Event Recap: Making sense of the census

Thursday, June 29, 2017

It was an eventful morning at the McCrindle office this morning as we welcomed local businesses who were interested in getting up to date with the just-released census data and what it means for their organisation. The morning kicked off with a delightful breakfast to welcome our guests and some time for networking.

After a warm welcome from our MC, Ashley Fell, Mark McCrindle talked through the census data and introduced our brand-new infographic based on the newest numbers from the 2016 Census.

Next it was over to our Director of Research, Eliane Miles, who showed us what the data means for us and how to practically use the ABS website and the tools within the site.

We’d like to say a big thank you to the attendees who made this a successful census briefing. Be sure to look out for our future events taking place in Sydney! If you're interested in having one our McCrindle Speakers present at your next event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

2016 Census shows a growing, ageing, and more culturally diverse Australia

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Source: The Australian Bureau of Statistics Infographic 

The Census results, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today, reveal a picture of a changing Australia. Our nation is larger, older, more culturally diverse and less religious than at any other time in history.

A nation of 24.6 million and growth of 8.8% since the 2011 Census

On Census night in 2016, 23.4 million individuals who normally live in Australia were counted – an 8.8% increase from 2011. This doesn’t include the 300,000 visitors, or the 600,000 Australians who were overseas at the time. As at 31 December 2016, the ABS estimates a total population of 24.4 million (and today it is 24.6 million).

While New South Wales (7.5 million) and Victoria (5.9 million) remain our largest states, the fastest growing states were the ACT (11.2% growth), followed by Victoria (10.7%) and Western Australia (10.5%).

Cities absorb most of Australia’s growth

Two thirds (67%) of our nation lives in Australia’s capital cities, which have grown twice as fast as the rest of Australia over the past five years (10.5% compared to 5.7% for the remainder of Australia).

Our biggest capital city remains Sydney (4.8 million) which has grown 9.8% in five years, while Melbourne (4.4 million) is not far behind and edging closer with 12.1% growth. Our fastest growing cities since 2011 have been Darwin (14% growth), Melbourne (12%) and Perth (12%).

Migration is the key growth driver, led by migrants from China and India

1.3 million new migrants from 180 nations have come to call Australia home since 2011, with most of them settling in Sydney and Melbourne. Of the more than 6 million migrants who call Australia home, 18% have arrived since the start of 2012.

China (191,000 migrants; 14.4% growth) and India (163,000 migrants; 12.3% growth) are the top places of birth for migrants since 2011. This is followed by migrants from the UK (8.3% growth), New Zealand (7.4% growth) and the Philippines (4.9% growth).

Nearly half of us are ‘first’ or ‘second’ generation Aussies

Migration has changed Australia’s cultural landscape. 26.3% of Australians are now born overseas (up from 24.6% in 2011). Australians are most likely to have had at least one parent born overseas (both parents Australian born has declined from 50.0% to 47.3%).

While most Australians (73%) speak only English at home, more than a fifth of Australians (21%) speak one of the 300 or more languages spoken across our nation. Mandarin (2.5%), Arabic (1.4%), Vietnamese (1.2%), and Cantonese (1.2%) are the most commonly spoken languages.

The top places of birth of all Australians who were born outside of Australia are England (3.9%, down from 4.2% in 2011), New Zealand (constant at 2.2%), China (2.2%, up from 1.5% in 2011), India (1.9%, up from 1.4% in 2011) and the Philippines (1.0%, up from 0.8%). European migrants tend to be much older than Asian born migrants, who are more likely to have come in recent years and are therefore younger.

Not only growing, but ageing

Australia has developed a middle-age spread as our population is ageing. As the proportion of the population aged over 50 has grown, the child and teenage population as a proportion has decreased. Those aged 65+ now represent 16% of the population (up from 14% in 2011). In Tasmania, Australia’s oldest state, almost one in five residents are aged 65 or older. Since 2011, the median age of an Australian has increased from 37 to 38.

Rise in single households

Since 2011, family households have declined in their proportion of all households (71.3% down from 71.5%), while single parent households have risen (from 24.3% to 24.4%), along with group households (from 4.1% to 4.3%).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population increased

Almost 650,000 individuals of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin were recorded in the Census, comprising 2.8% of our population nationally. This is an increase of 18% since 2011 and a doubling since 1996. More than 3 in 5 of Australia’s recorded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population lives in New South Wales (33%) and Queensland (29%).

‘No religion’ the largest category of religion for the first time

Australia remains a predominantly religious country, with 60% reporting religious affiliation. More than half of Australians affiliate with Christianity (52%, down from 61% in the 2011 Census) while those who adhere to other religions (8%) has remained constant.

Islam (2.6%, increasing from 2.2% in 2011), Buddhism (2.4%; decreasing from 2.5%), Hinduism (1.9%; increasing from 1.3%), Sikhism (0.5%; increasing from 0.3%), and Judaism (0.4%; decreasing from 0.5%) are Australia’s largest ‘other’ religions.

‘No religion’ is now the single largest religious affiliation at 29.6% (larger than the most prominent Christian affiliation of Catholic at 22.6%), up from 21.8% in 2011.

Growing cost of living pressures in capital cities

Average household weekly incomes increased by 16.5%, from $1,234 in 2011 to 1,438. However, over the same period, median weekly rents increased by 17.5% (from $285 to $335 today). Median rent is highest in Sydney ($440/week) and Darwin ($420/week).

The proportion of Australians renting has increased to 30.9% (up from 29.6% in 2011), while 34.5% own their home with a mortgage (down from 34.9%) and 31% own outright (down from 32.1%).

Median mortgage repayments are highest in Sydney, Darwin, and Canberra, where mortgage repayments are well over $2,000 per month. Perth, Sydney & Melbourne have the highest proportion of mortgage holders who spend more than 30% of their income on their mortgage.

More than 1 in 5 Sydneysiders face ‘rental stress’ or ‘mortgage stress’

The housing crisis is greatest in Australia’s largest city. 8% of Sydneysiders face mortgage stress (paying more than 30% of their pre-tax income on their mortgage), and a further 14% face rental stress (paying more than 30% of their income to the landlord). Combined, 22% of Sydneysiders face significant housing affordability challenges.

Car ownership up

The proportion of households with no motor vehicles declined from 8.6% in 2011 to 7.5% in 2016. The proportion of households with two or more vehicles increased from 52.6% to 54.3%. While internet connections from home have increased since 2011, 14.1% of Australian households still do not access the internet from their dwelling.


For media commentary from our media team, please contact Kimberley Linco – kim@mccrindle.com.au or 02 8824 3422

Insights into our School based Career Practitioners

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

There are set to be almost 800,000 school graduates in the next three years, and equipping them to make well-informed decisions about their next chapter of life is front of mind for school based career practitioners.

We were delighted to partner with the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) to find out what is happening in our schools. The research shows that whilst parents are still the number one influencers on their children’s career planning, career practitioners come in second. More than half of students identify their career teachers/advisors in their top two people they are most comfortable to approach about career advice.

A higher proportion of young people today are entering university education than ever before (predicted to be 1 in 2 Generation Z—currently aged 8-22), however, one in three university students don’t complete their course within six years of enrolment. The fall of completion rates of university students, and increase of cancellations and withdrawals of apprentices and trainees, point towards a need for students to be better informed when making decisions about training or further study.

Our research shows that whilst the full time career practitioners have the greatest ability to fully implement the most effective career development strategies—such as one-on-one interviews and career action plan development—less than half (48%) of Australia’s school based career practitioners are fulltime. In fact, school career practitioners are 2 times more likely to have had their time allowance decreased than increased in the last three years.

Click here to download part one of the infographic

Click here to download part two of the infographic 

The Average Sydneysider

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sydney is home to more than one in five Australians and having just officially broken through the five million population milestone we thought we should consider statistically what the average Sydneysider looks like.

In a city with 103 females for every 100 males, the average Sydneysider is a woman aged 36- slightly younger than the national average age of 37.

She is married (half of all adults in Sydney are) and has two children. While she was born in Australia (like three in five Sydneysiders), households with both parents born in Australia are actually in the minority in Sydney with the country of birth for overseas born local residents most likely to be China (or one of its territories).

The average resident works full time, most likely around 40 hours per week (longer than the state and national average) and lives in a household with an income around one-fifth higher than the NSW average.

She most likely works as a professional (like one in four workers in Sydney) in the education sector and she gets to work by car, in one of the two household vehicles. Our average local lives in a three-bedroom house which is owned but with a mortgage and on which she spends around 14 hours per week doing domestic duties in addition to her parenting role.

While her two children are currently at a local government primary school, her oldest will soon attend a non-government secondary school and both of them will most likely achieve a tertiary qualification- probably a university degree.

So the average resident of Australia’s largest city is a Gen Xer, and a parent, with a mortgage, a career and a very busy life.

The Millennial Workforce; Creating Culture Purpose and Impact

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Recently our Head of Communications Ashley Fell delivered a presentation titled, The Millennial Workforce; Creating Culture, Purpose and Impact at a range of conferences. From a state-wide aged care conference through to a Millennials marketing event.

Also known as Generation Y, Millennials are born between 1980 and 1994. They are those who lived their formative years or began their careers in the new Millennium.

Millennials seek leadership involvement and career opportunities rather than job security and a stable work environment. What is important to this generation of emerging workers is CPI - Culture, Purpose and Impact.


Millennials thrive on a healthy workplace culture. In addition to training, varied job content, an accessible management style and work/life balance, is a workplace culture and sense of community. Workplace cultures that are fun, inviting, inclusive and provide a sense of community are highly valued by a generation who are delaying traditional life markers, such as getting married and starting a family.


In addition to an engaging workplace culture Millennials are seeking places of employment where they resonate with the values and purpose of the organisation. If the culture is the ‘how’, the purpose is the ‘why’.

Millennials are seeking a higher order than previous generations. When looking for a job, it is about more than just survival and security (remuneration, employment conditions, superannuation, worker entitlements, role description, tenure and job security).

The social aspects – such as opportunities for collaboration, social events, co-working spaces and team building – are even more important. 

What Millennials consider most important when looking for a job are the ‘higher-order drivers’, such as the triple bottom line (people, profit and planet), volunteer days, organisational values, corporate giving programs, career pathways, further study, training and personal development.


In addition to culture and purpose, Millennials are looking for an organisation where they can have an impact. Millennials want to contribute to something bigger than themselves. They want to be challenged in their work, make a contribution and celebrate the wins.

As different sectors seeks to attract, recruit and retain this emerging generation of employees, remember that Millennials are looking for an engaging workplace, inspiring values which connect with their own, and employment opportunities where they can make a difference. In short they are looking for Culture, Purpose and Impact.


Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands the need to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage them. 

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms and content creation, Ashley advises on how to achieve cut through in message-saturated times. 

From generational change to the impact of technology, key demographic transformations to social trends, Ashley delivers research based presentations dealing with global and national trends.


To find out more, check a date or make an enquiry, please get in touch:

P: 02 8824 3422

E: info@mccrindle.com.au

Research Launch Event at NSW Parliament House

Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Eliane Miles at the launch with (L to R) Bishop Peter Ingham, Education Minister Rob Stokes, The Hon Paul Green, Shadow Minister Jihad Dib and Murray Norman.

The NSW Government recently released the independent review of Special Religious Education (SRE). In response, McCrindle was commissioned to review the findings and summarise the key data into this SRE in Schools visual summary.

As part of this process, Research Director Eliane Miles was delighted to speak last Tuesday night at NSW Parliament House to launch these findings. The other speakers who addressed the attendees, who included representatives from most of the major providers of SRE across all faiths, were the Education Minister Rob Stokes, Shadow Minister Jihad Dib, and host of the event, The Hon Paul Green MLC.

Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles
Education Minister Rob Stokes
The Hon. Paul Green MP

The Review highlighted how SRE contributes to students’ understanding of their cultural heritage and is an avenue for their spiritual care. Further, it noted that the work of SRE teachers builds tolerance in schools, promotes multiculturalism, contributes to a well-rounded education, and connects schools with their local community.

In addressing the gathering, Mr Stokes, said, “It is wonderful that we have in our schools an understanding that humans are made up of three parts, mind, body and spirit, and we need to provide sustenance to each part of what makes us fully human. SRE has a very important role to fulfil in our schools.”

Mr Dib expressed strong bipartisan support for the value of SRE. Mr Dib said, “[The review] was not at any point in time thinking how to do away with it, but rather, how we actually improve it.” In thanking SRE teachers and providers, Mr Dib went on to articulate the importance of ensuring, “Every single student should have an opportunity – for at least one hour in a week – to reflect about the person that they are and the way that they can actually better themselves.”

Most striking amongst the research presented by Eliane Miles was the levels of satisfaction regarding SRE from schools and parents. The research showed that of the 780,600 students that attend the 2,152 government schools in NSW (with SRE taught in 87% of these schools), 84% of parents are satisfied or mostly satisfied with their student’s learning experiences in SRE and 96% of principals agree or mostly agree that their school has a good working relationship with SRE providers.

Micro Apartments: Could this be a tiny solution to a big problem?

Friday, June 02, 2017

Micro-apartments are a new wave of affordable housing that is close to the city, and makes use of every square-centimetre of space.

In Sydney there is more demand for homes than there is supply and that is a key factor of what is driving the house prices up. Could micro apartments be the tiny solution to one, very big problem?

Micro apartment are attracting young people, Generation Y, to moving into the city. But they are also attracting the down-sizing Baby Boomers, who are moving from the 'emty nest' house in the suburbs, downsizing into apartment living.

Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle, says with a rapidly growing population and the housing demand far out-weighing demand, we need to follow in the footsteps of the world’s global cities and embrace a more compact style of living.

The future suburbs will be the vertical communities, not the horizontal ones that we used to know.

Sydney has just hit the 5 million mark and it’s going to add 2 million people in the next 20 years. Melbourne is going to do the same. Each of these cities will add a Perth to their population by 2037.

Watch the full segment on micro apartments here

About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international following. He is recognised as a leader in tracking emerging issues and researching social trends. As an award-winning social researcher and an engaging public speaker, Mark has appeared across many television networks and other media. He is a best-selling author, an influential thought leader, TEDx speaker and Principal of McCrindle Research. His advisory, communications and research company, McCrindle, count among its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and leading international brands.

Visit Mark's website here.

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