Australia's Capital Cities

Thursday, July 09, 2015

AUSTRALIA’S CAPITAL CITIES: GROWTH, CHANGE & A FUTURE FORECAST

CAPITAL CITIES

Over 66% of Australians live in the greater metropolitan area of Australia’s 8 capital cities with Sydney being the largest (around 4.9 million), followed by Melbourne (4.5 million). Darwin is Australia’s smallest capital city, with a current population of around 144,000. The nation’s capital, Canberra, has a population of 394,000, larger than Darwin and Hobart combined.

The title of fastest growing city is held by Perth which has recorded 3.05% per year for the past 5 years whilst Hobart has the lowest rate of growth of only 0.67% per year over the same period. Sydney and Melbourne recorded growth of 1.5% and 1.95% per year over respectively.

In terms of population increase, Melbourne comes up on top with an increase of 95,655 people in the last year while Hobart only had an increase of 1,247 people in the same period. In fact Melbourne is growing by more people every 5 days than Hobart adds in an entire year. Sydney recorded an increase of 84,230 people in the last year and based on this increase will be Australia’s first city to reach 5 million, a milestone it will achieve by the middle of 2016.

However, at a state level there have been significant changes over the last 3 years in the population growth rate across Australia. Western Australia, which was the fastest growing state has seen this annual growth rate more than halve from a peak of 3.68% in 2012 to just 1.58% currently. Over the same period of time, Queensland’s growth has also declined significantly from 2.0% to 1.37% now, while Victoria’s consistent population growth rate of 1.75% makes it the fastest growing of any Australian state or territory.

Sydney has a population approximately 400,000 larger than Melbourne’s but Melbourne is growing by over 10,000 more people than Sydney year on year. Assuming medium levels of fertility, overseas migration, life expectancy, and interstate migration flows, Melbourne will take Sydney’s title of Australia’s largest city in 2053 with both cities expected to reach a population of 8 million in 2055.

Perth’s rate of growth will see it overtake Brisbane in 2029 when they both have a population of just over 3 million. They currently have a population of 2.1 million and 2.3 million respectively.

OTHER SIGNIFICANT URBAN AREAS

The Gold Coast – Tweed Heads area has the largest population outside of the capital cities (almost 630,000) and also registered the largest increase in number of residents in 2009 to 2014. The 2nd largest urban area is the Newcastle – Maitland area (430,75435,0005) but the Sunshine Coast had the 2nd largest increase in population even though they are ranked 4th in terms of population size. The City of Dubbo, with a population of 36,622 is the smallest of Australia’s significant urban areas.

Launceston recorded the lowest smallest rate of population increase between 2009 and 2014, growing by only 0.35% per year but they are ranked 13th in overall population, out of 32 significant urban areas. The Traralgon – Morwell area was the only area to experience a population decline with a decrease in population of 28 between 2013 and 2014.

On the other end of the scale, Ellenbrook is the fastest growing urban area by far, recorded growth of 8.35% per year between 2009 and 2014 followed by Melton which recorded growth of 5.32% per year over the same period.

AUSTRALIA'S CAPITALS: POPULATION PROJECTIONS

Sydney

  • Reach 5m in 2016, 6m in 2029, 7m in 2042, 8m in 2055
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 1.23%

Melbourne

  • Reach 5m in 2021, 6m in 2032, 7m in 2043, 8m in 2055
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 1.44%

Brisbane

  • Reach 3m in 2028, 4m in 2047
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 1.6%

Adelaide

  • Reach 1.5m in 2027
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 0.83%

Perth

  • Reach 3m in 2028, 4m in 2042, 5m in 2055
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 2.14%

Hobart

  • Reach 250,000 in 2034
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 0.47%

Darwin

  • Reach 200,000 in 2048
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 1.08%

Sydney vs Melbourne

  • Melbourne will overtake Sydney for the title of largest Australian city in 2053

Brisbane vs Perth

  • Perth will overtake Brisbane for the title of 3rd largest Australian city in 2029

*Data assuming medium levels of fertility, overseas migration, life expectancy, and interstate migration flows.

Sources: ABS, McCrindle

The changing face of Sydney

Monday, July 06, 2015

“Sydney is a very diverse place, but I think in that diversity, in that difference is a great sense of strength, we all come together as Aussies and as Sydney-siders and I think that’s why so many people, almost 5 million of us, call this city home.” – Mark McCrindle

“The changing face of Sydney has been phenomenal”

Sydney, the place many of us call home, is Australia’s economic powerhouse.

We are adding almost 90,000 people to our city every single year, and the 5 fastest growing areas in New South Wales are all located in Sydney.

Back 50 years ago Sydney had just hit 2 million people, we are going to finish next year at 5 million people.

“Old ways and old attitudes are disappearing”

Sydney is a fascinating and complex landscape where old ways and old attitudes are disappearing.

We used to have a cringe factor of, “this part of the city is better than that part of the city” and people would perhaps be embarrassed if they weren’t closer to where the action was. That’s all changed. People in Greater Western Sydney embrace that as their moniker, proud of being a Westie.

“Sydney; a mini United Nations”

NSW has the highest migration of any Australian state, and Sydney – a global city, receives most of this growth. In this city of diversity, the city’s newest citizens form new tribes in its oldest suburbs.

  • South Africans have embraced Dover Heights,
  • The Chinese – Chatswood and Hurstville,
  • It’s little Lebanon in Mount Lewis,
  • Little England in Manly,
  • A lot of Vietnam in Cabramatta,
  • And the Maltese have made Arndell Park their own.

Now the number one surname in the Parramatta white pages is Patel.

“Sydney is undergoing an opportunity revolution”

And when it comes to work the CBD is no longer the cities undisputed top dog. Sydney is undergoing an opportunity revolution, with entrepreneurial hotspots sprouting up just about everywhere.

You’ve got the media and communications hubs around Surry Hills and Ultimo, and high-tech emerging in areas of Parramatta and even in Penrith. It’s not all just happening in the CBD alone.

The Changing Face of Sydney

Sydney has many faces, but what binds us, the one thing we all have in common is this often complex, always beautiful, ever-changing city.

WATCH THE CHANGING FACE OF SYDNEY SEGMENT BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK OR THE IMAGE BELOW


Latest media commentary

Monday, June 15, 2015

As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. From demographic analysis and future forecasts, to communication of key research findings and the identification of social trends, at McCrindle we are passionate about communicating insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Here are some the most recent media pieces our research and team have been cited in:


What will adulthood be like for Generation Z?

“McCrindle – whose business is analysing generational trends and forecasts – says generation Z is characterised by five key terms. They are global," through the possibilities of technology, and through pop culture -–movies, music, brands and language changes make their way around the world more quickly and thoroughly than ever before. They are "digital," thanks to the devices through which they live their lives. This generation is distinctly "social" because it gets a great deal of information not from experts but from peers, largely through social media. They are highly "mobile" in the fluidity of their work and housing. And they are uniquely "visual: in terms of how they process their information: YouTube is their search engine of choice, because "they don't want to read an article about something, they want to watch a video about something."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Treechangers flee city for a cheaper home

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said moving to regional areas was now a viable option for buyers who had been priced out to Sydney’s fringes.

“For that extra bit of distance of living in a region, particularly if they can get a job there, someone would cut down on the commute time into the CBD or into Sydney from where they are in the outer ring suburbs,” Mr McCrindle said.

He added that an influx of new developments and infrastructure being built in regional areas was making them more attractive and had contributed to a change in attitude from Sydneysiders, who are now more open to ’going bush’.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


More than a fashion choice, the everyday aesthetics of tattooing

According to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, 22 per cent of Australian men and 29 per cent of women aged 20 to 29 have at least one tattoo.

In a 2013 survey conducted by Sydney-based McCrindle Research, a third of people with tattoos regretted them to some extent, and 14 per cent had looked into or started the removal process. Laser removal has become cheaper and more readily available, but there are serious safety concerns around cheap lasers, poorly-trained operators and the risk of serious burns and scars to clients.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


IVF isn’t a fix-all for those choosing to delay adulthood

From a societal point of view, what worries me is what demographer and social commentator Mark McCrindle refers to as the "safety net syndrome" – the perception held that someone, whether it's the government or medical science, will solve the problems that have arisen because of a person's own choices. When it comes to fertility, that's simply not possible.

There are, however, promising signs that the pendulum is starting to swing back. McCrindle's research indicates that Generation Z is rejecting the "have it all" attitude of the previous generation and is recognising the limitations of science when it comes to fertility.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Victoria’s man drought: Areas where there are more women than men – and vice versa

The female surplus is particularly pronounced in some affluent eastern and bayside suburbs, university locations and “seachange” destinations.

“Females greatly outnumber men in older, established suburbs or places popular with retirees or with aged care homes because they live longer,” social researcher and demographer Mark McCrindle said.

“You also find more women living in locations with female-friendly institutions such as universities, or outer suburban areas with a lower cost of living suitable for single parents.”

“Places where males significantly outnumber females are mainly regional, industrial, farming, fruit picking and military and air force zones. It’s employment-driven,” Mr McCrindle said.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Sydney real estate: Narrowest home on the market expected to fetch upwards of $700,000

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said there was a clear trend of Australians moving away from bigger properties and looking at smaller homes.

“Certainly Australians are responding to smaller properties because the trend has been towards unit and apartment living anyway,” Mr McCrindle said.

“People buying homes have already lived in medium-density housing. A century ago, there were 4.5 people per household in Australia. Now it’s down to 2.6 people per household and the Australian Bureau of Statistics forecasts a drop to 2.5 in the next two decades.”

Mr McCrindle said smaller homes tended to be located in the inner city, where there was an urban environment and a cafe lifestyle.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Highlights from #TuesdayTrend

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#TuesdayTrend

As Australia’s social researchers, we take the pulse of the nation. We research communities. We survey society. We analyse the trends. And we communicate the findings.

Every Tuesday we release a trend about Australia for #TuesdayTrend. Here are some of our recent #TuesdayTrends, highlighting fun facts about Australia. Be sure to follow, share and interact with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.



ABOUT RESEARCH VISUALISATION


In a world of big data- we’re for visual data. We believe in the democratisation of information- that research should be accessible to everyone not just to the stats junkies. We’re passionate about turning tables into visuals, data into videos and reports into presentations. As researchers, we understand the methods but we’re also designers and we know what will communicate, and how to best engage. We’re in the business of making you look good and your data make sense.


For more information, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you:

W: researchvisualisation.com

E: info@researchvisualisation.com

P: +61 2 8824 3422

Population Boom [in the media]

Thursday, May 07, 2015

This year a record 5 million VISA’s will be issued to foreign students, tourists and workers, with many of them choosing to call Australia home for good. The unprecedented boom is being likened to the influx that Australia experienced in the aftermath of WWII.

The 5 million short term arrivals are great news for anyone in the tourist and education sector. These sectors are two of our biggest export earners, they keep the economy going so to have more tourists and more students here is fantastic.

Adding an extra 2 million people, even short term is significant.

If you look at just permanent arrivals coming in to Australia and staying for 12 months or more, we are talking about the equivalent population of a new Gold Coast every 15 months.

6 of the Top 10 countries of permanent arrivals are in Asia so we are more connected to that part of the world and it is certainly a big change from the focus on Europe that we had a few decades ago.

The way we really grow in Australia has been by growing our existing cities, our existing population centres by expanding those. We need to make sure the investment is there in the cities because that is where the permanent arrivals are going to be, that’s where the students study and that is where the tourists go.

Largely, the skill VISA program is employing people who are working in fields that Australians aren’t working in or there is a shortage in. So it would be great to think that isn’t actually taking jobs away from those looking for jobs.

Australia will finish this year at 24 million, which is a new milestone. Next year, Sydney will hit 5 million. We know based on the current growth trends that we are going to hit about 40 million people by the middle of this century, and that is based on the current growth we are seeing. So that is a lot of new people that we need to house and again that we can make sure the quality of life is maintained for.

Watch Mark McCrindle address the topic on Weekend Today

Top Baby Names Australia 2015 Revealed

Monday, May 04, 2015

Around 1 in 10 Australian babies last year were given one of the Top 10 baby names; a total of 30,581 babies. There were 2,189 boys named Oliver and 1,796 girls named Olivia last year.

Oliver most popular in the States but William more popular in the Territories

Keeping the top spot from 2013 is Oliver, the top boy baby name in Australia for 2014 having overtaken Jack and William which were 1st in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Oliver was the top boys’ name in all 6 states (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA, TAS) while William was the top boy baby name in the 2 territories (NT, ACT).

There were 230 more instances of Oliver than William, an increase on the margin of 37 from 2013. In 2014, there were 2,189 boys named Oliver, 1,959 named William and 1,841 named Jack which is a decrease for both William and Jack on 2013.

Olivia Takes Top Spot after Charlotte’s 3 Year Reign

Olivia, with 1,796 occurrences is the top girl baby name in Australia for 2014, taking the top spot from Charlotte which is now in 2nd place. Charlotte was the most popular girls’ name from 2011-2013 but has now fallen behind by 123 occurrences.

Olivia was the most popular baby girls’ name in the three most populous states (NSW, VIC, QLD) while Charlotte was top in SA, TAS and NT with the names Emily and Amelia being the most popular in WA and the ACT respectively.

Shorter names win out

Jack (3rd) beats out Jackson (5th) just as it beats out John (93rd). Archie (34th) beats Archer (40th) and Max (16th) is more popular than Maxwell (97th). Even for girls currently Lily (11th) is more popular than Lillian (86th) and Ella (13th) outranks Isabella (14th) and Isabelle (22nd).

Place names

Place names are still a source of inspiration and while Australian places are rising the ranks, many (such as Bronte, Avalon, Brighton and Arcadia) are yet to enter the Top 100, and others like Adelaide are now out of the Top 100.

Indeed Maddison (16th) outranks Victoria (80th) and Georgia (31st) and Indiana (60th) are ahead of Eden (68th). For boys overseas locations still dominate with Jordan (54th), Austin (61st) and Phoenix (94th) outranking Australian locations (with the exception of Hunter, 21st).

A royal influence

The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the loyalty and affections of modern Australians but continue to significantly influence their choice in baby names.

Prince William’s popularity first placed William in the Top 10 in 2001 and the name’s popularity has grown significantly since then. In 2011, the year of the royal wedding, William became the most popular boy’s name Australia-wide and maintained this position until 2012 when Oliver took the top spot. While William is the 2nd most popular name overall, it is still the most popular boy’s name in the ACT, and the NT.

The birth of Prince George (George Alexander Louis) in July 2013 has positively impacted the use of George by Australian parents, increasing George’s rank from 71st in 2012 to 60th in 2013 and 42nd in 2014 – its highest ranking since the 1950s. Alexander’s popularity has also been impacted with an increase in rank from 15th to 9th in 2014.

Despite having only influenced parents for a period of less than 18 months to the end of the 2014 calendar year, the number of baby boys named George has dramatically increased, from 364 in 2012 to 640 in 2014.

Download Baby Names Australia 2015. Click here to download the full report.

100 Years on from the ANZAC Sacrifice

Thursday, April 23, 2015

It was predicted that 2015 would be a year of reflection as the country remembers the centenary of the ANZACS at Gallipoli and the military sacrifices of the 100 years since. A recent survey conducted by McCrindle Research demonstrates the high regard in which modern day Australians hold the ANZACS and their impact on shaping the identity and values of Australia today.

A Year of Reflection

The lucky country is in 2015 being transformed into the reflective country. This is largely attributed to the centenary of the ANZAC landings, and on which rests the anticipation of record attendance at ANZAC services around the country as well as the big events at Gallipoli. But it isn’t only April 25th that will be big in the calendar, the entire year is set to have centenary reflections of Australians involvement with WW1, causing us to reflect on sacrifice, loss, duty and the makings of modern Australia.

‘2015 will see Australia unusually reflective. Self-analysis is not part of our national psyche yet the year ahead will see us looking back, looking in, and remembering. It will not be a year of sadness – just sombreness – the ‘no worries’ attitude subdued for a while. Australians love a celebration and this land of the long-weekend is good at enjoying the journey – but the year ahead will bring some heaviness to the journey, and some healthy introspection as well’.Mark McCrindle

ANZAC Spirit Alive Today

By the end of World War 1, 420,000 men had enlisted to serve at war, which was around 39% of the population of men aged 18 to 44. As we approach the centenary of ANZAC Day we take a look at the likelihood with which Aussie’s today would enlist to serve at war today.

Gen Y Men Most Likely To Enlist

While 1 in 4 (25%) Australians would enlist for a war today mirroring the global conflict of WW1, this figure increases to 1 in 3 (34%) among the male population across the country.

Gen Y males (aged 21-35) would be the most likely generation to enlist with more than 2 in 5 (42%) indicating so and mirroring the same representation of males aged 18 to 44, 100 years earlier (39%). As Australian males get older, the likelihood of them enlisting for war decreases.

There are 2.59 million Gen Y males in Australia today (those born 1980 to 1994). In this survey, 13% have stated that ‘yes definitely’ they would enlist in such a scenario, which equates to 335,482 from this age group (21-35 year olds) and is equivalent to the number that signed up in this age group a century ago.

ANZACS Influential in Shaping Australia’s National Identity

The characteristics which define us as a nation – mateship, freedom and respect have all been heavily influenced by the ANZACS and their sacrifice at Gallipoli 100 years ago according to modern day Australians.

Nearly all Australians surveyed consider the ANZACS to have been influential in shaping Australia’s ‘sacrifice for others’ characteristic (98%) and the Australian expression of ‘mateship’ (97%). More than 3 in 4 (78%) of those who indicated this felt the ANZACS were extremely or very influential in this regard, highlighting the formative role of the ANZACS when it comes to these components of Australia’s values and national identity.

Majority of Australians also believe that the Anzacs were heavily influential in shaping the following components of Australia’s character:

100 Years of Change in Australia


For More Information

For all media enquiries please contact the office on 02 8824 3422 or ashley@mccrindle.com.au.

.

Australia's Population Growth [In the Media]

Friday, April 10, 2015

Australia is currently the fastest growing developed nation on the planet and by the end of this year we will hit 24 million – twice as many people we had in 1968. For the last decade numerically we’ve had the most growth we’ve ever had and in the next 5 years we will add nearly 2 million people to our population as well as nearly a million households. We’re currently adding a new Adelaide to our population every 3 years! (more than a million people; 355,000 each year).

Click the image below to view social researcher Eliane Miles discuss the topic on Weekend Today

AUSTRALIA’S CAPITAL CITIES SEE THE MOST GROWTH

79% of our country’s population growth is happening across our capital cities. By next year Sydney will win the race to 5 million people, but Melbourne is currently the hotspot of all the capitals with the largest population growth, increasing by 95,700 people each year. Sitting at 4.4 million, Melbourne isn’t far behind Sydney and is on track to overtake Sydney as Australia’s largest city by 2056, when both cities will be home to more than 8 million people.

Yet the fastest growing capital is still Perth, growing at 2.5%, ahead of Darwin and Melbourne at 2.2%.

MIGRATION A POPULATION GROWTH CONTRIBUTER

58% of Australia’s growth comes from net overseas migration, which equates to 240,000 per year, and the remainder from natural increase. Nearly two fifths (38%) of all post 1950 immigrants have arrived since the year 2000, and three fifths (63%) of our migrants come on skilled visas – so there’s a steady stream of highly skilled and hard-working individuals looking to establish their families in Australia.

Victoria leads in terms of interstate migration, while Queensland’s population growth has slowed to its lowest rate in 15 years as has Western Australia – both states due to low net overseas migration over the last year.

THE IMPACTS OF A GROWING AUSTRALIA

With population growth comes increasing diversity, a rich lifestyle, greater entertainment options but also rising house prices, the wait for public services, and of course traffic congestion.

Our households will also look different - by 2020, for the first time in our history the couple only household will be more common than the couple with kids household. The solo person household will move from 23% to 27% by 2020 and will be fast closing in on traditional couple and couple with kids households.

The increase of 175,000 households to our population each year is set to continue over the next 5 years, and we’ll continue to see an increase in the demand for housing across our capital cities, particularly high density housing to accommodate smaller households.

The increase in housing density will mean that the vast expanse of the Australian outback will remain virtually as it is but the major cities will continue to expand, particularly upwards, with more people living in apartments than ever before.

Australia will become even bigger, denser, and more multicultural over the next 5 years. Some ‘Aussie Dreams’ may start to disappear such as the ‘quarter acre block’ and along with it the Hills Hoist garden shed and enough space for a game of backyard cricket. But no doubt new ‘Aussie Dreams’ will come to replace them – it is the Lucky Country after all!

#TuesdayTrend Highlights

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

#TUESDAYTREND


As Australia’s social researchers, we take the pulse of the nation. We research communities. We survey society. We analyse the trends. And we communicate the findings.

Every Tuesday we release a trend about Australia for #TuesdayTrend. Here are some of our recent #TuesdayTrends, highlighting fun facts about Australia. Be sure to follow, share and interact with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


ABOUT RESEARCH VISUALISATION


In a world of big data- we’re for visual data. We believe in the democratisation of information- that research should be accessible to everyone not just to the stats junkies. We’re passionate about turning tables into visuals, data into videos and reports into presentations. As researchers, we understand the methods but we’re also designers and we know what will communicate, and how to best engage. We’re in the business of making you look good and your data make sense.


For more information, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you:

W: researchvisualisation.com

E: info@researchvisualisation.com

P: +61 2 8824 3422

The Intergenerational Report

Monday, March 30, 2015

Earlier this month the Australian Government's Intergenerational Report was released, ‘outlining and assessing the long-term sustainability of current Government policies and how changes to Australia’s population size and age profile may impact on economic growth, workforce and public finances over the next 40 years’. (Aust Gov).

Social researchers and demographers Mark McCrindle and Claire Madden have given thought, analysis and media commentary on the report’s content, as well as implications this has for Australia moving forward.

Mark McCrindle on the Intergenerational report

Claire Madden on the Intergenerational report


1. Is increased immigration the answer to work participation shortages?

Currently, three fifths of our population increase is through migration with only two fifths from natural increase, so it’s already pretty high by historic levels. Also, migration doesn’t necessarily reduce the average age, since it is 37 for both an Australian and similarly a migrant coming in. So while increased migration meets the immediate workforce need, it will also add to the ageing population. Certainly it has been critical to Australia’s growth and will remain important into the future however it is just one part of the solution. The Intergenerational Report addresses the three P’s – population, productivity and participation. Participation refers to how the workforce can allow people to work later in life, as well as how workforce options and flexibility can build the participation of more young people and women. So apart from population factors, participation and productivity hold the key to future economic prosperity.

2. What jobs will help and pop up over time?

With the decline of manufacturing and the whole industrial base in Australia, there has always been talk of Australia moving to this knowledge economy and service jobs. I think from an older Australian perspective, if we do want to work through our 60s and 70s it is going to have to be in more technology-type roles rather than manual roles. But that’s part of the problem of the third P – productivity – we must ensure that we add the jobs to accommodate this and jobs that older people, students and others want to take up.

3. What does this mean for our cities?

Australia’s capital cities make up a significant proportion of Australia’s population. Because we are adding more than a million people every three years, we need to accommodate and plan for that – the infrastructure has to be there. People are not moving further and further out they are moving into the infill, into vertical communities. Infrastructure investment is critical to maintain the quality of life that Australians have come to expect.

4. Are intergenerational households set to increase?

Due to the increase in the cost of housing, we are going to see intergenerational households increase. Young people who can’t afford the $900,000 median house price in Sydney will be staying at home longer, as well as older Australians that don’t want to move into supported aged care, who will move back in with their families. So we are going to see a lot of change in household structures – where we are living and how we are living.

5. Will 2055 present a better experience of living in Sydney than today?

If you look at Sydney now it’s as good as it’s ever been. In fact the lifestyle is such that people are moving into the inner suburbs and we are seeing the renewal of areas that just a decade ago were not desirable. So I think we can find solutions. As this report says we do have to work, not harder – people don’t want to work longer or harder – but smarter. We’ve got to find some innovation skills and technology skills to solve the 21st century problems.

6. What challenges do Gen Y face in the wake of Australia’s Ageing Population?

It is certainly a challenge with the ageing population, the impact on government budgets, meeting the growing service demands, workforce shortages, leadership succession, wealth transfer and generational change. Keep in mind that the ageing of our population is a good news story. We are living longer, active later and able to work and contribute far more than any previous generation. But expectations will have to be managed. We have found in our research that some in Gen Y have a lifestyle expectation that they will be able to start their economic life in the manner which they have seen their parents finish theirs but such growth and gains are not always possible and should not be expected.

7. How does Gen Y’s situation differ from that of Gen X and the Baby Boomer generation?

The Baby Boomers certainly benefited from the post war boom, an increase in house worth and have had four decades of an economic boom. They’ve had stable economy and rising incomes over that time. And while we are at a point where the earnings have increased over the last couple of decades, wages have not kept up with the pace of house prices. So four decades ago the average earnings were $7600 in a year, while today it is around $72,000 so quite an increase, almost tenfold. But over that same period of time houses have increased by thirtyfold.

8. Considering the difficulty for Gen Y to become first home buyers, will we see a big preference shift among young Australians with regards to buying their first home?

The desire to buy a home is deep in the Aussie psyche, it’s the Aussie dream to have a place of your own but not necessarily a detached house with a backyard and a shed and a hills hoist. The Baby Boomers could pick up an average house in Sydney for $28,000 a couple of decades ago – now the average Sydney house price is over $850,000 so that is a dramatic change. Apart from the affordability challenge of such a home, there are changing lifestyles as well with new generations seeking not just a suburban life but an urban one, closer to public transport and more walkable communities. We are witnessing in Australia right now massive generational transitions.

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