Predictions for the 2022 Year Ahead

January 11, 2022

I recently listened to a podcast with Simon Kuestenmacher.

Simon Kuestenmacher is one of Australia’s leading demographers, co-founder of The Demographics Group, a regular media commentator, a columnist for the Australian and one of the world’s Top 50 Influencers in Data Science.

His first comment was:

Covid taught us how difficult it is to make predictions about the future.

He talked about predictions for the 2022 year ahead of us. Below are some of the key points he discussed.

  • Millennialswill continue to move out of apartments and leave their hipster neighbourhoods to purchase family-sized houses as they reach the family formation stage of their lives.
  • Decentralisationof the population will continue – but regional councils will need to make more land available for development.
  • Hybrid workwill dominate in Australia.
    And as many will still need to go to the office occasionally, settling too far away from the office towers isn’t an option for many.
  • House priceswill continue to rise due to strong demand, and this will increase when migrants return.
    Our government has no interest whatsoever in pushing house prices down.
  • The average Australian housewill get bigger in 2022 as lockdowns pulled functions from outside the home into our homes.
  • Bunnings, Barbecues Galore, Harvey Norman — all those cocooning businesseswill be doing really well.
    A fair bit of our disposable income will be used to make the family home more liveable.
  • Market researchneeds to be more careful with segmenting the population because one size doesn’t fit all since we were impacted by Covid in a much different way across the country.
  • The socioeconomic dividewill continue to widen.
    The pandemic didn’t impact all of us in the same way.
    Highly skilled workers kept their jobs and many industries saw big profits while lower-skilled workers lost their jobs at high rates.
  • Baby boomers will act with a sense of urgency as they feel cheated out of two good years of retirement. Less time to spend on the golf course.
    Expect quite a bit of spending out of this cohort.
  • The trend towards sliding into retirementby slightly decreasing the workload continues.
  • The healthcare boomcontinues as the fastest growing economy in Australia.
  • Gen Xwill be taking over more leadership positions as Baby Boomers leave the workforce.
  • Near-universal skills shortagewill be a driving force of holding back economic growth in Australia, and this is a big problem.
    The short-term solution will be for existing staff to work longer hours.
  • More retail spending will take place online.
  • There will be no Corona baby boom (forget about it!) — the birth ratewill continue to decline rather than rise.
  • The demand for childcarewill remain stable despite declining births as women will return to work within a year of childbirth in high numbers.
  • The world will praise Australia for its handling of Covidbecause the world will simply be looking at deaths per million and the vaccination rate.
  • Extreme weather eventswill become increasingly more frequent, so we must prepare for them. How frequent is not known but they will happen
  • Older generations will join the young generations in demanding better digital services.
  • The death of the wallet‘ — you will find yourself walking around the country without carrying a wallet and just handling things with your phone.
  • 2022 will see the return of migrationat scale — international students will be the first to arrive in Australia.
  • Australians will continue to be a very optimistic, forward-looking, and positive bunch of people.
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