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SPUDS and freemales on the rise

12th March 2008

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First there were DINKs (dual income, no kids) and SINKs (single income, no kids) - now Australia is experiencing the rise of the SPUD (single person urban dwelling), not to mention the "freemale".

In a wide-ranging new geo-demographic survey of the country, researchers have found that unmarried women now outnumber married women for the first time since World War I.

The Mosaic 2008 analysis reveals 51.4 per cent of women are opting for the singles lifestyle in a new phenomenon billed as "Bridget Jones meets Sex and the City".

The survey also estimates that up to a quarter of women will never have children, while SPUDs account for more than 25 per cent of all dwellings in Australia - a figure that's expected to soar over the next 30 years.

"Mosaic 2008 offers us new levels of insight into where Australians live and work, how much they earn and spend, what their family situation is and what they do with their spare time," Graham Plant, of research firm Pacific Micromarketing, said.

"It draws on richer data sources and drills down further to the household level than any other similar analysis.

"Many of the new trends identified, ask serious questions of businesses and government: for example, what does the rise of the SPUD mean for transport and utility service providers and grocery retailers, not to mention the energy-efficiency of our cities?"

Other findings in Mosaic 2008 include:

50 per cent of all Australians have one parent born overseas, of whom only 14 per cent were born in the UK;

Africa, India, Indonesia, Singapore and China are the fastest-growing sources of immigrants;

So-called salary miners - high-income earners in younger households in remote mining communities, with high disposable incomes and low housing costs - account for 0.6 per cent of the population;

The proportion of baby boomers aged 65+ is expected to double to 25 per cent of the total Australian population by 2038.

Mr Plant said the Mosaic findings provided governments, private and other sectors with invaluable data to better plan for the future.

"In a shifting and fragmenting consumer landscape, all enterprises need to work harder to understand their customers better," he said.

"Companies should be planning products and services that their customers will want over the next decade, not what they wanted five years ago."

Mosaic 2008 was compiled from data in the last Australian census and other sources, Pacific Micromarketing said.


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