Cost of Living: Still the Number One Issue

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cost of living: Still the number one issueWith the federal budget on release tomorrow evening, a new McCrindle Research survey reveals that cost of living is still the front of mind issue for Australians. In early 2013, Gen Ys, Gen Xers, and the Baby Boomers across the nation expressed that the rising cost of living was their number one concern (see previous study here), which has held true in our latest research...

Click here to download the PDF.


Overall perceptions from state to state


Interestingly, two thirds of Australians think that the cost of living in their state is much higher or somewhat higher than all the other states and territories. The belief that life is most expensive in one’s own state is highest in Western Australia, where 91% of respondents said their living costs are greater than those in other states and territories (compared to the national average of 69%). Next in line is New South Wales, with 82% of respondents noting the cost of living to be higher in their state than in other states and territories, followed closely by ACT and Tasmania, both at 80%. Queenslanders and South Australians feel they have the best affordability with less than half (46%) saying living costs in their state are higher than elsewhere around the country.


The pressure is on


88% of Australians feel the cost of living pressures are greater today than 5 years ago. While Western Australia had the same percentage as the national average when analysing the increase overall, in the extreme increase category it had the highest response at 63% (compared to the national average of 47%). The strongest response overall was given by South Australians, with 95% feeling an increase in cost of living pressures.


Cost increases just keep going up


Graph: Where have you experienced significant cost increases?

Cost increases have been most felt through utility bills, with 83% of Australians reporting that they have experienced cost increases in their power and gas bills that have had a significant impact on their cost of living. Petrol prices are the next in line, with 77% reporting significant costs, followed by grocery prices – reported to have increased significantly by 74% of the population.

More Tasmanians than other Australians (93%, compared to the national average of 83%) report paying power and gas bills that have increased significantly in price in the last 5 years. In a similar way, respondents from the ACT report high cost increases in the cost of housing over the last 5 years when compared to the other states (78% report that they’ve experienced cost increases that have had a significant impact on their cost of living, compared to the national average of 43%).


The blame game


Who is most responsible for increased cost of living in Australia?

39% of Australians assert that the Federal government is most responsible for increased living costs, with only 1% of the blame directed towards local constituent government bodies. While only 34 % of Generation Ys primarily blame the government for the rise of living costs, that percentage rises to 37% for Gen Xers, 42% for Baby Boomers, and 49% for Builders – blame on the federal government therefore increases with age.

Utility companies are the next in line, with almost a quarter of Australians reporting that water, electricity, and gas companies are to blame. In Tasmania, sentiment towards utility companies is worst – with 40% of Tasmanians reporting that utility companies are to blame (compared to the national average of 24%). Tasmanians also appear to have the best perceptions towards the federal government, with only 13% of them directly placing blame on the federal government.


Everyday shopping changes


Over half of Australians report making significant changes to their shopping patterns over the last 5 years:

  • 59% have changed how much they buy by cutting back on some purchases and not eating as much.

  • 52% of respondents have changed what they buy, buying more private label or supermarket products rather than recognised brands.

  • 51% of respondents have changed where they buy, shopping in cheaper supermarkets and bulk retailers

  • 48% have changed how they buy through online shopping, using discount vouchers, and only buying items on sale


Reducing lifestyle expenditures


In the last 5 years, have you reduced your expenditure on any of the areas listed below?

Over the past five years, Australians have significantly reduced their expenditure on a number of different products and services. Holidays have been the first to go, with 45% of Australians having reduced their costs or eliminated expenditure on holidays altogether. Over one third of Australians have changed their expenditure to subscriptions such as TV, magazines, newspapers, and online services. Over a quarter of Australians have reduced their gym, sports, or club memberships, and reduced the outsourcing of home services.

While the study shows that Australians will readily give up their holidays or paid subscriptions when times get tough, they are less willing or able to cut back when it comes to their children: Only 11% of Australians report making cut-backs on private school fees, tuition, and education expenses, and only 9% have reduced spending on childcare and babysitting services.


Grim economic outlook


There is a fair bit of pessimism among Australians today – 3 out of 4 individuals feel that we are ‘worse now’ economically than we were last year. Out of this group of respondents, 65% hold that Australia will be even worse next year, whereas the rest believe there will be a positive turn-around. Western Australia is the most optimistic state when it comes to economic outlook, with 28% of respondents sensing that Australia is economically better now than last year and will be even better next year (compared to only 13% of the national average who held that same view).

Opinion on the grimness of Australia’s economic outlook increases with age. While only 29% of Generation Ys hold to the matter that Australia is economically worse now than last year and will be even worse next year, 48% of Generation Xers, 57% of Baby Boomers, and 59% of Builders expressed this strong sentiment.

Click here to download the PDF.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

norwest sydneysiders Sydney Lifestyle Study divorce faux-cilise eliane miles religion hornsby financial planning Northern Beaches Christian School online shopping February 16 emerging generations neutral bay donation #censusfail earning aged care world work-life Merry Christmas ABS Love winter pharmacy Work place CPI Hornsby Shire Council demographic trends consumer earn professional speaker challenge resilience quote population rental stress poor younger generations wages research data workplace culture average Australian wedding professional development state networking daily commute Willowdale Gen Z Expert Elderslie-Harrington park average sydneysider men surnames social commentator Births socialising cold research services skills workforce slideshare brand award Millennial McCridle change conference presentation curiosity organisational culture poker master average aussie school students annual income career data visualisation research report menai non profit rising house prices futurist shopping centre hobart education research trends analyst TAS indonesia census data church financial independence tertiary education fears do people still change their surname after marriage? innovation Australian community trends townhouses NBRS Architecture Australia Day 2017 presentation population milestone demographic transformations in depth interviews marrickville vegetarian showreel entrepreneurs of today retirement CBD living wage property market census presentations Australian schools wolloomooloo alpha teachers the future global infographics property price data Maxim Accounting victoria dessert speakers economy new york times mccrindle tea names McCrindle Speaker Northern Territory Christchurch sydney metro coffee lovers insights Australia street selfie Valentine’s Day sustainable 40 million rain narcissism christmas trees baby names easter renting 1968 supply and demand mateship 23 million Territory TEDx Speaker the great screenage earnings 2017 work from home buildings perth contiki australian community trends report education future report going out New Zeland optus bureau World Water Day apartments know the times visualisation keynote ageing volunteer economic generation alpha employers business index manly live the dream REIV National Conference small business Tasmania baby boomers global generations Northern beaches Event award winner VET sector Christmas lunch HR office opening FOMO Wodonga cost media commentary casual relevant Do It Yourself household Black Friday future-proof water giving employmer not-for-profit social researcher school debate divorce rate hello fresh intern digital economy summer Population Clock entertainment future proof Charlotte travelling income Kiwi Gen X google for education speaker trends of 2017 business generation Z 1975 mining boom sydney market vegemite sentiments Australian Communities Trends suburbs financial dreams 24 million shopper's pick millenials US high density darwin social life Andrew Duffin moderators guide investment trends the australian dream graphs Foodbank Australia proactive Australians owning a home renter of the future states Channel Seven social analyst aussie culture internships Real Estate Institute of Victoria workplace generation survey design organisations commuters etiquette cars tuesday Assistant Store Manager holidays grandparents stats focus group the lucky country commuting cooking education sector sydney hills christianity mythbusting Christmas research wealth distribution 1980 safe impact australians staying home more speakers pack HSC not for profit marriage changing face of sydney clothing repayments public holiday public speaking gold coast Hills Shire Council Mount Annan-Currant Hill demographer Adelaide study australian rent dare to dream student Australian Census work mates suburban living TED talk baby names australia report screenage PSI child care sydney speaker coffee australian communities trends report socialites SMSF teleworking salary 2015 Education Future Forum high density apartments 1995 NFP event urban development cultural diversity home ownership criminal case study South Australia seasons charities Australian Dream eliane ferry social enquiry chairty Australian Home define financial fears friendship program the hills office space outsourcing customer happy holidays results Royals woolworths staying in housing growth leadersip Australian Bureau of Statistics micro apartments personal growth education future family Geoff Brailey fresh future urban living Word Up youth unemployment communities census fail holiday snapshot equip 2014 trend apartment responsive 2020 James Ward crows nest grave decision NEETs Christmas season facts Mark McCrindle IT Specialists social change parents trends of 2016 cloudy days Australian Population university degree social commentary leadership workshop Research Director statistics demography 2016 census sophie renton christmas 2017 who is generation z Northern Beaches suburb conference speaker office mobile cancelling plans Sydney baby name trends acf15 trend tuesday youth brand experience Cobbitty-Leppington sunny days parenting mortgage spirituality growth of sydney 2016 census results future generations Performance Sentiment Index conferences high school recap research on coffee ACF 2016 life royal influence weekly earnings SA engagement optus my business awards consumerism newspaper dreaming environment affordability post rationalism healthy future training innovative hunger nfp qualitative research train gig wealth inequality social trends USA wellbeing millionth priorities Jura Coffee news aged care puzzle housing affordability volunteering data house price rise increasing densification DESTEL investor ultimo children TDE volunteering brands marketing rumbling tummies workshop population growth future of work media hopes emerging trends researcher weather royal baby pyrmont Black Friday in Australia Crime Rates goal capital cities sunburnt country politics resource mccrindle social wealth and income survey surname year 7 Australian Trends urban social researchers year 12 public speaker staff the changing face of Research Executive technology Lower Hunter Region social shifts princess charlotte Sydney’s south west housing trends stay home Business analysis housing ACT Report click gen z social research group session employment 24,000,000 wealth and income distribution local Christmas day property development events product meals potts point blaxland purpose housing market marriages rich australian communities forum sector wide focus groups tattoos money couple entrepreneur thrive learning Retail Macquarie University engage ashley mckenzie Tuesday Trends global generation interactive storytelling society trends home owner SMART cancel plans investing What is food insecurity? educhat ageing population world youth day research tips learning styles future of shopping Sydney Hills Business Chamber national wealth January 26th jobs food bank school satisfaction global financial crisis collaborative shbc education community event insight Jura Australia food women faux-cilising professional video households mccrinlde lifestyle group mover and shaker food insecurity not for profit research Duchess of Cambridge participants low density village area financial future FPA media activity census 2016 belief ethnography TEDx optimistic house price litter forecast infographic Christmas in Australia nativity scene baby name predictions The Daily Edition young people sydney property market Wagga Wagga Scouts shopping cartodb Kirsten Brewer gen alpha schools students unemployment trades gender personalities ACF2017 social lives mccrindle research internship faith and belief event screenagers New South Wales public transport ACF17 national private wealth emerging technologies identity conference 2013 paying to work Financial Planning Association of Australia middle class Lower Hunter social media mythbusters sports baby names report Netflix jobs of the future greatness educated Sydney population Western Australia millennials mccrindle in the media kate middleton leader analysis budget typical australian cancelling event business performance Generation X local communities language 2012 demographic demographic analysis Generation Y GPO huffington post ACT builders ACF baby name growth research visualisation Australia Day unaffordable bus Tuesday Trend global retail domestic Melbourne hills Christmas presents commute christmas internet finance Financial Planning Week NT Queensland: QLD Skilling forecasting transport Real Estate sydney event report growing population Christmas day weather land of the middle class capital city geomapping Channel 7 bondi young australians cica high density living megatrends maiden schools friends the average aussie residents REIV Conference sector Myth Australian communities motivate waverton national crime rates medicine follow employmee Sydney keynote speaker spend Res Vis community maiden names Australian demographics panel Vocational education wealth Queensland ipswich teaching donate affordable professional services charity work families sydneysider collaboration ease of travel entrepreneurial 2009 story Engineering Manager seasons greetings social issues WA faux-ciliser offenders car communications australia teacher NBRS the hills shire "know the times" real generational trends plans Canberra keynote speaker sector wide study Bathburst daily telegraph local community 1994 visual brisbane Financial Planning Association government JOMO debt mentor energy logan ashley fell Christmas data data analysis professional presenters generations students ideas System's Architect 10 years thought leadership cash teach research pack future of education Aussie dreams experience Social Trend financial easy rider Understanding and Engaging with Generation Z omnibus TED rise of local census results hills shire culture prince george australian social research DIY infographic wall social analysis australian real estate tableau Australian Families Christmas Stats McCrindle Speakers baby communication Mark McCrindle in the media home india choice workers sun Black Friday Sales online in the media demographics data analyst Caregiver overcast relational future proofing Deaths volunteers forum environmental scanning dream Gen Y groceries society goals toys urban living index balance china cultural diveristy Hunter Valley gig economy property EFF community engagement VET christian 2016 careers anzac digital English social impact McCrindle Keynote Speakers twentyseventeen speajer NSW breakfast house prices Wellington New Zealand tv population map baby boom rule keeper The ABC of XYZ media release winter blues long weekend celebration child hunger tea sydneycity city crime pharmacies VIC communicate moreton bay urban taskforce lalor park mother's day leadership list SRE authenticity royal family meetings publication university deloitte house shifts learner culturally diverse Aussies monarchy micro google new office cost of living learn faith royal happiness care support travel global generaion father's day market research

Archive