The McCrindle Blog
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.
National Youth Week, held 5-14 April 2013, is a chance for young people, aged 12 to 25, to share ideas, attend live events, have their voices heard, and showcase their talent. It is a chance for the local and broader community to celebrate the contributions of young people. This year’s theme, “Be Active. Be Happy. Be You.,” encourages young people to speak up on their issues and the things concerning them, giving them a voice of acceptance and respect in their local areas.
At McCrindle Research, we have compiled a demographic snapshot of young people aged 12 to 25 in Australia and presented a face of Australian youth.
Demographic Snapshot of Today’s & Tomorrow’s Youth
Currently there are 4,280,322 persons between the age of 12 to 25 in Australia – that is, 18.6% of our population. There are 109, 260 more males than females in this age group, with males comprising 51.3% of the 12-25 population, and females making up 48.7%.
There are 151,023 more young people aged 12 to 25 than 5 years ago, in 2008, although as a percentage of the total population it has decreased from 19.4% to 18.6%.
Population Changes into 2020 and 2028
While young people in Australia make up a significant portion of our population, we are seeing an increase in the percentage of our population that is over 60, and a decreasing percentage of population that is under 20. In 2008, 26.0% of our population was under 20, and 18.5% of our population was over 60. Today, in 2013, 25% of our population is under 20, and 19.6% of our population is over 60. Based on these current demographic trends, by 2028, for the first time in Australia’s history there will be more people aged 60 than aged under 20.
This is not to say that the rate at which we are growing is declining – in fact, quite the opposite. With over 300,000 births taking place every year and Australia about to hit 23 million this month, Australia’s population is growing faster than ever. As our population grows, however, the age of our population is increasing and the proportion of our population between the ages of 12 to 25 is decreasing. In 2020, only 17.5% of Australians (4,419,758 out of a total population of 25,288,090) will be aged between the 12 and 25 (down from 18.6% today).
The Face of Today’s Emerging Teenager
First of the New Millennium Generation
Today’s emerging teenager, aged 13, is part of Generation Z – the first generation of the new millennium – was born in the year 2000. As a new millennial citizen, today’s emerging teenager was born in the time that John Howard was Australia’s prime minister, Sydney hosted the Summer Olympics, the Goods and Services Tax was introduced nationally, the Airport Rail Link opened in Sydney, and Popstars, the first Australian reality TV show, aired on national television.
His Name is Joshua, Her Name is Jessica
The most popular boys name given to babies in 2000 was Joshua. Today the most popular name is Jack (Joshua is 12th). In 2000, Jessica was the most dominant girl’s name (today it is Charlotte, with Jessica now ranked at 27th).
Born in an Era of a Falling Birth Rate
Joshua was born at a time in which Australia’s birth rate was falling. Leading up to the year 2000, Australia’s total fertility rate had been on the decrease since 1990, with 1.7 babies being born per woman. This trend reversed in the early 2000s and we are currently in the midst of another ‘baby boom,’ with 1.9 babies born per woman in the year 2011 and the numbers steadily increasing.
Joshua’s parents are Generation X – the 21% of Australia’s population born between 1965 and 1979. If Joshua was the first-born child, his mother was born in 1970 and had him when she was 29.8 years old. She is now going on 43 and trying to get her head around her work-life balance: perhaps she is pursuing entrepreneurial ambitions, planning on spending more time with her family, or working towards further study pursuits.
Joshua’s Future Education & Employment
Joshua’s generation, Gen Z (those born between 1995 to 2009) is the first fully global generation, shaped by the 21st century, connected through digital devices and engaged through social media. Joshua will pursue further education and training to go on to university, but education is no longer a life-stage for him – it is a life-long reality. Based on today’s average tenia, today’s vocationally mobile, entrepreneurial, and truly global Generation Z will have 17 employers across 5 separate careers, working in jobs that don’t even currently exist.
Traditionally, those living in Great Britain would slot into one of three classes: Working Class, Middle Class and Upper Class, defined primarily by education, income and wealth.
“...In Australia there's far more mobility across those class systems, and income is no longer a key factor that defines it.”
New research conducted by social scientists in the UK have built a new model of class structures, in which citizens are divided into seven groups. This research takes into account variables such as one's social and cultural capital. How are these measured? The survey includes questions about whether social media is being used, whether a person attends a gym or plays sport, and the kinds of music they might enjoy.
This model reveals that 6% of Britons are in the Elite, and 15% are on the other side of the spectrum, under the banner of the Precariat, who have very little money, social, and cultural life.
So what about Australia? Does the average Aussie aspire to being in a 'higher' class? And how has the notion of class systems changed in 21st Century Australia?
Mark McCrindle shares some trends insights in our nation on ABC News 24. Check out the clip!
To attract and retain Gen Y in this high-turnover era we must meet their top 5 workplace needs. This comes straight from our research of Australian Gen Y workers and in order of importance they look for:
1. Work/Life Balance
For Generation Y their job matters however it is not their life – but rather it provides funds that fuel their life. In addition to their job they may also be juggling study, friends, family, sport, other work and community involvements. So when it comes to their work schedule and overtime think: flexibility.
Remember: if there’s a clash in the work-life balance, life wins!
2. Workplace Culture
This has to do with the relationships with others at work. For Generation Y social connection with peers is one of the top retention factors. Not all of them have support from home so they are looking for a place to belong.
Remember: they want community, not a workplace. Friends not just colleagues.
3. Varied Job Role
Gen Y like change - it’s all they’ve ever known. So offer variety in their job description and combine it with responsibility and promotions where possible.
Remember: Many quit jobs not because there is a compelling reason to leave, but because there is no compelling reason to stay.
4. Management Style
The ideal supervisor is one who values communication not just authority. One who leads by example and involvement and not just by command and control. Gen Y’s are just beginning their careers so offer support, mentoring, positive feedback and public recognition.
As John Maxwell says “If you’re leading, and no one’s following – then you’re just out for a walk”.
Generation Y know that in the 21st Century it is essential to keep their skills up to date. In fact 90% of Generation Y’s who receive regular training from their employer are motivated to stay with their employer.
So today training is more than a tool for productivity – it is a tool for retention.
At last week’s Education Future Forum, Mark McCrindle delivered an opening address entitled: Education in Australia: Current Realities, Community Attitudes, Emerging Trends.
The current realities was a statistical and demographic snapshot of schooling in Australia based on the ABS data. He outlines community attitudes towards schooling based on recent national research McCrindle Research has conducted which showed that while schools are innovating and increasingly engaging with students, they have yet to effectively communicate these shifts and the reasons for them to parents and the broader community who have a somewhat negative perception of the current practice of the school sector.
The final part was an overview of the seven emerging trends redefining schools:
- Tween Town
- Digital Integrators
- XYZ Schools
- Schools at the Cross Roads
- New Local
- Big Education
Last Friday McCrindle Research partnered with Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning and to present The Education Future Forum 2013, a highly successful event!
This event brought together key thinkers and leaders in the area of education, innovation and future thinking with current research and best practice, presented within the context of a highly regarded and innovative school. The Education Future Forum took a strategic view of the future people, places, programmes, processes, pedagogy and pathways redefining 21st century education. The Forum is an opportunity for educational leaders, policy-makers, administrators and practitioners to hear some of the latest findings, be equipped with effective strategies and engage in the dialogue around the future needs, trends and directions in education.
Here are some photos from the day, with some great feedback from the delegates.
For more information visit the Education Future Forum website, or for information on any future McCrindle Research events sign up for our Insights Update and we'll be more than happy to keep you notified!
“ The forum overall was excellent.
Mark's presentations were very
informative. It was a great day. ”
“ Very interesting day! Felt very catered for;
lots of stimulating learning encouraged
through presentations. ”
“ Excellent - good introduction
to 'reshaping' and influencing
traditional thinking. ”
“Excellent - Make it 2 days! ”
Australians are more educated today than they have been at any other point in history. The number of students completing undergraduate and postgraduate courses today is on the rise and for the first time in Australian history more than half the population aged 15-64 have a post-secondary qualification (51%). Over 70% of the newest wave of high school graduates, Australia’s 4.6 million Generation Zs, are pursuing further education and training, with almost half going on to university. How is today’s education system providing for this Generation of lifelong learners? Here is a snapshot of current and future trends in primary and secondary schools across Australia.
At the beginning of the 2012 school year, there were 3,589,986 students enrolled in Australian schools. This is a 1.4% increase from enrolments in the previous year, and a significant 5.5% increase from 2006. From 2011-2012, most of these increases were attributed to growing enrolment of students in primary schools (2.0% increase). The largest increase in student numbers across Australia occurred in Queensland (2.1%) and the only decrease across the states was found in Tasmania (ABS cat. 4221.0, Schools, 2012).
From primary schools through to the early years of secondary schools, there is a fairly constant proportion of male versus female students, with the proportion of male students two percent higher than females. In Year 11 this trend reverses, and by Year 12, there are are 3% more female students. This trend continues into higher education where there are a higher proportion of females than males completing undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications (ABS Census 2011).
Public versus Private Education
Since the 1970s there has been a significant rise in the proportion of students enrolling in non-government schools. Whereas non-government schools educated only 22% of all students in 1970, by 2012 that figure had risen to 35% (ISCA, 2012). The fact that more than 2 in 5 high school students are sent to Independent non-government schools is part of a broader trend towards paying for services which were once government provisions. From private hospitals to the privatization of public transport options and even the growth of toll roads, Australians are increasingly likely to pay for something that they value.
In 2012, in continuation with trends from previous year, Independent schools continued to observe the greatest proportional increase of student enrolment. While government schools continue to educate the majority of Australian students (2,342,379 students, that is 65%), there were 736,595 students (21%) enrolled in Catholic schools and 511,012 students (14%) enrolled in the Independent school sector.
The percentage of students enrolled in government schools in 2012 was greatest in the Northern Territory, where 73.6% of all students attend government schools, and least in the ACT, where just over half (57.3%) of students attend government schools. Australians value choice, and today’s parents are prepared to pay for an education if they feel it will align more closely with their values, expectations, and aspirations.
Schools: Bricks and Mortar
In 2011 there were 9,435 schools in Australia, including primary, secondary, combined and special schools. 71% of these were government schools (6,705), 18% were Catholic schools (1.710) and 11% were Independent schools (1,020). Most independent schools (84%) have a religious affiliation with 75.1% being Christian and 9% a religious affiliation other than Christianity. The remainder of independent schools comprise of special schools, international schools, indigenous schools, and community schools (ABS cat. 4221.1, Schools, Australia 2011; ISCA, Snapshot, 2012).
The greatest proportion of independent schools was in Western Australia (13%) and the least in Victoria (9%). The proportion of Catholic schools varied more significantly, with the greatest proportion of Catholic schools in the ACT (23%) and the least in the Northern Territory (8%).
While the total number of students across all sectors has increased in a generation, the proportion of Independent and Catholic schools in Australia is increasing. In 2001, Catholic and Independent schools made up 27.7% of total schools in Australia. Ten years later, in 2011, they made up 28.9% of schools. Since 1985, the increase in students at independent schools has grown by 5 times the increase in government schools (298,844 compared to 64,152). Since 1985 the Australian population has increased more than 40%, and the number of babies born is breaking new records (now exceeding 300,000 per year). This has resulted in a growth of students in schools at all levels and across all sectors.
The figures above represent the percentage of primary, secondary, combined and special schools within Australia. Combining government and non-government schools, there were 6312 primary schools, 1397 secondary schools, 1306 combined schools, and 420 special schools around the country. Of these, 77% of primary schools, 73% of secondary schools, and 79% of special schools belonged to the government sector. In contrast to this, a significant 61% of combined schools were a part of the non-government sector.
Teachers: Education’s Lifeblood
The challenge for the education sector, which has an ageing workforce, is to attract and retain Generation Y teachers. The top 5 attraction and retention factors that Gen Y want are what schools have to offer, but schools need to get better at communicating these. These factors are work-life balance, a social workplace culture, a varied and interesting job description, career progression opportunities and ongoing training. In 2011, there were 255,110 full-time equivalent teaching staff over primary and secondary schools in Australia. Of these, 165,272 (65%) were government school teaching staff, 48 393 (19.0%) were Catholic school teaching staff, and 41,445 (16%) were independent school teaching staff.
Australia’s teaching staff are predominantly female (65%). The ratio of male to female teachers has decreased over the last 15 years. In 1997, 7 out of every 20 teachers was male. By 2011, the number of male teachers had dropped to 6 out of every 20 teachers. Government schools have a lower percentage of male teachers (28.7%) compared to Catholic schools (30.6%) and Independent schools (36.2%).
There are significantly more male teachers at secondary levels of education that at primary. In government primary schools in 2011, 19% of staff were male, and in non-government primary schools, 20% of staff were male. In government secondary schools, 40.8% of teaching staff were male; in non-government secondary schools, 43.2% were male (ABS cat. 4221.0 Schools, Australia, 2011).
Student-Teacher Ratio on Decline
Between 1997 and 2011, we have seen an 18.8% increase in the total number of FTE teaching staff. This increase in teacher staffing corresponds with a decrease in the teacher to student ratio in both government and non-government schools. The national average FTE student-teacher ratio in both secondary and primary schools during 2011 was 13.8. Across all primary schools, this ratio was 15.6, with a ratio of 15.3 in government schools, 17.5 in Catholic schools, and 14.8 in Independent schools.
The student-teacher ratio was slightly lower in secondary schools, with a 12.0 ratio across the board. Independent schools again had the lowest ratio at 10.4 FTE teaching staff per student, whereas the Catholic schools had 12.8 and government schools 12.2 (ABS cat. 4221.0, 2011).
The education offered by Australian schools is internationally regarded as one of the world’s best. Additionally, teachers in Australia have been amongst the most innovative professionals in responding to the technological and generational shifts Australia has experienced over the last 3 decades. The strengths and challenges, however, maintaining a world-class, relevant, and technologically innovative education system for the decades ahead.
For more information or media comment, call Mark McCrindle on 0411 5000 90 or Eliane Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org, 02 8824 3422.
A key part of the environmental scans we conduct for organisations and industries, and the research analysis that we are commissioned to conduct involves identifying and tracking emerging trends.
Here we’ve compiled the Top 7 Trends to watch in 2013. It’s no longer enough to just observe the changing times, business leaders have to understand the shifts and be prepared ahead of times to respond to the changes.
Trend 1: Big Australia
Our nation hits 23 million, having doubled in less than 50 years.
Trend 2: Tween Town
The emergence of the 8-12 year old consumers, a $1 billion market.
Trend 3: Student-preneur
Today’s school leavers will have 17 jobs across 5 careers and likely be self employed at some point.
Trend 4: Smart Shopper
Transformations in what we buy, where we buy, how we buy and when we buy.
Trend 5: Localisation
The return to local, the rise of community and the refocus on connection.
Trend 6: XYZ Schools
Gen X parents and school leaders, Gen Y teachers, Gen Z students – generational change transforms education.
Trend 7: Real World Relational
How technology is facilitating offline relationships and bringing back face to face.
With the oldest Generation Zeds turning 18 in 2013, and the youngest a year away from starting school, here’s an analysis of what defines this global, 21st Century generation.
The world is changing at a rapid pace, and has been transformed in the lifetime of our Gen Zeds. Just five years ago if you said “do you have the latest app? “Did you read that tweet?” “Make that your status update”, “Oh you have an android”, people would wonder what planet you are from. Such is the speed of technological change that while it took almost 90 years for there to be one car in Australia for every person, it’s taken just five years for smart phones to have the same reach!
Generation Z: growing up in shifting times
Generation Z are the children and teenagers growing up in these fast-moving, complex times. Aged 3 to 17 years, the youngest of this cohort are about to enter primary school, while the oldest have just put down their pens and exam papers after finishing their final Year 12 exams. There are currently 4.6 million Gen Zs in Australia, and with this generation the learners of today and the employees of tomorrow, understanding what has shaped them, as well as what motivates them, is critical. In light of that, here 7 top trends shaping Generation Z.
7 trends defining Generation Z
1. Demographically changed
Australia is experiencing both an ageing population and a baby boom, with over 300,000 babies born in the last year. Since 1966 Australia’s population has doubled and is now growing by a new Canberra every year. Not only is the population growing, but our households are changing. The nuclear family (parents and children) is still the most common household form (33% of all households), however within a few years, the couple only household will be the most common and with our ageing population, the lone person household has been the fastest growing.
2. Generationally defined
Generations are comprised of people who share a similar age and lifestage, have been shaped during their formative years by similar conditions and technologies and have lived through the same events and experiences which have impacted them. For Generation Z, coming of age in the 21st Century has created a unique generation from the Global Financial Crisis to growing cultural diversity, from global brands to social media and a digital world. Generation Z are the most materially endowed, technological saturated, formally educated generation our world has ever seen.
3. Digital integrators
While all age groups have embraced the digital technologies of the 21st Century, the age at which first utilise the technology determines how embedded it becomes in our lifestyle. We refer to adults as the digital transactors who use technology in a practical, functional, structural way, using the new technology to achieve tasks that they previously used old technology to achieve. However Generation Z are digital integrators in that they have integrated technology seamlessly into their lives, and having used it from the youngest age, it is almost like the air that they breathe, permeating almost all areas of their lifestyle and relationships. Our recent study showed that more than half of Australian young people don’t wear a wristwatch because the smartphone has become the primary device used to tell the time (in addition to being the primary device for getting directions, checking the weather and taking a photo).
4. Globally Focused
Generation Z is the first generation to be truly a global one. Not only are the music, movies and celebrities global for them as they have been for previous generations, but through technology, globalisation and our culturally diverse times, the fashions, foods, online entertainment, social trends, communications and even the “must watch YouTube videos and memes” are global as never before.
5. Visually engaged
At 4.7 billion searches per day, Google is the number one search engine, but with 4 billion YouTube searches a day, YouTube is a close number two. We have an emerging generation, many of whom are opting to watch for a video summarising an issue rather than read an article discussing it. In an era of information overload, messages have increasingly become image based and signs, logos and brands communicate across the language barriers with colour and picture rather than words and phrases. Our analysis of learning styles has shown the dominance in the visual and hands on learning styles above that which traditionally dominated the classroom; the auditory delivery format.
6. Educationally transformed
While the Federal Government has a target of 90% of students completing year 12 by 2015, many schools have already surpassed this. And while the average young person is spending more years in formal education than ever before, with tertiary education rates similarly increasing, for today’s students, education is no longer life-stage dependant (at the start of life, before the career commences), but a life-long reality. Not only have students changed, but also their schools with a shift from a teacher centred to learner adaptive, from content driven to engagement focused and from formal delivery to more interactive environments.
7. Socially defined
More than any other generation, today’s youth are extensively connected to and shaped by their peers. In a recent study by McCrindle Research, it was found that while nearly all the generations had the same amount of close friends (an average of 13); Generations Y and Z had almost twice as many Facebook friends than the older generations. And so, the network that influences them is greater numerically, geographically and being technology based, is connected 24/7. This technology, while helping to facilitate their relational world can also negatively impact it with our research showing that a third of students having been bullied via social networking websites (such as Facebook), instant messaging, text or email.
Australia’s Generation Z, coming of age in the 21st Century, are alive at an amazing time in human history, are living in one of the most amazing places of the 242 countries in the world and being at the start of their lives, they have amazing opportunities, unimaginable just a generation ago. Understandably, very few Generation Zs would swap their lives with any other generation at any other time and in any other place. The challenge for the older generations is to offer the wisdom, guidance and support so that this emerging generation can make a positive difference in their era and for the generations of the future.
McCrindle Research with SCIL are proud to present the Education Future Forum 2013.
“Australia’s 4.6 million Generation Zs are almost exclusively the children of Generation X, and they are truly the 21st Century generation, with the whole of their formative years lived in this century. While they are today’s children and teenagers, by the end of the decade they will comprise 12% of the workforce.”
Mark McCrindle, Learning the Gen Z Way, 2012
We face significant challenges as well as opportunities to educate, engage and inspire these students to lead and shape their world.
The Education Future Forum is an opportunity for educational leaders, policy-makers, administrators and practitioners to engage in the dialogue around the future needs, trends and directions in education. We believe that the Education Future Forum will be an important milestone for education in Australia in 2013 and hope that you will be able to join us.
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Last 100 Articles
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