3 Trends Affecting Commerce in Australia

Recent census has insights for commerce.

Business in Australia cannot go back to "the way things used to be," as recent global events have rapidly altered society and commerce. There are three emerging trends impacting commerce across our country that business leaders should be sure to watch.

A younger and more diverse population

Results from the five-year census show that Australia is trending younger. Millennials and their parents (or grandparents) in the baby boomer generation share the No. 1 spot for the largest group. Each generation represents 21.5% of the population.

Since 2016, Australia has attracted immigrants in search of opportunity, and now more than 50% of our population was born overseas or have a parent who was born abroad. One in five speak a language other than English (often Chinese or Arabic) in their home. In addition, respondents identifying as either Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander increased by a quarter in five years. They currently account for 3.2% of the nation's population.

Watching this trend will be pivotal for commerce. As we have seen recently, changes in consumer tastes and habits have prompted businesses to pivot products, strategy and business models to retain market share. As Australia's dominant consumer group transforms, their prevailing attitude toward reporting on environmental social governance could create a new avenue for businesses to differentiate from competitors.

Households look different

The census also shows that Australian households are shifting away from the traditional family unit toward single parents, same-sex, couples without children and lone-households. The average members of a household decreased to 2.1 from 2.6 in 2016. The following numbers show how varied households are:

  • 1 million single-parent households.
  • 25.6% lone-resident households.
  • 25,000 same-sex marriages.
  • 3.9% group households.
  • 30.6% rent their home.
  • 66% own their home outright or carry a mortgage.

The changes in household preferences could have an impact on several markets including real estate, jobs and commerce. As we have seen, households switched to online shopping to meet local laws but many are not going to return to their pre-pandemic in-person shopping routines. McKinsey found that 50% of people new to grocery delivery intend to continue with it. How households reshape in the future will impact business processes, products and services and marketing strategies.

Long-term health issues

In the 2022 Census, 4.8 million Australians reported a diagnosis of one or more long-term health concern such as asthma, arthritis and mental health conditions. Access to regular healthcare will become an even larger concern for many Australians requiring regular treatment for these types of conditions. Businesses in the technology, e-commerce and healthcare sectors need to track shifts and adjust to stay ahead of the curve.

If you want to prepare for future societal impacts on your business, learn more about WMC Accounting's Business Services.

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