Five Factors Defining Generation Z

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Generation Z born from 1995 to 2009, were shaped in the era that society started looking at screens more than at faces. 

Therefore, many of the names given to this generation highlight the impact of the digital era on their formative years: the net generation; screenagers, click n go kids, the igen, the Ygen, generation connected, Google generation, the digital natives, the kids.

Not only is technology globally ubiquitous, but we as humans are significantly outnumbered by technologies. 

Today there are almost 50 billion connected devices on the planet - that is seven times larger than the number of people!

This generation of children and teenagers will comprise almost one third of the entire workforce within a decade. 

Five factors defining Generation Z

Digital change is constant, ubiquitous and fast. 

There have been periods of intensive change in history before, of course. But unlike other periods of significant upheaval – the agricultural or industrial revolutions, for example – the digital revolution has no borders or boundaries. Half of the world now use a smartphone, and 75% have access to a mobile device. 

What's more, emerging economies are adopting technologies as fast – or in some cases faster – than developed parts of the world. For example, 12% of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa have a mobile money account, while globally only 2% do.

Generation Z are our first truly global generation. 

Not only are the music, movies, and celebrities global as has been the case for previous generations, but through our global connectedness so are their fashion, foods, entertainment, social trends, and communication patterns.

Generation Z are truly social in nature. 

If social media sites were countries, Facebook would be the largest at 1.5 billion, followed by China at 1.4 billion, India at 1.3 billion and Instagram at 400 million.

Generation Z are mobile. Constantly on the go, moving from place to place – they are moving homes, jobs, and careers faster than ever before. 

Today’s school leaver is expected to have 17 jobs across 5 careers and live in 15 homes in their lifetime.

Generation Z are visually engaged. 

YouTube is a close 2nd global search engine, and more than 100 hours of content gets uploaded every minute. If you were to watch just the content that has been put up this week, it would take you 115 years.


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What's in a surname?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The vast majority of women still take their husbands surname after marriage.

So, where does the tradition of taking the husband’s surname come from and how has it evolved over the years?

This tradition goes back many hundreds of years, to patriarchal times when it was almost unquestioned that a woman would take on the husband’s name. However, since then we’ve certainly seen a lot of change.

Across Western Europe, even if a bride might socially take on their spouse’s name, people keep their maiden names for life. In China the tradition of changing a name after marriage is not commonplace, and in Russia it is very uncommon to take on a new surname after the wedding.

In the Spanish-speaking world, it is very common to adopt both the mother’s and father’s name, and give their children a double-barrelled name.

What about in Australia?

Australia is quite conservative, with more than 80% of brides taking on the groom’s surname. About 10% of women keep their own name and this number is growing, particularly as women study later, engage in more education, and get established in their career longer before getting married.

Watch the full interview including real-life case studies below.

Work-Life Balance in Australia

Monday, January 15, 2018

It was January 1948 that the Commonwealth Arbitration Court gave official assent to the 40 hour, five day working week in Australia.

The public push for this work-life balance often included the symbol of ‘888’ with the accompanying statement of the daily ideal: 8 hours’ work, 8 hours’ recreation and 8 hours of sleep. However, 70 years on, it seems that this balance has eluded most Australians.

When it comes to discretionary time that is not allocated to either paid or unpaid work (such as housework and caring responsibilities), working Australians are enjoying around 3.5 hours per day.

Across every age group, Australian men have more leisure time, on average per day, than women. The average adult male in Australia has 34 minutes more leisure time than the average female which equates to 4 hours per week.

The 2016 Census data shows that we are still working long hours in paid employment too. Of those with a job, 2 in 5 are working beyond the 8-hour day, and way beyond it when commute time is included.

The resulting time pressure and stress, particularly amongst women

Women feel more stressed and pressed for time than men in Australia, with 35% of Australian men and 42% of Australian women in this ABS study released in September 2017 stating that they were always or often rushed or pressed for time.

Women are almost five times more likely than men to feel this way due to demands of family.

Men are as likely to feel no time pressure as constant time pressure. Women are much more likely to often/always feel rushed and pressed for time than to never/rarely feel this.

Eight hours of sleep? Closer to seven



Women outworking men in total time spent in work

Over the last decade, women have increased their paid work hours while men have plateaued here. While men have marginally increased their unpaid weekly work hours, it has done little to close the gap with women.

Total time spent working (paid and unpaid) by women in Australia significantly exceeds that of men in couple households, regardless of whether the woman earns more, less or the same as the man.

Watch Mark McCrindle's full interview on Ten News Here

Merry Christmas from McCrindle

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas, Australia!

Especially to the 305,377 newborn Australians experiencing their first Christmas and the 6,268 enjoying their 100th (or more) Christmas!

We hope you enjoy unwrapping the technological, experiential, and jewellery gifts you are hoping for this year. Enjoy decorating your Christmas tree, which would be over 8 million Christmas trees if every household in Australia had one! 

From all of us at McCrindle we hope you enjoy the infographic we have created, and that amidst the busyness of the season you have time to connect with family and friends, reflect on the Christmas story and enjoy the many things that make this country great.

Have a Merry Christmas, and a fantastic 2018!

- The McCrindle Team

Redefining Sydney’s urban lifestyles

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It was a pleasure to partner with Urban Taskforce Australia to produce the “Sydney Lifestyle Study”, launched to a room of urban developers, government representatives, and industry stakeholders this week.

The 2017 Sydney Lifestyle Study is a first-ever research study on Sydney’s apartment dwellers. Insights from the ABS and a new survey of 1,503 Sydney residents shed light on the different demographic segments in Sydney apartments and their lifestyle choices, habits, motivations and reasons for choosing apartment living.

Click here to download the full report.

Sydney’s changing lifestyles

Australia in the 1990s

A lot has changed in Australia over a very short period of time. Over a quarter of a century ago, in the year 1991, the population of Australia had just surpassed 16 million.

  • The median age was 32 years old and median individual income was just $13,950 per annum.
  • More than one in three (36%) Australians lived in New South Wales where individual income was slightly higher at $14,395.
  • Home owners in New South Wales paid a median monthly mortgage repayment of $627 while renters paid just $128 per week.

Modern Sydney

Fast-forward to today and the Australian population is on track to reach 25 million persons in early 2018.

  • That’s more than 50% higher than in 1991.
  • Our population has increased our median age to 38, both nationally and in New South Wales.
  • Today, median personal income in New South Wales has reached $34,528 per year while median mortgage repayments have more than doubled at $1,986 per month.
  • Median rent has nearly tripled to $380 per week.

Sydney’s urban lifestyles

Such population growth is changing the housing stock in Sydney. Sydneysiders have been trading traditional detached homes for apartments at an increasing rate. Currently, 30% of all households in Sydney’s urban area now live in apartments.

Sydney’s growing apartment market is comprised of nearly half a million households, representing many diverse cultures, languages and backgrounds.

McCrindle has identified four emerging urban family household types within Sydney’s apartment market. These are Vertical Families, Cosmo Couples, Solo Metropolites and One-Parent Households.

Vertical Families

Vertical families make up one in five apartment households (20%).

They are most likely to be young Gen Ys as nearly two in three (64%) are aged between 23 and 37.

Cosmo Couples

The second emerging family type who are increasingly adopting the apartment lifestyle are urban couples.

The number of couples with no children living in apartments has increased by 21% since 2011 and now represents over one quarter (27%) of apartment households.

Solo Metropolites

Sydney’s largest apartment segment is made up of lone persons (34%).

Three in five are renters (63%) and the largest generation represented are Baby Boomers aged between 53 and 71 (37%).

One-parent families

The fourth urban segment is one of the smallest but by no means insignificant. Single parents with children comprise one in 12 apartment dwellers (8%) in Sydney.

Single parents living in apartments are most likely aged between 38 and 52 (49%).

Sydney’s future forecast

Sydney in 2024

If the current trends observed across Sydney over the past five years continue, the number of traditional detached houses could drop to 49% by as early as 2024.

Filling the gap apartments would then make up 34% of Sydney’s total housing stock. The remaining housing stock (17%) would be made up of semi-detached or terrace housing.

These insights and more can be found in the Sydney Lifestyle Study Report.


For more information on our research and visualisation services, please feel free to check out our Research Pack, or get in touch!

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Black Friday Sales in Australia

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Black Friday is the retail super-day popular in the US and in 2017 it is November 24. It is the day following the Thanksgiving public holiday and in some states it is an additional holiday. 

All of this has combined to make it the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season, and the biggest single shopping day of the year. 

It has grown significantly over the last decade and last year, more than 100 million Americans went shopping on this one day, ringing up sales exceeding US$50 billion. For many stores, Black Friday and the shopping season launches a revenue boon that pushes revenues into the black, thus the eponymous name.

Without the Thanksgiving marker, or any public holidays, Black Friday is currently not a big event in Australia. In fact this national research we have just conducted shows that less than 1 in 20 Australians (4.7%) are expecting sales, and more than 1 in 4 (27%) have never even heard of it.

40% of Australians say Black Friday doesn’t really happen in Australia and another 39% don’t know.

Most Australians (54%) don’t know whether Black Friday is online only or also in stores.

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, popular for online shopping super sales, has even lower awareness in Australia. Considering we are in a global marketplace, used to adopting retail trends from the US, the current low awareness of these sale super-days in Australia may be a surprise. However, the mass engagement with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US is really only a decade old, and so the years ahead will see a higher profile for these sale days in Australia.

Australians are up for a bargain, whatever the day is called, with 1 in 3 Australians (34%) agreeing that they will definitely be looking out for stores offering discounts. Even without the tradition of these sales, or the associated public holidays, late November presents an ideal opportunity for local retailers to kick start their Christmas sales, and so we can expect to hear more about Black Friday in coming years.

Download the summary report here.

Mark McCrindle in the media

SBS "Will Amazon join Australia's Black Friday party?"

Courier Mail "Black Friday 2017 sales: Australia missing out on best shopping deals because of ignorance"

Getting to Work: The Great Australian Commute

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The latest census data, released last month, highlights how much commuting will be transformed for Australians in the years ahead. 

Two in three Australians who work, put in at least 35 hours per week (62%) and half of all couple families are two-income earning households (47.4%). Australians also spend longer in the education system, with one in three adults having attained a tertiary qualification, and more than one in five (22%) have a university degree.

However, most of the commuting to work and university relies on driving. Of the nine million daily commuters in Australia, 7 in 10 workers commute by private car (68.4%), which is half a million more than in 2011. Just 1 in 8 (12%) get to work by public transport, and 1 in 20 (4.7%) work from home.

Given the increase in car usage over the last half decade, it is unsurprising to see therefore that most Australian households have at least two cars (54.3%) which is higher than in 2011 (52.6%).

However, nationally the combined public transport infrastructure investment currently under construction is the biggest in Australia’s history and will clearly provide a massive uplift in commuting options in our capital cities. In addition to this, the decade ahead will bring autonomous vehicles, driverless shuttle busses, and electric share bike and scooter options which will help us journey “the last mile” from public transport hubs to our final destination.

The coming decade of transformed transport will facilitate behaviour change and provide our cities with a faster, cheaper, and less car-reliant future.

The Growth of Sydney: Preparing for a city of 9 million

Friday, November 10, 2017

Sydney is Australia’s largest city with a population of more than 5.1 million. One in five Australians live in Sydney, and two-thirds of the population of NSW, our largest state, lives in this one city. 

Sydney’s population is growing through record annual births, life expectancy increases and through arrivals coming to the emerald city from other parts of Australia. Sydney remains the preeminent gateway to Australia and it is this overseas migration that is the biggest source of the city’s growth.

Sydney is Australia’s most culturally diverse capital with over two in five residents (43%) born overseas. Most Sydney siders (61%) have at least one parent born overseas and two in five (38%) speak a language other than English at home.

According the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data, Sydney is comprised of people from over 220 countries and significant sub-regions, with over 240 different languages spoken and residents identifying with almost 300 different ancestries.

Based on the current growth trends, Sydney will reach 9 million by 2051. While there is much infrastructure under construction to respond to the current growth, the near doubling of the population in less than four decades will require much more.

So how can Sydney cope with this growth, and what will the future of Sydney be like? Watch Mark McCrindle comment on this story on 7 News

About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations. Download Mark's full speakers pack here.

Generation Next: Meet Gen Z and the Alphas

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Australia is in the midst of a massive generational transition. 

Today’s grandparents are part of the Baby Boomers, born from the late 1940’s to the early 1960’s. This generation is followed by Generation X, born from 1965 to 1979 who, at the oldest edge, are moving through their mid-life.

Today’s new parents and those entering their peak fertility years are part of Generation Y, born from 1980 to 1994.

Today’s children and teens are Generation Z, born from 1995 to 2009 and Australia is home to more than 4.5 million of them.

From 2010 Australia has seen the start of a new generation and having worked our way through the alphabet, we call this new generation, the first to be fully born in the 21st Century, Generation Alpha.

Gen Alpha have been born into an era of record birth numbers, and there are around 2.6 million of them nationally. When this generation is complete, in 2024, Generation Alpha births will total almost 5 million over the 15 years from 2010, compared to 4 million births of the Baby Boomers for the 19 years from 1946.

Generation of 'upagers'

The oldest Gen Alphas commence Year 3 next year and will be the most formally educated generation ever, the most technology supplied generation ever, and globally the wealthiest generation ever.

They are a generation of “upagers” in many ways; physical maturity is on setting earlier so adolescence for them will begin earlier and so does the social, psychological, educational, and commercial sophistication which can have negative as well as positive consequences.

Interestingly for them while adolescence will begin earlier, it will extend later. The adult life stage, once measured by marriage, children, mortgage and career is being pushed back.

This generation will be students longer, start their earning years later and so stay at home longer. The role of today’s parents therefore will span a longer age range and based on current trends, more than half of the Alphas will likely be living with their parents into their late 20’s.

'The great Screenage'

Generation Alpha have been born into “the great screenage” and while we are all impacted by our times, technology has bigger impacts on the generation experiencing the changes during their formative years.

The year they began being born was the year the iPad was launched, Instagram was created and App was the word of the year. For this reason, we also call them Generation Glass because the glass that they interact on now and will wear on their wrist, as glasses on their face, that will be on the Head Up Display of their driverless cars, or that will be the interactive surface of their school desk, will transform how they work, shop, learn, connect and play.

Not since Gutenberg transformed the utility of paper with his printing press in the 15th Century has a medium been so transformed for learning and communication purposes as glass- and it has happened in the lifetime of Generation Alpha.

About Research Visualisation

In a world of big data, we’re for visual data. We believe in the democratisation of information, and 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. 

Whether you’re looking to conduct research from scratch, or if you have existing data that you want to bring to life – get in touch with the McCrindle team.

Newcastle and the Lower Hunter Economy is on the Rise

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The Business Performance Sentiment Index (Business PSI), designed by McCrindle, is an ongoing measure of business conditions, performance and sentiment. The Lower Hunter PSI is an initiative of Maxim Accounting with support from NAB.

The Business PSI takes the pulse of business across a region and tracks changes in the health of the local and national economy over time. This edition of the Business PSI (2017) features the latest results for the Lower Hunter region. This report also features longitudinal comparisons to last year’s deployment of the Business PSI (2016).

The Business PSI measures three core business characteristics: business conditions, performance and sentiment. The PSI uniquely charts these measures on a scale that ranges from accelerating on the extreme positive to collapsing on the extreme negative. Each of the three core measures (conditions, performance, and sentiment) are comprised of three sub-measures which are derived from the results of several individual survey questions.

The Lower Hunter region continues to show strong, consistent growth and an optimistic outlook.

One in three households (34%) own their home outright (compared to 32% in NSW and 31% nationally) and the region reports a rise in household income of 45% from 2006 to 2016, compared to Australia which has seen a rise of 39%.

Impressively, this year’s PSI results show that the positive operating condition for businesses in the Lower Hunter have further increased since last year.

This year’s results highlight a continued struggle for businesses against red tape and regulation as well as an expressed concern for local infrastructure provision. These challenges are offset, however, with the expectation of business expansion in 2018 and this positive sentiment in the Lower Hunter economy is the dominant theme in this year’s Business PSI report.

Download the full Lower Hunter PSI report here. 

Download the full Lower Hunter PSI infographic here.

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