Generation Z: Understanding and Engaging the Emerging Generations

Thursday, August 01, 2013

From the Baby Boomers and Generation X and Generation Y, it is now Generation Z and Generation Alpha that are emerging.

These new generations are global, social, visual and technological. They are the most connected, educated and sophisticated generations ever. They are the up-agers, with influence beyond their years. They are the tweens, the teens, the youth and young adults of our global society. They are the early adopters, the brand influencers, the social media drivers, the pop-culture leaders. They comprise nearly 2 billion people globally, and they don’t just represent the future, they’re creating it. To understand the trends, to respond to the changes, and to be positioned to thrive in these changing times, it is essential to understand these next gens.

Who are Today’s Gen Zs?

Gen Zs are demographically changed – growing up in an era of Australia’s largest baby boom since the birth of the Boomer generation, and are living in an era of changing household structures. They are generationally changed – shaped in a society with an increasingly ageing population. They are digitally transformed – seamlessly integrating technology into their everyday realities. They are globally focused through the emergence of global pop culture, global brands, and a borderless virtual reality. They are educationally transformed – moving past structural and linear learning – and they are socially defined, connected to and shaped by their peers.

Gen Zs at Work: How to attract, retaining, managing & training emerging generations

While Generation Z are still largely in the education system and only just beginning to emerge into the workforce, within a decade they will comprise almost 1 in 5 workers. The oldest cohort of Gen Zs are now 19 years old, many of whom are entering the workforce for the very first time. How can employers understand and engage with the needs of these new employees?

Over the last couple of years the realities of massive generational change have dawned on many business leaders. While the issues of an ageing population and a new attitude to work have literally been emerging for a generation, it has been a sudden awakening for many organisations. In fact dealing with these demographic changes and specifically recruiting, retaining and managing the new generations has emerged as one of the biggest issues facing employers today.



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. Claire is a social researcher and a next-gen expert, 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. Visit clairemadden.com for more info.

Emerging Population Segments [in the media]

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Australian population has grown by 8% in the last 5 years, with 49 new demographic groups emerging, according to a new demographic segmentation tool released by Experian this week. Mark McCrindle joins Mike and Virginia on ABC Breakfast today to explain 3 of the 49 new segments:

1. Greener Pastures

These are above average income earning families mainly with school aged children who in the past would’ve been in the established suburbs but are moving to the semi-rural areas of our capitals, to sometimes acreage, or more often moving to regional areas, refining regional Australia – they’re going to places like Wagga Wagga, Bendigo, Ballarat, Albury, and Wodonga. They are fairly sophisticated, bringing a good connection to the cities even though they’re now in regional areas.

2. New Bubs New Burbs

These are culturally diverse families that really are the next generation, extending to the outer suburbs of cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Whole new green field suburbs are being developed in the outskirts of major capitals suburbs, catering to the needs of this very aspirational generation of what once were working class families but are now professional class with children moving through university as well.

3. Coastal Contentments

These are a portion of the segment of sea changers that have been around for a while. These are people of retirement age that are moving to coastal areas, but not stopping work – many of them are maintaining work or starting a business, perhaps, with money to spend and not slowing down or downsizing. They remain in larger homes where the children come and visit – lifestyle is really on the top of the list for them.


Infrastructure demands in capitals lead to regional surge


As cities are growing at much faster rates than governments anticipated and not keeping up with the infrastructure needed to keep account of these new groupings, regional Australia is flourishing.

People on the outer suburbs of capitals are saying to themselves, “An hour and a half commute each day and the high cost of housing – maybe we’ll move to a regional center, establish a better lifestyle, and get a bit of breathing space on the mortgage.”

It is certain that the strain on infrastructure, the downside of the bottlenecks that it creates, the extra waiting times and the challenges and costs of getting around are creating fragmentation in terms of where people are living and new lifestyle options.


NSW versus Victoria population growth


Mark also mentions growth trends in Australia’s most popular state, NSW, home to one in three Australians. With the size of the growth and the challenge of keeping property prices attainable, we are seeing growth rates in Melbourne greater than Sydney.

Based on current trends, by the middle of this century Melbourne will exceed Sydney as the most populous city. Melbourne features more embedded transport options and forward planning over the past decade than Sydney, so people are starting to vote with their feet. 

Sydney has had a net loss to the other states, while Victoria has had a net gain in population from the other states.


For a more comprehensive look at McCrindle Research in the media, click here to go to our Media page.

Good Versus Evil: Good Wins

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It is easy to become disheartened with humanity when our daily catch-up with the world involves few uplifting stories.


In a recent survey drawn from our national online research panel (AustraliaSpeaks.com), 95% agreed that the media reports more negative than positive news and 93% felt that this gives the impression that there is more evil than good in the world.


It comes as no surprise then that only 31% of Australians think there are more acts of kindness performed in the world than acts of terror. However, the reality is that more good goes on in the world than we are led to believe. In fact, off-screen it is good deeds that, by a large margin, outnumber the bad. Our research shows that for every reported act of road rage, violence or abuse, there are 38 acts of kindness towards strangers. Further, we found that 86% of Australians say they have gone out of their way to help a stranger in need, and 29.5% or 6.7 million Australians help a stranger “regularly”.


Here are more statistics to illustrate this: 49% of Australians say they have been shown “significant” kindness by a stranger, while 29% say they have been the recipient of kindness from a stranger over the past week. Further testifying to the power of good over evil is the statistic that 64% of Australians “definitely agree” with the statement that “good is more powerful than evil” (only 6% disagree).


The Power of Good book coverFor an inspiring look at the best of humanity - from small acts of charity to selfless acts of kindness, order your copy of our book, The Power of Good.

Click here to download the first chapter.

Click here to download this file

The McCrindle Consumer Trends Wheel

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The McCrindle Research Consumer Trends Wheel is our proprietary device for assessing the impact of 6 key areas on existing or prospective consumers. Demographical, social, generational, financial, technological and attitudinal factors are analysed in this consumer trends scan process. Here is a general example with some of the key impacts transforming today's global consumers. For individualised or targeted consumer trends analysis, do not hesitate to get in contact.


Click here to download the McCrindle Consumer Trends Wheel:

Click here to download this file





Teleworking in Australia: Latest Trends and Perceptions

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Teleworking and telecommuting are concepts (and terms) that have been around since the early 1970’s, but have become a recent reality for many as technology and work culture are shifting.  By 2020, through the completion of the National Broadband Network, the government aims to provide greater opportunities for Australians to work remotely, with the aim for 12 percent of all public servants to regularly telecommute.

A recent McCrindle Research survey of over 580 Australians shows that Australians are eager to make significant changes to their working styles, embracing the freedom to work from home or remote of their primary location of work.


Most would stay longer if offered teleworking


80% of those surveyed stated that they would more likely stay longer with an existing employer should that employer provide them with the flexibility of working remotely or from home. Women expressed this in a greater capacity than men, with 82% of women agreeing this to be true for them, compared to 78% of men. The desire for flexible working arrangements was greatest among full-time workers, 86% of whom expressed the potential for increased longevity in their current role should teleworking be made available to them.


Most would take a pay cut for teleworking


Most employees (52% of men and 51% of women) are prepared to forego a percentage of their pay in exchange for greater flexibility in their working arrangements. While a lesser percentage of Baby Boomers showed such a capacity to forego pay, still almost half (46%) of them would be prepared to put a price on flexibility.

28% of Australians would be willing to earn 5% less for significant flexibility, and 14% of Australians would be willing to earn around 10% less to telework. 1 in 16 Australians would even be willing to compromise 20% of their pay – an entire day’s pay on a full-time load – in exchange for the opportunity to work remotely or from home.


Most are more productive working from home


55% of Australians reported being slightly or significantly more productive working from home than in an office environment. Productivity from home increases with age: While only 45% of Gen Ys report being more productive from home, this number rises to 52% for Gen Xs and 61% for the Baby Boomers. The Builder generation, those 68 and older, report the greatest personal productivity in a home-working environment, with 73% of them reporting greater personal productivity.


Australians spend most of their time working in one location


46% of Australians currently spend all of their working time in their primary location of work. 31% spend anywhere up to 20% of their time working from a remote location, 13% spend between 20 and 80% working remotely, and 10% of Australians work remotely more than 80% of their working time.


1 in 5 Australians work in 3 or more locations


While employers have shown a greater degree of flexibility for telecommuting than in the past, 54% of Australians still work from one central office location. However, 25% of Australians have a second location from which they conduct at least one hour’s work every week, 12% of Australians have 3 or 4 locations that they are based from, and 10% of Aussie workers work across 5 or more locations every single week.


Most want to do some work from home


When given the choice, 78% Aussies expressed a desire to spend at least a certain amount of their time working from home. Of these, 36% expressed a desire to work mainly in the workplace but partly at home, 24% desired to work half their working time in both places, and 40% expressed that they would like to work mainly at home and partly at home.

81% of those employed on a part-time basis showed a desire to work at home at some capacity, compared to only 70% of those who are employed full-time.


More popular and productive for introverts


The benefit of teleworking for introverts is greater than for extroverts. Introverts are 30% more productive working from home than extroverts. If given the choice, over a third of introverts (34%) would choose to work mainly at home and only partly in the workplace, whereas only 1 in 5 extroverts (22%) would choose the same. Conversely, extroverts are 32% more likely than introverts to want to work mainly in the workplace and only partly at home.


But gathering centrally is still essential


In terms of culture and output, the majority of Australians value the group collective, stating that in order to promote the best team outcomes, times for gathering and brainstorming as well as the capacity to work with varying degrees of flexibility is key. Only 18% of Australians feel that collective productivity is greatest when everyone is working in one place with no teleworking options. Over two thirds of Aussies (68%) stated that the culture and output of a workplace is best when everyone is working in one place with a degree of flexibility for teleworking, or when there is a time for gathering and working together but also a significant time for working remotely. Only 1 in 10 Australians would say that productivity is best when workers largely work independently with occasional gathering, and very few Australians (4%) report seeing no need for workers to gather in order to achieve maximum output or develop cultural cohesion.


About this Study: This research was conducted by McCrindle Research in May 2013 based on a nationwide study of 586 respondents.


Click here for the full report:


Australia in 2034: The World of Generation Alpha

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Generation Alpha are those born since 2010. They’ll be the largest generation our world has ever seen, the most technologically aware and the most influential.

What will Australia look like in 2034, the year when first cohort of Generation Alphas are in their early 20s?


1. The population of Melbourne will be 5.9 million (that’s larger than the whole of Victoria today).

2. Australia will have reached 32 million (up from 23 million currently).

3. The global population will be 8.8 billion (that’s twice what it was when the parents of Generation Alpha were born in the early 1980’s).

4. India will have surpassed China as the world’s most populous nation.

5. There will be more Australians aged over 60 than under 20 for the first time in our history (a sign of our ageing population).

6. Australia’s median age (where half the population is younger and half is older) will be 40. It was 29 when the parents of Gen Alpha were born.

7. The most common household type will be the couple, no kids households, for the first time ever eclipsing the nuclear family of today (couple with children).


Source: McCrindle Research, ABS

Note: Projections are based on the current growth rates: 1.1% for the world, 1.6% Australia, 1.88% Melbourne, China and India’s numeric growth, and ABS median age forecasts and household type data.


Mark McCrindle's book The ABC of XYZ 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. 

Beyond Z, Meet Generation Alpha: McCrindle Research

A Dozen Demographic Did You Knows

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Did you know?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

Hot Conference Topics for 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

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?


Social Media iconsIn 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

Click here to download Claire Madden's Speaking pack

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 Generation

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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


Older Workers, Downagers, and Redefining Retirement

Monday, May 13, 2013

Older Workers in Australia, Downagers, Redefining retirement

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.

Click here to download this report.


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%).

Occupation Breakdown of Workers Aged 65+

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%).


Occupation/Industry

Total employees
aged 65+

% of all employees

Average hours worked

Professionals

84,000

21.4%

27

Managers

80,000

20.4%

35

Clerical and Administrative Workers

59,000

15.0%

23

Labourers

47,000

12.0%

21

Technicians and Trades Workers

41,000

10.4%

28

Machinery Operators and Drivers

33,000

8.4%

28

Sales Workers

26,000

6.6%

25

Community & Personal Service Workers

24,000

6.1%

18

TOTAL

393,000

100%

27

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?

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