Census 2016: A Snapshot

Census 2016: A Snapshot
June 28, 2017 Melissa Borg

28th June 2017:

Census is like Christmas for people like me – the planners and strategists of the communications world. Every five years the Australian government conducts this country’s biggest bit of research – providing an almost perverse insight into the details of every home in the country.

This data can be utilised by us, as communications professionals, to provide audience insight, inform our strategies, uncover social trends and help guide our client’s campaigns.

Below are some of the key findings and themes from this year’s data:

Australia has officially become more Asian than European: More than a quarter of Australia’s population in 2016 was born overseas. After Australia, England and New Zealand, the next most common countries of birth were China and India.

Home ownership is declining: We’re still a nation of home owners, with 65% of us owning or currently mortgaging our home. Meanwhile, the number of us renting has grown to 31%, while ownership is on the decline.

85 is the new 65: Australia is an aging country. Our median age is now 38, and one in six of us are over 65.

Losing our religion: For the first time in census history, the number of people who claimed to have ‘no religion’ (30%) overtook those with religious affiliations; while Catholic affiliation a dropped from 25% in 2001 to 23% in 2016.

Families are no longer ‘traditional’: The number of couples with children has dropped by nearly 10% in the last 25 years, to just 45% in 2016. Couples without children increased, while the number of same-sex couples, with and without children, increased to 39%.

There is more data to come, but the June 27th release included a comprehensive dataset of national, state/territory and capital city data for selected key persons, family and dwelling characteristics; including age, sex, religion, language and income. The next release, due out October 2017, will give further insight into Australian’s employment, qualifications and population mobility – so keep an eye out!

In the meantime, all the census data can be accessed here, or you can take a look at this data visualisation or video for some further highlights – all the while thinking about how this data can inform the work you do as communications professionals.

Written by Mel Borg, Account Planner opr