The Australia Day image of beaches, barbies, backyard cricket and beer is more one of popular folkore than fact according to research firm IBISWorld – and by 2025, it will be even more remote from reality.
By then, according to IBISWorld’s General Manager, Karen Dobie, we’ll be more likely to be living in an apartment in the inner metropolitan areas, but working less and earning more, eating out more, using social media and playing sport.
Ms Dobie suggests that being a homeowner could also be a thing of the past, not least because the average home loan is expected to increase to $678,000 in 2024-25 compared with $300,000 this year.
“Perhaps owning bricks and mortar is no longer the Australian dream,” she said.
Australia’s population is likely to increase by around 5 million to just under 28 million by 2025. NSW will still have the most number of people, but Western Australia will grow the fastest because of the demands of the mining industry which is still expected to be booming in 12 years time.
The population increase is driven naturally by increases in birth rates, immigration and living longer and healthier lives.
Ms Dobie said that immigration levels have been raised “in an effort to combat the impact of retiring baby boomers and to tackle the skills shortage.
“Add to that our average life expectancy creeping close to 82 years old; and our median age rising to 37.1, up from 36.9 in 2010, and it's apparent the coming decade will be one of rising demands on healthcare and new challenges for the economy," she said.
While we’ll be working fewer hours, due to more flexible working arrangements and more part timers, IBISWorld also predicts higher average pay. More women and more older workers are expected to re-enter the workforce, attracted by more flexible working arrangements as well as lifestyle considerations. The average pay is predicted to be $1,756 per week for 30 hours work compared with an average of $1,086 for a 32 hour week today.
With fewer working hours comes more leisure time. IBISWorld expects this to be as much as 78.5 hours per week by 2025. We’re going to spend that spare time on social media, shopping online, eating out, hitting the gym or playing other sport and watching TV or movies – also mostly online when we want to. All-up, we’re expected to spend 20 hours per week online [is that all?! Editor].
In terms of what we eat, Ms Dobie said organic and local produce will continue to rise in popularity.
"One clear trend both now and looking ahead is a growing preference for ethically and sustainably produced meats, eggs and dairy.
"While we have traditionally considered ourselves a country of meat-lovers, consumption of vegetarian meals is certainly a growing trend in Australia," she added.