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Millennials jump boomers as largest generation in latest census

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

Move over baby boomers; Australia’s millennial generation is set to become the nation’s largest.

A flurry of new data released Tuesday from the latest Census shows that both demographics include 5.4 million people. Still, the statistics for 2021 reflect a declining number of ‘boomers’ compared to the 2016 survey.

Defined as the generation born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers fell from 25.4 percent to 21.5 percent of the total population.

Between 1981 and 1996, millennials have risen from 20.4 to 21.5 percent.

Millennials jump boomers as largest generation in latest census

In 1966, baby boomers made up nearly 40 percent of all Australians.

The national population grew by about two million from 2021 to 25.4 million since the last Census.

The Census took place in August 2021 during the height of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns.

Australian statistician David Gruen said the latest data revealed important national insights.

“Every stat tells a story, and today we’re sharing a look at the stories of nearly 25.5 million Australians,” he said.

“The census was conducted at an unprecedented time in Australia’s history and provides a unique snapshot of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic, which differs from previous censuses.”

Due to the consequences of the pandemic, two million more people were at home on the census evening in 2021 than in 2016.

Of those who completed the Census, 96 percent did so at their own address.

COVID-19 also led to an 80 percent drop in foreign visitors, with 61,860 in 2021 compared to more than 315,000 in 2016.

More than a million new migrants have arrived in Australia since 2017, according to the Census, but about 80 percent came before the pandemic.

The impact of COVID-19 has also contributed to a change in how people filled out their Census, with 79 percent of respondents doing so online.

The national snapshot also revealed that more than one in two Australian residents was born abroad or had a parent who was born abroad.

There was a 25 percent increase in the number of Indigenous Australians counted in the Census, totaling over 800,000 people, or 3.2 percent of the population.

Nearly one million new private homes have been added since the last Census, with more than 11 million nationwide.

Of these, 70 percent were detached houses, 16 percents were apartments, and 13 percent were townhouses, while the share of apartments continues to increase.

Christianity remains the country’s most common religion, with 43.9 percent of people identifying with the denomination.

However, the figure has fallen from more than 60 percent a decade earlier.

Nearly 40 percent of respondents classified themselves as “non-religious,” compared to 22.3 percent in 2011.

The most recent count included new questions about the Australian Defense Force, which has served more than half a million people.

About eight million people are confirmed to have a long-term health condition.

The 2021 census also marked the first time people could select non-binary gender as an option.

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