The Changing Face of Australian Households

October 29, 2013
David Wilson

By Blue Wealth CEO Dr Tony Hayek

A significant change to the Australian demographic makeup over the past 50 years has been the trend toward smaller households. Most of you reading this today will have personally experienced this phenomenon in your own families. As you climb that family tree, it most likely would have many more branches extending from a single stem toward the top than closer to the bottom.

Statistics tell the tale; the average household size has consistently fallen from when figures were first collected in 1911. Eleven years after Federation, the average Australian household comprised 4.6 people. The number is currently 2.6 people per household and is expected to decline to 2.3 by 2026.

Some of this is related to the ageing of the population and the movement of the baby boomer cohort through the age spectrum. For instance, a significant proportion of lone person households are comprised of elderly people, and empty nester households are created when children move out of home. Currently, this is the children of baby boomers and older gen Xers. Another, and perhaps more significant, contributor to the trend toward smaller households is the increasing participation of women in the work force (meaning they have less children). In 1978, approximately 44 per cent of Australian women were employed; now, female participation stands at approximately 60 per cent. Women account for approximately 46 per cent of the total work force, up from 36 per cent in 1978.

What does all this mean for the property market? The fact is, as Australian households shrink and the population grows, we will require an increasing amount of housing to accommodate the population. Blue Wealth Property is committed to acquiring well positioned investment property with a strong exit strategy that will be in high demand well into the future.

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