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SYDNEY, Jan 21 AAP

January 21 2013, 12:13AM

The Australian of the future will be less likely to occupy a suburban home but will work less, earn more and spend more time eating out, using social media and playing sport.

Australian general manager for IBISWorld, Karen Dobie, says the national image of the snag-eating, backyard-cricket-playing suburbanite will be out of date by 2025.

The research firm predicts that across the country, the population will lift from 22.8 million this year to 27.8 million by 2025, with NSW remaining the nation's most populous state.

Those extra millions are more likely to be living in inner-city high rises than suburban homes, Ms Dobie said on Monday, with fewer Australians entering the housing market.

That is probably not surprising with the price of the average owner-occupier home loan set to hit $678,000 by 2024-25, up from $300,000 in 2012-13.

"Perhaps owning bricks and mortar is no longer the Australian dream," Ms Dobie said.

On the bright side, IBISWorld predicts we'll earn an average $1756 per week for 29 or 30 hours' work in 2025, compared with an average $1086 pay cheque for a 32-hour working week in 2013.

An IBISWorld spokeswoman told AAP the working week estimates included part-timers and were based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Ms Dobie predicted Australians would spend much of their extra leisure time using social media and shopping via the internet.

"When we're not online, we'll be eating out, playing sport, hitting the gym and watching television and movies - although much of the latter will be done online via streaming and downloads," she said.

And we'll be more likely to throw organic prawns on the barbie, she said.

"One clear trend both now and looking ahead is a growing preference for ethically and sustainably produced meats, eggs and dairy," Ms Dobie said.

"While we have traditionally considered ourselves a country of meat-lovers, consumption of vegetarian meals is certainly a growing trend in Australia."

By 2025 we can expect vegetarians to make up about seven per cent of the population, up from five per cent now.