Are You Planning to Utilize the Census to Shape Your Business Growth Strategy in 2024?


As we approach the final two months of 2023, numerous franchisors and businesses are preparing to review the year and set forth growth strategies for the upcoming year. When contemplating their growth strategies for the new year, franchisors should utilize census data to address the following inquiries:

  1. Has my ideal customer moved or changed impacting spending patterns in my current or planned locations?
  2. Have my potential employees moved and will this affect my ability to add locations to our network?
  3. Are potential customers still interested in my products or services or are their buying behaviors different in the proposed growth locations?

Australian businesses are privileged to have access to the comprehensive, quality data provided by the 5-yearly census. Not only does the information offer a characterisation of contemporary Australian society but it is a rich source of data businesses can use for customer profiling and establishing valuable socio-economic information for decisions about location.

The results of the 2021 census were released in a staged approach. Most data by topics such as households, income, education, diversity etc was initially published in early 2022, which was followed by employment and location-based variables in October 2022 and finally, complex topics related to socio-economic indexes for specific areas in mid 2023. All data will be accessible using a diverse range of census data tools.

The latest data release illustrates a fast-changing, rapidly expanding, culturally diverse nation. An astute franchisor can use this information to make sound decisions about location.

For the first time the number of millennials has almost caught the baby boomers. Millennials have now captured five capital city postcodes, and this has been accompanied by a surprise increase in high rise living. We can confidently predict millennials will be moving to the outer suburbs to access affordable housing as they have children over the next 5-10 years.

The census paints Australia as a rich multi-cultural society with migrants now making up more than half of Australia. Looking at census mapping we can see that the highest concentrations of migrants, after England, are no longer from Europe.

India has past China in migration numbers, but we remain a melting pot of ethnicity in many suburbs. We know the Chinese are upwardly mobile with higher disposable income and Indians tend to move to affordable areas where they are understood and can find support for their cultural practices. These assumptions are supported by census location trends.

Economic mapping demonstrates middle Australia acting as the jam between the bread when it comes to Sydney and Melbourne. Our major cities are where we find the higher socio-economic suburbs, separated from the low-income enclaves by sprawling middle income suburbia.

There has been a broad income increase across most of the country since the last census. A perfect opportunity for franchisors/franchisees to tap into the resources of our “lucky country”.

For data nerds, dive into the detail here

Census data by topic | Australian Bureau of Statistics (

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