I am, you are, we are Australian.
I am, you are, we are Australian.

30 surprising facts about Australia

AUSTRALIA Day might be a great time to celebrate cultural cliches like Vegemite, backyard cricket and barbecues, but is this really a fair depiction of our national identity?

Renowned demographer and social commentator Mark McCrindle doesn't think so.

"Our whole identity used to be football, meat pies and caravans, now it's overseas holidays with focaccias and more sophisticated pursuits," he told news.com.au.

"We used to be the land of the long weekend, but now we work more hours than any other nation - in terms of working hours, plus commute - and deliver success equal to any comparable nation."

Mr McCrindle said Australia has moved away from the remote island culture and changed our self-identity entirely.

"Now we're regional influences across Asia, we have global connections, are exporters and have success in the global sporting, medical and business arenas," he said.

"We've also changed in terms of landscape from when our icons were the beach and outback. Now, it's more about urban environments, cafe culture, city cuisine and a 24/7 lifestyle with gentrified living."

We are now more about cafe culture than Crocodile Dundee.
We are now more about cafe culture than Crocodile Dundee.

The demographer said by 2023, Melbourne will have overtaken Sydney as Australia's most populated city, which some people might find surprising.

"Our national, state and city identity is constantly changing. While Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane remain the top three cities, Adelaide is no longer the fourth largest - it's now Perth," he said.

"In the last three decades Adelaide's population has increased by 42 per cent, while Perth has seen significant growth with a 135 per cent increase."

Mr McCrindle added that Australia is also much more multicultural than it has ever been before.

"The latest census data showed us a changing of the guard, not only in that one in three Australians are born overseas, but more overseas born Australians are coming from Asia than Europe," he said.

"Indigenous Australians have increased almost threefold with the 1986 census showing 227,000 indigenous Australians.

"Now, 30 years on, there has been an 186 per cent increase with 649,000 indigenous Australias."

If you found this interesting, here are some other facts about our country as pulled together by McCrindle research and ABS.

Perth has overtaken Adelaide as our nation’s fourth largest city.
Perth has overtaken Adelaide as our nation’s fourth largest city.


1. Australia Day is the fifth least common day of the year for babies to be born.

2. Queensland has seen the highest number of interstate arrivals over the past five years with 220,000 people moving to the sunshine state.

3. Three-fifths of the Australian population are affiliated with a religion or spiritual belief, with Christianity the most popular denomination - some 12 million Aussies identify as Christians.

4. Australians aged 2 years and over consumed an estimated 3.1 kilograms of foods and beverages - including water - per day.

5. Over one-fifth of employed men work as tradespeople or technicians.

6. Around 69 per cent of Australians drive a car to work.

7. Hobart is the capital city with the most people who walked to work (5.5 per cent) and Canberra has the most people who ride (2.6 per cent).

8. The average weekly earnings is $1543.80.

9. At the time of writing, the resident population of Australia is projected to be 24,809,395, with one birth every 1 minute and 44 seconds and one death every 3 minutes and 17 seconds.

10. 59 per cent of school leavers from 2016 were enrolled in further study, with about half of those also employed.

They are not called a bogan everywhere.
They are not called a bogan everywhere.

11. What's called a boonie in Western Australian, is called a westie in NSW and in Queensland it's a bogan.

12. The proportion of older people in Australia's labour force has increased over the past 10 years, with about 14 per cent of people aged 65 years and over still working.

13. There are just under 46,800 same-sex couples living together in Australia.

14. Swimming costumes in Queensland are known as togs, in NSW cossies, but in Victoria, bathers.

15. While 82 per cent of Australians speak English at home, Italian (3.2 per cent) and Greek (2.2 per cent) were among other commonly reported languages.

16. Over a third of people aged 65 years and older (37 per cent) were born overseas.

17. Sales workers had the highest average age that they expected to retire at 66 years, while community and personal service workers had the lowest at 64 years.

18. Australia is quite conservative with more than 80 per cent of brides taking on the groom's surname

19. 35 per cent of Australian men and 42 per cent of women feel they are always rushed or pressed for time.

20. Nine in 10 Aussies like to see Nativity scenes, mangers and baby Jesus' displayed in public spaces at Christmas time.

21. Median personal income in New South Wales has reached $34,528 per year while median mortgage repayments have more than doubled at $1986 per month.

22. Currently 30 per cent of all households in Sydney's urban areas now live in apartments.

23. Sydney is Australia's largest city with a population of more than 5.1 million - one in five Australians live or two-thirds of the population of NSW live here.

24. 40 per cent of Australians work between 35-40 hours per week, while 23 per cent are employed for less than 25 hours per week.

25. More than one in four Aussies said they cannot survive the day without coffee, with three in four saying that have at least one cup per day.

26. In NSW, the ACT, Queensland, Victoria, WA, the NT and Tasmania, order a schooner and you'll get a big, 425ml glass. But order the same thing in SA and you'll be disappointed when you receive a small, 285ml glass.

27. The average adult male in Australia has 34 minutes more leisure time per day than the average female - this equates to 4 hours per week.

28. Urban couples now represent over 27 per cent of apartment households.

29. 41 per cent of young people aged 14 and 15 don't know what they want to do when they are older.

30. In Tassie, Victoria and SA you order scallops at the takeaway, you get scallops - the seafood. In NSW, you order scallops and you get a potato cake.

Continue the conversation in the comments below or with Matthew Dunn on Facebook and Twitter | matthew.dunn2@news.com.au

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