Festive facts and figures from the ABS

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December 18, 2008
11.30 am (AEDT)

Festive facts and figures from the ABS

With the festive season upon us for another year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has released some interesting facts and figures on some of our Christmas characteristics.

In 2008, Santa will visit 3.2 million Australian families with children under the age of 15.

Most children live in New South Wales (1.3 million), Victoria (950,400) and Queensland (806, 500) where Santa will be kept especially busy.

Santa will be delivering some 37 million stuffed toys (worth more than $70 million), 12 million dolls (worth 54 million) which were imported to Australia as at November 2008.

During this same period almost 9 million video games (that is, those used with a TV receiver) were imported, worth more than $659 million. And more than 2 million electronic and battery-operated games worth over $109 million were also imported.

In addition to this Australia has also imported more than $10 million worth of Christmas tree lighting and more than $63 million worth of other Christmas goods such as decorations so far this year (up until November 2008).

With this in mind it is no surprise that shopping peaks in the month of December. Last December, Australians spent $18,125.1 million at retailers (up from $16,852.1 million in December 2006).

Most of this was spent in food stores ($7,286.4 million), household good stores ($3,091.2 million) and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services ($2,220.5 million).

The ABS doesn't record official reindeer numbers, but we can report there were 79,696 farmed deer in Australia on June 30, 2007.

21,099 Australians travelled overseas on Christmas Day 2007, of that 8,605 were to visit family and friends and 12,494 for holidays. There were also 15,114 short-term visitors arriving in Australia on Christmas Day 2007, with 9,952 arriving for a holiday and 5,162 visiting friends and family.