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.

Marriages and Weddings in Australia [Infographic]

Friday, February 13, 2015

Analysis of the latest ABS marriages data (ABS cat 3310.0) shows that there are more weddings today than a decade ago. And with the ‘in-between’ seasons (Autumn and Spring) deemed the most popular times of year to tie the knot, wedding venues in Australia should brace for a few busy days over the coming months.

Marriages on the decline?

While the number of marriages taking place each year in Australia has been rising for more than a decade, recent figures show that marriages are on the decrease, with an average of 118,962 marriages taking place per year, a figure that is down 4,282 since 2011.

This means that we see an average of 326 marriages occurring per day across Australia, with the most happening in New South Wales, followed closely by Queensland.

Bride and Groom getting older

First time Brides & Grooms are getting older: The average age of first time brides is now over 28 and around 30 for first time grooms. There are now less than half as many grooms aged 20-24 as there were in 1993. And while brides we most commonly aged 20-24 in 1990 today they rank third after those aged 25-29 and 30-34. In 2013 there were 77 Australians that married for the first time who were aged over 75!

Cohabitation still dominant, but decreasing

Up until recently, the number of Australians living together prior to marriage had risen every year since records on this began more than a decade ago. In 2010 this figure peaked at 79%, but has since decreased slightly to 77%. While on the decline, this still means that currently, almost 4 in 5 Australian couples live together before marrying.

Culturally Diverse Marriages

55% of couples married are both born in Australia, while the remainder (45%) have one or both partners born overseas.

Autumn and spring the time to wed

November (spring) and March (autumn) are the most popular months to get married, each hosting 12% of Australia’s yearly marriages. October is also quite popular, hosting 11% followed by April (10%).

The least likely month to wed in Australia is the dead of winter – June and July – each hosting 5% of Australia’s yearly marriages.

Saturday Weddings most popular

Saturdays are by far the most popular day to get married, on which 56% of all weddings take place. Sunday is also a popular day, with 15% of weddings taking place on a Sunday, a figure that is up from 13% in 2011.

Time and money challenges may be the factors influencing couples to get creative with their marriage date. Some interesting choices in 2013 included, 59 marriages on New Year’s Day.

Social Researcher Mark McCrindle said Australia is seeing a migration away from wedding in the hot Summer months ‘due to greater competition for venues, higher venue prices and the increased flexibility with taking leave from work outside these months, which influence couples as they choose a date. Like the travel industry, shoulder seasons are beginning to replace the summer months as a more desirable option when it comes to tying the knot’.

Close to 3 in 4 (73%) weddings are conducted by a civil celebrant, while the remaining 27% are religious.

"The trend to civil weddings is also driving the season. With church attendances declining, the one-time Australians were likely to pass through the church doors was for a wedding, but now just 27% of all weddings are conducted by ministers of religion. This has led to a trend of more varied locations for ceremonies, many of these with an outdoor aesthetic where the climate matters more than for the church wedding,” said Social Researcher Mark McCrindle.

First marriage, remarriage and divorce

72% of all marriages are first marriages, with the remaining 28% remarriages.

Divorces have slowed to 48,000 per year, with the median age of females getting divorced 42.9 and 47.0 for males.




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

Australia's Population Map and Generational Profile Update

Monday, February 09, 2015

Here at McCrindle we love Australia and everything about it - the people, Aussie spirit, weather and community. As 2015 kicks off we bring to you a visualised overview of Australia’s Population and Generational Profile, to help you understand the demographics of this great country and so you can blitz that next trivia night!

The Population Map

  • This year Australia’s population is predicated to hit 24 million!
  • Our population growth rate (1.6%) means that we are growing by 364,800 people each year! Net overseas migration accounts for more than half (58%) of this growth, while the remaining 42% is accredited to natural increase.
  • Sydney is home to the most Aussie’s (almost 5 million), followed by Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
  • There are 9.1 million households in Australia, and on average 2.6 people live in them.
  • The median age of Australian’s today is 37.3, and our life expectancy is around 82 years old.
  • Aussie’s are most likely to get married in their late twenties (29.1) and become parents in their early thirties (31.9). Our fertility rate (1.9) is even higher than the OECD average (1.7)!

Our Generational Profile

Australia is made up of 6 generations, spanning those in their 80’s and above (the Builder’s) to our newborns today (Generation Alpha). Each generation has grown up in a definitive time of unique challenge and opportunity, and how the times have changed! For example, while just 1 in 10 Builders obtained a university degree, half of our emerging generation Alpha’s are predicated to do the same.


What we do

At McCrindle, our expertise is analysing findings and effectively communicating insights and strategies. Our skills are in designing and deploying world class social and market research. Our purpose is advising organisations to respond strategically in changing times. As social researchers we help organisations, brands and communities know the times.


If we can assist you with communicating insights or visualising data, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you:

E: info@mccrindle.com.au

P: 02 8824 3422

McCrindle Omnibus Surveys

Monday, February 02, 2015

What is an Omnibus?

An omnibus is an online survey, distributed to a panel of nationally representative Australian’s, helping organisations get access to what Australians think, with fast turnaround results at a fraction of the cost of a comprehensive study.

Our monthly omnibus yields 1,000 responses (18+) with results in Excel or Word available the same week (other output options available upon request). Results are provided both as a total and broken down by key demographic categories:
  • Male / female
  • Age (by generation)
  • State or territory
  • Level of education
  • Employment status
  • Household composition
  • Five household income categories
  • Other descriptors available on request

Why an Omnibus?

Running an Omnibus provides solutions for:
  • PR and communications agencies looking to maximise media activity
  • Not-for-profit agencies tracking brand awareness and campaign reach
  • Lobby groups and charities seeking to gauge public opinion on a multitude of issues
  • Marketing teams looking to undertake industry snapshots and trends in customer attitudes and behaviours
  • Strategists looking to make well-informed business decisions
  • Brands and organisations looking to develop research-based thought leadership

But how?

It’s as simple as:

  1. Determining how many questions you want to include, and
  2. Developing survey questions (with assistance from our research consultants).

Have you considered output?

At McCrindle we are well known for conducting relevant, world-class and cost effective research, and importantly, communicating the insights in innovative, useable ways. Our output options include:

  1. Let us do the analysis in a top-line or media-ready report
  2. Bring your data to life through infographics or videos
  3. Spread your results with the help of our media spokespersons Mark McCrindle or Claire Madden

What about cost?

Find out more

Download our McCrindle Omnibus Solutions Pack for more information.
McCrindle Research Omnibus

The next omnibus is just around the corner, going out on the 9th of February. Raw data will then be provided by the 13th of February.

For enquiries please contact McCrindle's research contact:
Kirsten Brewer
P: 02 8824 3422
E: kirsten@mccrindle.com.au

Market and Social Research Solutions

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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.



For a more in-depth and detailed description of our Research offerings, please download our Market and Social Research Solutions Pack by clicking here.

Australia's Defining Traits

Friday, January 23, 2015
As a nation, there are traits that have defined Australia for decades, but as the times shift and trends emerge we take a look at the extent to which these are still relevant in defining us today.

1. The Lucky Country


Statistics show that Australia is doing better than ever when it comes to health, education, economic opportunities, and even political participation.

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

We value independence but in a community-minded way. As Aussies we recognise that individual achievement rarely occurs without a helping hand from others. After all we call this the lucky country—we don’t take the credit for it all ourselves. Despite our differences we know that when adversity strikes, whether in the form of personal tragedy, natural disasters or international conflict, there’ll usually be a fellow Aussie there to help out. It’s the tradition of the digger, the character of mateship, and it’s still the essence of the Australian community.
Fast Facts
  • Compared to the unemployment rate of the US, UK and France, Australia’s unemployment rate is lowest at just 5.8
  • The EU, G20, OECD and USA have all experienced a recession during the last 7 years, whereby Australia has not
  • Over the last 10 years Australia’s life expectancy has increased by 2 years
  • Over the last 40 years our life expectancy has increased by 10 years

2. Big Australia


Australia’s population exceeded 23 million on 23 April 2013. Having doubled since 1966, this rise is fuelled by an increase in birth rate, life expectancy and migration. These factors have allowed Australia to grow at a rate of 1.7% per year, above the world average of 1.0%. Not only is Australia the fastest growing OECD nation, but its population is increasing faster than Indonesia, India, and Malaysia.
Fast Facts
  • Australia’s population is growing by 1.7% annually
  • Australia currently has a population of 23 million people, with an increase of 397,200 people
  • Natural increase accounts for 40% of growth, adding 154,500 people to the population
  • Net overseas migration accounts for 60% of the population increase, increasing Australia’s population by 228,000 people
  • Australia’s population density is 2.99 people per km2
  • Vertical communities - with record population growth comes increase densification, where we now live up and not out
  • Traditional detached homes vs housing approvals. More new homes in greater Sydney are medium density than detached homes

3. The Clever Country


The Top 5 industries 30 years ago were all industrial (mining, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transport) whereas today there has been a shift to professional industries (Top 5 are mining, technical, IT, financial, and utilities).

While once derogatorily referred to as the world’s quarry, it turns out that we are the clever country after all with more people than ever employed in science and technical roles. The Australian workforce has undergone significant structural change and we’ve moved from an industrial base to a knowledge base.
Fast Facts
  • The average years of schooling Australian’s engage in is 12 years
  • The number of patents granted by Australia annually is 17,877
  • 1 in 5 Baby Boomers, 1 in 4 generation X’s, 1 in 3 generation Y’s have a university degree and 1 in 2 generation Z’s will have a university degree

4. The Land of the Middle Class


Australia is the land of the fair go, where people are taken at face value and class and values based on where people are from or where they were educated don’t rate highly in interactions. Lifestyles are busy and our lives are complex but our culture is down-to-earth, and mainstream recreations are simple. Regardless of income or social status, there are rich pleasures offered in Australia, and these are all the more appreciated in times of rising living costs.

It is a collaborative rather than individualistic culture and this teamwork, a mix of mateship and altruism, creates a context where neighbourhoods and communities are defined by diversity and connecting rather than class and hierarchies.
Fast Facts
  • Australia’s median household income is $47,736. This is 2.6 times Spain’s average household income and 47 times the income of more than 30 other countries with household income below $1,100 (Spain’s is $18,531, Greece $15,823)
  • The average capital city house price in Australia is $2.5 million

5. The Small Business Nation


Australia has always been an entrepreneurial nation, with small business the backbone of the economy and the labour force. The Australian spirit of independence, a DIY attitude and the courage to give things a go are strongly demonstrated in these latest business statistics. The tough economic times and the terrain in which small business operates is having an impact, however, with only half (51%) of new business starts surviving 4 years in operation. For many Australians, the entrepreneurial dream is still alive but as demonstrated by the survival rates of new businesses, without better support, only a minority will achieve success.
Fast Facts
  • There are 2.1 million businesses in Australia
  • Just 39% are employing businesses
  • 69% of employing businesses are micro and have 1-4 employees, 6.2% are small (5-19 employees), 24.3% are medium (20-199 employees) while just 0.5% of businesses are large and employ over 200 employees
  • 50% of new businesses cease operation within 3.5 years of establishment
  • 1 in 10 cease operation every year

6. Land of the Long Weekend


Australians enjoy between 11 and 12 public holidays in addition to the 4 weeks annual leave for employees, which is more public holidays than many countries, and twice the annual leave of the average worker in the US. However Australians also work amongst the longest hours when compared to other developed nations and some of the most years of schooling. The “no worries” attitude is strong but it is more “no worries- we’ll sort it out” rather than “no worries- she’ll be right”. The “can-do” culture balances the “long weekend” mindset to shape a people who enjoy time off and know how to holiday- but work hard to earn the break.
Fast Facts
  • Australians enjoy 11 to 12 public holidays a year
  • Full time workers receive 4 weeks annual leave
  • On average, Australians work 38 hours per week, (41.0 for males and 35.8 for females)

7. The Tyranny of Distance


While Australia is warmly referred to as the land down under, the isolation and distance that the term once communicated is not the case today. While Australia is geographically a long way from the UK, it’s historical and population links with the “old country” remain strong. More importantly, it is closely located to the new epicentre of economic growth in Asia. Australia is a regional hub for many multinational organisations with operations in Asia, and is in its own right a globally connected, business influencer, cultural exporter and regional leader. The cultural cringe has given way to sophistication, cultural diversity and global influence.
Fast Facts
  • Australia’s region of Asia is home to 60% of the global population and the fastest growing nations on earth
  • China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines are all in the top 7 birth countries of Australians born overseas
  • In a 12 month time period Australia chaired the UN Security Council, hosted the G20 and will host the Cricket World Cup


For more on the facts and figures of Australia, be sure to check out our Australia Street Video Animation and Infographic.

THE AUSTRALIA STREET VIDEO ANIMATION


THE AUSTRALIA STREET INFOGRAPHIC


Top Trends For 2015

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Trends for 2015 are a mix of social trends, demographic shifts and technological change.

Here are the top five that will shape 2015, which will mark the mid-point in this iconic decade of change that began with the iPad and apps, and will end in 2020.

1. Reflective country

While Australia views itself as the lucky country, 2015 will be a year of our nation being a reflective country. We will see the centenary of the ANZAC landings track record attendance at ANZAC services as well as the big events at Gallipoli, but not only will April 25 be big in the calendar the entire year will have centenary reflections of Australians involvement with WW1 throughout the year causing us to reflect on sacrifice, loss, duty and the makings of modern Australia.

“2015 will see Australia being unusually reflective. Self-analysis is not part of our national psyche yet the year ahead will see us looking back, looking in, and remembering. This final month of 2014 has been an emotional time for the nation and in some ways it has set the theme for the year ahead. 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


2. Downageing

2015 marks significant milestones for Australia’s generations. Gen Y hit their mid-30’s, Gen X hit mid-life at 50 and the baby boomers approach the 70 year milestone. Each of these generations is living younger than their years would suggest, and the year ahead will see growth in nostalgia industries, adventure tourism, marathons, Kokoda treks and Antarctica expeditions etc. will boom as will products facilitating mobility in a time of ageing.

“Never before have the generations been as detached from their age as we’re seeing with the Boomers and Gen Xers. Age is just a number for the Gen Xers who were shaped by Commodore 64 computers, Atari games systems and grunge music yet begin turning 50 in 2015. And the original post war Baby Boomers who then ushered in the separate life stage of teenager hood and popularised rock ‘n roll are now closing in on 70 and redefining retirement and the seniors’ life stage.”

Mark McCrindle


3. Generation glass

The emerging generation have been shaped in the last few years which has finessed glass as the new medium of content delivery. Glass that we carried (smartphones and tablets), glass that we wear (apple watch, google glass, fit bits) will be further expanded with glass that we interact with all around us, from multi-touch glass work surfaces to interactive display walls from virtual fitting rooms in stores to head up displays becoming mainstream in cars to interactive display walls in car show rooms. 2015 will see glass coming to life all around us.

“We’ve had to wait almost 600 years for a new medium to be transformed for mass, portable, popular communication and it is happening now. In 1439 Johannes Gutenberg transformed paper to be usable for mass communication when his printing press enabled books and brochures to become mainstream. As radical a transformation is taking place now with glass being reinvented to be the new, portable mass communication device- glass that we look at not just look through, glass that we carry, wear and touch.”

Mark McCrindle


4. Vertical communities

With record population growth comes increase densification in our larger capitals and now Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and Canberra all have more new home approvals that are units and townhouses compared to detached homes. 2015 will be the year where infill developments continue and where we see more emphasis on households even those raising children’s, living up, not out. Everything from small grocery store format to shared community spaces in buildings rather than parks flow in a society where we move to high density living.

“2015 will see Australia’s population reach 24 million and amidst the record birth, longevity and migration growth is the growing population density of our major cities. The Aussie dream is more likely a unit near public transport than a home with a backyard and a shed. As urban growth changes from a sprawl out to building up we will see “walkable communities”, shared spaces, café connections and more local shopping thrive.”

Mark McCrindle


5. Digital comes to life

2015 will further the expansion of the digital becoming actual through increasing access to 3D printing technology, the internet of things becoming more practical (light bulbs and cameras being monitored from smart phone apps etc.), and virtual reality becoming a useful business tool (new Oculus 3D headsets increasingly being used beyond gaming to being utilised for design, real-estate and planning applications).

“The ‘virtual’ in ‘virtual reality’ is becoming harder to define. 2015 will see further blurring between the digital and the actual as printers go 3D, in-store fitting rooms go hi-tech and conferences and classrooms go video-based, virtual and global. From VR headsets to interactive display walls we’re increasingly going to find it difficult to find where the bricks and mortar meet the bits and bytes.”

Mark McCrindle

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