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The ABS’s notion of the average Australian makes little sense. Here’s why

By Murray Goot, Emeritus Professor of Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University
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What does “the average Australian” look like? After every census, this is one of the questions people like to see answered.

Average on one measure or on several? If the latter, would “average Australians” number in the millions, as most inquirers no doubt assume? Or would the “average” turn out to be atypical – a very small number, even a group that doesn’t actually exist?

What is the answer offered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics? According to Teresa Dickinson, deputy national statistician at the ABS, “our…The Conversation


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