Q and A: Offline Parenting in an Online World

Friday, October 02, 2015

What are the key strategies to offline parenting in an online world?

Parents today are faced with an unprecedented challenge of raising their children to be engaged offline in a world dominated by online options. A recent study conducted by McCrindle Research showed that whilst 44% of the older generations see the benefit of technology to children in enhancing learning and productivity, two thirds (65%) said that they believe that school aged students today spend too much time on technology.

In a society where digital is default, parents often feel the tension of raising their children in these technologically saturated times yet ensuring that they have the timeless characteristics and qualities to thrive in the offline environment. Parents see firsthand the extraordinary opportunities that technology facilitates, yet their experience tells them that managing their children’s screen time and ensuring they gain life skills and social skills is also essential.

We often forget how quickly this great screen age has emerged. Facebook went public just a decade ago and the tablet devices which facilitate so much learning and interaction such as the iPad arrived just half a decade ago. While many of the benefits to this first-ever digitally-based, wif- connected, social-media driven, global generation are evident, so are some emerging challenges. 1 in 4 Australians aged 15-17 have not participated in any form of physical recreation or sport in the last 12 months and for those aged 18-24 it is 1 in 3. These “screenagers” have a propensity towards increased sedentary lifestyles and based on the current overweight trends amongst Australia’s youth, by 2027, when all of Generation Z have reached adulthood, 78% of males and 62% of females in this generation are likely to be overweight. Young people spending hours in front of screens is not new. Today’s parents averaged around 3 hours of TV time per day during their formative years. However the TV screen is a “lean back” screen and did not generate the same levels of time use, sleep impediments and addictive patterns of the portable, interactive and connected “lean forward” screens of today.

Parents are the key influencers when it comes to shaping the priorities and lifestyle habits of their children, so households where active offline activities are modelled, prioritised and encouraged are likely to see the rewards of these behaviours established in the next generation. Parents have the opportunity to encourage their children to engage in physical recreation not just virtual entertainment, in offline communities’ not just online networks, and face to face interaction not just screen-based communication. And if the modelling and encouraging is too subtle, parents ought remember that they are paying the internet and mobile accounts and they are in charge. Oh, and every modem comes with an off switch!

More on effective parenting strategies can be found in Mark McCrindle’s book The ABC of XYZ: Understanding The Global Generations.

The Changing Face of South East Queensland

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Brisbane, capitol of the sunshine state and Queensland’s river city. It’s fascinating to see how far Brisbane has come and where it’s heading. In 2004, Brisbane’s population was at 949,935, today that number reaches 1,140,000, in 2036 that number is expected to hit 1,400,000 and greater Brisbane will explode to 3,300,000.

Brisbane is adding 40,000 new people every year, that’s adding one new Rockhampton every two years! Brisbane is certainly more culturally connected and more globally influenced than it used to be.

70.5% of residents are aged 15-64, 11.9% are aged 65 and over, 17.6% are children aged 0-14 and just under a third of Brisbane’s population is aged 25-44. There are 40 retirement and aged care facilities under construction worth more than 800 million dollars.

Immigration is also changing Brisbane, more than a quarter (28.3%) of the population of Brisbane’s residents are immigrants. In Springhill, the number one language other than English is Spanish.

Residents living in Dutton Park and Fairfield have increased their use of public transport from 7% to 23% in the last 10 years and Brisbane has one of the highest rates of car ownership in the country with 54% of all households having at least two cars.

THE CHANGING FACE OF Brisbane Part one:

The Changing Face of brisbane part two:

The Changing Face of the gold coast:

The Changing Face of IPSWICH:

The Changing Face of logan:

The Changing Face of Moreton bay:

Australia and the First Australians

Monday, September 28, 2015

Currently there are more than 720,000 indigenous Australians – around 3% of the total population. The indigenous population is increasing at 2.3% per annum- significantly faster than national population growth of around 1.4%. By 2026 the number of indigenous Australians will be almost 940,000 and in 2030 the number will exceed 1,000,000.

The proportion of the population that is indigenous varies significantly from less than 1% in some areas of the larger cities, to more than 70% in the Northern Territory- in Arnhem Land.

The largest proportion of Australia’s indigenous population lives in NSW (31%) followed by Queensland (28%) and then Western Australia (13%). While the Northern Territory has a higher proportion of indigenous people than any other state or territory, it is home to just 10% of the total indigenous population.

Based on the faster growth trends of the Queensland indigenous population (2.5%) compared to that of NSW (2.1%), by 2037, the state with the largest indigenous population will be Queensland (356,000). While all states and territories are experiencing natural increase of indigenous Australians through births, NSW is experiencing an annual net loss of more than 500 indigenous persons per year to other states while Queensland is experiencing an interstate net gain of around 300. Additionally the remote and very remote areas of Australia are losing almost 900 indigenous Australians each year as they move to the larger regional areas (600 person gain) and major cities (300 person gain).

For an in-depth visual look at Australia’s indigenous population simply click on this interactive map, zoom in to look at specific regions across Australia, or hover over an area to read the data.

About McCrindle Research Services

Utilising the right tools and methods and analysing the data is just half of the research process. Because the goal is implementation, the findings need the skills of visualisation and communication. As researchers we understand the methods, but we’re also designers and communicators so we know how to present the findings in ways that will best engage.

Geomapping is a new tool we have and we will be releasing more information and blog pieces on this exciting new output.

Let us know via social media if you have any topics you would like to be geomapped!

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Technology, Innovation & Collaboration: The future of work with Claire Madden

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GENErational transition in the workplace

We’re on the brink of significant generational transition in the workforce, as the Baby Boomers (born 1946-64) who make up a quarter of today’s workforce and hold a lot of the leadership roles are reaching retirement age and will be just 8% of the workforce in a decade’s time. 

At the other end of the spectrum, as the Baby Boomers are phasing out of the workplace, the most materially endowed, technologically literate, formally educated, globally connected generation to ever grace the planet enter the workforce – Generation Z. 

Future Workforce Generations

Generation Z, born 1995-2009, make up 18% of our population, 9% of the workforce but in a decade’s time will make up 31% of the workforce.

Whilst they will spend 14,000 hours in face to face classes in their schooling and for a degree, they’ll spend 6 times this in the workforce – an estimated 84,000 hours.  But what will the future of work look like?

Generation Z bring new approaches to work, problem solving, innovation and collaboration.  They have been born into an era of unprecedented change – this will be reflected in their approach to their careers. Today’s annual turnover rate is 15% per annum which equates to people staying in their roles for approximately 3 years 4 months. Projected over the lifetime of a school leaver today it is estimated they will have 17 jobs across 5 careers in their lifetime. 

social trends transforming the future of work

The Intergenerational Report by the Australian Government outlines three major social trends which will transform the future of work as we know it- population, participation and productivity.


Australia’s population is growing at 1.4% per annum, and we will reach 24 million people by the end of 2015.  We have doubled both our national and our global population since 1966.

However our population is not only growing but also ageing.  Our population pyramids visually communicate our growth – in 1985 it was a pyramid as there were more younger people than older people, however today it is becoming more rectangular and demonstrates how we are on the brink of massive ageing.   As we project to 2045 our population pyramid will start to become inverted as we will have more people aged over 60 than under 18 for the first time.

There are not only more older people but we are living longer than ever before, having added 10 years of life expectancy in the last four decades.

Our population is also changing, and we are more culturally diverse than ever before with 58% of Australia’s growth attributed to net overseas migration. We are increasingly generationally diverse with six generations represented in our communities today. 


In the years ahead we will see the female workplace participation rate continue to increase.  And we will be working later in life with the retirement age being pushed back. Even so, because of the impact of the aging population our workforce participation rate will actually decline, with today’s participation rate at 65.1% projected to decline to 62.4% in 2055.

The ratio of Australians in the workplace to retirees is also radically changing.  In 1975, there were 15 people of working age (aged 15-64) for every couple of retirement age (aged 65+).  Today there are just 9 people of working age for every couple of retirement age, and by 2055 it is projected to be just 5.4 people of traditional working age for every couple of retirement age. 


Due to the declining ratio of people of working age to those in retirement, there is going to be a greater need for productivity from the labour force.  The workforce of the future will need to do more with less.  This final defining social trend, productivity, is the only one not based on demographic realities.  

The Intergenerational Report outlines that for every hour an Australian works today, twice as many goods and services are produced as they were in the early 1970s. One of the contributors to this is technology which has enabled greater efficiencies. 

the future of work

It is not just technology which has increased productivity outcomes over the years.  Productivity is maximised by people and organisations who can innovate, and communities who can collaborate.  Effectiveness, innovation, productivity comes when it is in the hands of people who can see solutions, generate ideas, solve problems and facilitate innovations. 

Technology, innovation & collaboration 

Sectors have been transformed where there’s the intersection of technologies with innovation and collaboration. 

For example, AirBnB has challenged the traditional approach to accommodation solutions.   Their innovative approach to accommodation has been released to the collaborative power of the community to become accommodation providers, and has been leveraged through the technology platforms.   

Similarly, the network transportation company Uber has transformed the approach to transportation.  Launched internationally in 2012, Uber is in 58 countries, worth an estimated $50 billion yet doesn’t own one car.  An innovative approach, released to the collaborative community, leveraged through technology. 

Cancer Research UK provides another creative example of this.  They created a computer game Play to Cure: Genes in Space’. By playing it you analyse significant amounts of genetic data which would have taken scientists hours to do and can help beat cancer sooner. Leveraging technologies, fostering innovation and embracing collaboration.

effective leaders of the future

The effective leaders of the future will not be those necessarily with the most developed skill set but those who can effectively create a culture of collaborative innovation. 

Traditional leadership models have been based on position, hierarchy, command and control.  Whilst leadership remains essential, the styles of leadership the emerging generations respond best to are those that foster a context for them to connect, create and contribute. 

A workplace culture of collaborative innovation is inclusive of a multicultural, multigenerational, multigifted community – it draws on the strengths of the diversity through positioning people in contexts which foster growth, innovation and collaboration.

creating a culture of collaborative innovation

A culture of collaborative innovation requires focusing on the people not just the process. On shaping a team not just spending on technologies. It requires building on a foundation of shared values such as humility, respect and honesty.  It’s where leaders create autonomy supported inclusive multigenerational workplaces. 

Productivity and outcomes are important.  Essential in fact.  But perhaps as we shift our focus from process to people, from transactional to transformation leadership, and create vibrant, healthy, dynamic workplace communities – the productivity, innovation and output is likely to be greater than ever and flow simply as by-product - of people investing the 84,000 hours of their working lives in a rewarding way and in a thriving culture of collaborative innovation.

ABOUT claire madden 

Claire Madden is a TedX speaker, social commentator, futurist and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. 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.

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.

Generation Alpha: Mark McCrindle Q & A with the New York Times

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Q. So what comes after Generation Z - and how were they named?

When I was researching my book The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations (published in 2009) it became apparent that a new generation was about to commence and there was no name for them. So I conducted a survey (we’re researchers after all) to find out what people think the generation after Z should be called and while many names emerged, and Generation A was the most mentioned, Generation Alpha got some mentions too and so I settled on that for the title of the chapter Beyond Z: Meet Generation Alpha. It just made sense as it is in keeping with scientific nomenclature of using the Greek alphabet in lieu of the Latin and it didn’t make sense to go back to A, after all they are the first generation wholly born in the 21st Century and so they are the start of something new not a return to the old.

Q. Will these generational labels survive the test of time?

I have found from my generational research that generic labels rather than descriptive ones are likely to last. Names like the Baby Boomers, which describe a unique demographic phenomenon at the birth of a generation, or even Millennials, based on the timing when the leading edge were coming of age, are aberrations. A label like Gen X, Gen Z and Gen Alpha provide a blank canvas on which a generation can create their own identity rather than have a descriptive label, relevant for just a segment of the cohort or for a period of time, pinned on them. And while some Gen Xers bemoan that label, for a while there it was “slackers” and “baby busters”, and labels like “latch key kids” and “the MTV generation” as they were also called seem ridiculous for this generation turning 50 this year. Similarly for the Millennials or Gen Y- labels like “the dot com kids” and “the iPod generation” are short-sighted.

Read Mark’s interview in The New York Times here.

Q. Are companies and marketers already starting to focus on this demographic?

There are more than 2.5 million Gen Alphas born globally every week. When they have all been born (2025) they will number almost 2 billion. They start school next year and will be the most formally educated generation ever, the most technology supplied generation ever, and globally the wealthiest generation ever. They will comprise the largest generation of middle class consumers our world has ever seen and they are also “upagers” – older younger and influencing parental purchasing earlier and so it is no surprise that marketers are trying to better understand and prepare for this generation.

Q. How do you try to gather intelligence about a group of people this young?

We can learn a fair bit about them by analysing some key area starting with the demographics which gives us some forward forecasts: age of parents (older), cultural mix (more diverse), socioeconomics (slightly wealthier), family size (smaller), life expectancy (longer). Then there is the research of their parents, the Millennials (or Generation Y) which gives us a sense of how they will be raised (moving more frequently, career changing, materially endowed, technologically supplied, outsourcing aspects of parenting such as child care etc). Finally there is the analysis of the youngsters themselves and their formative years and we can learn a lot from this too (app-based play, increased screen time, shorter attention spans, digital literacy but less social formation etc).

Q. Technology was obviously a defining factor for Generation Y and has been even more so for Generation Z. How much more tech-intensive can the lives of Generation Alpha possibly become and what might be the consequences?

Generation Alpha are part of an unintentional global experiment where screens are placed in front of them from the youngest age as pacifiers, entertainers and educational aids. This great screenage in which we are all living has bigger impacts on the generation exposed to such screen saturation during their formative years. They began being born in 2010, the year the iPad was launched, Instagram was created and App was the word of the year and so have been raised as screenagers to a greater extent than the fixed screens of the past could facilitate. For this reason we also call them Generation Glass because the glass that they interact on now and will wear on their wrist, as glasses on their face, that will be on the Head Up Display of the car they learn to drive on, or the interactive school desk where they learn will transform how they work, shop, learn, connect and play. We were raised in a world where glass was something you looked through but for them it is something you look at. For us it was “hands off the glass” but for this kinaesthetic generation, glass is a hands on medium. Not since Gutenberg transformed the utility of paper with his printing press in the 15th Century has a medium been so transformed for learning and communication purposes as glass- and it has happened in the lifetime of Generation Alpha.

Read Mark’s interview in The New York Times here.

What are some other social factors, beyond technology that seem likely to shape the Generation Alpha identity?

They are upagers in many ways: physical maturity is on setting earlier so adolescence for them will begin earlier- but beyond the physical, social, psychological, educational, commercial sophistication begins earlier- which can have negative as well as positive consequences. Interestingly for them while adolescence begins earlier, it extends later. The adult life stage, once measured by marriage, children, mortgage and career is being pushed back. This generation will stay in education longer, start their earning years later and so stay at home with their parents later than was previously the case. The role of parents therefore spans a longer age range- often still with the adult kids at home even into their late 20’s. This generation will no doubt stay with this trend and in Australia we’ve labelled the stay at home 20-somethings the KIPPERS which stands for Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings!

What comes after Generation Alpha?

Generational definitions are most useful when they span a set age range and so allow meaningful comparisons across generations. That is why we define the generations by the following years of birth:

Baby Boomers: 1946-1964

Generation X: 1965-1979

Generation Y (Millennials) 1980-1994

Generation Z: 1995-2009

Generation Alpha: 2010-2024

And so it follows that Generation Beta will be 2025-2039.

If the nomenclature sticks then we will afterwards have Generation Gamma and Generation Delta etc but we won’t be getting there until the second half of the 21st Century so there is plenty of time to reflect on the labels!

Read Mark’s interview in The New York Times here.


Mark McCrindle is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.

A decade of Australian transformation

Monday, September 14, 2015

Only occasionally in history do massive demographic changes combine with huge social shifts, ongoing generational transitions and unprecedented technological innovation so that within the span of a decade society altogether alters. Australia is currently in the midst of one such transformation.

Constant change can sometimes lead to change fatigue where the response can be to become worried about change, or equally negatively it can lead to change apathy which can create an indifference to change. However by understanding the emerging trends, we can be more prepared for the changes and so rather than becoming defensive or blasé we can confidently respond to the shifts and so remain ever-relevant.

5 Megatrends Reshaping Australia:


While Australia’s population growth rate has recently slowed, we are still adding more than a million people every 3 years. Australia’s largest city, Sydney will also be the first Australian city to hit 5 million (by the end of 2016) however it is our second largest city, Melbourne which is growing the fastest and will take Sydney’s title in 2053 with both cities expected to reach a population of 8 million in 2055. In fact Melbourne is growing by more people every 5 days than the state of Tasmania adds in an entire year (1,400). Our third and fourth ranked cities will also change order over the next decades with Perth’s rate of growth set to see it overtake Brisbane in 2029 when they both reach a population of 3 million. While only these 4 cities currently exceed 2 million people, Adelaide will join the 2 million club but not until 2055, almost a century after Sydney reached this milestone in 1959.


This population growth is leading to more densified living. While 3 in 4 households currently live in a detached home, almost half of all new housing approvals are in the unit, apartment or townhouse category. Australia’s communities are undergoing significant transformation from the horizontal suburbs to the growth of these vertical communities, and as people rent more, move more frequently, and transition across more communities than ever before. The average renter in Australia stays just 1.8 years per abode and even those who have bought a home are not putting their roots down deeply and staying for several decades like their parents did. Those with a mortgage stay on average just 8 years before they sell. While this growth, density and mobility is evident in the capital cities and larger coastal cities, Australia’s top 30 cities now include many inland regional cities that have a growth rate exceeding that of some of the capitals. It is the tree change and not just the sea change that rising capital city house prices is currently facilitating.


Cultural diversity is foundational to Australia- part of the DNA of our communities. More than 1 in 4 Australians was born overseas and almost half of all households (46%) have at least one parent born overseas. And our population mix is now more connected to our region with the top 7 countries of birth of Australians born overseas shifting in three decades from mainly European countries to now include China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. There remains a deep affection for the traditional Aussie qualities of mateship, ironic humour and the larrikin spirit alongside the richness of our lifestyle which comes through the input of so many cultures. In a nation of world cities and global connectivity, gone is the cultural cringe, replaced with an international perspective that looks out not in.


Three decades ago Australia’s average age had only just moved out of the 20’s to reach 30, today it exceeds 37 and in three more decades it will be 40. This ageing population though is a good news story- it means we are living longer, and consequently active later and able to work later in life than was previously the norm. In the last generation, Australians have added an average decade to their life expectancy at birth. Along with the ageing population goes an ageing workforce- which means that there are more generations in the workforce than ever before and leading teams in diverse times requires better people skills to bridge more gaps than ever before.


Australia’s generations of Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are now sharing the leadership and workforce roles with the emerging Generations Y and Z. These new generations, born and shaped in the late 20th Century are increasingly becoming lifelong learners, multi-career workers with a focus on work-life balance, participative leadership models and a more varied job description. Along with this, the next generation of technology has, in less than a decade, transformed almost every area of business and consumer interactions. How we shop, where we get information from, when we connect and where we work from have all been fundamentally changed in this Wi-Fi-enabled, device-driven, app-based, social media-influenced decade. While it is self-evident that every business, product or idea is just one generation away from extinction, such is the speed of change today, we are now just a decade or perhaps a few years away from this point. While such change impacts us all, those who understand the trends can drive the change and shape the future.


Mark McCrindle is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.


Q and A: Role of grandparents in the family

Friday, September 11, 2015

How has the role of a grandparent changed in the family unit?

Australia’s new grandparents are the Baby Boomers, born 1946 to 1964. Since the Boomers we’ve seen Generation X (born 1965-1979), Generation Y (born 1980-1994) and Generation Z (born 1995-2010) enter adulthood and the Boomers are now grand parenting Generation Alpha (born since 2010).

Australians today are living longer, working later and so are remaining active as grandparents later in life than ever before. Grandparents today belong to a generation of “downagers” – younger than their parents were at the same age, younger than their age would suggest, and based on the life expectancy rates, a 65 year old grandparent is more like a 58 year old of a generation ago.

Grandparents today hold a very important role within the family unit, and can pass down valuable advice to current Australian parents about discipline and parenting methods. For 21st-century parents, the input of their parents and the sage advice of grandparents has never been as important.

While a key role of parents today is to create a safe and supportive environment for their children in the great screenage, where parents today are raising digital natives, dot.com kids and screenagers, it is also important for parents to remember that the basic dynamics of parents and children are timeless. Therefore for 21st Century parents, the input of their own parents and the sage advice of grandparents has never been more important.


More on changing generational characteristics can be found in Mark McCrindle’s book The ABC of XYZ: Understanding The Global Generations.

The Future of Sydney Report

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Sydney is changing. It is growing, densifying and expanding. This McCrindle Research study surveyed 1,007 Sydneysiders in August of 2015 on their attitudes and sentiments towards the future of Sydney with regards to current population size and growth, infrastructure, planning, the house price boom and challenges moving forward.

Demographic Snapshot

Sydney is Australia’s largest city, and home to more than 1 in 5 Australians. More people live in Sydney than in the whole country of New Zealand, and its population is larger than the whole of Australia was a century ago. In addition to being Australia’s largest city, it is also the most culturally diverse with 2 in 5 Sydneysiders born overseas. While European settlement of Australia began in Sydney, the city now has connections closer to the region with 6 of the top 10 countries of birth of Sydneysiders born overseas being located in Asia.

63% of the current New South Wales population is living in Sydney, compared to 48% of Queensland’s population that lives in Brisbane. Western Sydney is growing faster than the rest of Sydney currently, and the total population of the areas that comprise greater western Sydney (2.3 million) is larger than the nations of Fiji, Luxemburg, Iceland, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Greenland, Lichtenstein and Nauru combined! By 2030, the population of Greater Western Sydney will be larger than the rest of Sydney, at almost 3 million.

Sydney’s Size

Sydney is Australia’s largest city and was the first to hit 2 million, which it reached in 1959, followed by Melbourne in 1975, Brisbane in 2008 and Perth in 2014.

Based on current growth trends, Sydney will reach a population of 8 million in 2055, the same year that Australia’s 5th largest city Adelaide reaches a population of 2 million. In fact Sydney adds 1,400 people every 6 days which is more than the entire state of Tasmania adds in a year.

While Sydney will hit the 5 million milestone in the next year and 8 million in 2025, more than a third of Sydneysiders (37%) currently think that Sydney’s population is 3 million or less. Only one third of Sydneysiders (35%) correctly identify Sydney’s population as being close to 5 million.

Sydney’s Infrastructure

More than 4 in 5 Sydneysiders believe that the public transport, roads, hospitals and infrastructure is not keeping up with the population growth, with almost half (47%) saying it is nowhere near keeping up. Just 1 in 5 (18%) say that the infrastructure development is keeping up with the population growth.

Sydney’s House Price Boom

While Sydneysiders experience higher wages than the Australian average, the wage growth has not been keeping up with the house price growth. Four decades ago the average Sydney house price was 5 times the average annual full time earnings. Two decades later, house prices had outstripped earnings to be 6 times annual wages. Such has been the house price boom that today the average Sydney house price is more than 13 times the average annual full time earnings of $77,000.

Sydneysiders don’t believe the current house price growth is being driven by first home buyers or owner occupiers, but rather by investors. 2 in 5 (41%) Sydneysiders say that Australian property investors are driving the current house price boom, while 81% say that it is overseas property investors that are key to the price increases.

Sydney’s Challenges

Clearly Sydney is an expensive place to live, and when Sydneysiders were asked what the greatest challenges of Sydney are, the top 2 responses were the cost of living (73%) and the cost of housing (59%). The third biggest challenge is the traffic and commute times (52%) followed by job / employment challenges (29%) and the pace and stress of life (29%).

These challenges for Sydneysiders are such that more than two thirds of local residents (66%) have considered moving out Sydney, with a quarter of all Sydneysiders (23%) saying they have seriously considered it.

The latest demographic data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics quantifies this by showing that Melbourne is now Australia’s fastest growing city, exceeding Sydney’s growth by more than 10,000 people per annum, and while Victoria and Queensland have consistently been experiencing net interstate migration gains for the last decades, New South Wales has over the same period been losing more people to other states than it has been gaining from other states.

Of the Eastern States, Victoria had a net interstate gain of 9,336 last year, Queensland’s gain was 5,598, while New South Wales over the same period had a net loss of 5,572.

From Sea Change and Tree Change to City Change

When Sydneysiders are considering exiting Sydney, a quarter of them are looking at a sea change or tree change within New South Wales, with another 1 in 20 (5%) considering moving to a rural or regional area interstate. However, more than half of all the would-be leavers (53%) are happy with city living, just not the Sydney life and are looking for another city interstate (32%) or in New South Wales (21%).

Sydney’s Sentiment

Sydney residents are not convinced about the direction in which their lifestyle is headed. Less than 1 in 5 (16%) say that Sydney is better than it was 5 years ago and will be even better in 5 years’ time. Overall, Sydney residents are pessimistic about the current realities and future forecasts. Almost two thirds (64%) say that Sydney is worse than it as 5 year ago, with an even larger percentage (66%) believing that it will be worse in 5 years’ time. In fact half of all Sydneysiders (50%) say that Sydney is worse than 5 years ago and will be even worse in 5 years’ time.


Watch Mark McCrindle on Channel 7 News speak about the research:

Baby naming trends - and what it says about us

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Analysing baby name trends provides an excellent barometer of the national context, popular culture, social trends and generational change. We have just compiled the national Baby Names list for 2015 and it reveals 5 key trends at play in naming newborns.

1. Thinking alike

Around 1 in 10 Australian babies last year was given one of the Top 10 baby names- a total of 30,581 babies. Babies are 20 times more likely to be given these one of these top names than names at the bottom of the list. In fact more babies were given one of the Top 25 names than were given any of the next 100 names combined.

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).

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.

2. Traditional over trendy

There is a ‘Hundred-Year Return’ theme taking place, with many of the top names of today also amongst the top names a century ago, while names of a few decades ago have fallen out of favour. Today’s parents are not choosing names of their own generation. Of the top names of a generation ago Nicole, Michelle, Kylie, Rachel, Lisa and Belinda, Peter, Robert, Paul, Chris, Phillip and Scott, not one appears in the Top 100 list today. Rather, century-old names dominate the Top 10 Baby Names list. William is an example of the ‘hundred-year’ return, having ranked 2nd overall in NSW in the 1910s and ranking in top place again in NSW from 2009 onwards. Jack climbed up to 5th place in the 1920s before seeing a steep decline from the 1940s to 1970s, with a marked resurgence over the last decade and making it to top spot, and Oliver, Ethan and Thomas have similarly returned to popularity. Grace was a popular girls’ name at the turn of the 20th century, becoming almost extinct from the 1910s to 1970s but climbing significantly in popularity since the 1980s with the rise to the Top 10 and Charlotte, Ruby and Ava have followed similar trends.

3. Flowing girls names, short boys’ names

Parents are choosing longer, more flowing names for their daughters and shorter, “solid-sounding” names for their sons. Boys are almost three times as likely as girls to have a single-syllable name and girls are twice as likely to have three syllables in their names. There are 9 girls’ names in the Top 100 with 4 syllables (Amelia, Isabella, Elizabeth, Indiana, Ariana, Alexandra, Penelope, Victoria and Emilia) compared to just one for boys (Alexander).

The softer-sounding girls’ name and firmer sounding boys’ name trend is also evident from the use of vowels and consonants. 18 of the Top 20 girls’ names end with a vowel or ‘y’, with half (10) of these ending with the letter ‘a’. Only 2 of the Top 20 names ends with a consonant (Madison and Scarlett). On the boy’s list, however, 18 of the top 20 end with a consonant sound with Charlie and Henry the only names ending with a vowel or “y”. Girls’ names are not only most likely to end in a vowel but to begin with one too. 21 of the top 50 girls’ names end in a vowel compared to just 11 of the top 50 boys’ names.

4. Growing interchangeability

Only one name in the Top 100 appears on both the girls’ and boys’ list in its unchanged form – Charlie (18th for boys’ and 74th for girls’). The 2015 list does however show an increased number of interchangeable names such as girl’s names Harper and Jade being used for boys and from the boys’ list Riley, Tyler, Luca, Ashton, Bailey and Alex being used for girls.

Driving this trend is the use of surnames as first names which don’t have a particular link with either males or females such as Mackenzie, Taylor, Hayden, Flynn, Addison, Mason, Morgan and Cooper.

Another strong trend is using place names as first names such as Madison, Austin, Jordan, Eden, Hunter & Braxton, and again because of the gender-neutral nature of these names, there is some interchangeability.

5. 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.. 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.

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 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.

When 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.


Home is where the heart is

Monday, August 31, 2015

McCrindle is delighted to partner with NRMA Insurance to produce and launch the ‘Celebrating Our Home’ report. The study of 1,203 Australians reveals what home means to Australians and what it is that makes a house a home.

The great Australian dream is still alive and well, with nine out of 10 Australians still aspiring to own their own home.

Across age groups and ethnicities, when it comes to home 82 per cent say it is the family, or the people they share a house with, that make a house feel like a home while further 78 per cent said their furniture was an integral part of making the space feel like their own.

NRMA Insurance Head of Marketing Jane Merrick said; “We commissioned this unique study because we wanted to better understand what homes really mean to Australians. What we found is that for most of us creating a home is less about the building itself and more about an emotional connection.”

“Above all, home is still where the heart is and a sense of belonging, safety and security are the main things that make a house feel like home.”

Social Researcher Mark McCrindle said; “We’re a contented nation because whether we own or rent our homes, two thirds of us (65%) state that we love our homes.”


Despite the perception of an ‘always-on’ culture of over-achievement, technological distractions and 16 hour work days, almost half of all Australians still find the time to eat together at least once per day with an astounding four in five eating together at least once per week. Meals are most often shared at the dining table (45%) or in the lounge room (34%).

“It’s warming to see that despite Australians’ increasingly busy lifestyles, people are still finding time to sit down together and enjoy each other’s company and share their news from the day.

We are a house proud nation with the majority of Australians (96%) prioritising time in their busy lives to keep their homes clean. As many as four in five Aussies made changes to their home since moving in, which may contribute to the fact that one in five people are planning on staying in their homes for more than 20 years.

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, however according to the research the living or lounge room (47%), followed by the bedroom (19%) are seen to be the most important rooms in the home.

“When asked why the living room was so important, respondents said it’s where the family spends most of their time together – yes on screens but also for relaxing, playing games and gathering for a family pizza and movie night,” Mr McCrindle said.


RESEARCH IN THE MEDIA: Soaring prices have not deterred aspiring homebuyers


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