Census: Less religious, more diverse, still doing the work - Women's Agenda

Census: Less religious, more diverse, still doing the work

Australia is changing, and it’s changing rapidly. We’re less religious, increasingly more likely to have been born overseas, and more likely again to declare ourselves in a same-sex relationships.

But one thing that that may not have changed, much, is the fact women are still doing the bulk of the unpaid work.

That’s according to some of the first full figures released from the 2016 Census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The changes in religion are particularly dramatic, with 29.6% of the population now saying they have no religion — that figure was just 0.8% in 1966, and is now 7% more than people calling themselves Catholic.

Around half of us now had a parent born overseas, or were born overseas ourselves. Other than Australia, the top five birth countries are England, New Zealand, China, India and the Philippines.

Around two millions of us live alone — the majority of whom are older women.

As for money, the median Australian income is $662 (including wages and benefits) — a figure that shifts dramatically according to where you live. It’s $998 in the ACT, and $573 in Tasmania. Nearly a quarter of those living in Sydney are considered to be “financially stressed” as they are paying more than a third of their earnings on rent or a mortgage.

Australians are getting older, with 16% of the population now made up of people aged over 65 and the proportion of children and teenagers shrinking.

There has been a 39% increase in people saying they are in a same-sex relationship.

Meanwhile, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders now account for 2.8% of the population, up 18% since 2011.

As for unpaid work, the ABS has revealed one in five men declare they do “zero hours of unpaid domestic work each week”, while 12% of females are doing more than 30.

The Census reveals the Australian population is now at 24.4 million, growing 8.8% since 2011. NSW now has 7.5 million people, with almost 4.5 people calling Melbourne home, compared to just over 4.8 million in Sydney.

According to the ABS, the final response rate of the survey was 95.1%. Australian statistician David Kalisch said the results “can be used with confidence”.

Earlier this year, the Census revealed the “typical Australian” to be a 38-year old, married woman with kids.

more to come



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