’ll sort it out” rather than “no worries- she’ll be right”. The “can-do” culture balances the “long weekend” mindset to shape a people who enjoy time off and know how to holiday- but work hard to earn the break.
Australians enjoy 11 to 12 public holidays a year
Full time workers receive 4 weeks annual leave
On average, Australians work 38 hours per week, (41.0 for males and 35.8 for females)
7. The Tyranny of Distance
While Australia is warmly referred to as the land down under, the isolation and distance that the term once communicated is not the case today. While Australia is geographically a long way from the UK, it’s historical and population links with the “old country” remain strong. More importantly, it is closely located to the new epicentre of economic growth in Asia. Australia is a regional hub for many multinational organisations with operations in Asia, and is in its own right a globally connected, business influencer, cultural exporter and regional leader. The cultural cringe has given way to sophistication, cultural diversity and global influence.
Australia’s region of Asia is home to 60% of the global population and the fastest growing nations on earth
China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines are all in the top 7 birth countries of Australians born overseas
In a 12 month time period Australia chaired the UN Security Council, hosted the G20 and will host the Cricket World Cup
For more on the facts and figures of Australia, be sure to check out our Australia Street Video Animation and Infographic.
The two cities of Melbourne and Sydney comprise almost 40% of Australia's total population. If you include their respective states of New South Wales and Victoria they comprise almost 60% of the national population and the two economies of Sydney and Melbourne combined produce economic output which is more than twice as large as all the other state and territory capitals combined. While Western Australia drives the resource sector, Sydney and Melbourne are the backbone of Australia's business sector and are the fastest growing cities demographically and near the top of the charts economically as well.
As Australia's social researchers, we have based our operations in Sydney and are delighted to have opened our Melbourne office as well in line with these trends.