Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

37 year old mum’s rule!:

The 'average Australian' may sound like someone you know but there is not one single person who matches every characteristic.
By Motherpedia
Date: April 11 2013
Editor Rating:

There’s no right way to say this. If you’re a 37-year-old Australian-born married mother of a boy and a girl aged 9 and 6, living in a three-bedroom house in the suburbs, you’re getting pretty close to being the ‘average’ Australian.

You also have to be of English, Australian, Irish, or Scottish ancestry, speak only English at home and belong to a Christian religion, most likely Catholic.

You’ve lived in your house for at least five years, and have a mortgage payment of $1,800 a month.

You have a Certificate in Business and Management, and drive to your 32 hour per week job as a sales assistant. Of course, you also have unpaid work around the house of five or more hours a week.

The thing is – while this is the picture of the ‘average’ Australian with whom many people will share a number of characteristics, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says there is not one of the nearly 22 million of us counted on Census night 18 months ago who exactly fits this description. Not one ... proving just how quixotic statistics can be!

The ABS says that while the description of the average Australian may sound typical, and you are bound to know someone with many of these characteristics, the fact that no-one meets all these criteria shows how much the ‘average’ is masking the growing diversity in Australia.

Three in four of us were born in Australia; of the one in four who were not, more than 20% were born in the UK. But the rest come from almost every nation on earth with the fastest growing group in the past decade being from India. The suburb with the highest proportion of people born overseas is Haymarket in Sydney with 88% of the population born in China, and the suburbs with the lowest are all in Hobart – Honeywood, Herdmans Cove and Gagebrook with just 2%.

By way of contrast with today, 100 years ago the average Australian was a 24 year old Australian-born male farmer. In 2011, only Western Australia and the Northern Territory had more men than women; and South Australia and Tasmania were older than the national average at 39 and 40 years respectively.

As well as living longer, we’re getting taller and – ahem – growing heavier. The average woman is 162cm tall and weighs 71.1kg while the average man is 176cm tall and weighs 85.9kg. And you know what that means? On average, we’re officially overweight on a body mass index (BMI) count - which points to why one of the fastest growing segments of physical activity are the ones we can do on our own when we feel like it.

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