THE image of a typical Australian being a blonde, blue-eyed surfer seems well and truly behind us with the release of the latest Census data.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released a taster of the Census 2016 data today, providing a profile of who the typical Australian is.
That Aussie is now a 38-year-old married woman with two children.
She is of English ancestry and her parents were both born in Australia. She has completed Year 12 and lives in a three-bedroom house with two cars. She spends between five and 14 hours a week on domestic work.
In contrast, the typical Aussie male is 37 years old and spends less than five hours on domestic work.
It’s very different to the picture painted back in 1911 when the first Census was taken and found the typical Aussie was a 24-year-old male. But women have outnumbered men since 1979.
Rising property prices also look to be having an impact with the typical Australian now paying off a mortgage, compared to the results in 2006, when they owned their house outright.
The results also show evidence of an ageing Australia, with the median age of Aussies increasing from 37 to 38 years old.
The statistics change significantly depending on which state you live in.
For example, a typical Aussie lives in a three-bedroom house but if are a Western Australia resident, you’ll enjoy a bigger four-bedroom home.
Those in Tasmania typically own their home outright, while Northern Territory residents are renters.
When it comes to migrants, the typical Australian migrant was born in England and is 44 years old, but if you live in NSW they are likely to be Chinese. Those in Queensland are likely to be from New Zealand and those in Victoria were typically from India.
Professor James Raymer of the Australian National University School of Demography said the results were likely heavily influenced by results in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, which dominate the populations in NSW, Victoria and Brisbane.
He said it showed new migrants were choosing to live in those big states and not as attracted to other areas.
The rising dominance of Chinese and Indian migrants in NSW and Victoria also revealed an interesting shift in Australia’s population.
“We can see the policy shift in 1975 to get rid of the White Australia policy has dramatically changed migration to Australia, which is getting more diverse and we are seeing the effect of that 40 years later,” Prof Raymer said.
“There’s still a lot of migration from England, just as much as from China and India, but the English population is much older and is being offset by deaths.”
He said ABS statistics from 2006 and 2011 show about 250,000 migrants from the UK entered Australia but this was offset by 100,000 leaving and another 75,000 dying.
About the same amount — 225,000 — arrived from China but only about 80,000 Chinese left and there were hardly any deaths. India had a similar number of arrivals but even fewer departures than China.
Today’s data reveals initial findings of the five-yearly survey that nearly didn’t happen because of cyber attacks when the questionnaire was being conducted last August.
The data was released two months earlier than any previous Census. The full release of the survey will begin on June 27.
Small Business Minister Michael McCormack has said the 2016 census results would be released only after being cleared by an independent panel.
“I am assured that Australians can trust the quality of the census data,” he said.
“While today’s release will focus just on the ‘typical’ Australian in 2016, the Census proves there is nothing typical about Australians – we are a big, diverse community and more will be revealed on 27 June 2017 with the main data release.”
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