Generation Y and Housing Affordability

Monday, October 24, 2016

As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. Last week our Principal, Mark McCrindle and Team Leader of Communications, Ashley McKenzie were featured in the media about Generation Y and their ability to access the housing market in Sydney.

Generation Y are today’s 22 – 36 year olds, and make up 22% of the Australian population (5.22 million). They also make up the largest cohort in the current workforce (34%). Gen Y’s are comprised of today’s parents, senior leaders, influencers, and increasingly wealth accumulators. With 1 in 3 being university educated (compared to 1 in 5 Baby Boomers), they have grown up in shifting times and are digital in nature, global in outlook and are living in accelerated demographic times.

While Generation Y are often accused of living a lavish lifestyle, which supposedly locks them out of the property market, it is important to remember that traditional expense categories such as food, transport, health and housing costs are higher for younger people today than that experienced by their parents at the same age. A generation ago the average house price was 5 times annual average earnings while today the average house price is 13 times the average annual full-time earnings.

Here is a quick snapshot of last week’s media coverage:

Housing Affordability Debate

"From the Baby Boomer perspective, they worked hard, they earned what they had but I can also see the Gen Y perspective. The reality is that it's a lot harder to buy a home, the costs have gone up. Gen Y do have to pay off the debt of their degree and there are new categories of spend; technology, internet and phone, costs that their parents didn’t have."  

Parental help becoming essential for young people trying to buy property

"Ms McKenzie, who works for social researcher Mark McCrindle, said borrowing from parents was becoming Sydney’s “new normal”. “Baby Boomers control about 50 per cent of the nation’s wealth so it makes sense young people look to their parents for help,” she said." 

For any media enquiries please email us at, or call our offices on +61 2 8824 3422. To arrange a media interview or if you are a journalist and would like to receive our media updates, please email

The Australian Communities Forum 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

On Thursday 13th October 2016, McCrindle Research and R2L & Associates are hosting The Australian Communities Forum at Customs House in Sydney. This one day event is focused on delivering to not-for-profit organisations and community focused businesses the key demographic and social trends transforming Australian communities, and how organisations can best engage in these changing times.

Held since 2012 this annual event provides compelling case studies, the latest research, practical workshops and importantly, great networking over morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Come and hear Mark McCrindle launch the 2016 Australian Communities Report, as well as engaging content and fantastic networking opportunities. This not to be missed event will equip leaders in community engagement with the latest insights into 21st Century Australian Communities.

Purchase your early bird ticket today.

OUr speakers

Mark McCrindle

Mark is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations. Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair. 

Terrence Mullings (MC)

Terrence is a lively TV and Radio personality with a unique ability to communicate and truly connect with his audience. A regular guest on The Morning Show, he currently works as a Radio Announcer on HOPE 103.2 as well as TV presenter on Positive Hits TV/Radio. Terrence has previously been a presenter on Channel 10 (the Circle), Chanel 9 Morning and also live T.V host on TVSN. Terrence created and produced music video show: “Positive Hits,” which currently airs worldwide. Terrence is in the business of “communication” and utilises a variety of platforms: TV, Radio, Speaking Events, and even speaking from "The Pulpit ".

Andy Gourley

Andrew Gourley is the Founder and CEO of Red Frogs Australia Chaplaincy Network. He started the Red Frog Program in 1997, after seeing the need for a chaplaincy service to safe guard teenagers and young adults. This Chaplaincy Network is now the largest support network in Australia for schoolies, festivals and universities students. Currently the Red Frog Chaplaincy program for Schoolies is located in 17 different locations around Australia and coordinates over 4000 volunteers to run its programs. 

Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways. 

Josh Hawkins

Josh is the founder and creator of Hi Josh. Which is one of those things that sounds more impressive than it actually is. He enjoys talking in third person and making YouTube videos. He made a few viral videos and now gets recognised at the local McDonalds by Luke, one of the employees. Across various social media platforms Josh has received over 50 million views in the last year, and has a global audience of about 50,000 people over YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat etc.

Nic Bolto

Nic Bolto is an executive coach and consultant specialising in entrepreneurship, strategy execution and change. Nic assignments have included senior government, corporate and not for profit change projects including Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, The Salvation Army, Bupa and the NSW Baird government with Minister Dominello's recent value rediscovery for their social health portfolio. As a Churchill Fellow, Melbourne Business School graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Nic brings significant expertise to the acquisition of goals that are important to community and the people within them, to organisations, to charities and to their donors.

Caitlin Barrett

Caitlin is the founding CEO of Love Mercy, and has a passion for Love Mercy's women in Uganda and about bringing about real change within communities in poverty. Caitlin was committed to setting up the Love Mercy Foundation when Olympic runner and Love Mercy Founding Director Eloise Wellings came back from her first trip to Uganda after meeting Julius Achon and navigated the minefields of the not-for-profit sector. Caitlin worked in a volunteer capacity for three years until becoming the first paid full-time staff member in 2015.

James Ward

James is a Director of NBRSARCHITECTURE and a member of the Executive Leadership Team. James' strength is in understanding complex situations and developing management strategies to guide the development of improved outcomes that can change the way people think and live. With a strong background in senior executive management and strategic planning in both for-profit; fast moving consumer goods and the not-for-profit industry sectors, James has been involved with many varied commercial situations.

Ashley McKenzie

Ashley McKenzie is a social researcher and Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands how organisations can communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage and motivate them. From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley is well positioned to advise how to achieve cut through in these message-saturated times. Her expertise is in training leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.

Bryce Davies

Bryce has been a Salvation Army Officer for 22 years. For 9 years he worked in The Salvation Army Bridge program focusingon Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation in both Adelaide and Brisbane. In recent years Bryce has headed up an inner city drop in space in Fortitude valley in Brisbane that has evolved into a dynamic and functional community with a broad and effective raft of services. Bryce is now based in Sydney heading up a new project called “Communities of Hope” Assisting Salvation Army leaders develop welcoming and authentic community life.


Purchase your early bird ticket today.

McCrindle Research: Celebrating 10 Years, 2006 to 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

It was late August 2006, John Howard was Prime Minister, George W Bush was the US President, the Football World Cup had just wrapped up in Germany, Facebook had just been launched to the public, and McCrindle Research began operations in a newly opened area of Norwest Business Park in Sydney.

It was just a decade ago, but what a decade of change it has been. There was no iPhone, no tablet computers, Twitter was only just being developed, YouTube was just a year old and words like “apps”, “Wi-Fi” , “memes” and “selfies” meant nothing. In the year we began our research, “hashtag” was the rarely used character on the keyboard, “the cloud” was what could be seen in the sky, things “going viral” was an issue for public health and “tablets” were medications.

When we ran our first demographic analysis soon after we began, the 2006 Census had only just been held, and we were relying on the 2001 data which was based on the Australian population of 18.9 million compared to the 24.2 million of today.

McCrindle Research began with Mark McCrindle and a simple vision to “conduct world class research and communicate the insights in innovative ways”. Since those first days the research approach has grown from pen and paper surveys and focus groups to include online surveys, on-device surveys, data analytics, demographic and economic modelling and geomapping. True to the vision of engaging, visual output, the first person McCrindle Research employed was a designer, Mark Beard, who did an amazing job in the early months of developing a digital presence, and deploying research reports in visual forms and designing the data even before the genre of infographics existed.

Since then McCrindle has grown to be well regarded as one of the best research-based communications agencies and data designers in Australia with our research findings more likely to be presented via an event, interactive webpage, corporate keynote, infographic wall, pop-up banner, animated data video, visual report or media launch rather than just a written report.

It was in that first year that we designed “Australia’s Population Map” which has now been updated and reprinted dozens of times with hundreds of thousands in print. We love analysing numbers so here are some relating to our digital presence: we’ve had more than a third of a million YouTube views in addition to our Slideshare, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook presence, and almost a million blog and website visits. We analyse big data and create big data of our own with hundreds of research projects completed, involving thousands of focus group participants and hundreds of thousands of survey completions. 

So it has been a busy decade for us and a transformative one for our world. As we look at the decade ahead, one thing is sure: the speed of change will only increase, and we will continue to analyse the trends and effectively communicate the strategic implications to help organisations and leaders know the times.

find out more About McCrindle Research Services

Growing number of Australians moving to New Zealand

Monday, August 15, 2016

They are calling it a slice of heaven on a budget, with a growing number of Australian families packing their bags for a better life in New Zealand.

For the first time in about a quarter of a century, we have more Australians headed to New Zealand than New Zealanders heading to Australia. We aren't talking about people as retirees or as young people, but in those middle years, those family years and those key employment years, they are the ones making the move across the Tasman and heading to New Zealand.

Most of them are ending up in the Kiwi Capitol, Wellington, where you get much more bang for your buck compared to the much more expensive Auckland.

IT Specialists are in hot demand in New Zealand, and dominate the highest paying jobs. A System’s Architect have a median salary of $125,000 per year. Although an Engineering Manager isn’t all that far behind at $105,000 per year. The lowest paying jobs see Caregivers average $32,000 per year, while an Assistant Store Manager brings in $35,000 per year.

Australians are making the move because of jobs, affordable housing and a better quality of life. For a country that for so long has been tagged as Australia’s little cousin, it appears New Zealand is all grown up.

Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.


This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).


Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.


This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.


Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.


If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

What Makes a City the Most Liveable?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What makes a state or city liveable? Is it the low crime rate, affordability, ease of travel or is it simply the weather? We have compared some of the major factors and revealed what Aussies really think.


If you take the average weekly earnings, subtract the average weekly mortgage repayments based on house costs, you find that NSW doesn’t do too well, it is earning 20% above the average, but the houses are 64% above the average, so NSW works out to be the worst in terms of income after housing. But WA is on top of the charts, with the ACT doing pretty well also.

Ease of travel

We took the centre of population of each of our capital cities, the mid-point of the population sprawl where as many people live north, as south of this point, and as many east, as west. From this centre of living we measured the average, non-peak hour driving time to the centre of the CBD marked by the GPO of each capital. We found that as we would probably expect, Sydney was the longest drive, about 33 minutes to get from the centre of population to the centre of the city, but the quickest trip of all was Brisbane with just 8 minutes.

Crime rates

This is the number of offenders per annum, per 100 people and the Territories book end the data here, with the ACT with the lowest crime rate nationally and the Northern Territory as the highest crime rate and the other states right in the middle. As measured by crime rates, the ACT is Australia’s safest place to live.


We measured this by looking at the average number of sunny days - totally clear days in a year. Tasmania not doing too well with a lot of cloudy, overcast days, but WA takes the crown with the most number of sunny days in any given year.

Watch Mark McCrindle's full interview on The Daily Edition here

The Shopper's Pick: Understanding Australia's new village green

Thursday, July 14, 2016

This year we were delighted to write up and design the third and latest report in the Trolley Trends Series, ‘The Shoppers Pick’ for Woolworths Limited. From developing the survey through to conducting the analysis, this report is the perfect blend of quality research with segmentation and visuals, making the research easy to consume.

With 1 in 5 (20%) Australian supermarket customers going to the supermarket at least once a week, the report reveals that a record number of people (44%) consider the local shopping centre to be central to community life and has truly established itself as the new village green – a place for connection and engagement with the wider community, perhaps even more so than the local pub, school or community centre.

It is the theme of local which is clearly the key message of ‘The Shopper’s Pick’, which provides a unique look into modern Australia’s living, eating and shopping habits today.


As Australia becomes increasingly connected to global economies and new technologies, there is an equal if not stronger desire among shoppers to support Australian made products and local growers. It is increasingly important to Australian shoppers to know where their food comes from.

More than half of Australian shoppers (52%) state that buying local food is extremely or very important to them. In fact, around a quarter of shoppers prefer to purchase meat and poultry, bread and grains, and seafood and fish that are sourced locally in their own region rather than sourced further afield in their own state or within another region in Australia.


Australians are impacted in different ways by the changing seasons. Australia’s Seasonal Personalities explores the different personalities of Australians and the impact seasons have on their lifestyle. Which Seasonal Personality are you?


Australians are becoming increasingly health conscious and aware of the foods they consume. This trend towards healthy eating is demonstrated in the increase of health foods being included by Australians in their weekly shop.

Just over half of shoppers (52%) buy health food products weekly (i.e. sugar free, additive free, gluten free, dairy free, organic, raw, salt free or vegan), with sugar free products the most likely to be on Australians’ shopping lists and purchased by just over half of shoppers (51%), followed by organic and raw foods (both at 35%), and additive free foods (27%).


Australians are a nation of savvy shoppers, who seek products that are value for money. Nearly 7 in 10 shoppers (69%) state that buying on discount is extremely or very important to them. These values are reflected in the ingredients they purchase for meals cooked at home, with 99% of Australian shoppers saying price is an important factor they take into consideration. As part of being savvy shoppers, Australians are also creative savers. Almost 6 in 10 shoppers (58%) save money by purchasing groceries based on weekly specials, while just over half (52%) save money by writing a shopping list and sticking to it. Stocking up and bulk-buying are two other ways Australians save money, with just over half of shoppers (53%) currently saving money by stocking up on discounted non-perishables.

This report follows on from the 2014 Trolley Trends Report which focused on the increasing importance of ‘Fresh’ amongst the Australian population. The report also found that one of the most common community connections for Australians is the local shopping centre. To access the Future of Fresh report, please click here.

World Population Day; a snapshot of Australia’s population state vs. state

Monday, July 11, 2016

Today is World Population Day, so let's take a look at different aspects of Australia's demographics and how each of our states stack up. Sydney’s headcount will hit 5 million later this year, but can it keep its place as the nation’s biggest city? The state of Queensland is also set to mark a major milestone, as it hits 5 million, while Melbourne has maintained its lead as Australia's fastest growing city.

what will a population of 5 million mean for Sydney?

More densification and more urbanisation. 1 in 5 Australians lives in Sydney and it’s been one of the fastest growing cities and from a population perspective it’s Australia's leading city. For every new detached home that is built in Sydney, you now have 2 units or townhouses, so it’s the vertical communities not just the horizontal ones – that’s what will mark Sydney’s future as the city continues to grow.

NSW is going to hit 8 million, but Queensland is going to hit a milestone too

Queensland is closing in on the 5 million mark, and around the same time, Sydney gets to 5 million. Queensland is interesting because it’s the most decentralised of our states, more than half of the population lives outside of its capital of Brisbane. It’s has 11 of Australia's 30 largest cities, while NSW only has 5. For NSW, two thirds of the whole state lives in the one city of Sydney.

In terms of population growth, how do the other capital cities compare with Sydney?

It’s really all about Sydney and Melbourne, in terms of the size of the cities, they are the largest cities. We have slower growing states like South Australia and Tasmania - in fact Melbourne is adding more people every 11 days than Tasmania adds in an entire year at the moment.

By comparison, how slow is South Australia’s growth?

It is quite slow, it was 1959 that Sydney got to 2 million people, Adelaide won’t get to 2 million until 2055, about a century after Sydney got there. While it’s the fifth largest city, it’s a long way off the pace of Sydney and Melbourne. Interestingly, in the year that both Sydney and Melbourne get to 8 million, it will be in that year that Adelaide gets to 2 million.

Why is South Australia’s growth so small?

This hasn’t had the historical scale and growth of the Eastern capitals. While it has the lifestyle and housing affordability, it hasn’t been Australia's business capital in the same way that Sydney and Melbourne have been however, with new state government incentives, this may start to change. 

View Mark's full interview on The Daily Edition here

How effective Demographic Analysis can transform your business

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Numbers and people have long been two of the most important aspects of an organisation. Demographics is the merging of these two fundamentals and has a direct impact on the ability of organisations to effectively engage their clients and staff.

Why Demographic Analysis?

Demographic analysis gives insight into the age, sex and geographic composition of a population. There are many other characteristics of a population that can also be explored such as household income, employment status and educational background. Whilst it may be seemingly broad in scope, it is an essential first step to understanding your clients and staff.

Are your clientele predominantly Generation Y or are they Baby Boomers, are they in the higher income brackets or of lower socio economics? Asking these questions allows you to delve deeper into how to tailor your offering to your target market. Demographic shifts in society directly impact upon an organisation’s ability to shape their marketing, products and services to best suit their clients. Densification, mobility, purchasing behaviours, technology use, media consumption – these are all key measures which demographic and market analysis will help you understand.

In a constantly changing society, demographic analysis provides insight and visibility into the otherwise unseeable influences on our organisations and businesses.

Some McCrindle examples:



At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.

For us research is not a list of survey methods but a passion to find answers. It is more than a matter of questionnaires and focus groups – it is a quest to make the unknown known. The best research clarifies the complex and reveals insights in a way that can be seen and not just read.

Only when the findings are visually displayed, engagingly presented and strategically workshopped can they have maximum impact – and be implemented effectively.

Why the August count will mean more than the July count

Monday, June 27, 2016

It’s not the July count but the August one that will be most revealing for Australia. It’s the Census not the Election that will tell us most about ourselves. The election will reveal a lot about our political persuasions and policy preferences however it is the census that will offer far more clarity and detail about our nation. And in a political era where policy and budgetary settings extend beyond the election cycle, the data and forecasts delivered twice a decade in the census are becoming increasingly essential.

If the election is a national compass that will set something of the policy direction for Australia over the next 3 years, the census is a map that shows us who we are as a society in a big picture sense, as well as the contours that highlight our varied local communities and their detailed needs. The political custodians of the national compass will need a good understanding of the lay of the land, the changing terrain and the context in which national leadership operates if they are to guide us effectively.

The map this year will show a more complex Australia, more delineations than in the past culturally, economically and socially. The land of wide open spaces is becoming more urbanised, densified and diverse. The land of the middle class is showing more fractures and there are some fault lines emerging across this big land of opportunity. However, despite the differing terrains across this nation of communities, the census will show a sense of unity amongst the diversity- a contiguous landscape of varied elements.

The changes the census will show can be summed up in five words:


Not only will the numbers show that we exceed 24 million, but that we’ve more than doubled in the 50 years since the 1966 Census when we hadn’t even hit the 12 million mark. Sydney will also be shown to have just hit the 5 million milestone- the first Australian city to do so and also more than twice the population of 50 years ago of just 2.4 million.


Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid” as for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55’s than under 20. The 1966 Census showed less than 1 million Australians aged 65 or over while this one will show more than 3.5 million. Those in the “aged” category of 85 plus have gone from less than 55,000 then to almost half a million now.


for the first time this Census will show one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses- the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966. The six state capitals plus Canberra have grown from just over half the population (6.7 million people) to more than two-thirds (16 million) in half a century.


In 5 decades the proportion of Australians born overseas has increased from 17% to more than 30%. Back then, 90% of migrants were born in Europe with those born in Asia comprising less than 1% of the population while today China, India and Vietnam are all in the Top 5 countries of birth.


Australians travel more than ever and getting to work by private vehicle is still the main transport mode, used by 2 in 3 workers. More than half of all households have at least 2 cars compared to less than 1 in 10 households in 1966. Back then, 40% of households had no car compared to just 8.6% today.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics do a superb job in providing such a detailed social map, updated every 5 years, regarded internationally as world-leading and provided in full, free to all to access for their own journey. Like any good map it shows all the peaks and valleys without agenda or ideology. No gloss needed- the data provides the picture and it is up to those who access it to chart a way forward any point out the pitfalls. As we each plot our own points on August 9 we are in the process charting a national map that will provide navigation into the next decade- a decade that will likely be the most transformative in Australia’s history.

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