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.

Understanding Generation Y Globally and Locally

Monday, February 20, 2017

Generation Pessimism

We think of the younger generations having youthful idealism and optimism yet the 2017 Global Millennial Study by Deloitte shows that the 20’s and early 30-somethings are not feeling optimistic. Just 1 in 4 believes the year ahead will see an improvement politically and again a minority- only 1 in 3 believe we will see an uptick economically.

Where’s our share?

While it is little surprise that their number one concern is terrorism/political tension (56% are concerned), the second biggest concern (43%) is income inequality. There is a strong feeling amongst Generation Y (Millennials) that they are being left behind in this era of flat wages growth and massive home and living cost increases. Our recent ABS income and wealth analysis shows that Gen Y as a whole have 7% of Australia’s private wealth while they are more than twice this (15%) of the population while the older Boomers have an economic share three times that of their population share. There is a growing series of forecasts indicating that this may well be the first generation since the Great Depression which will end up behind their parents economically.

Big challenges but are they too big…

This study shows that Millennials, particularly in the developed world feel somewhat disempowered with a sense of high responsibility yet low influence to shape the challenges of the environment, social equality and direction of the country. They are key contributors to society and believe that working within the system rather than radically fighting against it in a revolutionary approach is the best way forward.

Moving on…but to full time roles

Almost 1 in 2 (48%) expect to leave their current role within 2 years while less than 1 in 3 (31%) plan on still being there in 5 years. While the gig economy sounds exciting, almost three times as many (70%) would prefer full time work than a freelance work life (25%). Yet the challenge for Australian Gen Y’s is that while unemployment is still quite low (5.7%), the workforce is trending away from full time roles. In the last year, the Australian economy has added 130,000 part time roles but lost 40,000 full time roles.

The dot com kids see the downside of tech

Millennials are more negative than positive when it comes to technology particularly regarding the impacts it is having in the workforce. While it aids productivity, economic growth and flexibility, the majority of this generation believe that it will force them to retrain (51%) and that it is making the workplace more impersonal and less human (53%).

But they are warm towards Gen Z

The new next generation (Gen Z, born since 1995) is well regarded by Gen Y with most Y’s (53%) believing that the next generation will positively transform the workplace. They also believe that Gen Z are well equipped and “futureproofed” in the workplace because of their creativity, flexibility and engaging leadership style.


The Average Australian on Australia Day 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Australia is home to 24,341,000 people living in more than 9 million households comprised of more than 300 different ancestries. And while Australians are anything but average, what would a statistically “average” Aussie look like?

Statistically, they are more likely to be female (50.5% of the population) than male (49.5%).

The average Australian is an older Gen Y or younger Gen Xer (born between 1979 and 1981), aged 37 (36 for a male and 38 for a female).

Australians at birth can expect a life expectancy to exceed 80 years, with women on average outliving men by 4 years.

However, our average 36 year old male can expect to live another 45.5 years to 81.5 while the average 38 year old female should get another 47.3 years of life expectancy, taking her to 85.3.

The average Australian adult is employed most likely full time (68% of all employees), gets to work by car (69% of all commuters) and is probably earning $60,330 per year (average of all employees, before tax). After tax, and as a household, their total disposable annual income is $88,551.

They will take 4 days of sick/carers leave (5 for women) and 16 days annual leave in a year and work on average 32 hours per week (women) or 41 hours per week (men).

They live in a capital city (3 in 5 of us) in a household of around 3 people, have around 2 cars for their household, and average 14,000 kilometres per year.

They are paying off their 3-bedroom home, they have lived there for 5 years and have $427,847 equity in their home which is the bulk of their wealth. And they have $65,880 worth of stuff - the total of all of their other household possessions (furniture, equipment, household goods – but not house and cars).

The average Australian identifies their religion as Christianity (61%), has completed Year 12, and gone on to complete a post-secondary qualification. They most likely have had a child, and they live in a household with a pet.

The average Australian man is 178cm tall and weighs 85kg while the average woman is 164cm and weighs 68 kg. The World Health Organisation states that a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 to 29 is overweight which is where the average Australian sits with 27 for a male and 26 for a female.

But they are doing something about it and exercise on average 3 times per week, getting 7.2 hours of sleep per night and they also have private health insurance.

And on average they’ve most likely experienced and contributed to the great Australian value of community and mateship. It is a “come in for a cuppa” culture that gives a “no worries” welcome to someone regardless of how average or not they may be.

Happy Australia Day, Australia!

We are a bunch of pikers… and we’re ok with it!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Australians want to be seen as being social and yet often prefer the comfort of their own home to going out and socialising. 45% of Australians always prefer to stay home, no matter what night of the week it is and a further 73% have turned down an invitation to go out on the basis that they preferred to stay home. Highlights from our recent research commissioned Connoisseur Desserts show that the typical Australian is making pretty similar choices when it comes to their social lives and (not) going on a night out.

Dropping in

77% of us report to dropping in on social events just to show our faces all, a lot or some of the time. For nearly 20% of 20-34 year olds, a ‘drop in’ often means attending more than one event on a night out – really making the most of rare occasion to socialise out of home.

Dropping out

69% of us are happy to cancel plans in the week of the event, and 14% admit they’ll drop out on the day. Seems old fashioned politeness goes out the window across all generations with one in three bailing on the day before/day off/at the time.

While spring and summer are the more social seasons for Australians, there is a lot of bailing out of events and catch ups in our increasingly busy lives. And ditching on work functions and colleague catch ups is where the piking happens most.

Avoiding the awkies

Seems some of us will go to extreme lengths to avoid the awkwardness that results from our bad bailing behaviour and will RSVP at the last minute (17%), send word with someone else (16%), avoid posting on social media what we’re doing instead (13%), avoid all contact with the organiser (10%) or avoid telling the organiser altogether (7%). The worst culprits, 20-34 year olds.

What happened to mateship?

The people who we are most likely to ditch are colleagues (41%) and friends (40%). Only 3% are most likely to bail on partners (phew!) and 16% on family events. We are most likely to cancel our attendance at work functions (24%) and casual catch ups with friends (22%). Conversely, 34% of 20-24 year olds are more likely to bail on drinks with friends than on work functions (7%).

Excuses, excuses

The fall back excuse for last minute cancellations is feeling unwell for 66% of us. Family commitments are the next most used excuse at 36%, and a sick family member at 23%. Lame excuses such as stuck in traffic (6%) and a sick pet (4%) make the list. Just 11% of people chose to fess up that they just don’t want to go.

Loving our downtime

For most of us, cancelling plans to go out means we’ve chosen instead a night spent relaxing on the couch (34%), sleeping (32%), watching TV (23%), or hanging out with a loved one (30%).

It’s really interesting to see the rising trend towards staying in. It demonstrates the impact that technology has on every aspect of our lives – including redefining our social interactions and what that means for human relationships in the future. An indulgent night in and eating a favourite dessert in front the TV is fast becoming a socially acceptable and often, preferred form of entertainment in our increasingly busy and complex lives.

New research reveals Aussies are 'faux-cialisers'

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

It’s official. A night on the couch bingeing on a favourite TV series is the best kind of night! New research reveals we love treating ourselves to an indulgent night in, and we regularly bail on plans made with friends, work mates and family in the process. It’s called faux-cialising and it’s rampant across Australia!

We were delighted to partner with Connoisseur Desserts to conduct new research into Australians aged 18 and over, and their social habits. According to the research, 73% of Aussies aged 18 and over regularly faux-cilise – cancelling social plans just to stay home to watch TV and experience the night they would have had via social media.

So what has prompted the rise of the faux-cialiser? Mark McCrindle points to a hectic work schedule, the comforts of home, and entertainment at our fingertips, which is making faux-cilising a growing trend in our (increasingly less) social lives.

The research shows Australians fall into four categories when it comes to their attitudes and behaviours towards social plans:

The Socialites

FOMO (fear of missing out) is very real and increasingly this group is predominantly men, aged 25 – 54 (the group least likely to faux-cialise).

The Wait and Sees

Commitment-phobes who are men and women represented by 43% of 35-54 year olds (who do admit to faux-ialising regularly).

The Bailers

Legitimising a night on the couch as the entertainment option of choice. This group is embracing faux-cialism and is strongly represented by women (64%) aged 35-54 (72%).

The Homebodies

Those who preferring to stay home all of the time and are embracing JOMO (joy of missing out) as a way of life (79% aged 35+). This type of faux-cialiser is equally represented by both men and women.

Highlights from the research show that despite these nuances, the typical Australian is making pretty similar choices when it comes to their social lives and (not) going on a night out.

Home is where the heart is

When asked what night was their favourite night of the week to stay in, a whopping 45% of Australians reported they prefer to always stay home. Only 1% said they’d prefer to go out every night. 

Plans Schmans

When we do make plans, we’re displaying a real fear of commitment! While we initially get excited about the opportunity to socialise on a night out, 62% of us will stall on making a decision, preferring to wait to see how we feel closer to the time or on the day. This rings true across all age brackets.

Dropping in

77% of us report to dropping in on social events just to show our faces all, a lot or some of the time. Not surprisingly, the Homebodies and Bailers are the most likely to do the drop in. For nearly 20% of 20-34 year olds, a ‘drop in’ often means attending more than one event on a night out – really making the most of the rare occasion to socialise out of home.

Me time

Self-care is the main motivation for cancelling plans with 42% feeling the need to relax and recharge and another 40% seeking the peace and quiet of a night in. Bad weather (30%) and not being bothered to get dressed up (26%) are the next most popular reasons to bail.

A Snapshot of the Changes Transforming Real Estate

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Change. It’s happening all around us, and it’s easy to be intimidated by the scope and scale of it, but if we can observe the trends and the shifts, then we don’t have to become victims of change but rather we can proactively respond. That’s what’s key. Having the confidence to move forward strategically and proactively, to embrace the trends rather than hide from them.

Earlier this year Mark McCrindle presented Understanding the Times, Shaping the Trends: A Snapshot of the Changes Transforming Real Estate at the Real Estate Institute of Victoria National 2016 Conference. Here are some of his thoughts on trends shaping the Real Estate Industry.

How are generational differences impacting the REAL Estate industry?

Generationally, it is more important than ever to understand the six generations that we have in Australia. While the younger generations might not be active clients in terms of real estate vendors, they do influence parental purchasing and decisions a lot.

We can sometimes pre-qualify people based on our perception of where they’re at in their life stage, but actually there are a lot of people in their late 70’s who are still active in property, perhaps downsizing to buy their next place. Then you’ve got someone in their early 20’s who’s maybe not buying their own place, but perhaps looking at an expensive home because they will be living in that home with their parents. We have to understand the diversity of the generations and all of them may well be active influencers in the buying decision.

Do you have any recommendations on how the Real Estate industry can engage their community?

Sometimes the best connections are actual connections, not just personal ones. The events, the openings, the events where we invite the community along and talk about the area and what’s happening. That brand experience, where people can come to meet and greet with free pizza or cocktails, that sort of thing is what works well, people are looking for that social interaction.

Any tips for those working in real estate?

Well I’d sum it up with the 4 R’s of Real Estate in the 21st Century:


Keep it real and authentic


To adjust and adapt


Keep it relational in terms of how we connect


We can’t just rely on yesterday’s wins, we have to adjust and adapt to remain responsive to the needs of today


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.


The Shopper's Pick: Understanding Australia's new village green

Thursday, July 14, 2016

This year we were delighted to write up and design the third and latest report in the Trolley Trends Series, ‘The Shoppers Pick’ for Woolworths Limited. From developing the survey through to conducting the analysis, this report is the perfect blend of quality research with segmentation and visuals, making the research easy to consume.

With 1 in 5 (20%) Australian supermarket customers going to the supermarket at least once a week, the report reveals that a record number of people (44%) consider the local shopping centre to be central to community life and has truly established itself as the new village green – a place for connection and engagement with the wider community, perhaps even more so than the local pub, school or community centre.

It is the theme of local which is clearly the key message of ‘The Shopper’s Pick’, which provides a unique look into modern Australia’s living, eating and shopping habits today.


As Australia becomes increasingly connected to global economies and new technologies, there is an equal if not stronger desire among shoppers to support Australian made products and local growers. It is increasingly important to Australian shoppers to know where their food comes from.

More than half of Australian shoppers (52%) state that buying local food is extremely or very important to them. In fact, around a quarter of shoppers prefer to purchase meat and poultry, bread and grains, and seafood and fish that are sourced locally in their own region rather than sourced further afield in their own state or within another region in Australia.


Australians are impacted in different ways by the changing seasons. Australia’s Seasonal Personalities explores the different personalities of Australians and the impact seasons have on their lifestyle. Which Seasonal Personality are you?


Australians are becoming increasingly health conscious and aware of the foods they consume. This trend towards healthy eating is demonstrated in the increase of health foods being included by Australians in their weekly shop.

Just over half of shoppers (52%) buy health food products weekly (i.e. sugar free, additive free, gluten free, dairy free, organic, raw, salt free or vegan), with sugar free products the most likely to be on Australians’ shopping lists and purchased by just over half of shoppers (51%), followed by organic and raw foods (both at 35%), and additive free foods (27%).


Australians are a nation of savvy shoppers, who seek products that are value for money. Nearly 7 in 10 shoppers (69%) state that buying on discount is extremely or very important to them. These values are reflected in the ingredients they purchase for meals cooked at home, with 99% of Australian shoppers saying price is an important factor they take into consideration. As part of being savvy shoppers, Australians are also creative savers. Almost 6 in 10 shoppers (58%) save money by purchasing groceries based on weekly specials, while just over half (52%) save money by writing a shopping list and sticking to it. Stocking up and bulk-buying are two other ways Australians save money, with just over half of shoppers (53%) currently saving money by stocking up on discounted non-perishables.

This report follows on from the 2014 Trolley Trends Report which focused on the increasing importance of ‘Fresh’ amongst the Australian population. The report also found that one of the most common community connections for Australians is the local shopping centre. To access the Future of Fresh report, please click here.

Top Baby Names Revealed

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Around 1 in 10 Australian babies last year were given one of the Top 10 baby names; a total of 28,640 out of the total Australian annual births of 298,200. There were 2,283 boys named Oliver and 1,737 girls named Charlotte last year.

Charlotte takes top spot after Olivia’s 3 year reign

Charlotte, with 1,737 occurrences is the top girl baby name in Australia for 2015, taking the top spot from Olivia which is now in 2nd place.

Olivia was the most popular girls’ name in 2014 but has now fallen behind by 67 occurrences.

Charlotte was the most popular baby girls’ name in almost every state while Olivia was top in VIC and WA.

Oliver most popular in the states but Jack more popular in the territories

Keeping the top spot from 2014 is Oliver, the top boy baby name in Australia for 2015 having overtaken Jack and William which were 1st in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Oliver was the top boys’ name in all 6 states (NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA, TAS) while Jack was the top boy baby name in the Northern Territory.

There were 421 more instances of Oliver than William, an increase on the margin of 191 from 2014. In 2015, there were 2,283 boys named Oliver, 1,862 named William and 1,802 named Jack which is a decrease for both William and Jack on 2014.

Top 10 Girl's name trends and insights

Most of the top 10 girls’ names from 2014 have held on to a top 10 ranking in 2015 except for Ruby which has slipped out of the top 10 down to 13th place. In Ruby’s place, Grace has reached top 10 status. Charlotte, Amelia, Sophia and Chloe all improved on their 2014 ranking with Olivia, Mia, Emily, Sophie and Ruby being the ones which have dropped. Ava was the only name to retain the same ranking.

Top 10 Boy’s name trends and insights

Oliver remains to be the top boy baby name of 2015, holding this position strongly since 2014. 9 out of the top 10 boys’ names held onto their top 10 ranking with Alexander falling out of the top 10 to 15th place, with Lachlan (rank 10th) taking his spot. While none of top 4 names changed positions, Jackson dropped from 5th to 7th and Thomas, James and Ethan increased their rank within the top 10 names.

7 new boy’s and 9 new girls’ names enter the top 100

The names Spencer, Jesse, Arlo, Harley, Darcy, Jett and Lewis have entered the list for the boys’ at the expense of Bailey, Mitchell, David, Aaron, John, Phoenix and Anthony.

As for the girls; Aurora, Billie, Eve, Daisy, Aisha, Leah, Gabriella, Maryam and Maggie have entered the top 100 with; Lexi, Jade, Indie, Pippa, Amelie, Amber, Elise, Natalie and Lacey dropping out of the list.

George and Charlotte; 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.

The birth of the Royal Princess in May 2014 (Charlotte Elizabeth Diana) has also contributed to the royal baby name trend. Like George’s rank, which increased from 71st in 2012 to 36th in 2015, in 2015 we saw the name Charlotte gain 1st position, taking the top spot from Olivia in 2014.

Download Baby Names Australia 2016. 

Click here to download the full report.

Exploring the Sentiment of Sydneysiders

Monday, January 18, 2016

In August 2015, McCrindle Research surveyed 1,007 Sydneysiders on their attitudes and sentiments towards the current state and The Future of Sydney.

Future analysis of the sentiments of Sydneysiders has now been conducted, revealing the differences in sentiment within various demographic categories towards how Sydney is now, compared to 5 years ago and to how they perceive Sydney to be in 5 years’ time.

Males more optimistic

1 in 5 (20%) males are expectant optimists who stated that they think Sydney is better now than it was 5 years ago and it will be even better in 5 years’ time compared with only 14% of females.

Overall, 37% of males think that Sydney is better now than it was 5 years ago and 35% think that Sydney will be even better in 5 years’ time compared with 30% and 28% of females respectively.

Generation Y the most positive

1 in 5 (20%) Gen Y’s are expectant optimists with Baby Boomers having the smallest proportion in this category (14%) with 3 in 5 (60%) Gen X’s and Baby Boomers falling into the concerned pessimists category.

Over 2 in 5 (42%) Gen Y’s think that Sydney is better now it was 5 years ago but only 1 in 4 (26%) Baby Boomers feel the same way. Just over 7 in 10 Gen X’s (73%) and Baby Boomers (72%) think that Sydney will be worse in 5 years’ time, compared with just over 3 in 5 (63%) Gen Y’s.

City dwellers have a more buoyant outlook than those in the outer suburbs

The Central region of Sydney is the region with the largest proportion of expectant optimists at 20% with the South West region having the lowest at 15%.

However, the over 1 in 3 respondents from the South West region (35%) stated that they think that Sydney will be better in 5 years’ time, the highest proportion out of all the regions, followed by the Western Suburbs with 33%.

Families with dependents more upbeat

1 in 5 (20%) respondents who live in a household with children are expectant optimists compared with fewer than 1 in 6 (15%) who live in a household without children.

Almost 2 in 5 (39%) respondents living in a household with children stated that they think that Sydney is better now than it was 5 years ago compared with 3 in 10 (31%) of those in households without children.

Middle income earners most optimistic

Surprisingly, the proportion of respondents who are concern pessimists was higher in those in 2nd highest income quintile than those in the other 4 quintiles.

The largest proportion of respondents who stated that they think Sydney is better than it was 5 years ago was of those in the middle income quintile (40%).

The lower the perception of population size, the higher the optimism

Respondents who underestimated Sydney’s population the most (1 or 2 million) were the most likely to have been expectant optimists at 24% with those having the closest estimations being the most likely to be concerned pessimists (4 million = 53%, 5 million = 55%).

Sydney: One City, 300 Cultures

Friday, January 15, 2016

Sydney, a city which will soon reach 5 million people, is Australia’s most culturally diverse capital with over 2 in 5 Sydneysiders born overseas. Over half of all Sydney’s population have both parents being born overseas and over 40% speak a language other than English.

According the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data, Sydney is comprised of people from over 220 countries and significant sub-regions, with over 240 different languages spoken and residents identifying with almost 300 different ancestries.

So which areas of Sydney are the most diverse, and what suburbs have the strongest connections to various cultures?


Explore Sydney in all its cultural diversity below, where you are able to select any country, language and ancestry and see where people with those characteristics choose to call home within Sydney, or simply click on your area on our McCrindle Tableau map to reveal your area’s profile!


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