The McCrindle Blog
As demographers and researchers we are commissioned by some of Australia’s largest organisations and government agencies to conduct demographic analysis and forecasting. So for those with an interest in numbers and a curiosity in population, here are some demographic facts for you:
- Did you know that in Australia for every death there are two births?
- Did you know that more people live in Sydney today (almost 4.7 million) than lived in the entire nation a century ago?
- Did you know that 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)?
- Did you know that in Australians have added 3 months of life expectancy for every 12 months of time, for each of the last 100 years?
- Did you know that when compared to all other developed countries, Australia has the highest population growth rate in the world?
- Did you know that in Australia there are as many people aged over 38 as there are people aged under 38?
- Did you know that more than half of Australia’s adult population have completed a post-school qualification?
- Did you know that a quarter of Australians were born overseas and almost half of Australians had at least one parent born overseas?
- Did you know that more than half of Australian households have two or more vehicles?
- Did you know Australia’s population has grown 50% since 1983?
- Did you know that having seen the completion of Generations X, Y and Z the children born since 2010 are part of Generation Alpha?
- Did you know that in 2026, India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country?
Source: ABS, McCrindle Research
What are the hottest topics making their way across the conference circuit? When engaging with and understanding today’s emerging generations, Generation Y and Generation Z, business leaders and educators must be aware of the changing landscape of Australia’s global youth culture and respond to the trends shaping this customer segment.
Social Media: The what, why and how?
In just five years social media has emerged as a massive communication channel. Understanding how to engage with customers, communities and stakeholders in this new digital landscape is essential for all organisations. It is crucial to grasp why people use social media, who the key users are, what works best, and where the trends are taking us.
Generation Z: Engaging with today’s students, consumers, and new employees
There are 4.6 million reasons to engage Generation Z, the students of today and university graduates, employees and consumers of tomorrow. They are truly the 21st Century generation, with the whole of their formative years lived in this century. While Gen Zs are today’s children and teenagers, within a decade they will comprise almost 1 in 5 workers and will hold significant purchasing power. Recognising and responding to the defining attributes of this emerging generation and gaining the knowledge and skills to engage this post-literate, multimodal, and tech-savvy generation is key.
Tweens & teens: Understanding Australia’s global youth culture
Where once life was a clearly defined journey from childhood to adulthood, our non-linear world includes a range of emerging life-stages including pre-teens, tweens, kippers and boomerang kids. These new consumer segments add greater complexity in engaging the youth audience. Understanding these demographic segments and the best practice communication and engagement strategies is of central importance to winning over today’s under 30s.
Claire Madden is the Research Director at McCrindle Research. As a social researcher, Claire shares how the use of social media is key in communicating with the emerging generations, unwrapping the key characteristics and trends of today’s Gen Z, and giving insights towards best engagement strategies for Australia’s global youth culture. Download Claire’s speaking pack for more info, or why not get in touch directly to find out more?
The Baby Bonus was introduced in the year after Australia’s population hit its lowest birth rate ever recorded (1.7) in 2001, with the aim to increase fertility rates and offset the peak of Australia’s ageing population.
The 2002 Federal Budget, delivered by Treasurer Peter Costello introduced the baby bonus scheme, aimed to lighten the financial load for new parents. The Baby Bonus Scheme initially granted $2,500 in tax cuts per year for parents of newborns, an amount which was amended to lump-sum payments of $3,000 from 1 July 2004 and progressively rising to its current amount of $5,000 (now paid in 13 instalments).
Baby bonus stimulates birth rate
The baby bonus certainly had an influence on the birth rate, which increased significantly, hitting a peak of 2.0 in 2008. Births continued to grow, and 2011 saw Australian births exceed 300,000 (301,617), a record that is being broken year on year. In fact, we are amidst a bigger baby boom than even the original post-WWII baby boom incurred, which resulted in Australia’s largest-ever generation – the Baby Boomers.
The Baby Bonuses (the 3.1 million babies born since the introduction of the Baby Bonus Scheme in 2012) are Australia’s first generation paid simply for being born.
The Baby Bonus and the resulting surge in births over the last decade has eased the peak of the ageing population challenge and added to our population growth and the economic stimulus that has flowed from this.
Misconceptions on first-time mums
There are, however, some misconceptions about the baby bonus and the births that it facilitated.
When the 2002 Baby Bonus was first introduced, it was predicted by some that the incentive would encourage an increase in teenage, single and young mums. However, the ABS data shows that the fertility rate for mums aged between 16 and 19 has actually declined over the last decade. In fact, the fertility rate for teenagers has been declining for more than three decades now – for example, the fertility rate of sixteen year old women has decreased 55% since 1982.
The trend over the last decade has been increasing fertility rate amongst older women. Over the last decade, the fertility rate of women aged 35-39 has been greater than that of women in their early twenties. The fertility rate of a 32 year old woman is ten times greater than that of a 17 year old!
Baby bonus dissolution
On 1 March 2014, when the Baby Bonus Scheme is finally put to bed after more than 13 years and replaced changes to Family Tax Benefit Schedule A, it will have left a legacy in terms of the generation it created. The economic impact and productivity of the Baby Bonus Generation will shape this nation over the century ahead.
With just over 9 months to go until its dissolution, there’s still time for prospective parents to gain a benefit from the Baby Bonus Scheme. We may well see a final surge of births that end this legacy of Australia’s baby bonus and the Baby Bonus Generation.
Sources: ABS Cat 3301.0 – Births, Australia, 2011, and McCrindle Research, 2013
Australia’s ageing continues
In just two decades Australia’s median age has increased nearly 5 years (from 32.7 to 37.5 today). In the last 5 years the proportion of our population aged under 20 has declined by a percentage point to be just 1 in 4 Australians (25%) while the proportion aged over 60 has increased by a similar amount to be 1 in 5 (20%). Based on these current demographic trends, by 2028, for the first time in Australia’s history there will be more people aged over 60 than aged under 20.
Click here to download this report as a PDF.
A good news story
The ageing of our population is of course a good news story. The Standardised Death Rate (deaths per 1,000 population) continues to fall (to 5.59- half that of births) while life expectancy continues to rise.
When Australia’s Age Pension was introduced in 1909, life expectancy at birth was 57 while today it exceeds 80. While the accessibility age of 65 for males has not changed in a century, longevity certainly has. In fact so dramatic has been the increase in life expectancy, that averaged across males and females, Australians have gained 25 years of life expectancy in the last 100 years. Or 3 months of life every 12 months of time!
Downagers: redefining the older life stages
Today’s Baby Boomers are the ultimate downagers, redefining lifestages, and reinventing retirement. They have adult children at home longer, they’re buying and selling property later in life, and remaining active in the workforce later than ever before. This is a response to the improved life and health realities. In fact based on years of life expectancy, a 65 year old today is the equivalent of a 54 year old in 1950. It is therefore of little surprise that Australians are younger longer and working later.
Older workers: technical, professional and entrepreneurial
Australia’s workers aged 65 and older currently comprise 3.4% of Australia’s total workforce (393,000 out of 11, 589, 000). The top two job categories of older Australians where more than 1 in 5 are aged 65 or over are professionals (21.4%) and managers (20.4%).
Of Australians 65 and over currently in the workforce, 72% are employees, 23% have their own business, 4% are employers, and 1% are contributing family workers.
Older Australians work the longest hours employed as managers in numerous industries (35 hours per week) and the least hours when employed in the community and personal service work industry (18 hours).
Across all of the industries, the average Australian worker aged 65 and older works 27 hours per week as an employee, 36 hours per week as an employer, 26 hours per week as a business owner, and 18 hours per week as a contributing family worker. Older workers are looking for great flexibility in their working hours and are increasingly not working full-time.
41% of Australians aged 65 and older who work as managers run their own business. This is the highest rate of self-employment across the major industries for this age group. Other industries that display a high percentage of older Australians running their own businesses are technicians and trade workers (27%), labourers (26%) and business services (20%).
% of all employees
Average hours worked
Clerical and Administrative Workers
Technicians and Trades Workers
Machinery Operators and Drivers
Community & Personal Service Workers
As the Director of McCrindle Research, Mark McCrindle headed up the McCrindle Baynes Village Community Report – the largest study into retirement village residents ever conducted in Australia. The project involved a 57 question pen and paper survey, deployed to 181 villages managed by 7 operators. It received over 10,000 completed surveys, representing almost 1 in 10 village residents Australia-wide.
Want to know more?
Click here to read more about our Speaking services.
Our recently released 2013 National Baby Names Report shows the growing preference nation-wide for softer-sounding names for girls and firmer-sounding names for boys.
The Top 20 list of boys’ and girls’ names across Australia shows that over half of girls’ names end in an ‘ah’ sound and 95% end in a vowel or ‘y’. In comparison, only 10% of boys’ in the Top 20 end with a vowel.
The Top 100 list shows that 81% of girls’ names overall end in a vowel or vowel sound (including ‘y’ and ‘ah’ sounds), compared to only 23% of boys’ names overall.
Girls’ names are longer and more flowing compared to the often short and sharp boys’ names.
In the Top 100, 37 girls’ names have 3 or more syllables with 9 of these having 4 syllables—Elizabeth, Angelina, Indiana/ Indianna and Gabriella.
In comparison, there are only 18 boys’ names with 3 or more syllables; only 1 of these, Alexander, has 4 syllables and this will likely be shortened to Alex anyway!
When it comes to single-syllable names, boys lead the way with 14 one-syllable names in the Top 10. This is twice as many as the girls!
Although the trend seems to be gender-relevant names, parents are still opting for unisex names.
Only 1 name in the Top 100, in its unchanged spelling form, Charlie, is commonly considered to be interchangeable between the two sexes—the rest are distinctly boys’ or girls’ names.
Some of the girls names featured in the Top 100 that can also be used as boys’ names are: Harper, Jade and Mackenzie.
On the other hand, parents of girls are using the pool of currently popular boys’ names on a much larger scale, some of these include: Riley, Charlie, Tyler, Bailey, Jordan, Cameron, Ashton, Kai, Jessie, Alex.
Australia hit its population milestone of 23 million residents last week on the 23rd April. We kept a keen eye on the ABS' Population Clock in the lead-up, and have pulled together some stats and facts which contributed to this milestone. It has received a wide range of media coverage, listed below.
Read the full summary about Australia's population growth.
Take a look at our infographic on the Population of Australia.
Watch the video of Mark McCrindle explaining Australia at 23 million
For a more comprehensive look at McCrindle Research in the media, click here to go to our Media page.
With Australia's population growth rate having just increased from 1.6% to 1.7%, the population milestone of 23 million will be reached today, Tuesday, 23 April at 9.57pm Sydney time.
While this doesn't sound like much in percentage terms, it is a population increase of 382,500 in the last year. Our current population increase is the equivalent of one new Coffs Harbour every 8 weeks, or one new Gold Coast every 19 months!
Want to know more?
- Click here to see our Australia at 23 Million Infographic.
- Click here to see Mark on ABC News 24 on this topic.
- Click here to read the full research summary.
At McCrindle Research we are about conducting world class research and communicating the insights in innovative ways. Emerging generations of business leaders are digital, visual, and global in outlook, connecting with information that is presented in compelling ways.
While the last few years have introduced big data to business, the challenge is interpreting the data and communicating the trends and insights effectively so that leaders can make strategic decisions. An infographic can visualise large numbers of data points in an easily accessible format, in the way that a ‘picture tells a thousand words’.
As pioneers in this emerging data visualisation area, and as Australia’s leading research visualisation experts, at McCrindle Research we are able to interpret the key data and present the summarised insights in innovative and visually accessible ways.
Here are our top five keys to worlds-best research visualisation:
1. Creativity of style: Clever metaphors, compelling visuals
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3. Complexity of data: Research rich, statistically robust
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Click here to see the Mind the Gap infographic on the difference in salary between males and females.
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Click here to watch the Know the Times animation on YouTube.
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With Australia’s population growth rate having just increased from 1.6% to 1.7%, the population milestone of 23 million will be reached this Tuesday, 23 April at 9.57pm Sydney time.
While this doesn’t sound like much in percentage terms, it is a population increase of 382,500 in the last year. Our current population increase is the equivalent of one new Coffs Harbour every 8 weeks, or one new Gold Coast every 19 months!
Twice the Size of 1966
In 1966 Australia’s population was 11.5 million and so it has taken just 47 years to double to 23 million. The global population doubled at a slightly faster rate, hitting 3.5 billion in 1968 and reaching 7 billion in late 2011, a period of just over 43 years.
World-Beating Growth Rate
The global population is increasing at 1.1% per annum, the fastest growing country in total numbers, India is growing at 1.4% while Australia’s growth is 1.7%.
But hitting 23,000,000 well after other nations
The population of the UK reached 23 million in 1830 and the USA got there in 1850!
Births Exceed 300,000
For the first time in Australia’s history, annual births have exceeded 300,000 in the last year. Keep in mind that the original Baby Boom which created Australia’s largest generation – the Baby Boomers, peaked out at 260,000 births in the early 1960’s.
Half as many Deaths as Births
While the birth rate has been growing, the death rate has been declining. A factor of increasing longevity, and an ageing population, is that the Standardised Death Rate (deaths per 1,000 population) has fallen to 5.59 and total annual deaths in the last year were 149,100.
Population Growth from Migration Increases, Proportion from Natural Increase declines
The Net Overseas Migration figure of 228,000 is an increase of almost one-third (32.2%) on the previous year. The proportion of population growth contributed by migration is now 60%, and the proportion from natural increase is 40%. Permanent overseas arrivals are expected to break the half-million mark this year, falling just short of this at 488,100 in the last 12 months, or 9,387 per week.
Queensland is the most chosen state
Analysis of interstate migration data shows that Queensland continues to be Australia’s most loved state, with arrivals from other states and territories into Queensland exceeding 1,700 per week, a total of 88,866 last year.
When interstate departures are subtracted from the interstate arrivals, NSW performed the worst nationally with a net loss of 18,378 to other states, while Queensland performed best with a net gain of 11,796 from other states.
Queensland was the No. 1 destination of three states (NSW, WA and NT) and NSW was also top for three (Victoria, Qld and ACT) ahead of Victoria’s two (SA and Tas.).
40 Million in 40 Years
Australia has been growing by a million people roughly every two and a half years. Even if the population growth rate stays the same, the speed of adding each new million will accelerate as the population base increases (for example our current birth rate of 1.9 is producing record birth numbers, even though in 1961 we had a birth rate of 3.5- because our population today is more than twice as large as it was then.) Even allowing for a slight slowing of the population growth rate, Australia’s population will exceed 40 million in the late 2050’s although if the growth rate continues its current strength, this milestone could easily be reached by the mid 2050’s.
Sources: ABS Australian Demographic Statistics, ABS Population Clock, McCrindle Research.
Seven years ago McCrindle Research began in a spare room of Mark and Ruth McCrindle’s house. With a psychology background, market research experience, and a passion to conduct world class research, Mark began the McCrindle Research story.
Since then we’ve been commissioned by scores of clients, completed hundreds of projects, interviewed thousands of people, analysed hundreds of thousands of online survey responses, and interpreted millions of data points for our demographic summaries. Our research has been disseminated through hundreds of media articles, more than 10,000 of Mark’s books, and more than 100,000 of our acclaimed A5 population maps.
As Australia’s leading data visualisation researchers, our infographics, slide decks, whitepapers and research summaries have been meeting quite a need for world class research and analysis communicated in relevant, innovative ways. Our analytics tells us that they’ve been getting thousands of views and downloads each day.
So if you are looking to analyse your market, identify consumer segments, understand the demographics, engage with diverse generations, or respond to the emerging trends, then check out our research packs, Mark’s speaking pack or get in contact for a quote. Through commissioned research projects, focus groups and online surveys, demographic reports, strategic workshops, and keynote presentations, we help organisations know the times.
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We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.The McCrindle Team :)
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