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.



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The Royal Influence on Baby Names

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

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.

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana; A Royal Influence

The birth of the Royal Princess in May (Charlotte Elizabeth Diana) will also contribute to the royal baby name trend. Like George’s rank, which increased from 71st in 2012 to 42nd in 2014, we are likely to see a resurgence of the name Charlotte, and see her regain first position in 2016. Because Olivia had only 123 more occurrences than Charlotte, it is likely that Charlotte will achieve the top spot next year, and maintain that top spot for a few years to come.

While Elizabeth is ranked 53rd on the Top 100 list, we can also expect that name to rise in prevalence. And Eliza (currently ranked 81st) may also see a rise due to the influence of the Royal Princess. Diana, a name which peaked in the 1940s and again in the 60’s is also due for a resurgence, and with the influence of the Royal Princess is likely to achieve it as well as an increase in rank in the years to come.

Prince George Alexander Louis; A Royal Influence

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.

Click here for the full Baby Names 2015 Report


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 of Change

Monday, April 27, 2015

As Australia's social researchers, we love research that takes the pulse of the nation and reveals something of who we are. We are passionate about research that is engaging and that tells a story. So here are 35 interesting statistics about Australia, highlighting how much we have changed over the last 100 years!

100 years of change: 1915 to 2015

  1. In 1915 Australia was a young nation in more ways than one — our average age was just 24 compared to 37 today.
  2. Back then it was the Northern Territory which the census showed had the oldest median age (41.7) with Tasmania the youngest (with a median age of 22.4). A century later this has completely reversed with Tasmania being our oldest state (median age of 40.8) and the NT at 31.5 — the youngest.
  3. In 1915 men outnumbered women by more than 161,000. Today it is women who outnumber men in Australia by more than 105,000.
  4. In Australia in 1915, those aged 65 were classified as being of ‘old age’. Less than one in 20 Australians was aged 65 or over compared to almost one in five today.
  5. The number of aged pensioners has increased by more than 31 times in a century from 72,959 in 1915 to 2.3 million today.
  6. The percentage of the Australian population aged under 15 has halved over the last 100 years. While the under 15’s comprised 31 per cent in 1915, today they comprise just 15 per cent.
  7. Amazingly in 1915 there were 4,289 Australians ‘born at sea’, which meant that the 10th most likely birthplace for Australians born overseas was actually born at sea.
  8. Remarkably the top five birthplaces of Australians born overseas has hardly changed: In 1915 it was, in order UK, Germany, New Zealand, China and Italy. Today it is UK, New Zealand, China, India and Italy.
  9. Over the last 100 years Australia’s population has increased almost fivefold from just under five million to almost 24 million today.
  10. The average household today has two less people in it than in 1915: from an average of 4.5 people to just 2.6 people today.
  11. In 1915 there were 45,364 marriages registered per year while a century on there are 2.6 times more marriages registered at around 119,000 per year.
  12. However while marriages have increased by 2.6 times, divorce numbers are up 95.7 times. 1915 saw just 498 divorces recorded compared to today’s annual numbers exceeding 47,000.
  13. Back in 1915, Sydney was the city where most Aussies resided. However, Adelaide today has twice the population of Sydney back then.
  14. As many people live in Sydney today (4.9 million) as lived in the whole of Australia in 1915.
  15. Melbourne is seven times larger today than it was in 1915. In fact the Gold Coast has a larger population today than Melbourne had back then when it was home to the Commonwealth Parliament.
  16. Australia’s population growth rate has almost halved in a century from more than 3 per cent per annum to 1.6 per cent today. However it remains the second fastest growing nation in the developed world — in 1915 it was beaten only by Canada, and today only by Luxembourg.
  17. The population of Perth has seen the greatest growth rate of any Australian capital in a century. In 1915 the population of Perth was 106,792 while today it is 2,107,000 which is almost 20 times the size!
  18. Brisbane has also experienced great growth over the last century, increasing by 16.6 times its population of 139,480 back in 1915 to 2,329,000 today.
  19. The population of Adelaide has also experienced steady growth over the last 100 years from 189,646 people in 1915 to 1,318,000 today, which equates to 6.9 times its size of the century.
  20. Hobart has experienced the least growth of all Australia’s major cities, only increasing by 5.5 times its 1915 population of 39,937 to its current population of 220,000.
  21. In 1915 most of Australia’s population growth came from natural increase (births minus deaths) which accounted for almost three fifths of growth with just two fifths coming from net migrations (permanent arrivals from overseas minus permanent departures). Today this statistic is reversed with two fifths of our growth from natural increase and three fifths from immigration.
  22. In 1915 there were just 2,465 university students in Australia while today there are almost 1.2 million — an increase of 480 times!
  23. While a loaf of bread would have cost you 3½ pence in 1915, today a loaf could cost you around $2.50 and milk has gone from 3 pence per litre to $1.50 today. However land price rises have been even more significant with for example land blocks in newly developed suburbs such as Asquith for £200 compared to more than $600,000 today.
  24. Back in 1915, the vast majority of the population (96 per cent) associated themselves with the Christian faith, while today this has dropped to 61.1 per cent.
  25. A century ago the biggest religion after Christianity was Judaism (0.38 per cent) then Confucianism (0.12 per cent), Islam (0.09 per cent) and Buddhism (.07 per cent). Today Buddhism (2.5 per cent) has the most Australian adherents after Christianity followed by Islam (2.2 per cent), Hinduism (1.3 per cent) and Judaism (0.5 per cent).
  26. While all the mainstream religions other than Christianity have increased their share of the population, the option with the biggest increase has been “no religion” and “agnostic” having gone from 0.6 per cent a century ago to 22.5 per cent currently, an increase of more than 37 times.
  27. Today we have 4 times more students attending a state school than we did 100 years ago. Back in 1915, 593,059 students attended a state school compared to 2,406,495 today.
  28. There are also a lot more students attending private or catholic schools then there were 100 years ago, eight times more in fact. Back in 1915 only 156,106 attended a private or Catholic school, compared to 1,287,606 today.
  29. 100 years on, due to increased migration capacity, less residents of our population are Australian born than they were a century ago. Back in 1915 more than four in five (82 per cent) people were Australian-born. Over the century this figure has decreased to 71 per cent of the population.
  30. Australia’s European-born population has also decreased from 15 per cent of the total population in 1915 to 10 per cent 100 years later.
  31. In the last 100 years Australia has only planted two new cities: places that had no population base and are now stand-alone cities: Canberra (our 8th largest currently) and the Gold Coast (6th largest).
  32. By the end of World War 1, 420,000 men had enlisted which was around 39 per cent of the population of men aged 18 to 44. In 1915 there were 367,961 males aged 18 to 26.
  33. When WW1 began in 1914, there were 161,910 more males than females in Australia. By the end of 1918 there were 83,885 more females than males nationally.
  34. In WW1 there were 219,461 Australians killed, captured or injured in battle which was a casualty rate of almost two thirds of all those who embarked, and is the equivalent of one in five of the total 1915 Australian male population aged 18 to 44.
  35. The total Australian soldier casualties in WW1 exceeds the total number of adult males currently living in the state of Tasmania.

See the full article here


Claire Madden Explains the Who, What and Why of Generation Z and Generation Alpha

Friday, April 17, 2015

The students of our world, at schools and universities are the children of Generation X, the cohort that follows Generation Y, and born from 1995 to 2009 they are Generation Z. And following them we have our Gen Alpha's born since 2010. These emerging generations have and are growing up in a time like no other we have seen before. They are the world's first truly global generations, constantly logged up and linked in. They are empowered by having access to every piece of information within a few clicks of a button, and here we find ourselves with the challenge of teaching and educating, of shaping, moulding and developing these emerging generations. Social researcher and demographer Claire Madden takes a look at these emerging generations, their defining characteristics and how we can better understand and engage them.

GENERATION Z

Those filling your schools today are labelled ‘Generation Z’ – born between 1995 and 2009, this generation currently make up 1 in 5 in our population. They make up just 1 in 10 in the workforce, but in a decades time they will make up over a quarter.

When they’re talking about a library they mean they’re playlist on iTunes. They speak and they write in a new language – if they can shorten it, they will. They are content creators, and their idea of an encyclopaedia is one that you can change and contribute to.

While they are constantly reading it’s rarely a book from cover to cover, and after all they are visual communicators, so why read it when you can watch it?

They speak another language like ‘totes’, ‘chron’ ‘chillax’ ‘epic’ ‘frothing’ fo shiz’ ‘cray cray’ ‘yolo’!

GEN ALPHA

And following our Gen Zeds we have Generation Alpha, the kindergarten and preschool children of today. Generation Alpha are likely to have just one sibling, and if they are a boy they’re likely to be called Oliver, William or Jack, and if a girl, Charlotte, Olivia or Ava.

Born since 2010, there are 2.5 million Gen Alphas born around the globe every single week. And the year that they were first born coincided with the launch of the iPad. In case you were wondering they have no idea what a broken record is, nor what you mean when you say they sound like one. They’ve probably never seen a camera that required film, and will probably never have to wait for their photos to be developed.

Glass was something we were told to not touch so it didn’t leave any grubby finger-marks, where as they are growing up with glass being something that they touch, swipe and interact with every single day. The only phones they’ve ever seen also take photos, record videos, access the internet, can download a million apps and have just one button, a fairway from the landline telephones that you could take off the hook. In fact now if you’re left without your mobile phone for a day, maybe you’ve left it at home or the battery’s died, the term is that you have been ‘land lined’.

Whilst Baby Boomers can remember the introduction of the colour TV in the 1970s, Gen Zeds and Gen Alphas can flick up a YouTube video from a smartphone onto the apple TV with ease. They are logged on and linked up, they’re digital natives, and they are the most materially endowed, technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet.

They are empowered by having access to every piece of information within a few clicks of a button and right there is where we find ourselves with the challenge of teaching and educating, of shaping, moulding and developing these emerging generations.

Find out more:

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.

A Snapshot of Career Practitioners in Australia

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Preparing young Australians for an ever-changing workforce is a growing challenge. Research released today by the Career Industry Council of Australia and McCrindle shows that over half of all career practitioners are working part time in their role. Of those, just 1 in 3 are able to devote the entirety of their time to career education and guidance.

Career practitioners increasingly under-resourced

What career professionals provide is key to getting young people into the workforce. When career practitioners are under resourced and time poor, this affects young Australians’ ability to enter the workforce.

Mark McCrindle, principal of McCrindle says, “Today’s school leavers are the most digitally supplied and globally connected generation in history but also have more post-school options to consider than any previous generation – they need help transitioning from education to participation. We know that school leavers today need life and career skills which can future-proof their employment in this changing, multi-career era and this is exactly what career practitioners provide.”


The top areas where career practitioners spend most or some of their time often involve things other than career counselling, such as subject selection:


Research shows 1 in 3 career practitioners are provided with less than $1000 annually to undertake career development activities across their entire school. 1 in 2 schools with a population of over 1000 students have less than $3 per student to spend on career education.


One in five unemployed Australians today is a teenager

These figures are especially of concern as 1 in 5 unemployed Australians today is a teenager.

290,000 young Australians aged 15 to 24 were categorised as unemployed in January 2015. The hardest hit were the 15 to 19 year olds, with the unemployment rate for this group hitting 20 per cent – a level not seen since the mid-1990s. Nearly 160,000 Australians aged 15 to 19 were unemployed in January, out of an overall pool of more than 780,000 unemployed.

“If we expect 15-19 year olds to be independent and resilient contributors to our society, it is important to provide them with quality career education programs whilst in school and give them access to high quality career advice, assisting them to make informed decisions about future study and work. This advice should come from qualified career advisers who meet the industry’s professional standards and have been registered by CICA,” says David Carney, CICA Executive Director.


Download the Infographic

Download the infographic which features the findings of a national survey conducted by CICA of 937 career practitioners working in schools across Australia.

For more information

For more information or media commentary, please contact Ashley McKenzie at McCrindle on 02 8824 3422 or ashley@mccrindle.com.au

40 Years of Change: 1975 to Today

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Since 1975 Australia has seen four decades of massive change – demographically, socially, economically, politically, globally, culturally and technologically.

In such an area it is important to not just observe the changes but to understand the trends and respond, so that we can thrive in these massive times of change.

In this video below Social Researcher and Demographer Mark McCrindle outlines these changes.


Australian population bigger and older

In 1975 the Builders generation was firmly in control, the Baby Boomers were emerging and Generation X were still kids. More than half of Australia’s population wasn’t born in 1975 and since then we’ve seen massive generational change. We’ve also seen massive population change. Back then Australia’s population was 13.7 million and today it’s almost 24 million people, an increase of more than 10 million in four decades.

In the 1970s, the average age of an Australian was in the late 20’s, while today it’s in the late 30’s, such has been the ageing of our population in that time.

Our life stages have also changed in the past 40 years. People were getting married in their early twenties back in the seventies, while now the median age of marriage is approaching the thirties, indicating great social change as well.

Earning more, costing more

Australians are also earning a lot more now than we were back then; the average full time earnings in 1975 was $7,600 per year, today the annual average earnings exceed $72,000 per annum.

And while we are earning more, costs are a lot more today than they were back then. The cost of a loaf of bread today is more than 10 times the price it was in 1975, while a litre of milk today is 3 times the cost it was 4 decades ago.

Four decades ago Sydney had the highest house cost, averaging $28,000 while today it exceeds $850,000. So while earnings have gone up, by almost tenfold, house prices have gone up by more than thirtyfold in that same period of time.

The year of the Dismissal and an end to the Vietnam War


1975 was a year of massive political change as well. The year began with Gough Whitlam as Australia’s Prime Minister, but it was the year of the Dismissal and so it ended with Malcom Fraser as Prime Minister.


Gerald Ford was the president of the United States and it was the year that the Vietnam War ended, a time of massive global change.

Jaws vs The Lego Movie

From a popular culture perspective it was quite a different era. We had harsher tastes back then perhaps because Jaws was the movie of the year compared to The Lego Movie of today. ACDC had the album of the year back then compared to Taylor Swift currently.

1970: The Beatles break up.


1972: M*A*S*H Show premieres.


1972: Terrorist attack at the Olympic Games in Munich.


1973: U.S pulls out of Vietnam.


1975: Pol Pot becomes the Communist Dictator of Cambodia and the Cambodian Genocide begins.


1975: Gough Whitlam is dismissed and Malcom Fraser elected.


1975: NBC's Saturday Night (later known as Saturday Night Live) debuts.


1976: Jimmy Carter is elected President of the United States.


1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman Prime Minister of Great Britain.


1979: Mother Theresa awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


1979: The World Health Organisation certifies the eradication of smallpox.


Popular Movies:


Technological advancements that changed the world


1970: Computer Floppy Disks are introduced.


1971: VCRs introduced.


1975: Microsoft is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who develop a BSIC program for the Microcomputer Altair 8800, and is released the same year.


1975: The world’s first digital camera is created by Steven Sasson and Kodak Company.


1975: The laser printer is invented.


1977: The first personal computers (PC) are introduced.


1979: Sony introduces the Walkman.


1979: Cell phones are invented.


The speed and impact of these changes remind us to not just observe the changes but to understand the changes and respond so that we can thrive in these times of massive change.

To find out more about how we can help your organisation remain relevant:

Fast Facts on Marriages in Australia

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Research Director Claire Madden shares insights and quick facts about marriage in Australia, based on our 2015 Marriage and Weddings Report.

  • Whilst the marriage rate has been slowly declining over the decades, as our population grows, there are still more weddings now than there were a decade ago. We hit the peak number of weddings in 2012 with over 123,000 weddings that year.
  • The average female is getting married at 28.3 today and males at 29.9, this has been pushed back by about 5 years over the last 3 decades.

  • The total number of divorces has been declining - there are fewer now than any time in the last 20 years, as both the divorce rate and divorce numbers have been declining. 10 years ago the divorce rate was 2.7 per 1,000 people, one year ago it was 2.2. and it is now 2.1 per 1,000 people.
  • Whilst 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce, they are lasting longer than 2 decades ago. In 1993, the average length of marriages that ended in divorce was 10.7 years, today they are lasting 12.1 years on average.

  • There are on average 326 weddings across Australia per day. This swings between over 2,000 weddings on a popular Saturday to just 37 weddings on Christmas Day!
  • 77% of Australian couples cohabitate before getting married.

  • Most popular times to get married during the year are Spring and Autumn, in the months of November and March.
  • The least popular months are June and July each of which only hosts 5% of yearly marriages.
  • Popular wedding dates are on the increase, with 923 marriages held on Australia Day.

Australia in 2015 [In the media]

Monday, February 16, 2015

What does the Australia of today really look like? With the typical length of employment being 3.3 years and Australians today working on average 17 jobs in their lifetime, we are seeing a shift from job stability to job flexibility. The rise of the couple only household means the nuclear family is on the decline. Because kids are staying at home longer, they've been named the KIPPERS (Kids in Parents Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings). And in the midst of the current baby boom, Australian's are having children later in life.

Research director Claire Madden gives insight into these trends and the changing Australian landscape, and the importance of understanding the shifts and trends occurring in our society today.

Nuclear family no longer most common household

For the first time in Australia's history, the nuclear family will no longer be the most common household – while today they make up 33% of all households, within just a year the couple only household will be the most common type of household.

Multigenerational households

With the decline of the nuclear household structure, we are often seeing three generations living under one roof: Baby boomers are being sandwiched by taking care of their own parents (the builders), while still having their Gen Y children living with them and studying.

Boomerang Kids

This type of arrangement is a significant financial advantage for Gen Y KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings) who may be saving $15,000 per year on rent alone by living with their parents. For mum and dad, however, retirement plans are delayed and retirement savings significantly decrease. Baby Boomer parents, while enjoying the social interactions available in a multigenerational household, can often feel the pressure and may feel like their hard work is being taken for granted.

Household size grows after a century of shrinkage

Household size has been declining for the last 100 years. In 1911, the average household size for Australia was 4.5. By 2006, it had fallen to 2.53. But in 2011, something remarkable happened. Household size increased. Only by a small amount, but enough to raise it to the current 2.6 people per household. The multi-gen household and boomerang kids have turned around a 100-year trend and created expanding household size.

Employment and Job Mobility

Australia is approaching 24 million people, and our labour force is close to half our total population at 11.7 million people. Of these, 70% are employed on a full time basis and 30% are part time workers. Currently our unemployment rate is at about 6.2%.

Australia’s job mobility is a long way from job for life- in fact it’s closer to three jobs per decade! Today the national average tenure in a job is 3.3 years (3 years and 4 months), based on voluntary turnover of around 15% per annum.

If this plays out consistently in the life of a school leaver today, and assuming they start their working life aged 18 (in a part-time role) and are retired from all work by 75, they will have 17 different employers in their lifetime. Based on 3 jobs before upskilling or career changing, this means that they will also have 5 separate careers in their lifetime.

Record births, older parents, increase in family size

We are currently experiencing a baby boom in Australia, with birth numbers setting new records and exceeding 300,000 per year, more than were born in the original baby boom post WWII. It is not that more women are deciding to have children, but those that are having children are deciding to have more than previously, and as a result Australia is seeing an increase in the family size.

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 children 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 1.9.

Natural increase and Migration

Australia's annual growth rate is 1.6% which equates to 364,800 people over the last year. In 2008 net overseas migration was 459,904 (therefore population growth numbers in the last year were 95, 104 less than they were 7 years ago).

Annual growth is comprised of two factors: natural increase (births minus deaths) and net overseas migration (permanent arrivals minus permanent departures). A permanent arrival is defined by someone living in Australia for 12 months or more (or 12 months over a 16 month period). The same time frames apply to permanent departures.

58% of Australia’s population increase is through migration which was 212,500 people last year. In 2008 net overseas migration was 315,700 which equates to 103,200 fewer last year than 7 years ago. 42% of Australia’s population growth was through natural increase which was 152,300 people.



The above data has also been visualised in the infographic, Australia's Population Map and Generational Profile:

Top 10 Tips For Running Focus Groups

Monday, February 16, 2015

1. Make sure the questions flow

When writing the questions for the group moderator’s guide, order the questions in a logical manner so that they take participants on a logical and sequential journey through the different topics you are exploring. Keep the most important questions at the start of each section so that if you run out of time you don’t miss them.

2. Recruitment matters

To ensure the group runs smoothly it is important that you recruit the right people for the group. Of course this means recruiting people who meet the client’s brief, but additionally it means recruiting people who (unless specifically needed) come from different backgrounds, aren’t related, married or close friends. This ensures that there are no unwanted cliques and that a variety of experiences and views are represented.

3. Come prepared and organised

Make sure the experience gets off to a good start by being organised and bringing everything you need and everything you think you might need (a small suitcase with wheels is a great way to transport these items.) A focus group checklist helps to make sure that things like sign in sheets, pens, blue tac, post-it notes and whiteboard markers are not forgotten.

4. Know your content, but be flexible

There is nothing worse than a moderator staring down at their guide the entire group rather than engaging with the participants. Know what you’re asking and what is most important. To check that new issues are covered, pop out during an activity and ask the client (if they are viewing) or a colleague if there is anything that should be addressed in the final minutes.

5. Location, location, location

Choose a space for your group that is professional but not too clinical. It is important that participants feel comfortable otherwise they may not feel confident to share their opinions. Set up the space with all your materials laid out, easy to access food and drinks for participants, and keep the room at a nice cool temperature.

6. Start the way you want to finish

It is important to remember that you (as the moderator) set the tone for the group and create the ‘vibe’ you want. Try and make some light hearted comments at the start of the group, offer participants food and drink and go around the group and ask each person to introduce themselves to make participants feel comfortable.

7. Mixed modal groups- Use different formats and activities during the group

The standard focus group length of 1.5 hours can feel like a long time when it is limited to group discussion. Try using post it notes to get participant’s quick thoughts on topics, use a whiteboard for brainstorming and electronic voting technology to break up the discussion.

8. Hear everyone’s opinion

Group dynamics can be the make or break for any focus group. It’s important that everyone’s views are heard and welcomed. Try giving everyone a name tag at the beginning of the group, this will help you be able to call on them to get their opinion if they aren’t speaking up.

9. Let the group flow naturally but stay in control

During the group let the conversation flow naturally but take the lead and gently bring the group back if they get too far off topic. Often the best insights are not through stilted question and answer structure but during free flowing group discussions.

10. Keep calm and just listen

Participants are going to feel more comfortable if the moderator seems relaxed and in control. They can tell and appreciate when you are listening to them and giving them your full attention. Use your body language, hand gestures and encouraging words to show that you value and are interested in their opinions.

If we can assist with helping your organisation run any focus groups, please do get in touch on 02 8824 3422.

For more on our focus group facilities, pleased head to researchrooms.com.

More about our expertise can also be found in our Market and Social Research Solutions Pack.

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