A Demographic Snapshot of Christianity and Church Attenders in Australia

Friday, April 18, 2014

Steady declines:

The proportion of Australians identifying Christianity as their religion has been declining over the last century – from 96% in 1911 to 61.1% in the 2011 Census. Over the last decade, Christianity in Australia has declined from 68% to 61.1%.

Still Australia’s largest religion:

The number of Australians identifying with Christianity is more than 24 times larger than the numbers identifying with the second largest religion in Australia, Buddhism (2.5%). Indeed, the proportion of Australians identifying with Christianity as their religion is more than eight times larger than Australians identifying with all other religions combined (7.3%).

Spiritual, not religious:

Over the last four decades, the number of Australians selecting “no religion” on the Census has more than tripled from 6.7% (1971) to 22.3% (2011) of the population. However the majority selecting this response could be classified as “spiritual not religious” rather than “neither spiritual nor religious”. In the 2011 Census, only 2.2% of the “no religion” respondents indicated “atheist”, “agnostic”, “humanist” or “rationalist” as their worldview.

Church attendance declining but still significant:

National Church Life Survey (NCLS) data shows that over the last four decades the proportion of Australians attending church at least once per month has more than halved from 36% (1972) to 15% currently. However this is still a significant proportion of the Australian population and indeed twice as many Australians attend church at least once per month (3.495m) as attend all AFL, NRL, A League and Super Rugby games combined per month (1.684m) during the football season.

Church goers advocacy and public policy:

The NCLS data (2011) shows that most Christians believe that Christians should be active in public policy through making public comment on policy issues (80% support this), advocating and lobbying governments (75%), and almost two-thirds (63%) believe that the church should publically advocate on policy issues, and more than two-thirds (68.5%) believe that church goers should campaign for global poverty and injustice issues.

Church attendees ageing but new generations emerging:

Along with an ageing national population, the NCLS data shows the church going population is also ageing with an average age of adult church attenders being 53. While the 70 plus age group are strongly represented in church (comprising 12% of the population but 25% of all church attendees), the age groups under 50 are underrepresented. This divide is increasingly evident with the younger generations, for example the 20-39 year olds make up 34% of the population but just 21% of church attenders.

However the denominational grouping with the youngest church attending population is also the fastest growing denomination. Pentecostal churches had an average age of attending adults as 39 and they have a total church going population of 12% of all church goers. This means that Pentecostal churches are now the second largest denominational grouping of church attenders after Catholics (46%) and ahead of Anglicans (11%).

Download Christianity and Church Attenders in Australia. Click here to download the full report.

Top 10 Facts about Australians, Christianity and the Bible

Thursday, April 17, 2014
  1. Less than half of all Australians (45%) own a Bible
  2. Less than 1 in 3 Generation Y’s (32%) own a Bible
  3. Sydney is Australia’s Bible reading capital accessing the Bible online almost seven times as much as Darwin (2.67 page views per resident compared to 0.39)
  4. Richmond in Melbourne is the Nation’s leading Bible reading suburb with 3.86 online reads per resident in 2013
  5. Residents of Warrnambool, Victoria read the Bible online the longest (13 minutes 40 seconds per visit) with Gladstone, Queensland residents reading for the shortest period (4 minutes, 20 seconds per visit)
  6. “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 6) is Australia’s most accessed Bible passage
  7. John 3:16 is Australia’s most accessed Bible verse
  8. Love, faith and joy are the most searched Bible keywords
  9. Online reading exceeds hard-copy reading. (Last year Australians accessed the Bible online (Biblegateway.com) almost 50 million times. If each of the Bibles Australian adults personally own were read even 6 times per year, there would still be more Bible reading conducted online.)
  10. Of all Australians who identified their religion as Christianity in the Census, only 3 in 4 own a Bible and only 1 in 4 attend a church at least once per month.

Download Bible Reading in Australia 2014. Click here to download the full report.

Top 5 Tips and Trends for Conference Presentations

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
  1. Conferences are going TED-style:
    • a. Speak to the audience not at the audience (free yourself from the lectern)
    • b. Present your message not your outline (minimise your notes)
    • c. Don’t give a long speech, craft an engaging presentation (shorter can be more impacting than longer).
  2. Keep it visual:
    • a. It’s a presentation to be seen not a podcast to be downloaded
    • b. Use slides as visual reinforcing of your point not a written summary of your content.
    • c. Think images not just words. (for more visual tips go to researchvisualisation.com).
  3. Ensure it’s evidence-based:
    • a. The average business audience has twice as many university graduates today as 1990
    • b. Statistics are great- but so are case studies
    • c. In a world of hype- keep it real, relevant and responsive.

    (for an example of communicating data in a visual form watch our acclaimed Australia Street video or Know the Times animation)

  4. Deliver current, contextual and customised content:
    • a. In a world of emerging trends- make sure it is now
    • b. In a world of ideas- keep it practical
    • c. In a world of global ideas- apply it to the local.

    (Here is Mark McCrindle’s TEDx talk on presenting research in an engaging way)

  5. Motivate even if you’re not a motivational speaker:
    • a. A positive message will always be better received than a negative one
    • b. Sure- be provocative and challenging but deliver it with warmth and encouragement
    • c. Ensure you both equip the head and engage the heart of your listener.

For a fresh approach to your next event, or to get some tips as you pull together your next conference contact Social Researcher and Speaker Mark McCrindle or Next Gen Expert Claire Madden on 02 8824 3422 or email info@mccrindle.com.au.

Launch of the The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations- Third Edition, by Mark McCrindle

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The ABC of XYZ - Understaning the Global Generations

Change is not unique to this era, but the speed, the size and the scope of the change that defines our times is unprecedented. It is through the frame of the generations that we can best understand the shifts, analyse the trends and know the times.

Based on more than a decade of research, The ABC of XYZ is designed for educators, business managers and parents who want a short and lively introduction to the global generations. The book explores what a generation is, how its definition has changed over the years, and the trends that are emerging for the future. It examines generational conflicts in the school, home and workplace, and the ways in which they can be understood and resolved, and what lies beyond Z.

Beyond social research, this book gives insights and practical strategies to help parents, teachers and managers bridge the gaps and engage with each generation. However, this book is more than a research-based reference work or valuable ‘how to’ guide – it is also a very interesting read with facts and lists to which members of each generation will reminisce. The book also answers the question, “Who comes after Generation Z?” by giving a future snapshot of Generation Alpha.

Written by Mark McCrindle, one of Australia’s foremost social researchers, this fully expanded and updated, third edition of The ABC of XYZ reveals the truth behind the labels and is essential reading for anyone interested in how our current generations live, learn and work.

Visit the website

Download a Chapter

Buy the book

Australia's Top Baby Names 2014 Revealed

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

McCrindle Baby Names Australia 2014 ReportAustralia is setting new records in the number of babies born per year – 2013 saw over 315,000 births in Australia! Nearly two fifths (39%) of babies born in Australia each year are named one of Australia’s Top 100 baby girl or boy names – that’s 124,624 babies taking a Top 100 name!

What are the Top 100 baby names for boys and girls in Australia in 2013? Through the nation’s only comprehensive analysis of all the registered births across all eight states and territories, McCrindle reveals the Baby Names Australia 2014 report.

Oliver rises to the top as Charlotte continues her strong lead

Charlotte and Oliver Top Baby Names AustraliaFor the first time in Australia’s history, Oliver has become the nation’s most popular boy’s name, overtaking William who has been at the top of the ranks for the last several years.

While Oliver was the top boy's name in three states/territories (QLD, SA, TAS) and William topped the list in four states/territories (NSW, ACT, VIC, and NT), numerically there were 37 more occurrences of Oliver than William across the nation.

Charlotte continues to be the favoured name among girls, remaining strong in 1st place and the choice for 1,969 girls in Australia.

More babies, less convergence

More Babies, Less ConvergenceAs record births taking place in Australia, parents are being more original in the baby names they choose with fewer babies being given one of the Top 100 names and this naming originality is even more evident amongst the naming of girls than boys.

40.6% of babies born in the 2012 calendar year were named one of the Top 100 baby names, with this figure reducing to 39.6% for the 2013 calendar year.

Names are seeing a ‘Hundred-Year Return’ in Australia

Hundred-Year Return of NamesThe trend in baby-naming in Australia is for the traditional over the inventive. There is a ‘Hundred-Year Return’ theme taking place in Australia, with many of the top names of today also in the top names of a century ago, while names of a few decades ago have fallen out of favour.

There’s a ring to it, and boys feature less syllables

Sounds of Baby NamesThe trend towards short and solid-sounding names for boys and longer flowing names for girls continues strongly in Australia.

Most of the Top 100 boy's names have two or fewer syllables, while almost 2 in 5 of the top girl's name have 3 or more syllables – twice as many as for boys. Additionally, while most of the boy's names end in a consonant, most of the girls’ names end in a softer sounding vowel or Y sound.

The influence of the royals – 12 in 22 current royal names are top baby names

Influence of the Royals on Baby NamesThe original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the interest of modern Australians but continue to significantly influence their choice in baby names.

The new generation of British royals with their traditional names yet celebrity power are influencing baby naming trends in Australia currently. William is the top boys’ name in four states and territories and has been Australia’s number 1 name since 2011. The naming of Prince George has already had an impact, raising the rank of this boys’ name to its highest level since the 1970s.

Access the Baby Names Australia 2014 report below for the latest trends in baby names, state by state analysis, the influence of celebrities on Australian baby names, and analysis of New Zealand baby names.

Download Baby Names Australia 2014. Click here to download the full report.

Australia Street 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

If you live on an average sized street in Australia comprised of 100 households, did you know that of those on your street there is a marriage every 9 months, a death every 7 months and a birth every 14 weeks? These 100 households comprise 260 people, 45 dogs and 27 cats! There are 162 cars owned on the street, which in total drive more than 2 million kilometres each year.

Based on the latest ABS data and other sources, and using this theme of Australia shrunk down to be a street of 100 households, we have developed the below infographic. You can also see the animated video version of it here

So, welcome to Australia Street.

Embed this infographic

7 Trending Words of 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New words often identify emerging trends and 2014 has already revealed some trending words. Here are our 7 Trending Words of 2014 which give an insight into the new segments, lifestyles and attitudes shaping our society.


Australia’s longevity has hit new records with life expectancy at birth exceeding 80 years. But not only are Australians living longer, they are also working longer, active later and looking younger in lifestyle than previous generations at the same age. So meet the downagers: a generation of retirees who may be downsizing homes but not downsizing lifestyles.


This is where hobbies become entrepreneurial – turning interests into income earners. From yoga teaching to eBay selling to scrapbooking to personal training – many Australians are turning their passions into dollars. Australia has always been an entrepreneurial nation, and now people are turning their spare rooms and spare hours into home-based businesses that have lifestyle benefits and provide some earnings as well. In the last 4 decades the proportion of the workforce employed on a part-time basis has tripled from 1 in 10 workers in the early 1970’s to 1 in 3 today. Australians are using their extra time not just for work-life balance but in many cases are earning an income from the downtime – hence the rise of the hobbypreneur.

Silver surfers

Older Australians are online and on board the latest technologies just like their younger counterparts. Equipped with smartphones, tablets and apps, Australians aged over 65 may be retired, but their also wired – and increasingly wireless! These Google grandparents are the most tech-savvy seniors ever and are adept at Skyping their grandchildren, Facebooking the family and even doing a bit of Candy Crush on the side!


Australian teenagers consume more than 10 hours of screen time per day in around 8 hours of time – such is their multi-screening behaviour. While they share the teenage lifestage that is a rite of passage for every generation, they are moving through these formative years in a unique era – and a screen-saturated one. Also called the i-Gen, the click-n-go kids, Generation Connected and the digital integrators, technology is key to their lives and futures.


In recent months FOMO (fear of missing out) has been given a counter reaction: for many it is JOMO (joy of missing out) that they experience. Knowing that you have avoided that conference dinner or work function and are comfortably ensconced on the lounge at home gives JOMO to many.


The use of a smart phone in a store to do online shopping, check prices, or to take photos of items to compare online is called showrooming. More than half of all Gen Ys have done some showrooming, highlighting how the divide between the online world and the real world is getting further blurred.


If you have left your mobile at home for a day or run out of battery along the way – you know the feeling of being landlined! After the arrival of email, posted letters became “snail mail” and in this era of the ubiquity of mobiles, any tethered phone in this wireless world has the effect of landlining us.

For more of the latest trends on today's emerging language, see Mark McCrindle's book Word Up – a lexicon of 21st century youth slang, an overview of the factors shaping language, literacy, manners, and social interactions, and a guide to bridging communication gaps. For educators, employers, leaders and parents who rely on technology and spoken and written communications to influence and engage across the generations, Word up is an invaluable guide. Visit the McCrindle cart to purchase your copy today.   

Job Security in Australia: No longer ‘Job for Life’ or ‘Career for Life’

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Having a ‘job for life’ no longer exists. The workforce has been undergoing a massive transformation over the last three decades and currently the average Australian stays with their employer just 3 years and 4 months –
only a third of the way towards long service leave!

If this plays out in the lifetime of a school leaver today it means they will have 17 separate employers in their lifetime.

Moving jobs faster than ever before

Australians are used to moving on, either voluntary or unwilling – such as in the case of a company restructure and being let go of work. The big shift that we’re seeing, however, is that it’s now not just no ‘job for life’ but it’s also not even ‘career for life’ or ‘industry for life.’ We are not just changing employer but changing professions, industries, and retraining as we go. As such we are needing to retrain and upskill, preparing to move out of a given career trajectory to remain future-proofed.

The challenge of a less diversified economy

This is a proven challenge for many, especially those past a certain age or in a regional area where the employment sector is less diversified. The areas which currently have the highest unemployment, such as North Adelaide in South Australia or West Melbourne in Victoria, are also the areas where the number one industry by employment is manufacturing. In these areas there aren’t as many options, which creates extra challenges for those seeking work.

The states that have relied on just a few sectors or very large industries such as Victoria or South Australia are now feeling the sting of increasing unemployment. There’s a lesson here for Western Australia which needs to ensure that it has a broad enough employment base to ensure that any slow-down in mining doesn’t have significant ripple effects on the economy. New South Wales and Queensland have done well as they haven’t just relied on manufacturing or construction growth but diversified their economies through education, tourism, innovation, finance, property, IT, and scientific and technical services.

Looking outside the box towards growth opportunities

Certain industries in Australia are shifting, and Australians in declining industries should look to where the growth opportunities are.

The Top 5 industries 30 years ago were all industrial (mining, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transport) whereas today there has been a shift to professional industries (Top 5 are mining, technical, IT, financial, and utilities).

While once derogatorily referred to as the world’s quarry, it turns out that we are the clever country after all with more people than ever employed in science and technical roles. The Australian workforce has undergone significant structural change and we’ve moved from an industrial base to a knowledge base.

Additionally, it’s a small business nation with 2.1 million businesses – that’s one business for every 11 Australians – and a large proportion of Australians employed in small businesses.

Workforce unemployment in the days to come

It is expected that Australia’s employment rate will continue to rise above where it currently sits at 6 percent in 2014, and economists are expecting it to peak in mid-2014. The rate has been on a steady increase and is currently the highest it’s been in 13 years, showing a very clear trend with the rise not slowing. There are clouds ahead and while we’re not in recession territory, this is a significant watch area, particularly when looking at sub-segments of employment across the youth sector and comparing state by state.

Click below to see Mark McCrindle's latest interview on Job Security on Channel Ten's Wake Up:


Older Australians Downsize

Thursday, March 06, 2014

2014 could be the year of the downsizing for older Australians. As property prices boom, older Australians are taking advantage of the market and selling their homes for something smaller, opting for a simpler life and a healthier bank balance.

It is predicted that tens of thousands of older Australians will sell this year. For many Baby Boomers and Builders, moving to a retirement village makes sense with neighbours in a similar life-stage and many everyday household tasks taken care of.

Others are choosing to stay in their family home for much longer periods of time.

“What we’ve got in Australia is not so much downsizing but down-ageing, so individuals are active later in life and happy to be in their empty-nest home much later than previous retirees were,” says social researcher Mark McCrindle.

Many of these new downsizers will want the best of both worlds – working and retiring all at once.

Mark confirms the trend among emerging retirees to downsize.

“Baby Boomers in their 60s have their main net worth tied up in their home, and they’re happy to sell to get more appropriate accommodation for themselves, so as the market rolls on, there’ll be a lot more selling and downsizing.”

Watch the latest segment of A Current Affair featuring social researcher Mark McCrindle:

Youth Unemployment on the Rise [in the media]

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Currently more than 1 in 3 unemployed persons in Australia fall with in the 15-24 age group category. 

New data from the ABS analysed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence earlier this week indicates that some regions in Australia are seeing over 1 in 5 (20%) young people aged 15 to 24 out of work.

While Australia’s total unemployment has recently jumped to 6% – the highest rate recorded over the past decade – this percentage is still lower than many other OECD nations (where the 2013 average unemployment rate across all OECD nations was estimated at 7.9%).

Youth unemployment figures, however, are an altogether different story. The ABS data released indicates that unemployment rates for those aged 15 to 24 increased to 12.2% in January 2014 (up from 8.8% in 2008). For young people aged 15 to 19 the unemployment rate is much higher, sitting around 23%.

Mark McCrindle joins Wake Up to discuss the latest trends regarding youth unemployment in Australia.

He agrees that these figures are alarming, stating, "We do have some problems with unemployment, particularly for young people. When you have 1 in 4 young people aged 15-19 who are not in full-time education and can’t get a job, you’ve got an issue. If we had an unemployment figure of double digits, let alone 1 in 4, it would be a national disaster. Yet that’s what we’ve got with our young people in Australia.”

“Even if we take the 15 to 24 year olds, nationally we have an unemployment rate in some areas above 20%, which compares to some of the more challenged economies around the globe.”

Mark gives reasons for the rise in youth unemployment, stating, “We have had a bit of a slow-down in the economy, particularly in entry-level jobs where employers have cut roles to save money.”

The main factor he says, however, is young people’s lack of opportunities to gain experience.

“The other problem is that employers are now looking for experience, and when young people are starting out, that is one thing they don’t have – which is a difficult challengee. If someone leaves full-time education and within a year is not within full-time work, this begins to set an unemployment trajectory for their future.”

Mark agrees that there needs to be a national strategy to address youth unemployment, and that older Australian workers are a key part in the solution.

“It certainly needs to be looked at – we need some solutions. It’s not just about getting older workers out of jobs and trying to solve the unemployment of one generation by changing employment in another. Older workers and employers can help solve the problem by offering training and mentoring.”

“In looking at a national training strategy, we need to ensure that with the current focus on higher education, we help young people who don’t head that way get into a trade or entry-level position.”

Watch the latest segment here:

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