Results of the 2016 Census

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the first phase of results of the 2016 Census, illustrating a rapidly changing marketplace for the wealth management industry. 

Australia's population growth has increased from 1.4 per cent per annum to 1.7 per cent per annum in the last decade. The population growth is resulting in an ageing nation as the median age has risen from 36 to 38 years, which has led to an increase in people aged 65 and over (14 per cent to 16 per cent).

There will be significant implications for aged care planning, household structure and retirement income product designs as women comprise a larger percentage of the older population. Females make up 51 per cent of the general population, 54 per cent of people aged 65 plus, and in Australians aged over 85, it rises to 63 per cent. 

The population of Australia has doubled to 24.3 million in the past 50 years and will likely double again in the next 50 years. This will result in huge infrastructure development needs as most of the population will probably live in urban and capital cities.

The population growth centre is predicted to shift away from Sydney and NSW towards Melbourne and Victoria. Melbourne is growing 12 per cent faster than Sydney.

With the population rising and concentrating, the ratio of households renting their accommodation has risen from 27 per cent in 2011 to 31 per cent in 2016. This change will only heighten concerns about Australia's housing affordability and residential property market. This may explain why apartments, flats and townhouses have increased as a share of all residences from 24 per cent to 27 per cent over the past decade.

Cultural diversity in Australia has increased, with the past 50 years seeing an increase from 18 per cent to 26 per cent of the population being born overseas. In 1966 a third of these people were born in England, but today this has dropped to 15 per cent. The proportion of Chinese-born Australians has meanwhile jumped from 6 per cent to 8.3 per cent, and the proportion of Indian-born Australians has jumped from 5.6 per cent to 7.4 per cent.

Australia's religious affiliations have changed drastically since 1966 where almost nine in 10 people reported a Christian faith; by 2016 this number had dropped to only one in two, with 30 per cent reporting no affiliation.