Hornsby Shire Council [Case Study]

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

At McCrindle, our forecasts identify trends. Our strategy informs decisions. Our research future-proofs organisations. The social, generational, economic and demographic trends impacting local communities create not only new challenges but great opportunities. Unprecedented change can sometimes lead to change fatigue where the response can be to become worried about change, or equally it can lead to change apathy which can create an indifference to change. However, by understanding the emerging trends, we can be more prepared for the changes and so rather than becoming defensive or blasé we can respond to the shifts, influence the trends and shape the future.

We are engaged by some of the leading brands and organisations across Australia to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.

It is a privilege to see our research in action in the Hornsby Shire’s bench-marking report. This report has been designed to inform community members, councillors, staff and other government agencies about local issues for Hornsby Shire residents. The results of our research can be summarised in the following top 10 trends we identified across the Hornsby Shire. 

Top 10 trends for the Hornsby Shire

  1. Growing population, increasing densification
  2. Ageing population, transitioning generations
  3. Educational attainment, professional employment
  4. Entrepreneurship for small and home-based businesses
  5. Property ownership and investment growth
  6. Stable workforce, lower unemployment
  7. Mobile lifestyle enabled though public transport and cars
  8. A home for families and the next generations
  9. A place of cultural and language diversity
  10. The lifestyle shire

Read or download the report for the latest demographic and social trends insights affecting Hornsby Shire


About McCrindle Research Solutions

For great organisations, innovation is the oxygen of success. To innovate effectively, organisations need to understand the times and track the trends. Our market and social research services not only utilise the best research tools but ensure that the findings can be implemented by incorporating the most useful research output. Check our our Research Solutions pack to see how we can assist your organisation today.

Dare to Dream Research [Case Study]

Monday, August 22, 2016

McCrindle has been delighted to partner with the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) in conducting new research into Australia’s financial hopes and fears for the future. The research, released in time for Financial Planning Week 2016, shows that one in two of us dream more about our future now than we did five years ago.

Daring to dream again

Australians are a resilient and indefatigable, even when faced with difficult economic times. A buoyant 82% of us are full of self-belief in our ability to achieve our goals, which include full financial independence (59%) and more free time to spend with those we love (43%).

We are also hard-working, creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial. Nearly half of us (45%) daydream about the future every few weeks or more, thinking ahead and planning towards our financial dreams.

Yet many Australians have made few concrete steps to turn financial dreams into reality. 63% of Australians report having made “no plans” or “very loose plans” for how to practically achieve the future they dream about so optimistically, and one in four (25%) never seek advice from others when making financial decisions.

The research also shows most of us have financial regrets – namely that we have not saved (47%) and not invested (27%) as much as we thought we should have. Only 35% of women aged 20-51 are happy with what they’ve achieved in life so far.

Life goals linked strongly to financial goals

Australians are most likely to indicate their biggest life goal is a financial goal (34%). Personal (31%) and relational (25%) goals follow closely behind. There is a seeming disparity, however, between vocational and financial goals with only 10% of Australians suggesting their biggest life goal is a career related goal.

Australia’s Four Dreaming Personalities: Risk versus perspective

Four distinct dreamer personalities types emerged from the research. Some working-age Australians prefer investing in long-term goals, while others spend their money as soon as they earn it.

Risk taking varies, with some willing to take significant financial risks, while others prefer to play it safe, only taking calculated risks, or none at all.

Many dream about the future and consider the steps they can take to make it a reality, while others deal with the reality before them and instead live in the present.

Click here to download the infographic, and visit fpa.com.au/dreamerprofiles to take a free online quiz to determine your own financial dreamer personality.

About McCrindle

At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.

Our expertise is analysing findings and effectively communicating insights and strategies. Our skills are in designing and deploying world class social and market research. Our purpose is advising organisations to respond strategically to the trends and so remain ever-relevant in changing times. As social researchers we help organisations, brands and communities know the times.

Contact us to find out more about our research services.

McCrindle Research: Celebrating 10 Years, 2006 to 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016


It was late August 2006, John Howard was Prime Minister, George W Bush was the US President, the Football World Cup had just wrapped up in Germany, Facebook had just been launched to the public, and McCrindle Research began operations in a newly opened area of Norwest Business Park in Sydney.

It was just a decade ago, but what a decade of change it has been. There was no iPhone, no tablet computers, Twitter was only just being developed, YouTube was just a year old and words like “apps”, “Wi-Fi” , “memes” and “selfies” meant nothing. In the year we began our research, “hashtag” was the rarely used character on the keyboard, “the cloud” was what could be seen in the sky, things “going viral” was an issue for public health and “tablets” were medications.



When we ran our first demographic analysis soon after we began, the 2006 Census had only just been held, and we were relying on the 2001 data which was based on the Australian population of 18.9 million compared to the 24.2 million of today.

McCrindle Research began with Mark McCrindle and a simple vision to “conduct world class research and communicate the insights in innovative ways”. Since those first days the research approach has grown from pen and paper surveys and focus groups to include online surveys, on-device surveys, data analytics, demographic and economic modelling and geomapping. True to the vision of engaging, visual output, the first person McCrindle Research employed was a designer, Mark Beard, who did an amazing job in the early months of developing a digital presence, and deploying research reports in visual forms and designing the data even before the genre of infographics existed.

Since then McCrindle has grown to be well regarded as one of the best research-based communications agencies and data designers in Australia with our research findings more likely to be presented via an event, interactive webpage, corporate keynote, infographic wall, pop-up banner, animated data video, visual report or media launch rather than just a written report.



It was in that first year that we designed “Australia’s Population Map” which has now been updated and reprinted dozens of times with hundreds of thousands in print. We love analysing numbers so here are some relating to our digital presence: we’ve had more than a third of a million YouTube views in addition to our Slideshare, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook presence, and almost a million blog and website visits. We analyse big data and create big data of our own with hundreds of research projects completed, involving thousands of focus group participants and hundreds of thousands of survey completions. 

So it has been a busy decade for us and a transformative one for our world. As we look at the decade ahead, one thing is sure: the speed of change will only increase, and we will continue to analyse the trends and effectively communicate the strategic implications to help organisations and leaders know the times.




find out more About McCrindle Research Services



The Growing Need for 'Lazy Time' Amongst Aussie Men

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

We know our nation prides itself on our ‘mateship’ culture, however our recent research shows that over three-quarters of modern Aussie men are struggling to find time for their mates.

We were delighted to survey over 500 Australian males (aged 20 to 40 years) to find out how they spend their down time, for this study commissioned by Bundaberg Rum. Our research revealed that whilst nearly all men (97%) agree making time for their mates is essential, the majority (85%) of Aussie males are struggling to find enough time for much needed ‘man time’ with their friends.

Social demographer Mark McCrindle said: "Career driven, family focused and health conscious Aussie men are crowding their lives with commitments. As a result of these pressures and competing priorities, the time available for men to kick back and relax with their mates has begun to erode"

“Trends over the last three to five years highlight that men are losing the battle for the simple pleasures that bring Aussie men together. The study found that one in three (35%) are spending less quality time with their mates than three to five years ago, and revealed Aussie mates are sharing 30% less barbecues and watching 29% less sport.” - Mark McCrindle.

Men aren’t prioritising friendships

According to the report, men aren’t prioritising friendships as much as they should. Mates are pipped by family (77%), work (67%) and health and fitness (64%), with friendship (52%) coming in fourth place on their list of priorities.

Mark McCrindle said that for men, getting the balance right and making time for down time with mates is essential for their ‘social well-being’.

Lazy Time with mates might just be the best thing for Aussie men’s social WELL-BEING

“It’s a truth and permission that hard-working Aussie men might be delighted to hear, but watching sport and enjoying some lazy time with their mates might just be the best thing for their social well-being”

“Importantly, the research shows that men who have regular casual get-togethers with their friends are happier than those who don’t (83% compared to 70%), more productive (79% compared to 73%), and had lower stress levels (66% compared to 73%)." - Mark McCrindle

20 to 25 year-old men are chucking sickies to watch Netflix

In addition, almost one in five men (17%) have pulled a sickie and stayed at home instead of hanging out with their friends. 20 to 25 year-old males are the worst offenders with three in ten males (30%) admitting to it in the last six months.

One in five (19%) admitted to turning down a night with close friends to stay at home and watch Netflix or TV, and one in ten (11%) have turned down a night with their mates to spend time at home on social media instead.

Mark McCrindle said modern Aussie men needed to share more down time together to avoid the risk of becoming disconnected from their friends.

“It’s important that everyone makes time for their friends, but in this era of increased busyness – it means our social lives are becoming increasingly disconnected. Lazy time and casual get-togethers spent with mates are now more important than ever,”- Mark McCrindle.

View the full infographic here

Growing number of Australians moving to New Zealand

Monday, August 15, 2016


They are calling it a slice of heaven on a budget, with a growing number of Australian families packing their bags for a better life in New Zealand.

For the first time in about a quarter of a century, we have more Australians headed to New Zealand than New Zealanders heading to Australia. We aren't talking about people as retirees or as young people, but in those middle years, those family years and those key employment years, they are the ones making the move across the Tasman and heading to New Zealand.

Most of them are ending up in the Kiwi Capitol, Wellington, where you get much more bang for your buck compared to the much more expensive Auckland.

IT Specialists are in hot demand in New Zealand, and dominate the highest paying jobs. A System’s Architect have a median salary of $125,000 per year. Although an Engineering Manager isn’t all that far behind at $105,000 per year. The lowest paying jobs see Caregivers average $32,000 per year, while an Assistant Store Manager brings in $35,000 per year.

Australians are making the move because of jobs, affordable housing and a better quality of life. For a country that for so long has been tagged as Australia’s little cousin, it appears New Zealand is all grown up.

Australia towards 2020 event recap

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Last Thursday night it was our privilege to co-host the Australia Towards 2020 Networking Event in partnership with our friends at Thrive PR.

Thank you to the Thrive team for hosting us in their wonderful Thrive360 space, Salts Meats Cheese for the divine grazing table and of course a big thank you to all those in attendance. For those who missed the night, here is an event recap. 

As guests arrived it was great to experience a time of networking with McCrindle and Thrive clients.

Mark McCrindle opened the night by looking back at the changes we’ve seen since this decade began, back in 2010. As we approach 2020, he uncovered some of the megatrends that are redefining Australia. Not only is our population growing, but we are also moving, ageing and transitioning generationally. Mark reminded us that to engage with the emerging generations that are digital, mobile, visual and social is vital, and that we need to not only understand the shifts taking place around us, but to respond to them and remain relevant in these ever changing times.

A copy of Mark's presentation from the event is available for download here.

Next we heard from Leilani Abels, Managing Director of Thrive PR on her insight into effective communications. Leilani reassured us that storytelling in marketing and communications will become more important than ever as we approach 2020, and that technology advancement will see storytelling take on new forms and levels of sophistication. Leilani reinforced the importance of analytics and measurement in marketing, the important role PR agent’s play in establishing this for clients, and that data will become the biggest production material in the future.

We then had a short time for questions with Mark and Leilani, and received some fantastic questions about the content of their presentations and how we can apply this as we approach 2020.

We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our valued clients and friends who attended the night. Be sure to look out for our upcoming Australian Communities Forum taking place in Sydney, and if there is anything we can assist with in the way of research or providing a keynote speaker, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

About McCrindle and Thrive

McCrindle is a research based communications agency that conducts research across a range of industries. Thrive is a PR, media and digital agency assisting clients with traditional and online media activity. Throughout the year, McCrindle and Thrive work closely together to conduct consumer research for clients for product and brand positioning, helping organisations uncover insights and shape strategy.

A recent project that we recently worked on with Thrive was for Optus, to uncover the attitudes, behaviours and technology trends of Australian renters, to develop the Renter of the Future Report. This national research has been launched in partnership with Optus and their Home Wireless Broadband Internet offering, and revealed some interesting insights into who is renting, what defines their situation and what they are looking for in a rental property.

The report highlights that 3 in 10 renters are 'choice renters'. “There’s this idea that the great Aussie dream is to move into a home that you own and if you haven’t done that then the dream hasn’t come true for you. But with generational change that’s just not true. You’ve got a lot of people who are the choice renters because they prefer the lifestyle. And they themselves might be landlords so financially they’re rocketing ahead." - Mark McCrindle.

Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.

2 IN 3 AUSSIES WILL COMPLETE THE CENSUS ONLINE

This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).

SHOWCASING OUR POPULATION MILESTONES

Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.

IMPORTANT QUESTION CHANGES TO THIS YEAR’S CENSUS

This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.

PARTICPATION IN THE CENSUS IS COMPULSORY

Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.

CENSUS RESULTS NOT RELEASED UNTIL 2017

If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

Making Sense of the Census

Friday, August 05, 2016


It comes around once every five years and next Tuesday night, the census will count 10 million dwellings, making it the biggest in history. While the information helps to piece together where we live and what we do, changes to this year’s survey have sparked concerns over privacy. But that isn’t the only change. Faith is now in the spotlight with experts predicting Australia could be losing it’s religion.

How is this year’s census different?

The big change is the number of people expected to fill out the census form online or on a device. Such as this era five years ago, it was available as an e-census but less than one third filled it in that way. This year it is expected that more than two thirds will go for the online version.

How have the questions changed?

The religion question has changed, it used to list all the different religions and denominations and at the very bottom it said ‘no religion’. ‘No religion’ is now going to be the first option because a lot of people are going to select that. Nonetheless, as last time (where 61% chose Christianity in one form or another) it will probably be in the majority, but may fall a little bit.

For the first time the ABS is keeping some personal data, what about privacy?

People do worry about privacy and those names and details being kept for four years, but it’s for further ongoing analysis of where people live or how they move, age or people born in a certain year and further analysis of the data. The ABS or the Census have a pretty good track record of data security and I’ve even looked up the Census Act and there are serious penalties for people who in any way reveal data, so I think we can relax that it will be kept secure.

Are There are going to be new jobs included that weren’t there before?

If we even think of the five years since the last census, jobs like App Developer, Cyber Security Professional or Drone Pilot are new jobs that have emerged. I’m sure we will find a lot more jobs rather than just teacher and nurse in the Census under your occupation this year.

A Snapshot of Australia's Housing Market

Monday, August 01, 2016

Owning a home is the great Australian dream, but with 30% of Australians renting, could our love affair with bricks and mortar be turning sour? Our Aussie states go head to head as we compare affordability for buyers and renters.

How many Australians own their home outright and how many have a mortgage?

2 in 5 (40%) Australians are trying to own their own home and slowly pay it off, with the smallest category of all, 28%, being lucky enough to have paid off their home in full.

How do the capital cities compare when it comes to renting an apartment?

As you would expect, Sydney ranks as the most expensive city, costed at about $500 per week for your average apartment. Amazingly, Darwin is up there as well due to more more demand than supply and with not the same investment in stock. Meanwhile, if you move down to Hobart, it is almost half that, paying about $270 per week, and Adelaide not much beyond that at $370.

What if you are looking to buy a home, how much is that?

Sydney is still leading Australia by a long way with almost a $1,000,000 median house price. A distant second is Melbourne, at over $800,000. If you look down to Hobart, the median house price is $357,000, so that means using the money spent on a home in Sydney, you could buy about 3 homes in Hobart – and a pretty good lifestyle down there as well.

Looking at Australia as a whole, what is the percentage of apartments to houses?

About 3 in 4 Australians live in a detached home, so that’s traditionally been the Aussie dream. Then you have about 14% who live in apartments and 10% in townhouses. We are starting to see a change though, with a quarter of Australians now living in medium to high density housing. At the moment if you look at new housing approvals, it's 1 in 3, so it has gone up. If you look at Sydney and Melbourne, 2 in 3 new housing approvals are in medium to high density living. So we are starting to get more densified, with an increase in vertical communities compared to the more traditional horizontal ones, and that’s where we are headed in the future.

Watch Mark's full interview on The Daily Edition here

Leading teams in changing times

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Before we can lead and expect people to follow, we must be able to understand and connect.

As John Maxwell quips: “If you’re leading, and no one’s following- you’re just out for a walk.”

Our research shows that the ideal manager of the emerging generations is one who values communication and creates an environment of transparency and respect for staff. Their preferred leadership style is simply one that is more consensus than command, more participative than autocratic, and more flexible and organic than structured and hierarchical.

Here are 5 tips on how to lead people, your team or your organisation, so that people will follow.

Prioritise People

Leaders prioritise culture and build it within their organisation. By knowing your purpose (that is, what you do and why you exist) you can instil this into your team, and lead with a values-based vision.

Be Collaborative

The best leaders intersect the differing levels of their organisation to make a cohesive and united team. While you might have senior leaders, managers and executives within an organisation, leaders bring these roles together to create alignment under the one vision.

Focus on the positives

Leaders focus on the positives, spread words of affirmation and celebrate the wins within their team. When things don’t go to plan, leaders initiate a culture of focusing on the positives, and using the negatives for improvement.

Shape the culture

Effective leaders shape a culture of participation, not isolation. Collaboration is key for 21st Century organisations, and by utilising the different skill sets and talents within a team, leaders will not only find more effective solutions and ideas but also bring out the potential in the members of their team.

Be proactive, not reactive

Leaders are proactive, not reactive. A proactive leader is one who sees opportunities or potential, and acts to make effective change, rather than waiting to respond. They are not victims of change but rather see the trends, shape a response and create the future.

So in a world of flat structures and consultative practices, it is leaders who coach and mentor rather than command and control, who understand and connect with their teams who will see people follow them.


About our leadership workshops

In a world of flat structures and consultative practices, coaching and mentoring has replaced commanding and controlling. This session delivers the latest findings on how to effectively motivate and lead teams in these 21st Century times. This session covers:

  • Overview of the best HR practices for today
  • Attraction and engagement strategies
  • Management strategies that connect with an intergenerational workforce


  • About Ashley McKenzie - Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle

    Ashley McKenzie is a social researcher, trends analyst and Team Leader of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands the need for organisations to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage and motivate them. 

    From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley is well positioned to advise how to achieve cut through in these message-saturated times. Her expertise is in training and equipping leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.

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