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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
It was a privilege for our research to be featured at the KMPG Melbourne Cup Luncheon on Tuesday.
In attendance was Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, to commemorate more than 50 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia.
As part of the Youth Pulse Research for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia, two of our team, Claire Madden and Kirsten Brewer were also honored to attend.
Youth Pulse Research
The Youth Pulse Research was designed and conducted in September 2014 on behalf of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia. As an annual survey, involving 879* Australian young people aged between 14 and 19 years of age from every state and territory in Australia, it seeks to better understand their attitudes, opinions and sentiment towards leadership, well being and community among young Australians.
The Top Findings
• Relationships and family the highest priority for young Australians today (68%)
• Influence over others considered for greater impact than a position of power
• Change starts locally, with young Australians taking ownership of their contribution for influence on those around them and within their local community
• Empowering leadership styles take precedence over traditional models
• Youth of today optimistic about Australia’s future (55% are Expectant Optimists)
• Nelson Mandela named the most inspiring leader from recent history, with 92% agreeing that leadership is about influence not authority, and 90% agreeing that leaders building teams is more important than managing tasks
The full report will be made available on the 17th November 2014.
*879 respondents aged 14-19 with 603 fully responding and 279 partially responding.
For more information on research visualisation, click here.
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.
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
On the nightly news we often hear stories of random, opportunistic crime perpetrated against strangers, but rarely do we hear stories of generosity and altruism from strangers.
In an age which seems to be marked by “acts of senseless violence”, fed to us by the media on a daily basis, an act of random kindness from a stranger or someone not well known to us is heart warming – and perhaps astonishing. There are, however, numerous examples of acts of kindness that are happening around us every day, but which never come to light.
A fair go, mateship, giving a hand are values that define our national character. When disaster strikes, Aussies are among the first to lend a helping hand.
Mark McCrindle discusses how Australians show the power of good on The Morning Show – that when adversity strikes, whether in the form of bushfires, floods, typhoons, tsunamis, other natural disasters or international conflict, Aussies are front footed in helping out and making a difference.
Australia is setting new records in the number of babies born per year – 2013 saw over 315,000 births in Australia! Nearly two fifths (39%) of babies born in Australia each year are named one of Australia’s Top 100 baby girl or boy names – that’s 124,624 babies taking a Top 100 name!
What are the Top 100 baby names for boys and girls in Australia in 2013? Through the nation’s only comprehensive analysis of all the registered births across all eight states and territories, McCrindle reveals the Baby Names Australia 2014 report.
Oliver rises to the top as Charlotte continues her strong lead
For the first time in Australia’s history, Oliver has become the nation’s most popular boy’s name, overtaking William who has been at the top of the ranks for the last several years.
While Oliver was the top boy's name in three states/territories (QLD, SA, TAS) and William topped the list in four states/territories (NSW, ACT, VIC, and NT), numerically there were 37 more occurrences of Oliver than William across the nation.
Charlotte continues to be the favoured name among girls, remaining strong in 1st place and the choice for 1,969 girls in Australia.
More babies, less convergence
As record births taking place in Australia, parents are being more original in the baby names they choose with fewer babies being given one of the Top 100 names and this naming originality is even more evident amongst the naming of girls than boys.
40.6% of babies born in the 2012 calendar year were named one of the Top 100 baby names, with this figure reducing to 39.6% for the 2013 calendar year.
Names are seeing a ‘Hundred-Year Return’ in Australia
The trend in baby-naming in Australia is for the traditional over the inventive. There is a ‘Hundred-Year Return’ theme taking place in Australia, with many of the top names of today also in the top names of a century ago, while names of a few decades ago have fallen out of favour.
There’s a ring to it, and boys feature less syllables
The trend towards short and solid-sounding names for boys and longer flowing names for girls continues strongly in Australia.
Most of the Top 100 boy's names have two or fewer syllables, while almost 2 in 5 of the top girl's name have 3 or more syllables – twice as many as for boys. Additionally, while most of the boy's names end in a consonant, most of the girls’ names end in a softer sounding vowel or Y sound.
The influence of the royals – 12 in 22 current royal names are top baby names
The original category of celebrities – the royals – have not only captured the interest of modern Australians but continue to significantly influence their choice in baby names.
The new generation of British royals with their traditional names yet celebrity power are influencing baby naming trends in Australia currently. William is the top boys’ name in four states and territories and has been Australia’s number 1 name since 2011. The naming of Prince George has already had an impact, raising the rank of this boys’ name to its highest level since the 1970s.
Access the Baby Names Australia 2014 report below for the latest trends in baby names, state by state analysis, the influence of celebrities on Australian baby names, and analysis of New Zealand baby names.
If you live on an average sized street in Australia comprised of 100 households, did you know that of those on your street there is a marriage every 9 months, a death every 7 months and a birth every 14 weeks? These 100 households comprise 260 people, 45 dogs and 27 cats! There are 162 cars owned on the street, which in total drive more than 2 million kilometres each year.
Based on the latest ABS data and other sources, and using this theme of Australia shrunk down to be a street of 100 households, we have developed the below infographic. You can also see the animated video version of it here.
We are pleased to present our hot-off-the-press 2014 Population Map and Generational Profile!
Australia’s Population Map
The population map is a handy resource that outlines Australian demographics – city by city, state by state. Australia’s eight capital cities are contextualised by population size amidst many of Australia’s other major cities, and population growth is analysed from state to state.
It takes just one handy glance to determine that while Tasmania’s population growth is just 0.1%, Western Australia leads the charge at 3.4%, compared the national average of 1.8%.
And while the ACT’s total fertility rate is just 1.79, slightly under the 1.9 national average, the Northern Territory’s is much higher at 2.21 births per woman.
The employment and population break-out boxes deliver insights of demographic and social change over the last 30 and 100 years. Australia’s workforce has grown by 2.8 million full-time and 2.4 million part-time workers since 1984, and unemployment rates have decreased by almost 3%.
Over the last century, Australia’s population has grown by 18.5 million people. Our national growth rate is well above the world’s average at 1.0%, caused by a steady growth in annual births and net overseas migration.
Australia’s Generational Profile
The generational profile delivers a concise snapshot of Australia’s generations by their years of birth, population size, percentage make-up of the workforce, and education levels.
While the Baby Boomers currently make up over a third (34%) of the total workforce, by 2020 they will comprise of less than 1 in 5 workers. Australia’s workforce is increasingly made up of Generation Y (which will grow from 21% today to 35% in 2020) and Generation Z (comprising just 2% of workers today but rising to 12% in 2020).
Visit our online cart to order the double side printed 420gsm gloss artboard, A5-sized infographic for your desk, your next event, or your clients! You can also download the free digital version here.
The so-called “man drought” is an expression that has been used to describe the demographic reality in Australia of the population of women exceeding that of men. In Australia there are almost 100,000 more women than men, with 6 out of our 8 states and territories experiencing a man drought, while the Northern Territory and Western Australia have a significant male surplus. Currently there are almost 105 baby boys born for every 100 baby girls and so while there are more male than female children and teenagers in Australia, the gender gap dissipates in the twenties and by age 35, there are more females than males.
The regions in Australia with no “man drought” are those with significant mining operations (particularly Western Australia) and large military bases (most notable in the Northern Territory). In the NT there are almost 111 males for every 100 females, and WA has 102 males for every 100 females, with 27,389 more men than women in the state.
Victoria is the state with the highest ratio with females to males (98 males to every 100 females), with 58,399 more women than men. In Victoria there are no population centres not currently experiencing a man drought. However, suburb by suburb reveals gender disparities. Footscray has a man surplus (13% more males than females), whereas a few suburbs away in South Melbourne, the man drought is very evident with 5% more females than males.
NSW: Singleton is living up to its name with not only almost 5% more males than females, but with a median age of just 33 (well below the national average age of 38), many of these males are indeed single. Interestingly, just 90 minutes south is Wyong, where there are almost 7% females than males (almost 5,000).
Sydney makes for a fascinating study in populations by gender, with Pyrmont having 3.6% more males than females whereas the next suburb over the Anzac bridge lies Balmain with 8.7% more females than males.
QLD: While Queensland is suffering a man drought at an overall state level, the drought has more than broken in many of its inland cities, particularly where there are mining activities and Mt Isa is a classic example with almost 12% more males than females (an oversupply of 1137 men). However 1,000kms north east is Cairns with a man drought (1537 more women than men).
In Brisbane, the river represents a man drought divide with Yeronga experiencing the man drought (almost 5% more women than men), while Spring Hill has a man over supply (a whopping 27% more men than women).
SA: In South Australia, Whyalla is home to one of the state’s few places not experiencing a man drought with 241 more men than women. While West Lakes (along with most suburbs in Adelaide), is in man drought with almost 8% more women than men.
WA: Many of WA’s towns have no man drought – Kalgoolie a leading example with almost 10% more men than women, while Bunbury, south of Perth, like many of WA’s costal towns has more women than men (1.3%).
In Perth, Midland has 2% more men than women but just half an hour to the west lies Stirling with 1561 more women than men (almost 3%).
TAS: Every city and town in Tasmania is experiencing man drought – however Central Hobart has more men than women (1%), but just 2km west is West Hobart which has 9% more women than men.
ACT: And in the National Capital, Commonwealth Avenue acts as a man drought conduit with South Canberra experiencing man drought (530 more women than men), but on the other side of Commonwealth Ave bridge in North Canberra, there are 592 more men than women.