The McCrindle Blog
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.
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
Australia’s ageing continues
In just two decades Australia’s median age has increased nearly 5 years (from 32.7 to 37.5 today). In the last 5 years the proportion of our population aged under 20 has declined by a percentage point to be just 1 in 4 Australians (25%) while the proportion aged over 60 has increased by a similar amount to be 1 in 5 (20%). Based on these current demographic trends, by 2028, for the first time in Australia’s history there will be more people aged over 60 than aged under 20.
Click here to download this report as a PDF.
A good news story
The ageing of our population is of course a good news story. The Standardised Death Rate (deaths per 1,000 population) continues to fall (to 5.59- half that of births) while life expectancy continues to rise.
When Australia’s Age Pension was introduced in 1909, life expectancy at birth was 57 while today it exceeds 80. While the accessibility age of 65 for males has not changed in a century, longevity certainly has. In fact so dramatic has been the increase in life expectancy, that averaged across males and females, Australians have gained 25 years of life expectancy in the last 100 years. Or 3 months of life every 12 months of time!
Downagers: redefining the older life stages
Today’s Baby Boomers are the ultimate downagers, redefining lifestages, and reinventing retirement. They have adult children at home longer, they’re buying and selling property later in life, and remaining active in the workforce later than ever before. This is a response to the improved life and health realities. In fact based on years of life expectancy, a 65 year old today is the equivalent of a 54 year old in 1950. It is therefore of little surprise that Australians are younger longer and working later.
Older workers: technical, professional and entrepreneurial
Australia’s workers aged 65 and older currently comprise 3.4% of Australia’s total workforce (393,000 out of 11, 589, 000). The top two job categories of older Australians where more than 1 in 5 are aged 65 or over are professionals (21.4%) and managers (20.4%).
Of Australians 65 and over currently in the workforce, 72% are employees, 23% have their own business, 4% are employers, and 1% are contributing family workers.
Older Australians work the longest hours employed as managers in numerous industries (35 hours per week) and the least hours when employed in the community and personal service work industry (18 hours).
Across all of the industries, the average Australian worker aged 65 and older works 27 hours per week as an employee, 36 hours per week as an employer, 26 hours per week as a business owner, and 18 hours per week as a contributing family worker. Older workers are looking for great flexibility in their working hours and are increasingly not working full-time.
41% of Australians aged 65 and older who work as managers run their own business. This is the highest rate of self-employment across the major industries for this age group. Other industries that display a high percentage of older Australians running their own businesses are technicians and trade workers (27%), labourers (26%) and business services (20%).
% of all employees
Average hours worked
Clerical and Administrative Workers
Technicians and Trades Workers
Machinery Operators and Drivers
Community & Personal Service Workers
As the Director of McCrindle Research, Mark McCrindle headed up the McCrindle Baynes Village Community Report – the largest study into retirement village residents ever conducted in Australia. The project involved a 57 question pen and paper survey, deployed to 181 villages managed by 7 operators. It received over 10,000 completed surveys, representing almost 1 in 10 village residents Australia-wide.
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With Australia's population growth rate having just increased from 1.6% to 1.7%, the population milestone of 23 million will be reached today, Tuesday, 23 April at 9.57pm Sydney time.
While this doesn't sound like much in percentage terms, it is a population increase of 382,500 in the last year. Our current population increase is the equivalent of one new Coffs Harbour every 8 weeks, or one new Gold Coast every 19 months!
Want to know more?
- Click here to see our Australia at 23 Million Infographic.
- Click here to see Mark on ABC News 24 on this topic.
- Click here to read the full research summary.
At McCrindle Research we are about conducting world class research and communicating the insights in innovative ways. Emerging generations of business leaders are digital, visual, and global in outlook, connecting with information that is presented in compelling ways.
While the last few years have introduced big data to business, the challenge is interpreting the data and communicating the trends and insights effectively so that leaders can make strategic decisions. An infographic can visualise large numbers of data points in an easily accessible format, in the way that a ‘picture tells a thousand words’.
As pioneers in this emerging data visualisation area, and as Australia’s leading research visualisation experts, at McCrindle Research we are able to interpret the key data and present the summarised insights in innovative and visually accessible ways.
Here are our top five keys to worlds-best research visualisation:
1. Creativity of style: Clever metaphors, compelling visuals
2. Relatability of concept: Easily understood, clearly relevant
3. Complexity of data: Research rich, statistically robust
4. Simplicity of design: Instantly understandable, compellingly readable
Click here to see the Mind the Gap infographic on the difference in salary between males and females.
5. Variety of output: Topically congruent, visual diversity
Click here to watch the Know the Times animation on YouTube.
Email us at email@example.com or give us a call on 1800 TRENDS [1800 873 637] to request some hard copies of our Australia Street A5.
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.
Australia’s population growth has accelerated in recent months and will reach the population milestone of 23 million earlier than expected. With twice as many births as deaths, and with overseas migration arrivals having increased by 13.8% in a year, Australia is now growing by 1,048 people per day.
Based on these current growth trends, Australia will hit 23 million at 9:57pm (AEST) on Tuesday 23 April 2013.
Doubling the Population
Australia’s population reached 11.5 million in 1966 and so it has taken less than 47 years to double to 23 million. The global population doubled at a slightly faster rate, hitting 3.5 billion in 1968 and reaching 7 billion in late 2011, a period of just over 43 years.
Increasing Growth Rate
The latest demographic data from the ABS shows that Australia’s national population growth rate has increased from 1.6% to 1.7% per year. This is above that of the world (1.1%), well above China (0.5%), UK (0.6%), USA (0.9%) and even above countries that traditionally had high birth rates such as Vietnam (1.1%), India (1.4%) and Malaysia (1.6%).
While an annual population growth rate of 1.7% doesn’t sound huge, it is well above the forecast of a decade ago (around 1%) and equates to a population increase equivalent to one new Canberra or three new Darwin’s per year.
Australia’s total fertility rate has risen each year over the last 3 years and is now 1.9. The total number of births continues to set new records and in the last 12 months has exceeded 300,000 for the first time ever (303,600).
Twice as many Births as Deaths
While the birth rate has been growing, the death rate has been declining. The Standardised Death Rate (deaths per 1,000 population) has fallen to 5.59 (although the Individualised Death Rate is still 100%!)
While total annual births exceed 300,000, annual deaths number 149,100.
Population Growth from Migration exceeds that from Natural Increase
Permanent overseas arrivals are expected to break the half-million mark this year, falling just short of this at 488,100 in the last 12 months. Permanent departures rose slightly to 260,100 giving a Net Overseas Migration figure of 228,000, an increase of almost one-third (32.2%) on the previous year.
The proportion of population growth contributed by migration has increased in a year from 54% to 60% and the proportion from natural increase has declined from 46% to 40%.
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.
Western Australia’s Growth Accelerating, Tasmania’s Contracting
The fastest growing state continues to be Western Australia, with a growth rate that has increased from 3.3% to 3.4% while Tasmania has Australia’s lowest population growth rate, which has contracted again to 0.1%.
The population of Tasmania increased by just 500 people in the last year while WA is now growing by more than 1,500 people per week!
Victoria currently has the highest numerical growth, having increased by 94,800 in the last year ( or 1,823 people per week), just ahead of Queensland at 91,400 and NSW at 86,000.
It’s Official: Queensland is Most Loved State
Analysis of interstate migration data shows that Queensland continues to be Australia’s most loved state, with arrivals from other states and territories into Queensland exceeding 1,700 per week, a total of 88,866 last year, ahead of NSW with 79,972. However NSW had the highest departures to other states, with almost 1,900 people per week seeking a better life interstate (98,350 in a year).
NSW performed the worst nationally with a net loss of 18,378 to other states, while Queensland performed best with a net gain of 11,796 from other states. The three other states with a net loss were Tasmania (2,552), South Australia (2,357) and the Northern Territory (1,492).
Queensland was the No. 1 destination of three states (NSW, WA and NT) and NSW was also top for three (Victoria, Qld and ACT) ahead of Victoria’s two (SA and Tas.).
Australia’s 23 millionth: Worker Chris or Baby Jack?
As 60% of Australia’s growth comes from net overseas migration, the 23 millionth is statistically most likely to be a permanent overseas arrival. The number one source country for permanent arrivals into Australia currently is the United Kingdom, accounting for 1 in 5 arrivals. Almost two thirds of permanent arrivals (63%) come under work visa categories, compared to just under a third (30%) on family visas, and 7% on humanitarian visas. And of the working arrivals, they are more likely to be male, and aged in their 20’s and 30’s.
Therefore, based on the current demographic probabilities, our 23 millionth is most likely to be a young male Briton named Chris (the UK’s most popular boys name in the early 1980’s)!
However births are setting new records and at more than 300,000 are, in total numbers, a greater source of growth than net migration. Therefore the 23 millionth from a numerical perspective is most likely to be a baby, and is more likely to be a boy than a girl (there are 105 males born for every 100 females in Australia) named Jack (the current most popular baby boy’s name) born to a 31 year old mother and a 33 year old father (the median age of all parents has been rising) in Western Sydney (the fastest growing area of our largest city).
40 Million in the 2050’s
Australia has been growing by a million people roughly every two and a half years. Even if the population growth rate stays the same, the speed of adding each new million will accelerate as the population base increases (for example our current birth rate of 1.9 is producing record birth numbers, even though in 1961 we had a birth rate of 3.5- because our population today is more than twice as large as it was then.) Even allowing for a slight slowing of the population growth rate, Australia’s population will exceed 40 million in the late 2050’s although if the growth rate continues its current strength, this milestone could easily be reached by the mid 2050’s.
Sources: ABS Australian Demographic Statistics, ABS Population Clock, McCrindle Research.
It’s the International Year of Statistics, it’s the month that Australia hits 23 million, and so we got a little ahead of ourselves.
Here’s what Tuesday 23 April 2013 at 9.57pm has in store for you if, like us, you’ll be camped around the Australian Bureau of Statistics Population Clock. And if you are expecting a baby around that time, or awaiting the inbound international flight of a permanently arriving friend, then there is a big chance that you’ll be welcoming Australia’s 23 millionth! This unique individual will have 1 minute and 23 seconds when they will be one in a million (actually one in 23 million!) before they are joined by the next Australian which begins the journey towards 24 million - which will be reached in late 2015.
And while there are 2 weeks to go until the 23,000,000 milestone, we just wanted to give you a sneak peak. But hey, we’re futurists!
Image altered based ABS population data. With thanks to abs.gov.au.
Here are some of our latest media activities. For a more comprehensive look at McCrindle Research in the media, click here to go to our Media page.
| Extra hours don't lead to promotion
Social commentator Mark McCrindle said the shrinking importance of time in the office is a sign of the flexibility and teleworking opportunities that exist today.
"From Skyping and phone conferences, to emailing on smartphones and working across multiple locations, changing work hours to cut down on travel time, or just general work/life balance expectations - we've seen a big shift in what leaders expect," he said.
Australian population jumps by 1028 a day
Social commentator Mark McCrindle said the population was growing by 1028 people a day, so the 23-million mark would be reached about Anzac Day (April 25).
Are good manners dead?
Researcher Mark McCrindle said it wasn’t a case of traditional manners simply disappearing, but rather them being replaced by new social rules.
Louise Simpson celebrates divorce
Social researcher Mark McCrindle said the trend towards celebrating divorce reflected a wider change in attitude. "People are thinking, 'rather than be the victim of a situation, I'll embrace it'. And where there's a function, there will be products to match it...
Australia is the largest island nation on earth, and the 6th largest country by land mass (after Russia, Canada, China, USA and Brazil). It is 12 times largest than Europe’s largest country (France), and larger than these 25 countries combined.
Australia is big not just geographically, but also demographically. Australia is growing at 1.6% per year, which not only exceeds every other OECD member nation, but it is above the world average of 1.1%, and above countries such as Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. At 23 million, our population is ranked 52 out of the world’s 242 countries, and as evident in this graphic, larger than these 21 countries combined.
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We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.The McCrindle Team :)
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