Baby naming trends - and what it says about us

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Analysing baby name trends provides an excellent barometer of the national context, popular culture, social trends and generational change. We have just compiled the national Baby Names list for 2015 and it reveals 5 key trends at play in naming newborns.

1. Thinking alike

Around 1 in 10 Australian babies last year was given one of the Top 10 baby names- a total of 30,581 babies. Babies are 20 times more likely to be given these one of these top names than names at the bottom of the list. In fact more babies were given one of the Top 25 names than were given any of the next 100 names combined.

Oliver was the top boys’ name in all 6 states (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA, TAS) while William was the top boy baby name in the 2 territories (NT, ACT).

Olivia was the most popular baby girls’ name in the three most populous states (NSW, VIC, QLD) while Charlotte was top in SA, TAS and NT with the names Emily and Amelia being the most popular in WA and the ACT respectively.

2. Traditional over trendy

There is a ‘Hundred-Year Return’ theme taking place, with many of the top names of today also amongst the top names a century ago, while names of a few decades ago have fallen out of favour. Today’s parents are not choosing names of their own generation. Of the top names of a generation ago Nicole, Michelle, Kylie, Rachel, Lisa and Belinda, Peter, Robert, Paul, Chris, Phillip and Scott, not one appears in the Top 100 list today. Rather, century-old names dominate the Top 10 Baby Names list. William is an example of the ‘hundred-year’ return, having ranked 2nd overall in NSW in the 1910s and ranking in top place again in NSW from 2009 onwards. Jack climbed up to 5th place in the 1920s before seeing a steep decline from the 1940s to 1970s, with a marked resurgence over the last decade and making it to top spot, and Oliver, Ethan and Thomas have similarly returned to popularity. Grace was a popular girls’ name at the turn of the 20th century, becoming almost extinct from the 1910s to 1970s but climbing significantly in popularity since the 1980s with the rise to the Top 10 and Charlotte, Ruby and Ava have followed similar trends.

3. Flowing girls names, short boys’ names

Parents are choosing longer, more flowing names for their daughters and shorter, “solid-sounding” names for their sons. Boys are almost three times as likely as girls to have a single-syllable name and girls are twice as likely to have three syllables in their names. There are 9 girls’ names in the Top 100 with 4 syllables (Amelia, Isabella, Elizabeth, Indiana, Ariana, Alexandra, Penelope, Victoria and Emilia) compared to just one for boys (Alexander).

The softer-sounding girls’ name and firmer sounding boys’ name trend is also evident from the use of vowels and consonants. 18 of the Top 20 girls’ names end with a vowel or ‘y’, with half (10) of these ending with the letter ‘a’. Only 2 of the Top 20 names ends with a consonant (Madison and Scarlett). On the boy’s list, however, 18 of the top 20 end with a consonant sound with Charlie and Henry the only names ending with a vowel or “y”. Girls’ names are not only most likely to end in a vowel but to begin with one too. 21 of the top 50 girls’ names end in a vowel compared to just 11 of the top 50 boys’ names.

4. Growing interchangeability

Only one name in the Top 100 appears on both the girls’ and boys’ list in its unchanged form – Charlie (18th for boys’ and 74th for girls’). The 2015 list does however show an increased number of interchangeable names such as girl’s names Harper and Jade being used for boys and from the boys’ list Riley, Tyler, Luca, Ashton, Bailey and Alex being used for girls.

Driving this trend is the use of surnames as first names which don’t have a particular link with either males or females such as Mackenzie, Taylor, Hayden, Flynn, Addison, Mason, Morgan and Cooper.

Another strong trend is using place names as first names such as Madison, Austin, Jordan, Eden, Hunter & Braxton, and again because of the gender-neutral nature of these names, there is some interchangeability.

5. A royal influence

The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the loyalty and affections of modern Australians but continue to significantly influence their choice in baby names.

Prince William’s popularity first placed William in the Top 10 in 2001 and the name’s popularity has grown significantly since then. In 2011, the year of the royal wedding, William became the most popular boy’s name Australia-wide and maintained this position until 2012 when Oliver took the top spot.. The birth of Prince George (George Alexander Louis) in July 2013 has positively impacted the use of George by Australian parents, increasing George’s rank from 71st in 2012 to 60th in 2013 and 42nd in 2014 – its highest ranking since the 1950s.

The birth of the royal princess in May Charlotte Elizabeth Diana will also contribute to the royal baby name trend. Like George’s rank, which increased from 71st to 42nd in 2014, we are likely to see a resurgence of the name Charlotte, and see her regain first position in 2016. Because Olivia had only 123 more occurrences than Charlotte , it is likely that Charlotte will achieve the top spot next year, and maintain that top spot for a few years to come.

When Elizabeth is ranked 53rd on the Top 100 list, we can also expect that name to rise in prevalence. And Eliza (currently ranked 81st) may also see a rise due to the influence of the Royal Princess, Diana, a name which peaked in the 1940s and again in the 60’s is also due for a resurgence, and with the influence of the Royal Princess is likely to achieve it as well as an increase in rank in the years to come.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL 2015 BABY NAMES REPORT

Home is where the heart is

Monday, August 31, 2015

McCrindle is delighted to partner with NRMA Insurance to produce and launch the ‘Celebrating Our Home’ report. The study of 1,203 Australians reveals what home means to Australians and what it is that makes a house a home.

The great Australian dream is still alive and well, with nine out of 10 Australians still aspiring to own their own home.

Across age groups and ethnicities, when it comes to home 82 per cent say it is the family, or the people they share a house with, that make a house feel like a home while further 78 per cent said their furniture was an integral part of making the space feel like their own.

NRMA Insurance Head of Marketing Jane Merrick said; “We commissioned this unique study because we wanted to better understand what homes really mean to Australians. What we found is that for most of us creating a home is less about the building itself and more about an emotional connection.”

“Above all, home is still where the heart is and a sense of belonging, safety and security are the main things that make a house feel like home.”

Social Researcher Mark McCrindle said; “We’re a contented nation because whether we own or rent our homes, two thirds of us (65%) state that we love our homes.”

FOR MORE INSIGHTS FROM THE RESEARCH,HEAD TO THE THIS IS OUR HOME WEBSITE:


Despite the perception of an ‘always-on’ culture of over-achievement, technological distractions and 16 hour work days, almost half of all Australians still find the time to eat together at least once per day with an astounding four in five eating together at least once per week. Meals are most often shared at the dining table (45%) or in the lounge room (34%).

“It’s warming to see that despite Australians’ increasingly busy lifestyles, people are still finding time to sit down together and enjoy each other’s company and share their news from the day.

We are a house proud nation with the majority of Australians (96%) prioritising time in their busy lives to keep their homes clean. As many as four in five Aussies made changes to their home since moving in, which may contribute to the fact that one in five people are planning on staying in their homes for more than 20 years.

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, however according to the research the living or lounge room (47%), followed by the bedroom (19%) are seen to be the most important rooms in the home.

“When asked why the living room was so important, respondents said it’s where the family spends most of their time together – yes on screens but also for relaxing, playing games and gathering for a family pizza and movie night,” Mr McCrindle said.

VIEW THE FULL REPORT HERE


RESEARCH IN THE MEDIA: Soaring prices have not deterred aspiring homebuyers



VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Aussies come clean on national littering habits

Thursday, August 27, 2015

McCrindle Research is delighted to highlight some of the key findings from our recent Litter in Australia Report commissioned by Keep Australia Beautiful.

This week is Keep Australia Beautiful Week so there is no better time to highlight the attitudes Australians have towards litter.

It’s official – almost everyone hates litter (99% state that it bothers them) however more than 1 in 4 (29%) confess to littering!

The main excuses offered are that there were no bins/overflowing bins, the litter was biodegradable, or that it was very small.

More than 8 in 10 Australians (83%) state that litter is a problem in their own community yet less than 1 in 10 Australians (7%) participated in an organised clean up event in the last year. And while almost 62% of Australians have witnessed someone litter in the last year, we are less likely to point it out.

KAB Chief Executive Officer Peter McLean has launched Keep Australia Beautiful Week with the theme, It’s Everyone’s Backyard, designed to prompt Australians to match their words with actions.

For more information on KAB Week visit - http://kab.org.au/keep-australia-beautiful-week/

Mark McCrindle and The Changing Face of Sydney

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Sydney, the place many of us call home, is Australia’s economic powerhouse. We are adding almost 90,000 people to our city every single year, and the 5 fastest growing areas in New South Wales are all located in Sydney. Back 50 years ago Sydney had just hit 2 million people, we are going to finish next year at 5 million people.

Sydney is a fascinating and complex landscape where old ways and old attitudes are disappearing. We used to have a cringe factor of, “this part of the city is better than that part of the city” and people would perhaps be embarrassed if they weren’t closer to where the action was. That’s all changed. People in Greater Western Sydney embrace that as their moniker, proud of being a Westie.

And when it comes to work the CBD is no longer the cities undisputed top dog. Sydney is undergoing an opportunity revolution, with entrepreneurial hotspots sprouting up just about everywhere. You’ve got the media and communications hubs around Surry Hills and Ultimo, and high-tech emerging in areas of Parramatta and even in Penrith. It’s not all just happening in the CBD alone.

NSW also has the highest migration of any Australian state, and Sydney – a global city, receives most of this growth. In this city of diversity, the city’s newest citizens form new tribes in its oldest suburbs.

Sydney has many faces, but what binds us, the one thing we all have in common is this often complex, always beautiful, ever-changing city.

The Changing Face of Sydney; Urban Sprawl Goes Vertical

The Changing Face of Sydney; A closer look at Parramatta

The Changing Face of Sydney; Is the Sutherland Shire the new boom town?

The Changing Face of Sydney; The Changing Face of Liverpool

The Changing Face of Sydney; The big Development Flying Under the Rader

Q AND A WITH MARK MCCRINDLE


Q: Just wondering how many have first language of English?

A: Sydney is one of the most culturally diverse places in Australia. Almost two in three households have at least one parent born overseas, and China may soon overtake England as the country Sydneysiders born overseas were most likely born in.


Q: My children – aged 11 and eight – and I just watched the Changing Face of Sydney. They would like to know how our suburb, Loftus, has changed over the years. Or anything exciting you can tell them about our great suburb.

A: Well it is a fascinating suburb – home to far more families with kids than the state and national average. Averaging two children per household (well above the average) and with more stay-at-home parents than average. Earning more, volunteering more, and with a higher proportion of children than most Sydney suburbs – sounds like a nice, family-friendly place to live.


Q: What does the future of Blacktown look like as a part of the changing face of the western suburbs?

A: Blacktown has consistently been the fastest growing areas in the whole of NSW over the last decade. The Blacktown City area is home to more than 300,000 people, which means it is home to more people than the whole of the Northern Territory!


Q: We have just moved to Mosman from Adelaide, what can you tell me about Mosman, its demographic and its history?

A: Mosman is home to far more females than males - average age is 40, well above Sydney’s 36 and the residents’ earn more and work longer than the NSW average. Three in five of those in the labour force in Mosman work more than 40 hours per week. It is also home to twice the proportion of professionals and managers than the state average.


Q: What are your views on Sydney property growth in the short term? Is this boom likely to continue? NSW future infrastructure projects are encouraged by this strong stamp. What would be the result if the interest rates increase?

A: Yes Sydney’s property prices are no bubble. They are underpinned by more demand (population growth) than supply (new home builds). Not only is Sydney growing around 85,000 people per year, but households are getting smaller so the housing demand is even outstripping population growth. However, Sydney prices will no doubt plateau at some point, as they have before.


Q: Which suburbs have big potential for growth? Where will be more infrastructure developments?

A: Greater Western Sydney is where the population growth is and where there will be a lot of new infrastructure over the decades ahead. Plus prices are beginning from a lower base than the east. And keep in mind that by 2032 Western Sydney will be larger than the rest of Sydney (2.9m compared to 2.7m).


Q: My partner and I are planning to buy a house. What is the quietest place in Sydney?

A: The quiet suburbs on the urban fringes – Shanes Park, Cranebrook, Marsden Park, Badgery’s Creek – are acreage at the moment but will be development central in a few years. So the quiet may just be temporary.


Q: Where is the best place to invest, which suburb?

A: Really depends on budget and also having a long-term view. Suburbs change: Redfern, Balmain, Newtown, Campberdown were once not considered desirable suburbs and are now very expensive. So it is good to look at population growth trends and emerging infrastructure. A suburb not “hot” at the moment if it is in Sydney will be a winner long term.


Q: What are the reasons for different ethnicities to settle in the respective suburbs? (Chinese in Hurstville and Chatswood, British in Manly, etc.)

A: Often it is where they have connection/family and so various suburbs end up with strong ethnicities. For example, traditionally Greeks settled in Kogarah, many from Vietnam called Cabramatta home and more recently a strong connection of those from India to Harris Park.


Q: What proportion of the Hills district is evangelical and also now the Shire?

A: The ABS census data shows religion by denomination and it shows that for example the Hills have less than 19 per cent while the Shire has more than 25 per cent Anglicans.

The latest #TuesdayTrends

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

#TuesdayTrend

As Australia’s social researchers, we take the pulse of the nation. We research communities. We survey society. We analyse the trends. And we communicate the findings.

Every Tuesday we release a trend about Australia for #TuesdayTrend. Here are some of our recent #TuesdayTrends, highlighting fun facts about Australia. Be sure to follow, share and interact with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

ABOUT RESEARCH VISUALISATION


In a world of big data- we’re for visual data. We believe in the democratisation of information- that research should be accessible to everyone not just to the stats junkies. We’re passionate about turning tables into visuals, data into videos and reports into presentations. As researchers, we understand the methods but we’re also designers and we know what will communicate, and how to best engage. We’re in the business of making you look good and your data make sense.


For more information, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you:

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The cost of work: What we pay to work in 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

The unemployment rate is rising, but so are the costs of work. And while living costs and house prices have been rising faster than wages, the costs associated with work are also on the way up. From toll roads to public transport costs, a simple cup of coffee to updating work clothes. From childcare costs to tax increases, Australians are paying to work.

A recent 2015 McCrindle Research study of over 540 working Australians reveals that income doesn’t just generate wealth, it also consumes it. Australians are forking out more than ever on transport costs, clothing and food while they are working, significantly reducing their take-home pay. Incurring travel costs associated with work, work-related education expenses, child-care costs, and income tax all further reduce a full-time worker’s take-home pay to less than two thirds of their gross salary.

THE LIFESTYLE COSTS OF WORK

95% of working Australians spend their own money on food and beverages during work times, with almost 3 in 4 Australians (74%) purchasing lunch, morning tea, or coffees when at work or when travelling to/from work at least once per week. More than one fifth of Australians (22%) spend their own money on consumable food items every single day while they are at work.

YOUNGER MALES BUY LUNCH MOST

Males tend to eat out more often, with 27% of male employees purchasing food or beverages at least once per day (compared with 16% of females). The frequency at which employees purchase consumables while at work decreases with age. While 78% of Generation Ys and 77% Generation Xs spend their own money on food and beverages at least once per week, this reduces to 60% for the Baby Boomer Generation.

ALMOST $900 ON LUNCHES PER YEAR

The average Australian employee spends $18.52 on lunches, snacks, and beverages during their workday every week. This takes into consideration the 6% of Australians who don’t spend money on food while they are at work, and ranges to include those who go out more than once a day, some of whom spend over $100 on food and beverages while at work each week. Over a 48-week work year, this average weekly spend accumulates to $889 per year.

THE COST OF FASHION

In an effort to keep up with the latest styles and fashions or simply to avoid wearing the same thing every day, employees spend hundreds of dollars on clothing per year. Australians report spending an average of $320 each year of their own money on clothes they require directly for work. This includes employees across all industries and factors into account those who spend very little, having uniforms supplied, as well as those who purchase corporate apparel.

GETTING TO WORK: THE RISING COST OF CARS

After childcare and tax costs, transport is the greatest expense when it comes to work, with the average Australian spending $99.88 each week on work-related petrol costs, tolls, and/or public transport tickets. While public transport cost increases have been modest, the big challenge for workers has been the rising cost of petrol, tolls and car ownership, and this is particularly relevant for the 2 in 3 Australians (65.5%) who travel to work by private vehicle. The average full time worker spends almost $4,800 per year just on getting to and from work.

UPSKILLING, RETRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE-GAINING

30% of working Australians spent their own money last year on education and training directly associated with their line of work, averaging to $1,936. Overall (accounting for the 70% who didn’t spend any of their own money on employment-related learning), the average Australian worker spends $588.60 per annum of their own money on training, and much of this, where it is retraining for a new career or role, is not tax deductable.

THE CHILDCARE COST CHALLENGE

The Productivity Commission Study into childcare shows the median childcare costs are $7.40 per hour ($74 for a 10 hour day). For those requiring full time childcare for 50 hours per week, this would cost them $370 per week which equates to 22% of the average full time weekly earnings.

A TAXING PROBLEM

The current average full time weekly earnings is $1539.40 per week ($80,049 per annum) which brings this average wage into the third tax bracket (a tax rate of 37 cents per dollar). Based on the 2015-2016 tax schedule this average annual earnings package would attract a tax bill of $16,768.

FOR MANY, IT IS MORE THAN HALF

The average full-time Australian worker who earns $80,049 per annum (current full time adult weekly earnings) is spending $889 of that on lunches, $320 on wardrobe changes, $4,794 on transport costs, $587 on education, $17,760 on child-care (based on 70 hours at average costs) and $16,768 on tax (not including tax deductions). These total work costs add up to $41,118, which is 51% of the average annual gross.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Hornsby Shire; A shire of opportunity

Thursday, August 06, 2015

The social, generational, economic and demographic trends impacting Hornsby Shire are creating 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.

Hornsby Shire Council: A Shire of Opportunity, outlines ten of the top trends that are redefining the Hornsby LGA and shaping the future of this community. We have been pleased to assist Hornsby Shire Council in conducting this analysis and the trends shaping the region.

The top 10 trends for Hornsby Shire are:

  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

To view the full, visual report, please click here

If you’d like to learn more about our demographic analysis and trends research, please contact our office today or see our research pack for more details.

For more Sydney-based demographic analysis, see the latest coverage on Channel 7’s Changing Face of Sydney.

The Winter Blues [in the media]

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A recent McCrindle Research study shows that more than a third of all Australians suffer from the Winter Blues. Social analyst Mark McCrindle features on the Daily Edition to show how the chilly weather really affects us and how we can beat the blues.

Aussie's in Winter are:

  • 55% more likely to oversleep
  • 47% tendency to overeat
  • 42% reduced social life
  • 26% increased pessimism

How to beat the Winter blues:

  • Keep social
  • Stay healthy
  • Plan things to look forward to

Winter blues: Having real impact in Australia

Monday, July 20, 2015

Winter blues, also called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), winter depression or seasonal depression, is a condition in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in winter. (Wikipedia)

This July 2015 research took the symptoms and triggers of the winter blues and tested them among a sample of more than 1,000 Australians and found that indeed the impacts of winter are affecting Australians.

Winter makes us over-sleep, over-eat and become less social

More than half (54%) of Australians say that they experience increased difficulty waking up in the morning in winter compared to the warmer months. Similarly, 55% also have more of a tendency to oversleep in winter.

47% of Australians suffer an increased tendency to overeat in winter, with more than 2 in 5 experiencing a craving for carbohydrates (43%) and sweet foods (43%) during the colder months of the year.

42% of us experience a reduced social life during winter and participate in less interactions, which may be linked to the reduced energy (45%) and reduced enjoyment (35%) that we feel during these colder months.

More than 1 in 3 (35%) say they feel more down and depressed in winter than in the warmer months, whereas only 6% experience less of a feeling of being down and depressed during winter.

More than 1 in 4 experience increased irritability (28%) and a feeling of pessimism (26%) during the winter months as well.

Winter impacts the workforce


Winter has an impact on employee performance and the business bottom line with 1 in 3 (33%) Australian employees admitting to suffering reduced motivation at work during winter. Winter also affects employee productivity for 27% of Australians who are less efficient in their role during these colder months.

Sickness also impacts the workforce much more in winter, with around 1 in 3 (31%) Australian employees taking increased time off because of it, with 8% indicating this occurs much more during winter.

Winter affects 28% of Australian employees in the way of less social connection and effectiveness with their work colleagues, while 23% of are also much more likely to arrive late to work in winter than in the warmer months.

Spring Australia’s favourite season

The results are in and the favourite season of Australians is spring with close to 2 in 5 (38%) saying it is their favourite.

Not only was spring the most favourite among Australians, it was also the second favourite beating out autumn.

Winter is the least favourite season for close to 3 in 5 (59%) Australians, making it the least loved season for Aussies.

Q and A: Gen Y family formers

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What is now the most common age of women when they have their first baby; how has this changed in Australia and what are the forecasts?

Generation Y has transformed the lifestages that once marked adulthood and independence. The age of leaving home, starting full time employment, getting a mortgage, marriage and starting a family have all been pushed back later in life. Four decades ago, the median age of females giving birth was 25, while today it is 30.7. Similarly, the median age of females at first birth has been pushed five years later to 29.3. Indeed the age group with the highest fertility rate (births per female) are those 30-34, well above the second category of those aged 25-29, and of all age years from 20-39, the only one that has been growing over this decade are those aged 35-39.

The reasons for the delays in starting families and the rise of older parents are numerous. Generation Y are staying in education longer and starting their earnings later than their parents did. While 1 in 5 Baby Boomers has a university degree and 1 in 4 Gen Xers, for Generation Y it is 1 in 3. Generation Y is the first generation where females have a higher level of formal education than males with 29% of males aged 25-34 holding a university degree compared to 40% of females in this age group. But this increased education comes at the price of delayed earnings and a university debt. Additionally, this generation are beginning their economic lives in times of growing living costs and declining housing affordability. Four decades ago, the average capital city house price was the equivalent of 5 times average annual earnings, by the mid 90s it had stretched to 6 times, while today it is 10 times average annual earnings. In Sydney the median city house price is more than 13 times average annual full time earnings of $72,000.

While the economic, educational and social trends have pushed back the age of starting families, there are biological limits to this trend. Over the last few decades, IVF technology has provided fertility assistance to women in their 30s who are part of this delayed parenting trend, however as fertility expert William Ledger, Professor of Medicine at UNSW points out, “beyond the age of 40, the success rate of IVF has barely moved since the first test tube baby was born in the 1970s”. Scientific advances such as egg freezing and fertility testing continue to assist those who are past the traditional child bearing age, however reversing the chromosomal changes to eggs as women age has not yet become a reality. Generation Z who enter their 20s this year may follow the Generation Y experience by responding to these biological realities and scientific limitations by balancing their family forming years amidst their career and financial goals rather than after they have been achieved.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

More on changing generational characteristics can be found in Mark McCrindle’s book The ABC of XYZ: Understanding The Global Generations.


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