Source: The Mercury, Sunday, 16 August, 1998, p.9
EVER wondered who people are talking about when they make vague references to the average bloke in the street? SEAN STEVENSON goes in search of Mr and Ms Tassie Average.
MR Average is 33 years old, while Ms Average is one year his senior. Both are married, with at least one dependent child in the five- to 12- year age group. Mr Average wed at 27 years of age, Ms Average at 25. While they identify with the Anglican faith, there is a better than even chance they decided on a civil marriage ceremony rather than a church wedding. With an average weekly income of $352 after tax Mr Average does not have a lot of money to throw around. But he earns significantly more than Ms Average, who receives $199 a week after tax. Neither will be flush once they have contrib- uted to their households' monthly mortgage repayment of $581, and other necessities. Mr Average works a 40- hour week, and drives to work each day in one of the family's two motor vehicles. Ms Average works a 32- hour week, possibly in the retail trade, before coming home to 17 hours and nine minutes of housework. She also spends four hours and 19 minutes caring for her child(ren). Mr Average spends four hours and 19 minutes each week doing housework, and one hour and 10 minutes caring for the kids. Passive leisure activities-such as watching TV, listening to music and reading - take up 22 hours and 38 minutes, socialising and entertainment 10 hours and 44 minutes, and active leisure activities six hours and 32 minutes. Ms Average has slightly less time for passive leisure activities (21 hours and 42 minutes), but more time for socialising and entertainment (12 hours and 36 minutes). If his marriage is to end in divorce it is likely to do so after 11 years and it will probably be his wife that applies for the divorce. If he does happen to divorce his first wife, and then decides to re-marry, he will do so at about 41 years of age. Both his wives are likely to outlive him.
If Ms Average marries for a second time she will do so at 38 years of age. Having survived adolescence, where motor vehicle accidents and suicide are the major causes of death, Mr Average is likely to die of heart disease, stroke or cancer. At his age malignant tumours are the major threat, accounting for more than one-fifth of deaths. The likely causes of death are the same for Ms Average, although their incidence is lower. As the years unfold the risk of heart disease will increase. Mr Average may smoke but he is more likely to be a non-smoker. Which is a good thing, considering that as a male he is more likely to die from lung or throat cancer than Ms Average where tobacco smoking is a major factor. While she will live longer, Ms Average is more likely to report health problems, and be admitted to hospital than Mr Average. Headache, is likely to be her most commonly recorded recent illness. Mr Average is likely to give himself a good, very good or excellent health status. This is despite the fact that there is a significant chance he is overweight or obese. Ms Average is less likely to be overweight and more likely to have altered her diet to lose weight. It is likely that in the past two weeks Mr Average has not exercised at all, or he has exercised at a low level. Ms Average is more likely to have exercised at a low level but less likely to have exercised at a high level. His favorite participatory sport is likely to be golf, followed by Australian Rules and cricket. Her's is likely to be aerobics, followed by netball and tennis. They each spend more than $700 a year on equipment, clothing, transport, weekly fees and membership. Both are more likely to attend a sporting event as a spectator than a participant, probably a football game followed by the cricket for him and basketball for her (this may have changed since the demise of the Tassie Devils NBL club).
He is more likely to have attended a sporting event in the past year than a library, a museum, a rock concert or an art gallery - all of which are more popular with Ms Average. Mr Average is likely to have consumed an alcoholic drink in the last week. Australians down an average of 341 stubbles of beer each year but as a "30 something" Tassie bloke Mr Average probably knocks off a few more than that. Ms Average drinks less overall, and is less likely to suffer health problems because of the level of alcohol she consumes. Does Mr or Ms "A" sound like someone you know? If so, let us know. If not, well lies, damn lies and statistics. * Compiled from figures supplied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
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