Home Articles The new Australian dream: Less work, more pay, and more Facebook

    The new Australian dream: Less work, more pay, and more Facebook


    It’s Australia Day! So you got a day off for a little more surfing – the kind that can be done from the comfort of a couch in your high-rise apartment – and the opportunity to hunt down some bargains. Some of us might order an ethically, and sustainably, produced meal – maybe even a vegetarian one – as we bask in the glow of solar-powered lamps.

    It may or may not exactly be this way this year. But count on it to be quite like this in 2025. Or, that is the way IBISWorld imagines we will be a dozen years from now.

    “When it comes to Australia Day, many of us think of beaches, Barbies, backyard cricket and booze, but it seems this may no longer be an accurate reflection of the typical Aussie,” IBISWorld said.

    We would work a little less and still have more money in our pockets. We would enjoy more leisure, and more time online, as “technological advancements eliminate the need for human involvement.”

    The nation, as a whole, would be a little bigger, driven by growing birth rates immigration and higher life expectancy, live increasingly in cities and apartments, and also consist of many more vegetarians than we do today.

    Let’s look at some of IBISWorld’s key predictions.

    Still not a whole lot of us, but a little older. Australia’s population of about 22.8 million is forecast to grow by 1.6% per annum to reach 27.8 million by 2025 – driven by immigration, growing birth rates and longer life expectancies. Our median age will rise to 37.1 in 2025, up from 36.9 in 2010. This will lead to “rising demands on healthcare and new challenges for the economy,” according to IBISWorld General Manager (Australia) Karen Dobie.

    Go West, young man. New South Wales will continue to be our most populous state, but expect Western Australia’s mining boom to drive its population growth in the years to 2025. This will pose challenges for WA due to the associated transient population and the rapid development of regional towns.

    Housing dream grows distant. IBISWorld expects the coming decade will see ongoing growth in high-rise apartment and inner city living in major metropolitan areas as housing affordability remains a concern, and less Australians enter the housing market. “Perhaps owning bricks and mortar is no longer the Australian dream,” said Dobie.

    Less work, more pay. This year, the average Aussie will work just over 32 hours per week, taking home an average $1,086 per week. In 2025, he or she will work a lower 29-30 weekly hours – a “change attributed to more people transitioning to part-time work and a growing number of businesses offering flexible working hours driven by technology.” Still, average weekly earnings will rise to $1,756 – driven by inflation, up-skilling and industry movements.

    More Facebook for sure. Our leisure time will rise to 78.5 hours a week, up from 78.1 hours today. This will result from technological advancements that reduce or eliminate human involvement in a variety of tasks.

    So, how do we spend all this extra time?

    More of Facebook for sure. IBISWorld expects the trend toward more Internet time, more social media and more online shopping to continue – activities on which we already spend more than 20 hours a week.

    “When we’re not online, we’ll be eating out, playing sport, hitting the gym and watching television and movies – although much of the latter will be done online via streaming and downloads,” said Dobie.

    Eat responsibly. Aussies will acquire a “growing preference for ethically and sustainably produced meats, eggs and dairy while organic and local produce continues to rise in popularity and penetration.” Also, in the nation of meat-lovers, vegetarianism will “certainly be a growing trend.” By 2025, we can expect vegetarians to comprise closer to 7%, up from 5%.

    Carbon footprint? Our increasingly hi-tech lives needs a lot of electricity. That will increasingly come from renewable sources, currently comprising less than 10% of the total. The Carbon Tax of 2012 is tipped to drive electricity generators to switch to less carbon-heavy sources of energy. But no guesses on what we will actually achieve on this front.

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