Where to find Bogans and Hipsters?

If you were keen to spot a Bogan you would head to the outer suburbs and hang out in the Super Cheap Auto car park. Conversely to spot a Hipster you would head toward the highest concentration of cafe’s to find a hirsute gent sipping on his single origin organic soy macchiato served in thimble sized recycled tofu cup. These are stereotypical images of the Bogan and the Hipster, and truth be told there is a little bit of both in all of us.

I have analysed the 2011 Census data (still waiting on the release of the 2016 Census results) to create a ‘Beard Index’. Check out Figure 1, in the red zones you are more likely to spot Hipsters (Bogans in the blue zones).

The method clearly overcooks the hipsterness of a few remote communities, but it seems to do all right in the cities.

Figure 1: Bogan-Hipster distribution for Australia (2011 Census) – use your mouse to zoom in to see the Beard Index for your area


Table 1: According to this analysis the best places to spot a Bogan or Hipster are:

Best places to spot a Hipster Best places to spot a Bogan
Melbourne Vic Ripley Qld
Sydney – Haymarket – The Rocks NSW Gladstone Hinterland Qld
Southbank Vic Munruben – Park Ridge South Qld
Pyrmont – Ultimo NSW Austins Ferry – Granton Tas
Docklands Vic Brighton – Pontville Tas
Civic ACT Albion Park – Macquarie Pass NSW
Potts Point – Woolloomooloo NSW Burpengary – East Qld
Carlton Vic Toowoomba – West Qld
Darlinghurst NSW West Wallsend – Barnsley – Killingworth NSW
Surry Hills NSW Bohle Plains Qld
Brisbane City Qld Warragamba – Silverdale NSW
North Sydney – Lavender Bay NSW Karalee – Barellan Point Qld
Fortitude Valley Qld Pitt Town – McGraths Hill NSW
Redfern – Chippendale NSW Logan Village Qld
Fitzroy Vic Beresfield – Hexham NSW
East Melbourne Vic Thornton – Millers Forest NSW
South Yarra – West Vic Ooralea – Bakers Creek Qld
North Melbourne Vic Kurri Kurri – Abermain NSW
South Brisbane Qld Chambers Flat – Logan Reserve Qld
Glebe – Forest Lodge NSW The Oaks – Oakdale NSW


What is the Beard Index?

Firstly, what are Bogans and Hipsters?: by paraphrasing some choice entries from urbandictionary.com I have come up with the following:

  • Bogan: “A lower class inhabitant, usually of South-Eastern Australia. Generally ‘dim-witted’, Bogans are well know for having poor and vulgar language and typically found in rural areas or outer, lower class, suburbs.”
  • Hipster: “Someone who listens to bands you’ve never heard of, wears ironic tee-shirts, and believes they are better than you.”

I used or combined fields from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) demographic data (for the 2011 Census) to represent the areas that I think reflects the urbandictionary.com descriptions of Bogans and Hipsters (Table 2). I tried to match up the Bogan and Hipster characteristics against the data collected at Census time. I have had to be a little creative because unfortunately the Census does not record favourite band or number of jet skis.

I then did a simple, unscientific, weighting of each indicator to come up with a single aggregate score which I then range-standardised to produce the ‘Beard Index’. A score of 1 is maxtreme hipsterness (the full soy late with beard wax) and a score of zero represents that group with patchy dental work who reserve their best Team Holden outfit (cap, shirt and stubby cooler) for special occasions like weddings and funerals (Table 2).

Note that I have not used any geographic specific data (i.e. no ‘inner city’ score). I have also not used any income data because of the prevalence of the ‘cashed up Bogan’ following the mining boom. I also excluded areas with less than 1000 respondents.


Table 2: basic fields used in the Bogan-Hipster score

ABS Field Bogan Weighting Hipster Weighting
English speaking only High Low
Speaks second language Low High
Both parents Australian born High Low
One parent overseas born Low High
Christian High Low
No religion, Buddhist, alternative religion Low High
Couples with more than two children High Low
Couples with no children Low High
Freestanding or semi-detached house High
Unit, flat Low
Three or more vehicles High Low
No motor vehicles Low High
Postgraduate degree Low High
Bachelor Degree Low High
Creative Arts, IT, Science Low High
Transport, Admin, Construction, Wholesale, retail, manufacturing High Low
Agriculture Low Low


Wrong in so many ways

This is all wrong, and terribly stereotypical, but if it is any concession, I am proud to say that I grew up in one of the top ten most Bogan places in Australia.

This is a completely irreverent analysis. The point of the exercise is to demonstrate how one can create insight from the fantastic Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census demographic data. Hopefully you can do a little more worthwhile analysis with the ABS demographic data than I have done here.

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