The Australian Communities Trends Report

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The not-for-profit sector in Australia is at the very heart of our community and shapes and facilitates the values and spirit of our nation. From organisations that provide care and assistance to our nation’s most vulnerable, the not-for-profit sector has an immeasurable impact on our society.

Not-for-profit organisations are invited to participate in the Australian Community Trends Report, a national, comprehensive research study of the sector, conducted by McCrindle and R2L.

This annual study is a longitudinal study, conducted annually starting in 2015, and provides a detailed analysis of the effectiveness, engagement and awareness of the not-for profit sector. It continues to help organisations understand the Australian community – the emerging trends, the giving landscape, and the current and emerging supporter segments. The Australian Community Trends Report delivers a clear analysis of the social context in which the not-for-profit sector is operating.

This infographic was developed from the 2015 Australian Communities Trends Report:

A snapshot of the external environment, the visibility of the community attitudes and perceptions plus the analysis of the key trends will be delivered through:

  • Identification of National Giving Macro Segments
  • Not-for-profit Awareness & Benchmarking Analysis
  • Identification of Giving Blockers & Enablers
  • Giving Sentiment Index
  • Not-for-profit Staff and Volunteer Snapshot
  • Expert Insights
  • Donor of the Future

“The results and data available from the Australian Community Trends Report are key for the future of the not-for-profit sector.”

- Australian Communities Forum Attendee

Why do the study?

Through conducting an industry wide study, participating organisations will benefit from the aggregated data which will identify trends and provide a comprehensive framework for understanding the behaviours of Australians when it comes to engaging with not-for-profits. Participating organisations receive their own data which can then be benchmarked against the national data. As well as adding significant breadth and depth to the strength of the research, this collaborative approach to an industry wide study will also provide valuable thought leadership material which will promote the work of the sector as a whole. The combined approach also allows for significant research to be conducted for organisations at a fraction of the price of a standard research project.

This national study will include the following stages:

  1. National surveys
  2. Young Australian survey
  3. Focus groups of the general public and some specifically of young is Australians
  4. Supporter survey
  5. Staff and volunteer survey
  6. Expert insights

Partnering with McCrindle for this inaugural Australian Community Trends study is R2L, one of Australia’s leading not-for-profit fundraising and advertising agencies who bring a wealth of experience and expertise in helping not-for-profits strategically engage with their stakeholders.

More about the Australian Community Trends national study can be found here.

For more information about the study please click here or contact Kirsten Brewer on (02) 8824 3422 or

Faith, belief and churchgoing in Australia

Thursday, March 24, 2016

While it is a stretch to describe diverse, 21st Century Australia as a Christian country, the national data on religious identity from the 2011 Census shows the majority of Australians (61.1%) identify their religion as Christianity, a slight decline from 63.9% in the 2006 Census. More than a quarter of the population (25.3%) identify as Catholic, with the second most common Christian affiliation being Anglican (17.1%) and third is the Uniting Church (5%).

The most common non-Christian religions were Buddhism (2.5%), Islam (2.2%) and Hinduism (1.3%). Not only is the total proportion of Australians identifying with a Christian denomination 24 times larger than the second most common religion (Buddhism), but Christianity is 8 times larger than all non-Christian religions combined (7.2%).

The rise in no religion

The fastest growing religion as identified over the two last census’ has been Hinduism, which increased from 0.7% to 1.3%, an increase of 127,410 adherents. However, the biggest growth in total numbers has been the rise in no religion from 18.7% in 2006 to 22.3% in 2011, which represents an increase in more than 1 million people over this time from 3.7 million to 4.8 million. Such has been the rise in Australians selecting no religion, it is now the most common “belief” category in 5 of Australia’s 8 states and territories (Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory). Yet in both Victoria and Queensland, Catholic (26.7% and 23.8% respectively) comes ahead of no religion (24.0% and 22.1%) while in NSW- Australia’s most religious state, both Catholic (27.5%) and Anglican (19.9%) are ahead of no religion (17.9%).

Not only is NSW the most religious state but Sydney is Australia’s most religious capital city, with those selecting no religion (17.6%) significantly lower than is found in Brisbane (22.8%), the city of churches – Adelaide (28.1%), Canberra (28.9%) and Hobart, Australia’s least religious capital, (29.4%).

Majority believe in God

Not only does most of Australia identify with Christianity, but more than half (55%) of the population believes in God, as defined as the Creator of the universe, the Supreme Being.

However, there are signs of fading belief in God with the majority of the oldest generation aged over 70 believing in God (61%) along with the majority of the fifty and sixty-something Baby Boomers (53%) compared to a slight minority of late thirties and forty-something Gen Xers (46%) and Generation Y (41%) but less than 1 in 3 Gen Z’s (31%) who are today’s teenagers and early twenties.

The most common category for Australians’ belief in God is that they are believers, who believe now and always have (47%) and second are non-believers who don’t believe in God and never have (26%). Although, changers, who used to believe and now don’t (18%) are twice as common as converters, who believe in God now but didn’t used to (8%).

1 in 6 Australians are church-goers

Regular church attendance has also been declining over the past few generations and has more than halved in around 4 decades from 1 in 3 Australians (36% in 1972) to 1 in 6 currently (15%, National Church Life Survey 2011). While in decline, the total numbers of church goers nationally total around 3.6 million Australians, which makes church much more attended than the other Australian religion - professional sport. In fact, when thinking about this Easter weekend, 13% of Australians say they will definitely go to church with an additional 10% stating that they probably will- and if they all do, that’s more than 4 million adults, plus many kids in tow.

The Healthy Futures Report

Monday, March 21, 2016

We’re proud to launch today, The Healthy Futures Report, commissioned by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and data visualisation by the McCrindle team.

On Friday Mark McCrindle was delighted to present a summary of the results at the Australian Pharmacy Professional National Conference.

The research showed that Australians place a high level of trust in their health professionals, with GPs and pharmacists topping the ‘most trusted’ list. In this era of Dr Google, the internet is now the third most trusted source of medical information, but in an era of information overload medical products information and medicine brochures are not highly accessed as trusted sources (just 17%).

While Australians are comfortable with their medical records being checked on an eHealth platform (46% have already registered or are very comfortable), with 55% of Australians happy for their full health records to be uploaded, there is still some work to be done to engage with the other half of health consumers.

The summary results are in infographic form here:

To access part one of the full report, please click here.

To access part two of the full report, please click here.

This national study was a great example of how robust research, when visually designed and printed, and effectively presented at a national conference can engage a wider audience and ensure that the insights get understood and acted upon.

Image source: Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference 2016

The Top 10 Baby Names from 2015

Friday, March 18, 2016

This just in, Charlotte and Oliver are the top baby names for 2015! Data released by Births, Deaths and Marriages has been analysed by McCrindle Research to reveal the top 10 most popular names of choice for babies born in the last year.

Charlotte regains her position as the top baby girl name

Charlotte is, once again, the top baby name for 2015, regaining her position from Olivia who was the 2014 top baby girl name. Charlotte was the most popular girls’ name from 2011-2013, and has regained first position following the birth of the Princess Charlotte of Cambridge in May of 2015.

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, 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 second in 2015. 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 ten, 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 with Charlotte and AVA having followed similar trends.

Flowing girls names, short boys’ names

Parents are choosing softer-sounding girls’ names and firmer sounding boys’, through the use of vowels and consonants. Half of the top 10 girls names end with the letter ‘a’ (Olivia, Amelia, Ava, Mia and Sofia). On the boy’s list, however, majority of the top 10 end with a consonant sound (all apart from Noah).

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 the royal princess in May of last year, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, has also contributed to the royal baby name trend. Like George’s rank, which increased from 71st to 42nd in 2014, we have seen the name of Charlotte regain first position for baby girls born in 2015.

Download the Top 10 Baby Names media release here


Baby Names Australia is produced from a comprehensive analysis of all of the registered baby names across the 8 Births, Deaths and Marriages offices in Australia (NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA, TAS and NT). Because NSW and SA have only released their top 10, we have only provided the top 10 list of baby names for 2015.

Media Contact

For media commentary, please contact or the office on 02 8824 3422.

in the media

Australia's Kitchen Revolution

Monday, March 14, 2016

We were delighted to partner with Mitsubishi Electric to produce and launch the "Kitchen Revolution" report.

Canvassing more than 2,000 household grocery buyers across the country, the survey reveals the cooking and grocery purchasing habits of modern Australian families.

A change can be seen throughout Australian kitchens, relating to how often Australians cook at home, to how often they read ingredient labels and buy fresh produce. Today, cooking is not just about food provision but social connection, nutrition and expression.

Our research found three key findings:

1. Cooking and the Modern Man

Traditional gender roles are blurring thanks to men’s increasing interest in preparing meals at home and entertaining guests. The result is greater equality in the kitchen than in previous generations.

2. Generation Y Leading the Home Cooking Revolution

Generation Y is among the nation’s biggest cooking show fans, which may be impacting the generation’s evolving cooking values and habits.

3. Desire for Healthier, Family-Centric Homes

Australian families show a propensity for traditional, family-centric values with a growing preference for fresh, home cooked meals and the desire to know more about their food.

Bringing the research to life

Research is at its best when it tells a story, when it paints a picture, when it’s visual, when it’s research you can see. World’s-best research will only spread as far as the look of it allows. World-changing data will have no impact unless it is well designed. World-class information will remain unshared unless it is easily understood. It was fantastic to see this research being launched and explored at an event. Research is best when it is brought to life.


About McCrindle Research Solutions

For great organisations, innovation is the oxygen of success. To innovate effectively, organisations need to understand the times and track the trends. Our market and social research services not only utilise the best research tools but ensure that the findings can be implemented by incorporating the most useful research output. Check our our Research Solutions pack to see how we can assist your organisation today.

Tattoos in Australia

Friday, March 11, 2016

If it seems like there are more Australians with tattoos currently that’s because there are. Australia is experiencing growth in the proportion of the nation opting to ‘inked’. This growth has been particularly evident among women with the proportion of Australian women with a tattoo now exceeding that of men. Here is the key summary from our research into Australians and their attitudes and behaviours regarding tattoos, based on a national survey of 1,011 representative Australians.

1 in 5 Australians has a tattoo

1 in 5 (19%) Australians has one or more tattoos. And with females it is almost in 1 and 4 (24%).

Not Just Youthful Rebellion

While a number of individuals report getting tattoos when they were younger, over a third (36%) of people got their first tattoo aged 26 or older, and 1 in 5 (20%) Australians got their first tattoo aged mid 30s or older. 3 in 10 (29%) of Gen Y 's (aged 22 - 36) have a tattoo, the largest portion of any age group.

Most tattooed Australians have more than one

Of the Australians who have tattoos, almost half (48%) only have one tattoo, 30% have two to three tattoos, and a further 15% have between four and nine, with another 7% having 10 or more tattoos.

Words almost as popular as symbols

While for the majority (72%) of tattooed Australians their most recent tattoo was a picture or symbol, for 1 in 5 (19%) it was a phrase or a word. The biggest growth in tattoo design is in the phrase or word category which has seen a massive increase over the last few years.

Not Without Regrets

More than 1 in 4 (27%) Australians with tattoos say that they regret, to some extent, getting a tattoo. 15% have commenced or looked into tattoo removal.

Tattooed parents, tattooed children?

Of tattooed Australians, 17% would discourage or strongly discourage their adult children from getting a tattoo. However, almost a third would encourage them to get a tattoo, and just over half of parents would neither encourage for discourage their adult children to get a tattoo if asked for advice.

Bringing Research Data to Life

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Last week Mark delivered the keynote address at the Tableau Data Conference 2016 on Bringing Research Data to Life. Here is an excerpt of his presentation:

Management expert Tom Peters is well known for his phrase “What gets measured gets done.” But we could add to that: what gets visualised gets read. What gets effectively communicated gets acted upon!

That’s why research is at its best when it tells a story, when it paints a picture, when it’s visual, when it’s research you can see.

World’s-best research will only spread as far as the look of it allows. World-changing data will have no impact unless it is well designed. World-class information will remain unshared unless it is easily understood.

Here at McCrindle, we’re social researchers. But in many ways we’re all social researchers. We all observe our society, study the patterns, and draw insights and conclusions from what we see.

But more than that. We’re all visual researchers. We gather information from what we see, we gather data from what we observe. It is the research that we see that we respond to best. When making decisions, it is the visual cues which guide us. Wear marks in grass show the most popular path, a show of hands, the length of a queue- these are visual research methods we employ to make decisions.

We live in a visual world. Languages are not universal but symbols are. Pictures not statistics connect across the generations.

And so we’re moving from an information era to an infographic era. In a world of big data- we need visual data.

It’s called reSEARCH for a reason, They’re called inSIGHTS on purpose, it’s more about visuals that tables, graphics not just analytics – you’ve got to see it before you can act upon it! Inaccessible research in the form of statistical tables and lengthy explanations won’t transform organisations.

Statistics should be fun- like animation. People should be able to play with data. Research reports should not sit on shelves but be interacted with, and shared on social media, or printed on book marks or beamed onto buildings.

Big data doesn’t have to be boring data!

Data is too important to be left in the hands of statisticians alone. Research needs to get beyond the researchers. We’re in an era of the democratisation of information. For this to be realised, big data has to be set free- and research has to be made accessible to everyone.

Research methodologies matter. Quality analysis is important. But making the data visual, creating research that you can see, ensuring the information tells a story - that’s absolutely critical.

Research that makes a difference has to be seen with the eyes of your head as well as the eyes of your heart. It makes sense rationally, and connect with it viscerally.

It’s about turning tables into visuals, statistics into videos and big data into visual data.

But research can’t be applied until it’s been understood.

It needs to be seen not just studied.

And until the last excel table has been transformed there’s work to be done.


Mark 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.



Join our McCrindle Qual Panel

Friday, March 04, 2016

At McCrindle we regularly run focus groups for clients to help them better understand their communities. We have developed a panel for those interested in partaking in future research. If you are interested, sign up is free and by clicking on the link below you could be in our next paid focus group.


Wikipedia defines the term ‘focus group’ as a form of qualitative research in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging. Questions are asked in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members.


At McCrindle, we are about helping organisations understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate. A key to this is listening to what customers and communities have to say about an organisation, product or campaign. Focus groups helps us to hear what communities really think.


By clicking on the link or the image below you will be taken to complete a short survey, and by doing so we could be in touch very soon about your paid attendance to one of our focus groups.

To find out more about our research and product offerings, click on our research solutions pack.

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