The Future of Fresh: Transforming the fresh food landscape into 2034

Monday, August 25, 2014

Woolworths recently commissioned McCrindle to paint a picture of how Australia will be shopping in 20 years time through the use of demographic data, future forecasting, and new research among supermarket shoppers.

The Future of Fresh report reveals the way Australians will shop in 2034, focusing on the predicted purchasing habits of emerging Generation Alpha, new approaches to fresh food and a shift in the perception of our sense of what is local.

Gen Alpha will respond to a whole new set of influences and trends to inform their shopping habits. They will team up with neighbours and friend to make shopping a social experience in which the supermarket becomes a hub for real world living.

As economic, population and technological growth continues, supermarkets will respond to the demand for new innovations and shopping will be transformed into a vastly different experience than what it is today. Within the next twenty years, the transformation of our lives through technology will have disrupted how we think about shopping, what we buy, and where and how we shop.

The report reveals a continuing shift towards fresh, hyper-local produce and the convergence of new technologies to make grocery shopping a more innovative and immersive experience. Australian shoppers will continue to demand a back-to-basics approach – food that is organic, local, fresh, and delivered daily.

Leading social researcher Mark McCrindle comments on the findings, stating, “The research reveals that supermarkets have emerged as the number 1 gathering place within most communities. Nearly 40% of Australians cite the local shopping centre as a hub and this will be even more the case as technology continues to facilitate interactions with those who live, shop or work near us.”

“68% of shoppers are actively seeking out products on discount and this will remain a priority in the store of the future, but the term ‘value’ will come to mean much more than just greater prices incorporating more ethical and lifestyle considerations, like sustainability, health benefits and giving back to the community.”

The research process was truly collaborative, Mark says. “It was exciting working with Woolworths Chair of Innovation, Professor Jan Recker, on this project, collating QUT research with our national survey into Australia’s current shopping habits alongside analysis of ABS and Woolworths data. The future will look very different for tomorrow’s supermarket shopper, and the Future of Fresh report presents just some of the major trends that will shape how we will engage with the foods we buy in the decades ahead.”

Read the Future of Fresh Report and the media release here


The Busy Epidemic: How to slow down in an on-the-go world [in the media]

Monday, August 25, 2014

Claire Madden joins Channel Seven’s Daily Edition team to discuss slowing down and managing busyness in our lives.

“In the late 1990s we entered a virtual world in which we now spend more time in digital realities than face to face interactions. Today’s younger generations have grown up in a world of technological devices – they are true digital integrators and technology has become like an extension of their limbs,” Claire says.

Claire mentions that being busy – often seen as a badge of honour – can in fact be detrimental to our psychological health, our physical health, and even our relational health. The feeling of always needing to be ‘on’ takes away from our ability to wind down and engage in the present moment.

While technology enables us to achieve greater things than ever before in a far shorter period of time, thus helping us reach goals and stay motivated, there are tools we use to manage it, rather than having it manage us. Claire mentions three tips for managing the interruptive nature of technology:

  • Prioritise being present in the moment
  • Create space for clarity, creativity and reflection
  • Use technology as a tool

Watch the full interview below and read Claire’s latest blog entry,'Staying grounded in a world of busy' and the SMH article, 'Being busy is good, but being less busy can be better' for more.

What comes after Generation Z? Introducing Generation Alpha

Friday, August 01, 2014

Gen Zeds are the most formally educated generation in Australian history – not only have they started their schooling younger, they are also projected to stay in it for longer. Whilst 1 in 10 of the Builders generation have a university degree, 1 in 5 Baby Boomers, 1 in 4 Generation Xers and 1 in 3 Gen Ys, it is projected that 1 in 2 Gen Zeds will be university educated. With the increased focus on formal education and the increased time spent behind screens and on digital devices, it is unsurprising that they live largely indoors; after all, their parents place priority on homework, coaching and extra-curricular activities over a carefree childhood. These sedentary lifestyles are having an impact on our Gen Zeds – based on the current trends, it is projected that in 2027, when all Gen Z have reached adulthood, 77.9% of males and 61.2% of females will be overweight or obese.

However when it comes to getting outdoors and getting active, Gen Zeds have their favourite sports – with Gen Z males top sports being soccer (17%), AFL (15%) and Basketball (10%), and for Gen Z females, their top sports are netball (21%), dance (15%) followed by swimming (9%).

The Zeds are up-ageing because they are growing up faster. In less than a century, the onset of puberty in girls has gone from 14.6 years (1920) to 10.5 years today, with the trend similar for boys, with puberty on setting before the age of 12. They are also in education earlier and are exposed to marketing younger. Despite the environmentally conscientious times, the Zeds are the most marketed-to children of all time and the biggest consumers of any generation of children.

This Internet-savvy, technologically literate generation has been shaped to multitask. They move quickly from one task to another, often placing more value on speed than accuracy. They have only known a wireless, hyperlinked, user-generated world where they are only ever a few clicks away from any piece of knowledge. The world is an open book to Gen Z.

Over the lifetime of a Gen Zed, technology has transformed our society. When the oldest Gen Zeds were 2 years of age in 1997, Google.com was registered as a domain, and when they turned 5, USB flash drives and Nokia 3310 mobile phones were on the market.

Here’s a summary technology timeline in the life of a Gen Z:

Technology Timeline 1995 to 2014

  • 1997: Google.com is registered as a domain
  • 1998: Portable MP3 players enter the market
  • 2000: USB flash drives become available, Nokia 3310 launched
  • 2001: Wikipedia is launched
  • 2003: MySpace is launched
  • 2005: YouTube is launched
  • 2006: Facebook opens to the public
  • 2006: Twitter is launched
  • 2007: Dropbox founded
  • 2007: First iPhone released
  • 2009: Whatsapp founded
  • 2010: iPad is launched
  • 2010: Instagram launched
  • 2012: Facebook has 1 billion active users
  • 2014: Google Glass launched

Gen Alpha

The launch of the iPad in 2010 coincided with the beginning of our current generation of children, Generation Alpha – and there are now 2.5 million Gen Alphas being born around the globe each week. They were born into a world of iPhones (in fact the word of the year in 2010 when they were first born was “app”), YouTube (there are now 100 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute, and in this environment they are more influenced by the visual and the video than the written and the verbal), and Instagram (where life is photographed and shared instantly and globally).

It’s a world where for the first time in history the average age of first marriage (29.7) is older than the average age of first birth (27.7) across OECD countries.

It’s a world of Screenagers where not only do they multi-screen and multi-task, but where glass has become the new medium for content dissemination and unlike the medium of paper, it is a kinaesthetic, visual, interactive, connective and portable format.

It’s truly the millennial generation, born and shaped fully in the 21st century, and the first generation that in record numbers will see in the 22nd century as well.

And that’s why we’ve called them Generation Alpha. And so, after Generations X, Y and Z, it’s not a return to the beginning but the start of a whole new nomenclature for an entirely new generation, in this new millennium.

See our latest infographic on Gen Z and Gen Alpha below. To find out more about these Generations, order your copy of Mark McCrindle's newly updated book, the ABC of XYZ


Claire Madden on the Next Emerging Generations

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The latest insights from next-gen expert Claire Madden today’s emerging generations – Gen Z and Gen Alpha:

The generation that has attracted most of Australia’s attention over the past decades has been Generation Y – those born between 1980-1994 – who, when they entered the workforce, seemed to challenge many of the traditional models of leadership, workplace expectations and the way they approached problem solving.

But these Gen Ys are no longer our “emerging generation”. In fact, Gen Ys have become a significant part of the workforce, making up almost 1 in 3 workers today. Not only are they emerging in leadership roles within the workforce, they are increasingly becoming the parents of Australia’s youngest members of society.

Following Gen Y is a generation made up of over 2 billion young people globally – Generation Z – those born between 1995 and 2009. They are currently aged 5 to 19 and fill our school classrooms and university campuses. Gen Z currently make up 19% of the population and 6% of the workforce, but by 2025 will comprise more than 1 in 4 workers (27%).

Just this week MacLean's, a national Canadian news current affairs magazine, featured an in-depth article entitled "Get ready for Generation Z" which highlights some key contributions of this generation to technological innovations around the globe. The article mentions that Gen Zeds are "smarter than the Boomers, and way more ambitious than the Millennials (Gen Y)".

The age at which we are exposed to technologies affects how we use them, and these Gen Zeds certainly are digital integrators – their use of technology is integrated into every aspect of their lives. Technologies have affected how we shop, play, learn, interact, communicate and build communities. Gen Z speak and write in a new language – if they can shorten it they will. Our ‘How to Speak Gen Z’ Alphabet gives just some examples of the creativity Gen Z has developed in their communication.

Generation Z are content creators – and their idea of an encyclopaedia is one that they can change and contribute to. They are empowered by having access to every piece of information within a few clicks of a button – so as a result they have become largely self-directed learners. Whilst they’re constantly reading, it’s rarely going to be a book from cover to cover. After all, they are visual communicators – why read it when you can watch it? In an era of information overload, if the message can be communicated more quickly and effectively through visual means, they are more likely to be accessed and digested.

Following our Gen Zeds emerge our preschool and kindergarten generation of today – Gen Alpha. As the children of Gen Y, they are likely to have just 1 sibling.

If they’re a boy they’re likely to be called Oliver, William, Jack, Noah or James. And if they're a girl, they are most likely to be called Charlotte, Olivia, Ava, Emily, and Amelia. (For more names see our 2014 Baby Names Report).

Aged 0-4, there are 1.6 million Gen Alpha’s in Australia currently, and for the oldest Gen Alphas, their first birthday coincided with the launch of the iPad in 2010. Now, a third of Australians use a tablet.

Gen Alpha are a generation who have probably never seen a camera that required film, and they’ll never have to wait for their photos to be developed. The only phones they’ve ever seen also take photos, record videos, access the internet, run games and just have one button – this is a fair way from the landline telephones that could be taken ‘off the hook’!

Glass was something that Gen Ys were told to look through and keep their fingers off – for Gen Alpha, glass will be a medium through which they touch, talk, and interact with one another. And whilst Baby Boomers remember the introduction of the colour TV in the 1960s and 70s, Gen Alphas can already view a YouTube video from a smartphone onto the home TV.

Today’s next generations are logged on and linked up – digital natives. They are the most materially endowed and technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet!

-Claire Madden


Claire Madden is a social researcher and next-gen expert. She is the Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle Research. Armed with her research methodologies, business acumen and communication skills, Claire effectively bridges the gap between the emerging generations and the business leaders and educators of today. She is fluent in the social media, youth culture, and engagement styles of these global generations, and a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and marketers.

Claire delivers professional development sessions for school and tertiary teachers, given keynote addresses at conferences as well as board room strategy sessions. From conducting training days for corporate and not for profit clients, to addressing students, training rising leaders and facilitating youth panels, Claire is in a unique position to understand the emerging generations and communicate the key engagement strategies. Her latest topics include:

• Generation Z Defined: The 7 key factors of this global generation

• Future Proofing Careers: How educators can equip their students to thrive in changing times

• Kids, Tweens & Teens: What they like, what they buy, and why

• Gen Z at Work: Attracting, retaining, managing & training emerging generations

• The What, Why & Where of Social Media: How to connect and communicate with the new generations

• Next Gen Leadership: Developing emerging leaders & managing multi-generational teams

• Creating an Engaging Culture: Inspiring the next generation of staff, volunteers and teams

For more information on Claire's speaking visit her website or contact us to check a date for your upcoming event or conference.

50 Surprising Statistics about Australia

Monday, June 30, 2014
As Australia's social researchers, we love research that takes the pulse of the nation and reveals something of who we are.  We are passionate about research that is engaging and that tells a story.  So here are 50 interesting statistics about Australia that we hope are useful to you. 

  1. If Australia was a city, at 23.5 million it would still only be the world’s 7th largest (after Tokyo, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Jakarta, Seoul and Delhi) Find out more
  2. Western Australia grows by more people every 48 hours than Tasmania adds every year (500 people). 
  3. Tax rates might be rising but Australia’s death rate continues to decline and is at an all-time low. And Sydney is the state capital with the lowest probability of death (5.3 deaths per 1,000) while Darwin and Hobart have the highest capital city death rates (6.6). Find out more
  4. Today’s baby boom is twice as large (exceeding 310,000 annual births) than when the original Baby Boom began in 1946 (less than 150,000 births).
  5. Within a decade, couple only households (currently 30% of all households) will be Australia’s most common household type - more numerous than couple and kids households (currently 33%).
  6. Only 1 in 10 Australians use public transport to get to work and more people walk to work than catch a bus! Find out more
  7. More than half of all households (54%) have at least 2 cars, and there are almost as many passenger vehicles (13.3 million) as there are adults in Australia!
  8. The number of Australians identifying their religion as Christianity is 8 times larger than all other religions combined. Find out more
  9. The average street of 100 households has 10 babies (aged under 3), 27 cats and 45 dogs! Find out more
  10. 1 in 10 households has a net worth exceeding $1.6 million, and 1% of households have wealth above $5 million. Find out more
  11. In Australia there are almost 100,000 more women than men, with 6 out of our 8 states and territories experiencing a man drought. Find out more
  12. Australia grows 40% by natural increase and 60% by net overseas migration, and our growth rate (1.8%) is well above the world’s growth rate (1.1%). Find out more
  13. Whilst approximately 1 in 5 (22%) Australians are Baby Boomers, they own over 50% of the nation’s private wealth. Find out more
  14. Three decades ago the median age of an Australian was 30.5, today it is 37.3 and in 2044 it is projected to be 40. Find out more
  15. Life expectancy at birth three decades ago was 76, today it is 82 and in 2044, it is projected to be more than 90. Find out more
  16. 2 in 5 Australians (40%) skip breakfast at least once a week, and half of them (20%) skip breakfast most days. Find out more
  17. The average Australian spends 10 hours and 19 minutes each day on screen time – and due to ‘multi-screening’ this is achieved in just under 8 hours of linear time. Find out more
  18. By the time Generation Z (5-19 year olds) begin to retire (beginning in 2063) the average annual earnings will exceed $222,000 while the median capital city house price will be $2.5 million. Find out more
  19. 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! Find out more
  20. If you lived on an average sized street in Australia comprised of 100 households, on that street there would be a marriage every 9 months, a death every 7 months and a birth every 14 weeks. Find out more
  21. 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 across an estimated 5 different careers. Generation Z Infographic Find out more
  22. Sydney makes for a fascinating study in populations by gender, with Pyrmont having 3.6% more males than females whereas the next suburb over the Anzac bridge, Balmain, has 8.7% more females than males. Find out more
  23. Victoria is the state with the highest ratio with females to males (98 males to every 100 females), with 58,399 more women than men. Find out more
  24. The year the queen came to the throne (1952), just 40 Australians turned 100. Last year, more than 2600 Australians turned 100. Find out more
  25. Currently there are almost 105 baby boys born for every 100 baby girls born in Australia Find out more
  26. The average age of a worker in the retail sector is 33, the average age of someone in the education sector is 42, and the average age of someone employed in aged care exceeds 48. Find out more
  27. On average, women in Australia outlive men by 4 years. Find out more
  28. The most widely said ‘Australianisms’ are ‘no worries’ (74% of Australians have used this phrase), ‘arvo’ (73%), and G’day (71%). Find out more
  29. Less than half of Australians use rhyming slang such as ‘Joe Blake’ (snake) – 44%, ‘Captain Cook’ (look) – 28%, and ‘Frog and Toad’ (road) – 25%.
  30. Swimming costumes in Queensland are known as ‘togs’, in NSW ‘cossies’, but in Victoria, ‘bathers’, and while Victorians use the word ‘cantaloupe’, in the rest of the country the fruit is known as ‘rockmelon.’ Find out more
  31. What is a ‘milkbar’ in Queensland is a ‘deli’ in WA, and while Western Australians use the term ‘boonie,’ in NSW it’s a ‘westie’ and in Queensland it’s a ‘bogan.’ Find out more
  32. Australia is currently growing by 1 million every 2 years – that’s one new Canberra per year, or a new Darwin every 14 weeks! 
  33. Even though Sydney has 400,000 more people than Melbourne, Melbourne has 58,568 more people who drive to work than Sydney. Find out more
  34. Sydney has as many people who get to work by train (almost 187,760) as the rest of Australia combined. Find out more
  35. In Canberra there are 2 female bicycle commuters for every 5 males while in Brisbane there are just 2 for every 10 male bicycle commuters. Find out more
  36. Melbourne’s iconic trams carry 4 times as many people to work as Sydney’s iconic ferries. Find out more
  37. The average Australian car drives 14,000 kilometres per year which means Australians, in their more than 13 million vehicles drive a combined 182 billion kilometres annually – that’s to Pluto and back 20 times per year! Find out more
  38. Melbourne has more bicycle commuters than any other city in Australia (25,594). In fact 41% of all women who ride to work in Australia live in Melbourne. Find out more
  39. Three decades ago almost 2 in 3 Australians were married while today less than half are, and the “never married” proportion of Australians has increased from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3. Find out more
  40. Three decades ago the average full time worker took home just under $19,000 per year in a time when the average house price was less than $150,000. Today annual earnings exceed $73,000 with the average house price in most capital cities exceeding $520,000. Find out more
  41. Over half of Australians (54%) go down the health food aisle as part of their weekly shop. Find out more
  42. 1 in 4 Australians (24%) has a university degree but for Generation Y it is more than 1 in 3 and based on the current trends for Generation Z it is forecast that 1 in 2 will end up with a university degree.
  43. Of meals consumed at home, over one third of Australians (36%) eat most of their meals on the sofa while watching TV. Find out more
  44. There are more people in Sydney today than lived in all of Australia a century ago.
  45. In the last 100 years, Australia has only planted two new cities, Canberra (now our 8th largest) and the Gold Coast (now our 6th largest). Find out more
  46. Australians have had 3 months of life expectancy added for every 12 months of time for each of the last 100 years. Find out more
  47. A quarter of Australians (27%) were born overseas and almost half of Australian households (46%) had at least one parent born overseas. Find out more
  48. More than half of the population state that they are about average in happiness, 29% say they are happier than average, and 17% are less happy than the average. Find out more
  49. The average age of a first marriage is 29.8 for men and 28.1 for women and on average men first become a dad at 33 years of age while women have their first child at 30.7 years of age. Find out more
  50. The baby names which have been the most popular over the last few years (William, Jack, Charlotte and Emily) were also amongst the most popular baby names in Australia a century ago. Find out more.

Population Growth, Boat Arrivals & Australia's Humanitarian Program

Monday, June 23, 2014

In June 2014 McCrindle analysed the data on population growth (ABS), migration numbers (Department of Immigration) and we hope the infographic below is useful for an understanding of the drivers behind Australia’s population growth.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Australia’s Population Increase (last 12 months):

  • Australia’s annual growth rate is 1.8% which equates to 405,400 people over the last year. In 2008 net overseas migration was 459,904 (therefore population growth numbers in the last year were 54,504 less than they were 5 years ago). 
  • Annual growth is comprised of two factors: natural increase (births minus deaths) and net overseas migration (permanent arrivals minus permanent departures). A permanent arrival is defined by someone living in Australia for 12 months or more (or 12 months over a 16 month period).  The same time frames apply to permanent departures. 
  • 59% of Australia’s population increase is through migration which was 241,000 people last year.  In 2008 net overseas migration was 315,700 which equates to 74,700 fewer last year than 5 years ago. 41% of Australia’s population growth was through natural increase which was 164,400 people.    
    • Natural increase: 164,400 (41% of population growth)
      • Births: 310,600
      • Deaths: 146,200
    • Net overseas migration: 241,000 (59% of population growth)
      • Arrivals: 511,600
      • Departures: 270,600
  • The net overseas migration rate for the last decade has been hovering around 1% per annum (that is, it is the equivalent of about 1% of our population while the natural increase is equivalent to about 0.8% to our population).
  • 42% of those migrating are given permanent visas which was 101,230 in the last year.  Therefore those given permanent visas account for 25% of Australia’s population growth.
  • Of the net overseas migration, 58% are granted temporary visas (students, working holiday makers, visitors staying 12 months or more, 457 work visas), and 42% are granted permanent visas (skilled, family and humanitarian).
  • 20% of these are part of Australia’s humanitarian program- a total of 19,930 (with the remainder being skilled visas, 43%, and family visas, 37%), and so Australia’s humanitarian program accounts for 5% of Australia’s growth.
  • Of the humanitarian visas, 63% are granted offshore (as part of the UNHCR program in operation, particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Asia), 12% are granted to existing visa holders who are already in Australia, and 25% are granted to people who have arrived into Australian territorial waters by boat and are processed in detention centres (a total of 4,949 in the last year).
  • Therefore asylum seekers account for 1.2% of Australia’s population growth.

Immigration Detention and Community Statistics Summary

As at 31 May 2014, there were 4016 people in immigration detention facilities, including 2779 in immigration detention on the mainland and 1237 in immigration detention on Christmas Island.

Of these people in detention, 89% had arrived by boat (3566 people).  The number in detention facilities currently is less than half the number that were in detention facilities a year ago (In May 2013 there were 8521). 

Boat Arrivals in Australia (Irregular Maritime Arrivals):

Here is a summary of the Boat Arrivals in Australia (Irregular Maritime Arrivals) over the last 10 years as provided by the Parliamentary Library:

Year Number of boats Number of people (excludes crew)
2005 4 11
2006 6 60
2007 5 148
2008 7 161
2009 60 2726
2010 134 6555
2011 69 4565
2012 278 17204
2013 300 20587
2014 (to 23.6.14) 0 0

Sources: Department of Immigration (immi.gov.au), Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au), Parliamentary Library, Parliament of Australia.

If every asylum seeker who arrived by boat since 2005 (52,017) was granted entry to Australia (and many have returned voluntarily, others have been deported, and still others are yet to have their cases determined), the total number when compared to Australia’s population growth over this 9.5 year period (3,514,300) would account for less than 1.5% of Australia’s population growth. So total arrivals by boat over almost 10 years is the equivalent of less than 9 weeks of Australian births.

Deaths & Funerals in Australia: A Statistical Snapshot

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Australian attitudes to funerals and death are changing. We perceive funerals with growing acceptance rather than resistance and are opting for relaxed and reflective funerals rather than solemn and serious ones. We are unlikely to pre-plan our funerals, and two thirds of us prefer cremation over burial.

In Australia the age of dying is increasing, with the highest number of deaths occurring in the 85 to 89 age bracket (comprising 1 in 5 of all deaths), and our life expectancy has risen to 82 years of age.

McCrindle was recently commissioned by the Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA) to gain on understanding of Australian perceptions towards funerals and deliver a statistical snapshot of death in Australia. Below is a brief synopsis, with expanded research results and demographic trends available for download in the Deaths and Funerals in Australia Research Summary.  

Death rates declining

While tax rates might be rising death rates in Australia are actually declining. Even though Australia’s population is larger than ever (23.5 million) and growing faster than ever (405,400 in the last year), Australia’s death rate continues to decline (6.5 deaths per 1,000, down from 6.9 a decade ago). Australia has more than twice as many births as deaths with more than 300,000 annual births and less than 150,000 annual deaths (147,098 in 2012).

Although more men die each year than women, (74,794 men in 2012, 72,304 women), the gap is decreasing from a decade ago when 107 men died for every 100 women, to 103 men for every 100 women currently.

Seasonal deaths: winter is Australia’s ‘death season’

‘The death season’ in Australia comprises our winter months, June July and August. Deaths in June are 11% above the monthly average, July is 26% and August 24% above the average. In summer of 2012 there were 25,617 deaths and in winter that same year Australia saw 41,926 deaths, an increase of 64%.

While Victoria hosts a deadly winter (66% increase in deaths compared to summer 2012), because of warmer weather, the Northern Territory does not have a noticeable winter and the deadliest month in the top end is January, and has been for the last 4 years.

Age of death increasing

The highest death numbers in Australia occur in the five year age bracket 85 to 89. This age group saw 19% of all deaths occur in 2012, making up 1 in 5 deaths for that year, despite 85-89s comprising just 1.2% of the population. Of the 279,684 Australians aged 85-89 in 2012, approximately 1 in 10 of them (27,885) died that year. Of the 3,299 Australians aged 100 and over in 2012, 2 in 5 of them (1,369) died in that year.

While those in their twenties recorded one of Australia’s lowest death rates, three times as many males (1,134) die in their twenties as do females (420).

Infant deaths declining

Infant deaths continue to decline even though we are setting new birth records (310,600 last year). While in 2002 the number of infant deaths recorded 397, this figure dropped to 312 ten years later. As total numbers of infant deaths continue to decline, so does the infant mortality rate from 4.6 (deaths per 1,000 live births) in 2002 to 3.2 ten years later in 2012.

Significant variability of state death rates

Western Australia had the lowest death rate of any state or territory (5.5 per 1,000 people), while the Northern Territory had the highest (7.9).

When measured by death rates, the deadliest place to live is Katherine in the Northern Territory (death rate 13.6), and the safest place to live is North Sydney (death rate 3.8). There is still a significant life expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. For non-indigenous Australians, the median age at death for males in 2012 was 78.7 and females was 84.7, whereas for indigenous Australians the median age of death for males was 55 and for females it was 61.3. All of the Local Government Areas with the highest death rates are areas with higher indigenous populations than the national average.

Death rates in some localities is four times that of others

State

Lowest Death Rate in State

Local Government Area

Highest Death Rate in State

Local Government Area

NSW

3.8

North Sydney

9.4

Bourke

VIC

4.3

Stonnington

7.9

Central Goldfields

QLD

5.2

Sunshine Coast

8.9

Murweh

SA

4.2

Mitcham

10.1

Ceduna

WA

4.0

Perth

11.0

Derby-West Kimberley

TAS

5.8

West Tamar

8.8

Derwent Valley

NT

6.7

Darwin

13.6

Katherine

Country of birth

Of the 147,098 deaths in Australia in 2012, 320 people died who were visiting Australia (non-residents), 45,393 were Australians born overseas and 101,385 were Australians born locally.

Australian men born in the Ukraine have the highest male median age of death at 87.8 years of age, followed by Poland (87.3), Estonia (87.2) and Lithuania (87.2). In fact, Australian men born overseas had a greater life expectancy (79.8) than Australian born males (78.0).

Australian women born in Estonia have the highest longevity with a median age of death at 90.1, followed by those born in Latvia (88.9), Russia (88.4) and Lithuania (88.0). Australian females born overseas had a comparable median age of death (84.6) as those born in Australia (84.7).

About this study

This research was conducted through detailed analysis of ABS datasets and a nationally representative survey of 519 Australians over the age of 50 conducted in April 2014. The research will be presented by Mark McCrindle at the AFDA 2014 National Convention in Darwin, NT, on 1 June 2014.

Click here to download the research summary.

Research that tells a story

Friday, May 30, 2014

Our passion is conducting research that lives and tells a story. 

Only when research is seen and interacted with does it truly makes a difference, and none have made research come alive better than the visionary team at Freedom Foods and the creative geniuses at Analog Folk, bringing the Good Food Karma Index to life based on McCrindle's mathematical algorithm, national surveys, data analysis and research visualisation.

We love seeing our research tell a story – and who doesn't like a story about food? Check out the infographic below for state versus state and male versus female stats, Australia's latest food facts, and a description of Australia's four food personalities. 

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Watch the Good Food Karma Video

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 know what will communicate and how to best engage.

Visit researchvisualisation.com for more info, and click here to discover how the Good Food Karma Index was derived.

Introducing Australia's Good Food Karma Index

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What is Australia’s relationship with food? Freedom Foods recently commissioned McCrindle to analyse Australian food consumption purchasing patterns and our everyday relationship with food.

The result is the Good Food Karma Index – a 20 dimensional index with individually calculated scores – which incorporates a person’s food behaviour and attitudes with national datasets to give each Australian an overall Good Food Karma rating.

What’s your personalised score and food personality?

How do you compare to Australia’s average? Which of the four food personalities – the Friendly Foodie, Overachiever, Insta-Eater, or Taste Seeker – do you most identify with?

Visit goodfoodkarmaindex.com.au to take the survey and get your personalised score.

Why the Good Food Karma Index?

Mark McCrindle explains McCrindle Research's involvement with the Good Food Karma Index:

"Food is fundamental to life and to so many aspects of our community. It is central to our family life and to our social interactions. Entertainment and recreation revolve around food in so many ways. Some of the most popular television shows focus on food and the experience of creating and enjoying it. Therefore, to analyse our purchasing habits, our consumption of food, our relationship with food and our values around food is an important part of social research and means a further understanding of our nation. The analysis of food attitudes and behaviour has been a fascinating experience and has revealed food personalities and social insights we would not have otherwise known."

"For these reasons I was attracted to the Food Karma project. It was exciting to develop an algorithm that analysed Australia’s food and eating habits not just from a narrow nutritional perspective alone but by looking at our relationship to food and overall wellbeing. It is a broad based index which doesn’t categorise food into black and white categories or determine good and bad lifestyles, or healthy and unhealthy eating. The Food Karma Algorithm appreciates the complex and diverse lifestyles that people have, and finds encouraging aspects of all groups."

"It helps us hold a mirror up to society so we can understand a bit more about the food values and attitudes ourselves. The food personalities we discovered, help Australians understand how they eat. We can be encouraged by many aspects of what we have found and Dr Joanna McMillan provides some helpful action steps so our lives can be further enhanced."

"Developing the Food Karma Algorithm and analysing all the data that has gone into it has been an enlightening and fun experience. I look forward to seeing more of the results come to light as Australians now get the chance to find out their own Food Karma score and food personality."

–Mark McCrindle, Social Researcher

Explaining The Good Food Karma Index

For details on how The Good Food Karma Index was developed and for the latest facts and figures on Australia’s relationship with food, download the Good Food Karma Index Report.

Click here to download the Report: The Good Food Karma Index.

Demand Vs. Supply: Australia's Aged Care Puzzle

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

With Australia’s ageing population, increased life expectancy and longevity, there are growing demands for aged care in our nation.

Australia’s aged care sector is under pressure to meet this growing demand while at the same time facing significant recruitment and workforce challenges with half of the current aged care workforce reaching retirement age in the next 15 years.

McCrindle crunches the numbers in the latest infographic, the Aged Care Puzzle, to determine the magnitude of the demand versus supply gap.

Embed this infographic

THE CHALLENGE OF DEMAND

Australia as an ageing nation

Australia is experiencing a baby boom, with births exceeding 315,000 a year, as well as an increasingly ageing population. The over 65s make up 15% of our population today, and forecasts project that this cohort will make up 17% in 2024, and by 2044, 1 in 5 Australians (20%) will be aged over 65.

Australia’s population pyramids visually show the growth of our ageing population, and in 2044 our population pyramid will become inverted with the number of over 60s outnumbering the under 18s for the first time. Our median age is also increasing – three decades ago the median age of an Australian was 30.5, today it is 37.3 and in 2044 it is projected to be 40.

The over 85s, where there is an even greater need for aged care services, are growing at an even faster rate than the over 65s. In 1984 there were 120,862 Australians aged over 85, today there are 4 times as many, and in 2044 there will be 14 times as many.

Not only are there more older people in our nation but Australians are living longer than ever before. Life expectancy at birth in 1984 was 75.8, whereas today it exceeds 80 for a male and 84 for a female. In 2044, it is projected to be 90.4.

Health advancements are increasing longevity

The primary enabler of this increased and ongoing longevity gain has been the health system rather than individual behaviour. Life expectancy increases will continue because of improved medical technologies, public health infrastructure, better public health measures, new and improved medical interventions and the improved survivability rates of major illnesses and cancers.

The health system is also what will keep us living longer in the future. With Australians living longer than ever before, there will be an increasing need for procedures and medical intervention, and a growing expectation from the public that these services will continue to be provided.

A decade ago, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were the 6th largest causes of death in Australia, accounting for 4,364 deaths in 2002. Today they are the 3rd leading causes of death with the number of deaths having more than doubled to 9,864. Over the same period of time, deaths due to the first and second causes of deaths (heart disease and brain disease) have been decreasing. If today’s current trend continues over the next decade, by 2021 dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will be the leading cause of death in Australia.

With little change in the retirement age and an increase in longevity, the retirement years have increased and the years for which supported care is needed has also increased. Not only is our population larger, our population is also living longer.

Exponential growth of centenarians will keep the Queen busy

In 1952, the year that Queen Elizabeth II became sovereign, 40 letters of congratulations would need to have been written for Australians turning 100. This year, 2,643 Australians will turn 100 and in 30 years the number of congratulatory letters written to Australians turning 100 will increase to 18,567 in the year 2044.

THE CHALLENGE OF SUPPLY

Not only is there an increasing demand on the services provided by the aged care sector with the growing number of over 85s, there is also a workforce supply challenge.

Ratio of Workers to Retirees Declining

The ageing population will place greater demands for productivity on the labour force. In 1970, for every couple of retirement age there were 15 people in the working age population, by 2010 there were just 10 people of working age for every couple of retirement age, and this is projected to decline to just 5 people of working age for every couple at retirement age by 2050.

An Ageing Workforce

Along with our ageing population, we also have an ageing workforce. Today the median age of an Australian is 37.3 and the median age of a worker is 40. However this varies across sectors – for example, the median age in the retail sector is 33.4, finance 37.3, construction 38.5, health 41.1, education 42.1. However in the aged care sector this ageing is even more pronounced – the median age for a residential direct care worker is 48 and community direct care workers is 50 years which makes it the sector with the highest median age of an employee.

Impending retirements

Because of the high median age of an employee in the aged care sector, half of the aged care workforce will be of retirement age in 15 years. There are 240,445 workers in the aged care sector, so this equates to an average of 8,015 retirements per year for the next 15 years, which averages to 668 farewell lunches per month.

If we are to keep the current ratio of aged care workers to people aged over 85 in our nation, we need to add 77,976 workers in the next 10 years, which equates to recruiting 650 new workers per month, in addition to replacing the 668 retiring staff per month.

A Growing Need

In the next 30 years Australia will see an unprecedented rate of growth of the over 85s in our nation. In 2044 there will be 1.2 million more people aged over 85 than there are today, and the average older Australian will live 5 years longer than today which equates to adding 6 million more years of care just for the increased number of over 85s and just to manage their increased life expectancy.

Download the analysis and the infographic.

Click here to download this file


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