Biddle, Nicholas: First results from the 2016 Census paint a picture of who the “typical” Australian is

Nicholas Biddle

First results from the 2016 Census paint a picture of who the “typical” Australian is‘, The Conversation, 11 April 2017

For the statistical agency of a supposedly diverse country to bother presenting a picture of ‘a typical Australian’ seems a rather bizarre gimmick, though probably not unprecedented here.

The 2016 Census has revealed )says the ABS] the “typical” Australian is a 38-year-old female who was born in Australia, and is of English ancestry. She is married and lives in a couple family with two children and has completed Year 12. She lives in a house with three bedrooms and two motor vehicles.

To be fair, even in Biddle’s short summary this gimmick is attended by a good number of qualifications and there will be many more layers when more information from the census becomes available at the end of June. Meanwhile, Gwenda Tavan’s chapter in The Honest History Book provides food for thought, given that the ABS’s typical Australian is still (for now) of English ancestry. Are we the world’s most successful multicultural society or do we still expect people to become Anglo-Celtic simulacra before they are accepted?

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