Census data reveals the truth

While it had a few technical hiccups, the Census data from 2016 is considered to be as reliable as ever.  As investors, the Census data provides us with information that will dictate property trends over the next few years.

The population of Australia is 24.4 million

While the Census counted 23,401,892 people in Australia, the exact figure moves by the day due to births, deaths and international migration. As of August 2016, the Census revealed there were quite a few more of us than five years ago – 1,894,175 to be precise. That’s about 1,037 extra Aussies every day since the 2011 Census.

Put another way, we’ve grown since the 2011 Census by roughly the same amount as Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart’s total population combined in 2016.

Our first state, New South Wales, remains our most populous (seven million) but it’s not growing as quickly as other states and territories (8.1% since 2011).The Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Western Australia all grew by 11% between 2011 and 2016.

Our eastern mainland is still where most Australians call home, with almost eight in 10 people living in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. Plenty of us – seven in 10 of us in fact – live in our capital cities. While the population of Australia has grown by close to 18% in this time, the populations of our cities have grown by a lower percentage – 11%.

85 is the new 65

Australia’s once youthful population is ageing slowly. Our median age is now 38. It was 23 in 1911, 28 in 1966, and 37 in 2011.

As our baby-boomer generation ‘matures’, we find that one in six of us are now over 65, compared to one in seven in 2011 and only one in 25 in 1911.

The greying of Australia continues, with 84,000 more people aged 85 years and older than in the 2011 Census. Today, people who are 85 years and older comprise 2.1% of our usual resident population.

More of us are surviving well into old age, thanks to improvements in diet, public health and medical technology. In fact, our population of centenarians – people who live to or beyond 100 years – grew to 3,500 in 2016. That’s a lot of congratulatory letters the Queen must write: – ).

Women are living longer than men. Of those people aged 65 or older, 54% are women and 46% are men. Of those people aged 85 and older, 63% are women and 37% are men.

How we live now

We’re still a nation of home owners, or aspirational home owners, with 31% of Australian homes owned outright and 34% owned with a mortgage – leaving 31% being rented. However, the proportion renting is slowly growing, while those who have the good fortune of owning their home outright are declining.

Our home is not just our castle – it’s also our caravan, our cabin, our houseboat, and even our tent.

The Census aims to count every dwelling in the country. A dwelling is ‘any structure which is intended to have people in it, and is habitable on Census night’. For 2016, we counted almost 10 million dwellings.

While separate houses still account for most homes in Australia (72%), there’s been a large increase in other forms of dwelling, such as flats, apartments, semi-detached, row housing or town housing, which now make up more than a quarter (26%) of Australian housing – all higher density residential development. Our castles are getting closer together.

Of the 8.3 million occupied private dwellings, seven in 10 housed families (69% by one family and 1.9% by multiple families), one in four were one-person households, and one in 25 were group households.

Family: A small word that describes so much

The 2016 Census counted more than six million families in Australia on Census night – up from over five million families in 2011. About 45% of these families were couples with children; 38% were couples without children; and 16% were single parent families. Of all single-parent families, female single parents make up 82%, and male single parents make up 18%.

Also, almost one in four Australians (24%) now live in single person households.

Is Australia raising its rainbow flag? It sure is. We counted more than 47,000 same-sex couples in 2016 – up from 33,000 in 2011 (a 42% increase) and 26,000 in 2006 (an 81% increase).

As a nation, there are more of us, we’re living longer, becoming more urbanised, more diverse, less religious, living closer together, earning more and forming the same type of family unit.


More detailed information can be found on the Australian Bureau of Statistics site – www.abs.gov.au.  The story above is an excerpt of the ABS summary of the 2016 Census consisting of data gathered in August 2016.


Buy smarter = limitless ways to build lifetime income

Crave Property Advisory is a unique property strategy and buyers agent service. As the only independent and unbiased advisory that can help you use any property strategy Australia-wide, Crave’s services extend to home, investment and commercial property.  A highly client focused organization, Crave developed the Modular Investing System (MI System) to provide clients with the ability to use a tailored mix of strategies and efficiently build profitable portfolios that create lifetime income. 

Debra Beck-Mewing is the CEO of Crave Property Advisory, and has more than 20 years’ experience in property investing, Australia-wide. She has used a range of strategies to build her property portfolio including renovating, granny flats, sub-division and development. Debra is skilled in identifying development opportunities, and sourcing properties that have multiple uses and multiple exit strategies. She is a Qualified Property Investment Advisor, licensed real estate agent and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business.

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Disclaimer – This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice.  We strongly recommend you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.


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