MEET Ballarat’s average couple: Michael and Juliana Addison now represent almost the perfect median of our city today, according to newly released census data.
The 2011 national figures released yesterday have revealed the clearest picture to date of the Ballarat community, with an older, less religious and more single population.
In a surprising development, Ballarat has fewer residents than the 100,000 anticipated by population modelling completed in August.
Although figures show a rise in people living alone and divorced people, family households with married couples still make up a large portion of Ballarat society.
Mr and Mrs Addison moved to Ballarat in early 2007 from Melbourne.
“I’d just got a teaching job in Ballarat and we wanted to start a family,” Mrs Addison said.
“Ballarat was just the perfect place – I grew up here and my parents lived here.”
“Everything in Ballarat is so easy, with health care, community services and mothers’ groups. I’m not sitting for 40 minutes in traffic like you constantly do in Melbourne – it’s impossible to be late.”
Both husband and wife identify as Catholics, the most dominant religion in the region at 27.4 per cent.
Mrs Addison is the exact median age at 37, and her husband is aged 49.
Mr Addison works full-time as a fitter and turner and Mrs Addison is a part-time teacher.
They are paying off a mortgage on their central Ballarat home.
“We’re just a normal family living in a normal home in Ballarat,” Mr Addison said.
The new census figures show that family households make up 66.3 per cent of Ballarat’s population, and registered marital status makes up 44.9 per cent of the population, well ahead of the next most common marital status of never married, at 36.4 per cent.
The Addisons’ two children, Johanna, 3, and Sophia, 1, attend day-care or kinder two-and-a-half days a week.
That is consistent again with the average children per family, which stands at 1.9.
Coupled families with children did see a slight drop since 2006, from 42.2 per cent to 41 per cent.
And the gap between families with children and those without has narrowed.
The difference is now 2.4 per cent compared to 4.7 per cent difference in 2006.
As the 2011 census describes who we are as a nation and a city, the Addisons sum Ballarat up perfectly.
“We’re currently renovating our period home,” Mrs Addison said.
“We’re a part of the community – we take our children to play at the park, we spend time at the lake, we like having barbecues with friends in the backyard.
“We are an average Ballarat family.”