A snapshot of Australia

If there is a Christmas day for demographers and statisticians, it’s the day that the census data is released.

Yesterday the census data was released, so Merry Christmas to the demographers!

The census data reminds us that Australia has more facets to it than we often realise. What did we discover this year?

Our population has grown 8.8% or by almost 1.9 million people since the last Census – and this industry has been working hard to keep up with that growth (with 525,000 new dwellings).

While Sydney is still our most populous city, Melbourne is making a charge for the title.

We discovered that we are getting older (as if I needed any reminding) with an additional 665,000 Australians reaching 65 since 2011.

While the number of Australians paying off their homes over the last five years is up 5%, the number of people renting is up 11%.

The nature of our households and homes hasn’t changed – our dwellings still have about 2.6 people occupants with a median 3.1 bedrooms.

And our median personal incomes are rising, up from $557 per week to $662, which is quite a big jump (but doesn’t account for inflation).

Our job as an industry is to respond to the changes in our country – from creating the spaces for business to flourish, to building more retirement villages for our retirees, to alleviating the pressures on housing affordability.

In this edition, we look at some of those issues.  And if you’re interested in the tremendous data contained in the Census you can access it at www.abs.gov.au/census.