Australia in 2034: What will our nation look like in 20 years?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

By 2034 Australia will have 33 million people and the dream of owning that quarter acre block will be nearly gone. What will Australia look like, how is our workforce changing, will households be smaller and will we recognise this new version of the ‘Aussie Dream’?

Mark McCrindle addresses these issues on a recent segment of Channel 7’s Morning Show. Australia is currently the fastest growing OECD nation and in 20 years time we will have an additional 10 million people calling Australia home. “It’s going to continue to boom, “ Mark says. “We are adding almost a million people every 2 years. And we are the fastest growing developed nation on the planet at the moment.”

Whilst a population boom brings the bonus of size, economies of scale and diversity in our cultural makeup it can also have negative impacts. The pain will be felt in rising house prices, traffic congestion and increased waiting time for public services. The increase in housing density will mean that the vast expanse of the Australian outback will remain virtually as it is but the major cities will continue to expand, particularly upwards, with more people living in apartments than ever before. The cherished Aussie dream of the quarter acre block will be gone, replaced by new land release block sizes which currently average 423 square metres or a tenth of an acre block.

Just as the population will grow larger it will also get older with more people aged over 85 years than ever before. People are living longer and living alone for longer, leading to an increase in at home care and multi-generational households. The rise in house prices coupled with an ageing population will see many families living living together with mum and dad caring for their own children as well as for their ageing parents. Mark explains, “We’ve been on this trend of smaller households for a century. We had 4.5 people per household 100 years ago. Now we are at 2.6 but we’ve turned the corner and we’ve got slightly larger households now, not that we are having more kids, just that we have more people under the one roof because of housing affordability.”

‘Density’ will be the word to describe Australia in 2034. More people will be living in more households on smaller bocks of land with more houses and apartments per square kilometre. There will be more people but fewer people of working age relative to the growing population. Mark says, “We are going to have older workers – the population is growing, Australia is going through a baby boom and people are living linger. Yet the working age proportion is not keeping pace with that population growth. So now we’ve got about 5 people for every retiree but in 40 years time we’ll have about half that – 2.7 people of working age for every retiree”. As a result people will be working longer with many not retiring until well into their 70’s! However, life expectancy at birth will be almost 90 by then.

Australia will be bigger, older, denser and even more multicultural in 20 years time! Some ‘Aussie Dreams’ will have disappeared such as the ‘quarter acre block’ and along with it the Hills Hoist garden shed and enough space for a game of backyard cricket. But no doubt new ‘Aussie Dreams’ will come to replace them – it is the Lucky Country after all!

Australia’s Unemployment Rate at a 10 Year High [in the media]

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mark McCrindleThe latest ABS labour force release indicates that Australia’s unemployment rate has reached 6 percent – the highest rate recorded over the past decade.

The estimated 3,700 jobs lost in January is a strong contributing factor to the increased unemployment rate, which is higher today than even its peak in the global financial crisis at 5.9%.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle joins Network Ten’s Wake Up to discuss why Australia’s employment rate has risen:

“It’s largely a factor of the slow-down of the mining boom,” Mark says. “In WA in the last month the unemployment rate has risen by half a percent. The mining sector is our largest employer, so that’s been a big hit.

“Employers are also shifting jobs from full-time to part-time, so we’ve had an increase in part-time roles in the last month but a loss of more than 7,000 full-time roles.”

“It looks like this trend is set to continue, at least for the next six months. The trend line has been ticking up slowly over the last few years. If you go back three years the unemployment rate was just 1% lower than it is today – so the increases haven’t been dramatic.”

“Keep in mind on a global sense, we’re well below the unemployment rate of 6.7% in the US and 7% in the UK, and even 10% in France. In global terms we’re doing ok, but certainly the trend is not good.”

Mark also discusses unemployment rates specific to Victoria and South Australia, including the shift away from auto manufacturing and mining to IT and technical jobs and the knowledge economy.

Watch the segment here:

Mark McCrindle

Sea Change, Tree Change [in the media]

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mark McCrindle ACAFor many Australians, getting a breather on the mortgage, having more living space, and drinking in the fresh air are draw-cards motivating city-dwellers to move away to the beach or the country.

Today’s sea and tree changers are different than a generation ago – almost 80% of sea and tree changers are under the age of 50 with young families. These families are moving away from an emphasis on ‘living to work,’ instead wanting to ‘work to live’.

But for 1 in 5, a sea or tree change doesn’t work out, instead proving a costly exercise.

Mark McCrindle joins Today Tonight to discuss what it looks like for Australians to move away from city living:


Generation Rent [in the media]

Friday, November 15, 2013

The amount of first time buyers taking out home loans has fallen to its lowest level in almost a decade.

Compared to 30 years ago, there’s now twice as many Australians renting, and for many Generation Y's now in their 20’s and 30’s, buying their own home will now seem almost unattainable.


Mark McCrindle joins Today Tonight on the topic of Generation Rent – outlining how difficult it is today for young people to break into the property market.


Today it is twice as hard for young people to buy their first property compared to when their parents were starting out, because they’re not just competing with other first home buyers but also with investors, self-managed super funds, trusts and overseas buyers.

Four decades ago, an average home in a capital city was 5 times the average annual earnings, and today it’s 10 times average annual earnings.

It’s not all bad news – in many areas, particularly in the inner city suburbs, it is much cheaper for young people to rent than buy, and as long as they’re investing and not spending everything on lifestyle pursuits, young people will get ahead even without home ownership.


Bringing research data to life: Mark McCrindle at TEDxCanberra

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mark McCrindle recently spoke at TEDxCanberra 2013. Here are some of his reflections on this landmark event:

Mark, you speak at a lot of conferences, what was it like to be invited to speak at a TEDx event?

Well it was a great honour. TED has an amazing brand and the production qualities and process associated with TEDx events are world class. It was amazing to be part of TEDxCanberra with poets, performers, thinkers and difference-makers – each of them leaders across a wide array of fields.

How did it differ from other conferences?

Being a TEDx event, the content, the ideas worth sharing had to be there, but more than this – the style was different to other corporate events. For a start you get a maximum of 18 minutes, not the standard 45 to 60 minutes for a keynote session. And there’s no lectern, which means no notes – which means knowing your talk well enough to get by without prompts!

What was the feel of the event?

An event with a producer and stage manager rather than a conference organiser is going to have a different feel. Additionally, the attendees are not there as corporate delegates but a diverse audience ready to be engaged, informed & entertained and so this creates quite a different dynamic.

From acrobats and artists to rehearsals pre-event and a party post-event, it was not the normal business conference, and it was a delight to be part of it.

What was the focus of your speech?

My theme was making research relevant through not just what methodologies are used but how we communicate the findings. In a world of big data we need visual data. In a world of information overload we need infographics. We don’t need more long reports as much as we need research we can see. When we see it, we are influenced by it and we act upon it. It’s how it always was – and how it still is!


Check out Mark's presentation or find out more about what McCrindle Research does in the world of research visualisation at researchvisualisation.com.

Rise of Unemployment in Australia + Future-proofing your job [MEDIA]

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mark McCrindle joins the Daily Edition team on 11 July 2013 to unravel the best and worst industries to consider when looking for work. 

In June, Australia's unemployment rate rose to 5.7% (up 0.2% from May figures), with the number of unemployed people in Australia rising by 24,000. More companies are shifting full-time roles for part-time roles, and household budgets are increasingly getting tighter. In these times it is crucial for employees to identify future areas of growth and areas of job decline.

Jobs that are struggling include those that require a low skill base and those phased out by technology, especially as retail trade takes a hit on the sale of discretionary items. New jobs evolve as emerging sectors take off – in Australia, opportunities are being created by the latest baby boom, our ageing population, and the global opportunities presented by proximity to Asian markets.

Future-proofing your career comes through diversifying skills and upskilling, choosing multiple career options, and skilling in economic growth areas that will continue to thrive.

Who Australians Most Trust [MEDIA]

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

While the confidence that Australians have in their politicians is at a low ebb, it’s not a lack of trust in what they do as much as why they do it and what they say that are the biggest issues.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle joins Sally, Tom, Kris and Monique on the Daily Edition, a new afternoon entertainment show on the Seven Network, to discuss The Trust Report 2013, a recently released study on the perceptions held by Australians towards their political and national leaders.



The study showed that the largest percentage of Australians (47%) state their main reason for distrust of public figures and national leaders is directly linked to a lack of truth and transparency. 

When asked to list the most trusted, respected, and innovative thinkers on the Australian leadership landscape, Australians listed their Top 5:


Most Trusted Leaders


1. Tony Abbott (tie) 

1. Kevin Rudd (tie) 

3. Malcolm Turnbull 

4. Julia Gillard 

5. Quentin Bryce


Most Respected Leaders


1. Tony Abbott 

2. Kevin Rudd 

3. Julia Gillard 

4. Malcolm Turnbull 

5. Quentin Bryce (tie) 

5. Joe Hockey (tie)


Most Innovative Thinkers


1. Tony Abbott 

2. Malcolm Turnbull 

3. Kevin Rudd 

4. Dick Smith 

5. Christine Milne


For more info download the Trust Report 2013. Click here to download the full report.


Top 5 Best & Worst Jobs [MEDIA]

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Claire Madden on The Morning ShowResearch has shown that more than half of Australian workers want to leave their job this year. The main reason for this is 'not being able to grow professionally'.

Social researcher and Research Director of McCrindle Research Claire Madden joins Larry and Kylie on Channel 7's The Morning Show to give us an overview of what we consider the best and worst jobs.

The criteria used in this study examined 200 different vocations and ranked them on factors including salary, environmental, stress, and physical demands.

So while salary plays its role in employee retention, other aspects of a role including workplace culture, work-life balance and opportunities for development are influencers which keep people in their jobs.


Top 5 best jobs


  1. Actuary
  2. Biomedical engineer
  3. Software engineer
  4. Audiologist
  5. Financial planner

Top 5 worst jobs


  1. Newspaper reporter
  2. Wood chopper
  3. Enlisted military personnel
  4. Actor
  5. Oil rig worker

Mark McCrindle defines Australia's population growth at 23,000,000 [VIDEO]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Population of Australia: 23 million on 23 April, 2013With Australia's population growth rate having just increased from 1.6% to 1.7%, the population milestone of 23 million will be reached today, Tuesday, 23 April at 9.57pm Sydney time.

While this doesn't sound like much in percentage terms, it is a population increase of 382,500 in the last year. Our current population increase is the equivalent of one new Coffs Harbour every 8 weeks, or one new Gold Coast every 19 months!

Want to know more?

What we do and how we do it at McCrindle Research

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Seven years ago McCrindle Research began in a spare room of Mark and Ruth McCrindle’s house. With a psychology background, market research experience, and a passion to conduct world class research, Mark began the McCrindle Research story. 

Since then we’ve been commissioned by scores of clients, completed hundreds of projects, interviewed thousands of people, analysed hundreds of thousands of online survey responses, and interpreted millions of data points for our demographic summaries. Our research has been disseminated through hundreds of media articles, more than 10,000 of Mark’s books, and more than 100,000 of our acclaimed A5 population maps.

As Australia’s leading data visualisation researchers, our infographics, slide decks, whitepapers and research summaries have been meeting quite a need for world class research and analysis communicated in relevant, innovative ways. Our analytics tells us that they’ve been getting thousands of views and downloads each day. 

So if you are looking to analyse your market, identify consumer segments, understand the demographics, engage with diverse generations, or respond to the emerging trends, then check out our research packs, Mark’s speaking pack or get in contact for a quote. Through commissioned research projects, focus groups and online surveys, demographic reports, strategic workshops, and keynote presentations, we help organisations know the times.

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