Oct 03, 2017
Michael Matusik

Some recent stuff that has gone missing includes –

Average Australian household size:

1984          2.84 people per home

1989          2.78

1996          2.63

1999          2.60

2004          2.53

2010          2.57

2016          2.60

Yep, increasing and not falling, as often reported.  Need to build fewer dwellings per capita in the future.

Typical household make-up (2016):

Empty houses
Couples (no children at home) 26%
People living alone (lucky buggers) 24%
Crowded homes
Couples with their kids at home 28%
Single parent with their kids at home 6%
Multiple generations in same home 13%
Unrelated groups 3%

We have a very polarised demographic – half of us live as singles or couples and the other 50% live in increasingly crowded homes.  Not everything is small and downtown, we need larger digs too. 

Housing types (2016):
Detached houses 71%
Semi-detached (townhouses mostly) 13%
Apartments 14%
Other (Caravans, tents) 2%

The ‘townhouse’ market has grown a big 61% in size since 2006.  The new apartment market – whilst getting a lion’s share of the property promotional space – has only increased by some 138,000 new digs over the past ten years.  Overall, this market hasn’t gained market share.  It remains at 14%. 

Population distribution*:
Inner city (under 5km from GPO) 18%
Middle-ring (5km to 20km from GPO) 42%
Outer suburbs (20km+ from GPO) 40%
Population growth (last decade)*:
Inner city (under 5km from GPO) 19%
Middle-ring (5km to 20km from GPO) 35%
Outer suburbs (20km+ from GPO) 46%

*Total for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth (combined, they hold 70% of Australia’s population).

Many of us live some distance from the tall things downtown and it appears most want to live a suburban setting, rather than a very urban one.

Queensland 2017-18 capital program per capita:
Inner city (under 5km from GPO) $3,500
Middle-ring (5km to 20km from GPO) $1,600
Outer suburbs (20km+ from GPO) $1,000

The Queensland Government’s $10.2 billion capital program in 2017-18 is heavily skewed to regional areas outside south east Queensland and towards inner city Brisbane, but away from other areas in SEQld.  Brisbane’s inner city gets more than three times the per capita spend as middle and outer suburbs.  Go here for more.

End note

Suburbia is getting shafted if you ask me, ranging from a disproportionate lack of government spending to limited media focus/attention.

And to help explain why the average household size in increasing, the number of people living in a crowded home is growing faster than those living in more empty ones.

Keen to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,


Michael Matusik


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