This week, we learned one of television’s much-loved couples, Marge and Homer Simpson, would legally separate in the show’s 27th season.
That’s right – after at least 20 years of marriage, the Simpsons will become just another statistic.
In fact, they would be joining the estimated 48,500 couples granted a divorce in Australia this year.
In the show, the Simpsons are pitched as an average middle-class family – accounting for a fair amount of artistic license, of course.
But would the Simpsons really be just an average middle-class family if they were living in the Australian suburbs?
Using data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics and elsewhere, we came up with a loose depiction of an Aussie version of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Santa’s Little Helper and Snowball.
Homer would be…
Yes, unfortunately the lazy dad – who is estimated to be around 38 years old – would have passed away as a result of coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia, particularly among males.
On average, one person dies of CHD in Australia every 27 minutes.
Around the age of 40, the risk of men contracting heart disease in their lifetime is one in two.
Homer’s inactivity, poor diet, overweight physique and age place him at high risk of this disease.
In the show, he actually has a heart attack in season four and has to undergo a triple bypass.
Does this change his lifestyle habits? Absolutely not. Twenty-seven seasons later, he’s still a lazy donut-lover.
Marge would be…
A size 14.
Marge’s svelte figure is a far cry from the average Aussie woman, who is 161.8cm tall and weighs 71.1kg.
If Marge worked, which most women over the age of 15 do (56 per cent are employed), she would most likely be a sales assistant – the most common profession for both men and women as of 2011.
Bart would be…
A screen addict.
According to the ABS, Bart would be among the 96 per cent of children in his age group (5-14) to watch TV, DVDs or videos in their spare time.
Fortunately, Bart would also likely be involved in an organised sport, with boys his age having a 67 per cent participation rate in that area.
Unfortunately, he would still favour screen-based activities like video games, surfing the web, or playing on a mobile phone over physical activity.
Given his gender, Bart would also be more likely than his sister Lisa to spend up to 20 hours doing screen-based activities across a two-week period.
Lisa would be…
A year two student.
In the show, Lisa is eight years old – the average age of children in grade two.
Like the majority of Australian children, Lisa would attend a government school.
Despite her extreme intelligence, she would probably not own a mobile phone (only 31 per cent of her age group do), nor would she be allowed to stay home alone if she lived in Queensland, where leaving children under 12 alone for an unreasonable amount of time is considered a misdemeanour.
Maggie would be…
In Australian families with three kids, having two boys is more common (25 per cent) than having two girls (23 per cent), according to the ABS.
The fact Maggie often attempts to walk (albeit falling after two or three steps) suggests she is aged nine to 12 months old.
This means Maggie would also likely be vaccinated against whooping cough, Hepatitis B, Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, pneumonia and Haemophilusinfluenzae type b.
Over 90 per cent of Australian children aged 12 to 15 months are vaccinated for the illnesses mentioned above.
After her second birthday, Maggie would also likely be vaccinated against meningococcal and chickenpox.
Santa’s Little Helper would be…
In the show, Santa’s Little Helper is a greyhound abandoned by his owner for losing a race.
But according to national registration statistics, Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in Australia, followed by German Shepherds and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
Greyhounds don’t even make the top 10.
Snowball would be…
A mixed breed.
According to the Animal Health Alliance’s 2013 Pet Ownership report, 75 per cent of cats in Australia are mixed breed, meaning Snowball would be a bit more multicoloured than she is on the show.