Christmas 2014: Traditional Values and Tight Pockets

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In the lead up to Christmas, McCrindle Research surveyed 1,024 Australians to discover their views on the religious traditions of the season and their spending intentions for Christmas 2014.

9 in 10 Australian’s think religious traditions of Christmas should be encouraged

From angels and stars featuring on Christmas trees to nativity scenes filling shopping centres and thousands attending Carolling events across the country, it’s hard to ignore the religious traditions and symbols that characterise the Christmas season.

However it would appear that, not only do Aussie’s tolerate these religious traditions, 9 in 10 (92%) think they should be encouraged to have a public presence.


This follows a 2013 study conducted by McCrindle in which almost 8 in 10 (79%) said that Christmas was ‘becoming too commercial and all about getting stuff,’ with the same percentage stating that Christmas has lost some of its Christian meaning. 1 in 2 (49%) indicated they were unhappy about the loss of the Christian meaning associated with this holiday, further reiterated in this year’s research.

2 in 5 (41%) Australians also acknowledge that while we live in a culturally and religiously diverse nation, Christmas and its traditional and religious symbols can be shared by all and so should be encouraged.

Aussie families will seek to save again this Christmas

With the cost of living at a higher rate than ever before, Aussie families will be looking to save money where possible again this Christmas, with twice as many intending to spend less (22%) than more (11%). However, in a sign of slowly returning consumer confidence, two thirds (66%) of Australians plan to spend about the same that they did last year (a figure significantly up from 49% who reported the same thing a year ago).

While Australians still plan on saving, the financial burdens seem to have eased since last year when over a third (33%) planned on spending less, compared to 1 in 5 (22%) that will do the same this Christmas. While this rate peaked last year at 33% Australian’s are now on the recovery path, measured by consumer intention.

Like last year, Gen Y will be the biggest spenders, with 1 in 5 (20%) looking to spend more than they did last year (compared to 12% Gen X, 7% Baby Boomers and just 4% Builders).

How Aussie’s plan to save this Christmas

When asked how Australians plan on saving money this Christmas, the top 10 most featured answers included:

1. Restrict the number of presents for each person

2. Only give presents to children

3. Participate in a Kris Kringle gift-giving exercise

4. Get creative by giving hand-made gifts as presents

5. Avoid unnecessary Christmas purchases

6. Not going overboard with food

7. Do some serious bargain hunting

8. Make the most of Boxing Day sales and buy gifts after Christmas

9. Not travel at Christmas time

10. Host Christmas at someone else’s house


Download the Australian Christmas Attitudes 2014 report. Click here to download the full report.

Welcome to McCrindle Research Rooms

Friday, November 14, 2014

As social researchers, we understand the importance of research in informing the strategic direction of organisations. Understanding your customer and client base is key to this – so organisations who invest in research often thrive as a result, because changes and adaptions have been tested in and amongst their communities, consumers and clients. A core methodology to understand customers and clients is through qualitative focus groups – and here at McCrindle not only do we conduct this research, we also make our research room facilities available to others for hire.

McCrindle Research Rooms



McCrindle Research Rooms are fully equipped with all that you need to successfully conduct your focus groups, with a one way mirror, viewing room and recording facilities available.


Some other great features of our Research Rooms include:

• A great, convenient and easily accessible location

• Low price and great value

• No cancellation fee


For further information, head to researchrooms.com, or give us a call on 02 8824 3422.

If you would like to make a booking, please email through to kirsten@mccrindle.com.au


We look forward to welcoming you to our research rooms soon!

Parents Concerned with Schoolies Celebrations

Monday, November 10, 2014

In the span of a generation, celebrating the end of Year 12 by attending a schoolies week has emerged as a rite of passage. However Australian parents have mixed views of how the celebration is played out and a third of parent’s state that they would not allow their child to participate in a “Gold Coast type schoolies week”.

-Mark McCrindle

Schoolies week has become a tradition in Australia, and the norm for how Australian students reward themselves following months of studious diligence preparing for the HSC exams.

Yet parents aren’t altogether convinced of how their young people are celebrating – nearly all Australian parents have some concern with how schoolies is celebrated and a third would stop their children from participating.

In fact, if parents were given the choice, just 1 in 5 would suggest their child participate in schoolies week as is traditionally celebrated, in a place like the Gold Coast.

THE TOP FINDINGS

• 9 in 10 Australian parents uncomfortable with how Schoolies is celebrated.

• NSW the state with the most concerned parents.

• 3 in 4 parents would prefer their child participate in a volunteer experience over Schoolies week.

• Parents hold strong preference for formal schooling after the HSC.

• Fathers (36%) are more hopeful their child will go to university or TAFE than mothers (26%).

• Less than half of Australians say that schools are effective in equipping students for the workforce.

• Older Australians least optimistic about the current education system.

To read the full analysis please click here.

Claire Madden Speaking Pack Update

Monday, October 27, 2014

Claire Madden

Claire Madden is a social researcher and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. 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 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.

With academic qualifications in communications and postgraduate studies in leadership, Claire brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting. As a social commentator, she has been interviewed on these topics on prominent television programs Sunrise and The Morning Show, as well as on the radio and in the print media.

To see Claire in the media click here.

Claire has delivered 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.

Some recent feedback about Claire:

“We received lots of positive feedback about Claire’s presentation on the day… it was great to have such an interactive and engaging presenter on board to present new and interesting content.” – The University of Adelaide

"Claire was excellent! She was warm in her presentation and full of useful information - it was very well received! ...It was exactly what we were after." – SU Queensland

“Claire’s ability to communicate the factual data in an engaging and interactive way was tremendous.” – Mentone Grammar

“We were extremely pleased with how both events went – Claire’s insights were highly valuable, as was the quality and professionalism of both her presentations” – Citi Bank Australia & New Zealand

Visit Claire’s website to find out more.

Download Claire’s updated speaking pack for more on her most requested topics, recent engagements and media exposure.

If you would like to inquire about having Claire at your next event, please contact ashley@mccrindle.com.au or our Sydney office on 02 8824 3422.

Next Gen Dads: Parenting Screenagers and Digital Natives

Thursday, September 04, 2014

More Dads Than Ever

1 in 5 Australians are dads. There are approximately 4.6 million fathers in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million of these have children aged under 18. The median age of a first-time dad today is 31, so today’s emerging generation of dads are Gen Yers.

New Record Baby Boom

We are currently experiencing a baby boom in Australia, with birth numbers setting new records and exceeding 310,000 per year. This means that Gen Y will produce more children than any previous generation in Australia’s history. While the number of children per Gen Y family is significantly less than that of their grandparents (in 1961 the total fertility rate hit 3.5 births per woman), Generation Y parents are having more parents per couple than Generation X did. When Generation X were in their peak fertility years (turning 31 in 2001), this coincided with the very year Australia hit its lowest birth rate ever recorded in Australia (1.7). Now as Generation Y are reaching their peak fertility years we have a birth rate significantly higher, hovering around 2.0.

Introducing Generation Alpha

These Gen Y parents are giving birth to Generation Alpha – the cohort born since 2010. Generation Alpha are not only going to be the largest generation Australia has ever seen, but also the most globally connected, technologically savvy and materially endowed. Generation Y are delaying the traditional life markers, commencing their families in their 30s (compared to previous generations who did so in their 20s) so not only do they have many more years of earnings before they start their families, but they are also more likely to be double income households.

Parenting Screenagers

Generation Alpha are the first generation of children to be shaped in an era of portable digital devices, and for many, the pacifiers have not been a rattle or set of keys but a smartphone or tablet device. A key role of fathers has always been to create a safe and supportive environment in which their children can thrive and these days this involves more than providing a physically secure home but also a cybersafe home. 96% of households with children having internet access and Gen Alpha are using personal digital devices at an ever younger age. However, Generation Y parents have been shaped in the digital world and so are better equipped to respond to new parenting challenges of managing cyberbullying, watching out for screen addiction, and ensuring child-friendly content.

The Modern Dad

Our past research has found that Generation Y dads are not as competent and confident as their fathers were to change the oil in their car, repair a punctured bicycle tyre or fix a leaky tap, but in many ways, in an outsourcing era they’re able to buy replacements or outsource those services and they don’t need to do all those things themselves. Why they may have lost some of these traditional skills, they have picked up some new ones. Our research showed they are far more likely to be confident in changing a baby’s nappy, doing a grocery shop, buying clothes for their children and cooking a meal for their family.

Busier Than Ever

If fathers are feeling busier than ever, that’s because they are. The labour force participation rate shows that almost 4 in 5 fathers with dependent children participate in the labour force, with more than half of them working full time (an average of 7 hours 25 minutes per day) and yet at the same time, those with children aged under 15 are spending more time with their children, averaging 3 hours and 55 minutes per day. Additionally, almost half of all dads with kids aged up to 17 years old are also volunteering (46%), dads with full-time jobs are spending around 80 minutes a day on domestic work. So there’s little surprise that over a third of Australian men (34.9%) say that they always or often feel rushed or pressed for time, and 1 in 6 (16.3%) feel that their work and family responsibilities are rarely or never in balance.

Next Generation Parents

In the year that the oldest Gen Ys first became fathers in record numbers (2010), the iPad entered the market, “app” was the word of the year and Instagram was launched. Clearly they are parenting in a very different era to any other generation and will be facing new challenges never seen before.

Mothers are the Most Influential Life-Shapers

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mothers are more influential in shaping the lives of everyday Australians than fathers, spouses or partners, siblings, and even best friends. A recent McCrindle study confirms that mothers don’t just raise their children, but shape their identities and define who they become.

Mum is most influential role model for more than half of Australians

More than half of Australians (52%) say that their mother is the single biggest influence on shaping where they come from and who they are today, and 4 in 5 (79%) put their mum in their personal Top 3 Most Influential Persons list.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle says, “Their role is not just in raising us but in shaping us. The impact of mums in Australia is highlighted by the fact that they are the most significant person in shaping who we have become – ahead of friends, community leaders, other family members and even spouses. While mothers are often thanked for their protecting and providing role in the lives of young children, it is their life-training and identity-shaping that has the most lasting impact.”

“This research shows that mothers are not only nurturers and supporters but for the majority of Australians, they are also the biggest life-shapers.”

Mum influential not just for women, but men, too

While 56% of women said their mum had had the biggest influence on their lives, men weren’t far behind – 1 in 2 men (48%) state their mum had the largest influence on their lives, and 4 in 5 (79%) of men put mum in their Top 3 Most Influential Persons list – the same as females!

Mother, then father, then a spouse or partner

For many Australians, if they were to choose the Top 3 influencers in shaping who they have become, they would list their mother, their father, and their spouse or partner – in that order.

Mum’s impact just as strong for emerging generations

Despite the proliferation of technology that has facilitated opportunities for influence by those beyond immediate family and friendship structures, younger generations report being even more shaped by their mothers than older generations – 52% of Gen Ys (20-34) and 54% of Gen X (35-49) report their mother as their biggest influencer, compared to 50% of Baby Boomers (50-68) and Builders (69+).

Mark McCrindle states, “In a world of social media, technology influences and marketing saturation, it is encouraging to see that the influence of mums has gone up, not down with the emerging generations. In fact with children staying at home later in life than the past, the role of mums is not only greater, but their influence extends longer as well.”

Results based on a nationally representative survey of 1,019 responses conducted by McCrindle in April 2014.

Click here to download the research summary.

Generation Z: Living Longer, Costing More

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It has often been said that today’s young people will be the first generation of children who won’t live as long as their parents because of the rise in childhood obesity, increased “screen-time”, sedentary lifestyles and the increased intake of high fat and sugar foods. 

 It is true that young Australians regularly eat fast food more than the average Australian, obesity rates have risen significantly in a generation, and based on current trends almost 3 in 4 Generation Z will be overweight or obese by the time they reach adulthood. Additionally young Australians consume more screen time than ever before – on average this total screen time exceeds 10 hours per day.

However, the proportion of Australians with long term health conditions and lifestyle risk factors such as smoking has declined significantly over the last decade and the survivability of morbid illnesses continues to rise. Australians are not only amongst the longest-living in the world, they have seen life expectancy increase continuously for more than a century. A boy born in Australia today can expect to live to 80 years, while a girl can expect to live to 84. Having survived to age 60, men can expect to live another 23 years and women another 26 years. Australians have added 10 years of life expectancy in the last 40 years and this longevity increase is still continuing.

This remarkable increase in life expectancy is the product of public health measures, medical improvements, pharmaceutical advancements, and astonishing increases in survivability rates across all age groups. For example, in 1990, the mortality rate for children this age was 0.4 deaths per 1,000 yet it has since declined by more than half! Regardless of youth trends concerning sedentary lifestyles and higher calorie intake, Generation Z will on average outlive their parents, as has been the case with every Australian generation since record keeping began.

This longevity is not without its downsides. Just because a generation has seen improvement in the length of life, doesn’t mean there will be improvement in the quality of those additional years. Additionally, the costs of funding retirement have dramatically increased in the last few decades, not only because of the cost of living but also due to the length of life. By the time Generation Z begin to retire (beginning in 2063) the average median capital city house price will exceed $2 million and the average retiree will need at least $600,000 more to achieve a comfortable retirement than the average required today.

– Mark McCrindle

Discover this emerging generation at GenerationZ.com.au and see our latest infographic for the stats.

Australia's Top Baby Names 2014 Revealed

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

McCrindle Baby Names Australia 2014 ReportAustralia is setting new records in the number of babies born per year – 2013 saw over 315,000 births in Australia! 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!

What are the Top 100 baby names for boys and girls in Australia in 2013? Through the nation’s only comprehensive analysis of all the registered births across all eight states and territories, McCrindle reveals the Baby Names Australia 2014 report.

Oliver rises to the top as Charlotte continues her strong lead

Charlotte and Oliver Top Baby Names AustraliaFor the first time in Australia’s history, Oliver has become the nation’s most popular boy’s name, overtaking William who has been at the top of the ranks for the last several years.

While Oliver was the top boy's name in three states/territories (QLD, SA, TAS) and William topped the list in four states/territories (NSW, ACT, VIC, and NT), numerically there were 37 more occurrences of Oliver than William across the nation.

Charlotte continues to be the favoured name among girls, remaining strong in 1st place and the choice for 1,969 girls in Australia.

More babies, less convergence

More Babies, Less ConvergenceAs record births taking place in Australia, parents are being more original in the baby names they choose with fewer babies being given one of the Top 100 names and this naming originality is even more evident amongst the naming of girls than boys.

40.6% of babies born in the 2012 calendar year were named one of the Top 100 baby names, with this figure reducing to 39.6% for the 2013 calendar year.

Names are seeing a ‘Hundred-Year Return’ in Australia

Hundred-Year Return of NamesThe trend in baby-naming in Australia is for the traditional over the inventive. There is a ‘Hundred-Year Return’ theme taking place in Australia, with many of the top names of today also in the top names of a century ago, while names of a few decades ago have fallen out of favour.

There’s a ring to it, and boys feature less syllables

Sounds of Baby NamesThe trend towards short and solid-sounding names for boys and longer flowing names for girls continues strongly in Australia.

Most of the Top 100 boy's names have two or fewer syllables, while almost 2 in 5 of the top girl's name have 3 or more syllables – twice as many as for boys. Additionally, while most of the boy's names end in a consonant, most of the girls’ names end in a softer sounding vowel or Y sound.

The influence of the royals – 12 in 22 current royal names are top baby names

Influence of the Royals on Baby NamesThe original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the interest of modern Australians but continue to significantly influence their choice in baby names.

The new generation of British royals with their traditional names yet celebrity power are influencing baby naming trends in Australia currently. William is the top boys’ name in four states and territories and has been Australia’s number 1 name since 2011. The naming of Prince George has already had an impact, raising the rank of this boys’ name to its highest level since the 1970s.

Access the Baby Names Australia 2014 report below for the latest trends in baby names, state by state analysis, the influence of celebrities on Australian baby names, and analysis of New Zealand baby names.

Download Baby Names Australia 2014. Click here to download the full report.


Economic Pessimism but Generational Optimism: Australian Perspectives Towards 2014

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Despite some signs that Australia’s economy is growing, in general Australians remain cautious, spending remains subdued, and consumer sentiment remains lacklustre.

Rising living costs are still the Number 1 issue for Australians, economic instability is still of significant concern for 3 in 5 Australians and almost half the population thinking that 2014 will be worse economically than 2013.


Economic pessimism in looking forward to 2014


A recent McCrindle study indicates that a surprising 1 in 3 Australians (33%) are very pessimistic about Australia’s economy, stating the economy is worse now than last year and predicting that it will be even worse next year.

27% of Australians sense Australia’s economy strengthening – stating that Australia’s economy is better now and will continue to build in the year ahead – and 25% are optimistic that Australia’s economy is rebuilding, being worse now than last year but hopeful improving in the year to come.

A smaller number of Australians (15%, 1 in 7) feel that Australia’s economy is on a double-dip – having improved this year they sense that things will worsen in 2014.


Males and Gen Y slightly more optimistic about Australia’s economy


In looking at the figures more closely, only 2 in 5 (42%) of Australians feel the economy is better now than a year ago, and just over half (52%) feel that the economy will be better next year.

Males are slightly more optimistic than females, with 58% of males holding to the belief that the economy will be better next year, compared with just 50% of females feel the same way.

Younger Australians are not only more optimistic about what 2014 will hold for them, but also hold more optimism towards Australia’s economy, with 59% of Generation Ys holding to the belief that the economy will be better in the year ahead (compared with 50% of Generation X and 47% of Baby Boomers).


Key concerns for Australians: Living costs, crime, economic instability


When asked how concerned they were about a number of key areas leading up to 2014, Australians panted a clear picture of the current national mood. Here are the top concerns in looking ahead to 2014:

Year after year, Australians continue to feel the largest apprehension towards the rise of living costs, with 4 in 5 (79%) of Australians seeing the cost of living as an extreme or significant issue.

While rising living costs are of concern to all Australians, concerns vary from generation to generation. The issue of climate change, for example, is of greater concern for younger Australians, with 84% of Generation Y believing this to be of concern, compared to only 62% of the Builder Generation. Older Australians are more concerned with issues of safety and immigration, with 89% believing that ‘migration and multiculturalism’ is of concern, compared with 71% of Generation Y and 70% of Generation X holding to this belief.


Trending concerns from 2013 to 2014: Areas of extreme concern


Rising living costs have grown in concern for Australians since last year (extreme concern is up from 46% last year to 48% today), along with gun crime (up from 33% to 35%). Extreme concern regarding refugees and boat arrivals has declined, however, moving from 37% last year to 30% this year.


Table of Concerns 2014



Other major concerns that Australians voiced:

  • Job security and unemployment 
  • Health care availability and costs 
  • Education issues 
  • Government policy and decision making 
  • Loss of values and community spirit

Personally Optimistic: 1 in 2 Australians personally optimistic about the coming year


When it comes to looking ahead to what 2014 will hold for their own lives, over half of Australians (53%) are positive, to some extent, about what 2014 will have in store, expressing that the year ahead will be better than 2013.

Younger Australians are more optimistic than older Australians with 71% of Generation Y expressing the year ahead will be better, compared with just 52% of Generation X and 39% of Baby Boomers holding to the same view.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle says, “The ‘no worries’ attitude Australians are renowned for can be seen in their outlook for the year ahead. Despite the economic uncertainty, more than half of the nation believe 2014 will be a better year for them than 2013 with just 1 in 5 believing that it will be worse. And in keeping with what we have seen with the younger generations in the past, Generation Y are the most optimistic about the year ahead with 7 in 10 buoyant about what it holds compared to half of Gen X and just over a third of Baby Boomers.”

Australians who express strong optimism indicate that they are secure in their financial situation and have increased trust in the new government:

More job security means less stress financially, and I’m feeling more secure about my employment situation. 

I have gotten rid of most of my debts – for the first time in my life have enough money to not have to worry about paying my bills. 

Politically things seem to have settled down – we now have a new government with sound administration and economic management.

Whether going on a holiday, moving house, starting a family or new relationship, getting married, finding their dream job, pursuing new career ambitions, or entering retirement, these Aussies look forward to 2014 as a year of significant change and life events. They look forward to 2014 to bring new and exciting life events, and have a general optimism of the future!

I’ve just moved house, started a new relationship, started a new job and have booked a holiday for 2014. 

Happiness is what you make of it – I try to be positive most of the time. 

I’m making changes in my life – I plan on getting fitter and being more productive in 2014.

Positively forward-looking Australians also report greater trust in Australia’s economic outlook:

Property prices will drop, the stock market is on the up trend, and we’re attracting foreign investment as a safe growth economy. 

The [economic] mood has changed for the better and people are starting to spend. 

International economies are steadily improving, which means the Australian dollar will continue to drift back to its normal rates, improving exports and Australia’s balance of trade.

Even for those Australians for whom 2013 has had its fair share of ups and downs, there is a general optimism that 2014 will have better things in store.

I’ve been very ill and many things have gone wrong this year – my health is now on the way to recovery, so I should be good to go in 2014. 

We have had a terrible year but next year will be better – I’m hoping for improvements. 

2013 was a difficult year for me personally, but I am optimistic about the year ahead.

1 in 4 say that next year will be about the same


A quarter of Australians think that the year ahead will neither be blissful nor doomsday – they expect things to plow on similar to 2013 – economically, relationally, and health-wise.

This cohort sees ‘no big changes on the horizon,’ and anticipates both good and bad times. They withhold themselves from expecting too much change or are pragmatic in not wanting to predict what the future will hold.


1 in 5 Australians think the year to come will be worse than 2013


Australians who expressed that next year will be worse than the current year (22%) mostly expressed concern for rising living expenses and cost of living pressures, coupled with economic uncertainty and a poor job outlook.

Everything is becoming expensive on a daily basis. Life is getting expensive each month and there is no saving. 

Cost of living pressures are becoming unmanageable – bills keep going up with no rise in income to compensate. 

A lot of Australian jobs are going overseas, we’re seeing a slow economic downturn and an increase in youth unemployment.

Mistrust in the new government or apprehension of political decisions concerning social policy are also of concern:

Apprehension is what I feel at the moment as this government is not doing a good job at all, there are too many changes being made. 

Our country is in a bit of a mess - hopefully we will finally grow up!! 

The government needs to start taking care of its own people – especially the elderly and those with a disability.

Click here to download the full research summary.

Aussies are Living Better than Ever [in the media]

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Australia is indeed the lucky country, but is life in Australia really getting better? The statistics say it is.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’s Measures of Australia’s Progress report indicates that overall, Australia is doing better than ever when it comes to health, education, economic opportunities, and even political participation.

Over the last 10 years of time the average Australians' life expectancy has increased by 2 years. In fact, over the last 40 years of time our life expectancy has increased by 10 years. Two thirds of Australians now have a qualification after completing school, with one third of Australians having a university degree.

The economy is on a steady increase, even despite a recent global economic crisis. Cash flow is increasing with the net disposable income for everyday Australians now $10,000 more than it was a decade ago. 


Social researcher Mark McCrindle joins Nine’s Today Show to talk about the latest figures.


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