Census 2016: if Australia were 100 people
The latest census data has been collected and analysed. Here’s a snapshot of Australia shown as a group of 100 people.
Melbourne is set to overtake Sydney as Australia’s most populous city; for the first time in history the majority of us born overseas are from Asia not Europe; and there has been a 40 per cent surge in the number of people declaring themselves in a same-sex relationship.
That is the verdict of the 2016 census, released by Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday, which found Australia’s population has grown by 8.8 per cent to 24.4 million people since the last time the national clock was measured in 2011.
State v state
Melbourne is growing faster than Sydney. Photo: Jessica Shapiro
NSW might still be Australia’s most populous state with 7.5 million people, but Melbourne is fast becoming Australia’s most populous city.
In August, 4,485,211 Melburnians filled out census forms online and on paper, 4,823,991 did the same in Sydney, while 600,000 Australians were overseas.
But that gap is being cut down by the week. Since 2011, 1656 new people called Sydney home every seven days as 1859 arrived in Melbourne.
Of all Australia’s states and territories, the ACT had the largest population growth, adding more than 40,000 new residents in the past five years, an increase of 11 per cent.
Losing our religion
The number of people declaring a religion has fallen. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Catholics are no longer the nation’s largest religious affiliation. In the space of five years, the number of people declaring they have no religion has surged to 29.6 per cent.
They now make up 7 per cent more of the population than Catholics and more than double the number of Anglicans, Australia’s largest religious group until 1986.
From 0.7 per cent half a century ago, other religions now make up 8.2 per cent of our population. Buddhists are now most likely to come from Vietnam (26 per cent) while Muslims are now most likely to hail from Pakistan (14 per cent) and Afghanistan (11 per cent).
But none of those countries are where Australia gets most of its migrants from.
Australia’s ‘tipping point’
An increasing number of immigrants come from Asia. Photo: supplied
More than one-quarter of Australians are now born overseas, with England remaining the dominant single source of expatriates.
But, for the first time, the majority of people born overseas are from Asia, not Europe.
China, India and the Philippines now round out the top five for the largest number of migrants after England and New Zealand.
In the past five years 1.3 million new migrants have arrived, with China (191,000) and India (163,000) making up the largest numbers of most recent arrivals.
Overall, Australia has a higher proportion of overseas-born people (26 per cent) than the UK (13 per cent) the US (14 per cent), Canada (22 per cent) and New Zealand (23 per cent)
“It is a tipping point,” said Ms Taylor. “Almost half of all Australians are either born overseas or have one parent born overseas.”
“[The trend] is very obvious,” she said. “There are two groups of migrants to be looking at, the European-born who came in the 1970s are much older than the Asian born”.
Most migrants live in NSW where they make up 28 per cent of the population.
At home, 72.7 per cent of people speak only English, 2.5 per cent speak Mandarin, and 1.4 per cent speak Arabic.
Those homes are also becoming more diverse.
The family home
More Australians have declared themselves to be in a same sex relationship. Photo: Getty Images
There are now 47,000 same-sex couples in Australia after the number of people declaring themselves in a same sex relationship surged by 42 per cent since 2011.
Since 2006, when the number of same sex couples numbered 26,000 there has been an 81 per cent rise.
Among all couples, 45 per cent of families have children, while 37.8 per cent of couples have no children.
Those couples are also getting separated more often, particularly after the age of 45.
The total number of single parent families has now grown 15.8 per cent and female single parents make up 81.8 per cent of those still looking after children.
An ageing population
Photo: P Bottrell
Australians are also older. Our median has age has jumped from 23 in 1911, to 28 in 1966, to 37 in 2011.
“Australia has developed a case of middle-aged spread,” said the bureau’s director of census data Sue Taylor.
The maturing of the baby-boomer generation has meant that one in six are now over 65, compared with one in seven in 2011 and only one in 25 in 1911.
Those aged 85 plus number half-a-million.
The proportion of children and teenagers has shrunk in almost all areas except for among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders where most of the growth has come from Australia’s youngest citizens.
Indigenous population surges
The indigenous population has risen. Photo: Glenn Campbell
The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has jumped by 18 per cent since 2011 to 649,171 to now make up 2.8 per cent of the population.
The median indigenous age has also grown by three years in the past two decades, from 20 to 23.
For non-indigenous Australians the median age in 2016 is 38.
Rising rents are contributing to tighter household budgets. Photo: Tanya Lake
Rising rents and mortgage coupled with stagnant wage growth are making us work harder on tighter budgets.
The median personal income of Australians has grown to $662 a week across Australia, $664 in NSW and $644 in Victoria.
The ACT is the wealthiest of all the states with a median of $998 dollars per week.
But Melbourne, Sydney and Perth have the highest proportion of homes spending more than 30 per cent of their incomes on a mortgage, while 22 per cent of Sydney households are spending more than a third of their monthly income on rent.
Since 2011, the number of NSW renters has increased from 30.1 to 31.8 per cent while Victoria has increased from 26.5 per cent to 28.7 per cent.
In 2016, 31 per cent of Australians owned their homes outright, 34.5 per cent owned them with a mortgage and 30.9 per cent rented.
Twenty-five years ago, 41.1 per cent owned homes outright, 27.5 per cent had a mortgage and 26.9 per cent rented.
We are also living increasingly in denser accommodation.
While separate houses still account for 72 per cent of homes in Australia, there’s been a large increase in flats, apartments, semi-detached, row housing or town housing, which now make up more than 26 per cent of Australian housing.
Despite widespread criticism after a cyber attack left many people locked out of completing the census online, up to 95.1 per cent of Australian eventually filled out the nationwide survey, with 63 per cent doing so online.
Australian Statistician David Kalisch said the range of census data would provide insights into the makeup of the Australian population and will be used to guide critical decisions over the coming years.