Census 2021 data shows millennials will soon replace baby boomers as Australia’s biggest generation
Australia is becoming even less religious with homeowners more likely to be suffering from mortgage stress, as millennials come close to replacing baby boomers as the biggest generation.
People of no faith vastly outnumbered the combined total of those identifying as Catholic or Anglican with Christians now a minority, new 2021 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data shows.
The typical home borrower also had a $485,000 home loan, owing their bank $1,863 every month, while 54,711 people lived in either a caravan or a motorhome.
An Australian couple needed to earn more than $90,792 between them to be among the top half of households by income but even at this level, they would be close to being in mortgage stress paying off a common mortgage.
Millennials, aged 25 to 39, who came of age or entered adulthood at the start of the 21st century, are on the verge of becoming the biggest generation – ending the boomers’ six-decade run as the biggest demographic.
Australia was home to just 5,662 more baby boomers than millennials on August 10 last year, with each generation each boasting 5.4 million people or 21.5 per cent of the population.
The post-war boomer generation covers those born from 1946 to 1965 and includes Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who was born in 1963, along with his predecessors Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.
Australia is dramatically changing with millennials on the verge of overtaking baby boomers as the biggest generation – marking the biggest demographic shakeup in almost six decades (pictured is Australia’s youngest female billionaire, Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins)
Their membership also includes Governor-General David Hurley, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe and Chief Justice Susan Kiefel, who must retire in less than two years when she turns 70.
Talking about YOUR generation
GENERATION ALPHA: 2011 to 2021 (12 per cent of the population)
GENERATION Z: 1996 to 2010 (18.2 per cent of the population)
MILLENNIALS (GEN Y): 1981 to 1995 (21.5 per cent of the population)
GENERATION X: 1966 to 1980 (19.3 per cent of the population)
BABY BOOMERS: 1946 to 1965 (21.5 per cent of the population)
INTERWAR: 1945 or earlier (7.5 per cent of the population)
Prince Charles, Australia’s next head of state, is also a baby boomer, as are Australia’s richest individuals, mining magnates Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest.
Boomers made up 38.5 per cent of Australia’s population in 1966 but their share of the population shrank to 25.4 per cent in 2011 and 21.5 per cent last year.
During the past decade, the number of millennials has increased from 20.4 per cent to 21.5 per cent, with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, 39, so far, the only state leader in this group.
Australia’s youngest female billionaire Melanie Perkins, the 35-year-old chief executive and co-founder of graphic design group Canva, is also part of the millennial generation, along with cricket Test captain Pat Cummins and movie star Chris Hemsworth.
They are younger than Generation X, born from 1966 to 1980, with this group including former prime minister Scott Morrison, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, Silverchair lead singer Daniel Johns, songbird Kylie Minogue and Atlassian’s billionaire co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.
Gen X makes up 19.3 per cent of the population, ahead of Generation Z, born from 1996 to 2010, with an 18.2 per cent share, followed by Generation Alpha, born from 2011 to 2021, with a 12 per cent share.
The post-war boomer generation covers those born from 1946 to 1965 and includes Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured centre with Gen X girlfriend Jodie Haydon and Generation Z son Nathan), who was born in 1963, along with his predecessors Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull
The interwar generation, born in 1945 or earlier, has the smallest share at 7.5 per cent, with the Queen, who turned 96 in April, the most well-known of this group in the Commonwealth.
Australia’s oldest living former prime minister John Howard, an 82-year-old monarchist who won four elections, is also part of silent generation, as is his 78-year-old predecessor Paul Keating.
Australians with no religion outnumbered people of faith with their numbers the fastest growing.
They had a 38.4 per cent share of the religious affiliation pool, almost double Catholics on 20 per cent and the 9.8 per cent share for Anglicans.
Almost half or 47.1 per cent of Australians said they were Christians, which means those of follow the teachings of Jesus are in the minority (pictured is former Generation X prime minister Scott Morrison in 2019 during an Easter service at his Horizon Church in Sydney)
Those who nominated no religion on their Census form numbered 9,767,448, a big jump from the 29.6 per cent share in the 2016 Census when 6,933,711 said they had no formal religious affiliation.
FAITH NO MORE
NO RELIGION: 38.4 per cent (9,767,448)
CATHOLIC: 20 per cent (5,075,907)
ANGLICAN: 9.8 per cent (2,496,273)
NOT STATED: 6.9 per cent 1,751,052
ISLAM: 3.2 per cent (813,392)
Islam’s share of the population rose to 3.2 per cent from 2.6 per cent, with 813,392 last year identifying with the Muslim faith.
Almost half or 47.1 per cent of Australians said they were Christians, which means those of follow the teachings of Jesus are in the minority.
The ‘not stated’ category was the fourth most popular with a 6.9 per cent share.
Buddhism and Hinduism failed to make the top five despite 2.6 per cent of Australians being born in India – the third most common birthplace with 673,352 from there.
Australia’s median household income was $1,746 a week on Census night which meant couples needed to earn $90,792 a year to be in the middle.
That figure included everyone, from those on welfare and retirees who didn’t earn an income through a salary, along with those holding down jobs.
The middle income for individuals was $805 a week, translating into $41,860 a year – a level only $1,685 above the full-time minimum wage.
But this represented a $143 increase on 2016.
Canberra had the highest median income of $1,203 a week or $62,556 a year.
Australia was home to just 5,662 more Baby Boomers than Millennials on August 10 last year, with each generation each boasting 5.4million people or 21.5 per cent of the population
The typical monthly mortgage repayment was $1,863 when Australia still had a record-low cash rate of 0.1 per cent.
On Census night, that kind of repayment covered an owner-occupier borrower paying off a $485,000 loan at a then low variable rate of 2.29 per cent – before the Reserve Bank of Australia in May raised the cash rate for the first time since November 2010.
With a 20 per cent deposit, this borrower would have been paying off a $606,000 home.
A couple or an individual on an income of $90,792 – the middle in Australia – would have had a debt-to-income ratio of 5.3.
This was below the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s ‘six’ threshold for mortgage stress but occurred as house prices were surging.
The number of Australians living in a caravan or a motorhome stood at 54,711, or 0.6 per cent of the population ticking the ‘other category’ for dwellings
This meant many new borrowers were likely to have taken on debts at dangerous levels.
Weekly rents were also $375 on Census night.
Houses were still the most common form of accommodation with 72.3 per cent of Australians, numbering 6,710,582, living in a detached home with a backyard.
This was significantly higher than apartments, with a 14.2 per cent share , translating into 1,319,095 living in a flat on Census night.
Townhouses and semi-detached dwellings had a 12.6 per cent share with 1,168,860 residents.
The number of Australians living in a caravan or a motorhome stood at 54,711, or 0.6 per cent of the population ticking the ‘other category’ for dwellings.
Australia’s median household income was $1,746 a week on Census night which meant couples needed to earn $90,792 a year to be in the middle (pictured is a construction worker in Sydney)
Australia’s population has also doubled in 50 years with 25,422,788 residents, excluding overseas visitors, counted on Census night compared with 12,493,001 in the 1971 Census when the white Australia policy was still law.
In just five years, Australia’s population increased by 8.6 per cent or 2,020,896 people.
Australia was home to 25,766,605 people on December 31 last year with the population growing by an unusually small 0.5 per cent, or 128,000 people.
With migration banned until the final month of 2021, Australia’s natural population increased based on births minus deaths was 138,500 as net overseas migration fell by 3,600.
Almost half, or 48.2 per cent of Australians, had a parent born overseas, with 6.6 per cent having a father only born overseas and 4.9 per cent having a mother only outside Australia.
A little more than a third, or 36.7 per cent, of Australians had both parents born overseas.
Houses were still the most common form of accommodation with 72.3 per cent of Australians, numbering 6,710,582, living in a detached home with a backyard (pictured is a stock image)
Almost half, or 45.9 per cent, had both parents born in Australia.
The overseas-born share of the population was 27.6 per cent.
Two-thirds or 66.9 per cent of residents were born in Australia, with their number standing at 17,019,815.
This was followed by England with a 3.6 per cent share (927,490 people), India on 2.6 per cent (673,352 people), China on 2.2 per cent (549,618), New Zealand on 2.1 per cent (530,492 people) and the Philippines on 1.2 per cent (293,892 people).
Australia was home to slightly more females, who comprised 50.7 per cent of the population compared with 49.3 per cent for males.
Women and girls numbered 12,877,635 compared with 12,545,154 for men and boys.