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 Oliverthan 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.
Sydney, the place many of us call home, is Australia’s economic powerhouse. We are adding almost 90,000 people to our city every single year, and the 5 fastest growing areas in New South Wales are all located in Sydney. Back 50 years ago Sydney had just hit 2 million people, we are going to finish next year at 5 million people.
Sydney is a fascinating and complex landscape where old ways and old attitudes are disappearing. We used to have a cringe factor of, “this part of the city is better than that part of the city” and people would perhaps be embarrassed if they weren’t closer to where the action was. That’s all changed. People in Greater Western Sydney embrace that as their moniker, proud of being a Westie.
And when it comes to work the CBD is no longer the cities undisputed top dog. Sydney is undergoing an opportunity revolution, with entrepreneurial hotspots sprouting up just about everywhere. You’ve got the media and communications hubs around Surry Hills and Ultimo, and high-tech emerging in areas of Parramatta and even in Penrith. It’s not all just happening in the CBD alone.
NSW also has the highest migration of any Australian state, and Sydney – a global city, receives most of this growth. In this city of diversity, the city’s newest citizens form new tribes in its oldest suburbs.
Sydney has many faces, but what binds us, the one thing we all have in common is this often complex, always beautiful, ever-changing city.
The Changing Face of Sydney; Urban Sprawl Goes Vertical
The Changing Face of Sydney; A closer look at Parramatta
The Changing Face of Sydney; Is the Sutherland Shire the new boom town?
The Changing Face of Sydney; The Changing Face of Liverpool
The Changing Face of Sydney; The big Development Flying Under the Rader
Q: Just wondering how many have first language of English?
A: Sydney is one of the most culturally diverse places in Australia. Almost two in three households have at least one parent born overseas, and China may soon overtake England as the country Sydneysiders born overseas were most likely born in.
Q: My children – aged 11 and eight – and I just watched the Changing Face of Sydney. They would like to know how our suburb, Loftus, has changed over the years. Or anything exciting you can tell them about our great suburb.
A: Well it is a fascinating suburb – home to far more families with kids than the state and national average. Averaging two children per household (well above the average) and with more stay-at-home parents than average. Earning more, volunteering more, and with a higher proportion of children than most Sydney suburbs – sounds like a nice, family-friendly place to live.
Q: What does the future of Blacktown look like as a part of the changing face of the western suburbs?
A: Blacktown has consistently been the fastest growing areas in the whole of NSW over the last decade. The Blacktown City area is home to more than 300,000 people, which means it is home to more people than the whole of the Northern Territory!
Q: We have just moved to Mosman from Adelaide, what can you tell me about Mosman, its demographic and its history?
A: Mosman is home to far more females than males - average age is 40, well above Sydney’s 36 and the residents’ earn more and work longer than the NSW average. Three in five of those in the labour force in Mosman work more than 40 hours per week. It is also home to twice the proportion of professionals and managers than the state average.
Q: What are your views on Sydney property growth in the short term? Is this boom likely to continue? NSW future infrastructure projects are encouraged by this strong stamp. What would be the result if the interest rates increase?
A: Yes Sydney’s property prices are no bubble. They are underpinned by more demand (population growth) than supply (new home builds). Not only is Sydney growing around 85,000 people per year, but households are getting smaller so the housing demand is even outstripping population growth. However, Sydney prices will no doubt plateau at some point, as they have before.
Q: Which suburbs have big potential for growth? Where will be more infrastructure developments?
A: Greater Western Sydney is where the population growth is and where there will be a lot of new infrastructure over the decades ahead. Plus prices are beginning from a lower base than the east. And keep in mind that by 2032 Western Sydney will be larger than the rest of Sydney (2.9m compared to 2.7m).
Q: My partner and I are planning to buy a house. What is the quietest place in Sydney?
A: The quiet suburbs on the urban fringes – Shanes Park, Cranebrook, Marsden Park, Badgery’s Creek – are acreage at the moment but will be development central in a few years. So the quiet may just be temporary.
Q: Where is the best place to invest, which suburb?
A: Really depends on budget and also having a long-term view. Suburbs change: Redfern, Balmain, Newtown, Campberdown were once not considered desirable suburbs and are now very expensive. So it is good to look at population growth trends and emerging infrastructure. A suburb not “hot” at the moment if it is in Sydney will be a winner long term.
Q: What are the reasons for different ethnicities to settle in the respective suburbs? (Chinese in Hurstville and Chatswood, British in Manly, etc.)
A: Often it is where they have connection/family and so various suburbs end up with strong ethnicities. For example, traditionally Greeks settled in Kogarah, many from Vietnam called Cabramatta home and more recently a strong connection of those from India to Harris Park.
Q: What proportion of the Hills district is evangelical and also now the Shire?
A: The ABS census data shows religion by denomination and it shows that for example the Hills have less than 19 per cent while the Shire has more than 25 per cent Anglicans.
The social, generational, economic and demographic trends impacting Hornsby Shire are creating not only new challenges but great opportunities. Unprecedented change can sometimes lead to change fatigue where the response can be to become worried about change, or equally 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 respond to the shifts, influence the trends and shape the future.
Hornsby Shire Council: A Shire of Opportunity, outlines ten of the top trends that are redefining the Hornsby LGA and shaping the future of this community. We have been pleased to assist Hornsby Shire Council in conducting this analysis and the trends shaping the region.
The top 10 trends for Hornsby Shire are:
Growing population, increasing densification
Ageing population, transitioning generations
Educational attainment, professional employment
Entrepreneurship for small and home-based businesses
Property ownership and investment growth
Stable workforce, lower unemployment
Mobile lifestyle enabled though public transport and cars
“Sydney is a very diverse place, but I think in that diversity, in that difference is a great sense of strength, we all come together as Aussies and as Sydney-siders and I think that’s why so many people, almost 5 million of us, call this city home.” – Mark McCrindle
“The changing face of Sydney has been phenomenal”
Sydney, the place many of us call home, is Australia’s economic powerhouse.
We are adding almost 90,000 people to our city every single year, and the 5 fastest growing areas in New South Wales are all located in Sydney.
Back 50 years ago Sydney had just hit 2 million people, we are going to finish next year at 5 million people.
“Old ways and old attitudes are disappearing”
Sydney is a fascinating and complex landscape where old ways and old attitudes are disappearing.
We used to have a cringe factor of, “this part of the city is better than that part of the city” and people would perhaps be embarrassed if they weren’t closer to where the action was. That’s all changed. People in Greater Western Sydney embrace that as their moniker, proud of being a Westie.
“Sydney; a mini United Nations”
NSW has the highest migration of any Australian state, and Sydney – a global city, receives most of this growth. In this city of diversity, the city’s newest citizens form new tribes in its oldest suburbs.
South Africans have embraced Dover Heights,
The Chinese – Chatswood and Hurstville,
It’s little Lebanon in Mount Lewis,
Little England in Manly,
A lot of Vietnam in Cabramatta,
And the Maltese have made Arndell Park their own.
Now the number one surname in the Parramatta white pages is Patel.
“Sydney is undergoing an opportunity revolution”
And when it comes to work the CBD is no longer the cities undisputed top dog. Sydney is undergoing an opportunity revolution, with entrepreneurial hotspots sprouting up just about everywhere.
You’ve got the media and communications hubs around Surry Hills and Ultimo, and high-tech emerging in areas of Parramatta and even in Penrith. It’s not all just happening in the CBD alone.
The Changing Face of Sydney
Sydney has many faces, but what binds us, the one thing we all have in common is this often complex, always beautiful, ever-changing city.
It seems there is more armchair diagnosing of narcissism and calling people “narcissists” than ever before and social media is often the trigger of it and takes the blame. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is defined by the symptoms of behaviours of grandiosity and lack of self-awareness, an abnormal need for admiration, and often a lack of empathy toward others. While even a cursory look at one’s social media feed will show posts which seem to promote (and perhaps exaggerate) achievements and certainly the visual aspects of social media are preoccupied with appearance, beauty, status and success. While celebrity news and popular culture has for some time been permeated with these characteristics, this last decade has offered celebrity in the suburbs where everyone on YouTube can “broadcast yourself”, personal websites and blogs are de jure, and to exist without social media is seemingly to not exist at all.
Almost two and a half millennia ago Socrates wrote that “to do is to be” while now it seems that “to tweet is to be”. Such is the popularity of such communication platforms, if social media sites were countries, Facebook would be the world’s largest country with more active accounts than there are people in China. Twitter would rank 4th with twice the “population” of the USA and Instagram would round out the Top 10. While the speed of adoption of these communication platforms has been unprecedented- all of this occurring in less than a decade, the reasons for the take-up are varied. Certainly much social media activity is push-communication, with users wanting to publicise their latest activities and status, for many social media use is a genuine attempt to connect, to engage and to listen. However our latest research shows this latter group comprises just 1 in 5 social media users: the contributors who participate via social media as in any community- to share and participate, speak and listen, connect and contribute. Such are these times that the larger proportion of social media users- almost 4 in 5 are consumers, who largely use social media as an update channel to see what others are up to, and when posting something themselves, it is more broadcast and generic than personal and connective.
Most behavioural experts agree that narcissism is a condition not of biology but society- it is the social context not the genetic factors that are causal. In a world of always-connected, app-ready, mobile device saturated living, where every phone is a camera and we are ever just a few clicks away from posting our next contribution it is clear that social media has created an environment conducive to the growth of narcissism. However the apparent rise of narcissism may be more a factor of social media highlighting its existence and narcissistic-type behaviours rather than of itself creating more narcissism. Indeed some of the negative press social media receives is unwarranted. Selfies are given as the ultimate sign of narcissistic times, and combined with today’s must-have item- the selfie stick, an indicator of self-obsession. However most selfies are more “groupies” – not photos of oneself by oneself, but of a group and sent to other friends. Many (though not all) selfies are more about sharing a life journey rather than an unashamed exercise in self-promotion. So too the “status update”, the Instagram account and the personal blog: while such musing and sharing in our grandparents era was kept to a personal journal or limited to a family photo album, the current approach is definitely more public but most of it is a long way from fitting the pure definition of narcissistic grandiosity and an overwhelming need for admiration. In fact the Australian characteristics of keeping things “fair dinkum” and “not blowing your own trumpet” are still part of the local approach. The tall poppy syndrome remains a powerful social norm to ensure that no one gets “too big for his boots” or is “putting on airs”. The Australian values of community mindedness and looking out for each other ensure that empathy remains strong and narcissism is kept at bay- even this great screen age.
In the USA during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, the alphabetical list of names was exhausted, so scientists looked to the Greek alphabet for names. This nomenclature of moving to the Greek alphabet after exhausting the Latin one has a long history with meteorologists. Scientists of all disciplines use the Greek alphabet as a labelling sequence and as sociologists in naming the next generation we have followed this nomenclature too.
While many people are still gaining an understanding of Generation Y and educational academics are beginning to focus on Generation Z. In Australia alone there are almost two million children born since the end years of Generation Z (1995-2009). With generational analysis having moved from a stage of foundation to consolidation, a more predictable labelling system is being formed. Globally there is consensus on the alphabetised theme of Generations X, Y and Z, but for this latest generation, it is not the end of the old or a recycling of the current but the start of something new.
Generations Y and Z are often referred to as 21st-century generations. However, this upcoming generation is truly the first millennial generation because they are the first to be born into the 21st century (while many Zeds have been born into the 2000s, its oldest members were born at the tale end of the 20th century).
In our survey on the generations we asked respondents what they thought the generation after Z might be called. For many, the logical answer to our question was ‘go back to the beginning’. Generation A was suggested by 25 per cent of our respondents. The respondents who suggested Generation A said the labels also signified what we can expect of this generation and their times: a new and positive beginning for all, with global warming and terrorism controlled. Respondents who suggested the following labels made similar comments: the Regeneration, Generation Hope, Generation New Age, the Saviours, Generation Y-not and the New Generation. Others suggested the label ‘the Neo-Conservatives’ because the upcoming generation will have grown up aware of their impact on the environment and the economy.
Some respondents suggested the label ‘the Millennium Generation’, perhaps appropriate given the fact that this next generation will be the first to have been born into the21st century. However, this label will probably never be adopted; after all, both Generations Y and Z have already been referred to as the Millennials by demographers, writers, commentators and bloggers—particularly those in the US.
Other suggested labels were reflective of our tech-centric age. Many of these labels have also been used to refer to Generations Y and Z and again for this reason probably won’t be taken up: Net Generation, the Onliners, Global Generation, Generation Tech, Generation Surf and the Technos.
Those born globally from 2010-2024 we have labelled as Generation Alpha. If we look at Strauss and Howe’s generational theory, the next generation is predicted to spend its childhood during a high. We are currently living through the crisis period of terrorism, the global recession and climate change. By the time Generation Alpha are all born and moving through their formative years, these threats, among others, may have subsided. If that happens then this generation will begin their lives at a new stage, a global generation beginning in a new reality.
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. While William is the 2nd most popular name overall, it is still the most popular boy’s name in the ACT, and the NT.
Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana; A Royal Influence
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 in 2012 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.
While 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.
Prince George Alexander Louis; A Royal Influence
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. Alexander’s popularity has also been impacted with an increase in rank from 15th to 9th in 2014.
Despite having only influenced parents for a period of less than 18 months to the end of the 2014 calendar year, the number of baby boys named George has dramatically increased, from 364 in 2012 to 640 in 2014.
As Australia's social researchers, we love research that takes the pulse of the nation and reveals something of who we are. We are passionate about research that is engaging and that tells a story. So here are 35 interesting statistics about Australia, highlighting how much we have changed over the last 100 years!
100 years of change: 1915 to 2015
In 1915 Australia was a young nation in more ways than one — our average age was just 24 compared to 37 today.
Back then it was the Northern Territory which the census showed had the oldest median age (41.7) with Tasmania the youngest (with a median age of 22.4). A century later this has completely reversed with Tasmania being our oldest state (median age of 40.8) and the NT at 31.5 — the youngest.
In 1915 men outnumbered women by more than 161,000. Today it is women who outnumber men in Australia by more than 105,000.
In Australia in 1915, those aged 65 were classified as being of ‘old age’. Less than one in 20 Australians was aged 65 or over compared to almost one in five today.
The number of aged pensioners has increased by more than 31 times in a century from 72,959 in 1915 to 2.3 million today.
The percentage of the Australian population aged under 15 has halved over the last 100 years. While the under 15’s comprised 31 per cent in 1915, today they comprise just 15 per cent.
Amazingly in 1915 there were 4,289 Australians ‘born at sea’, which meant that the 10th most likely birthplace for Australians born overseas was actually born at sea.
Remarkably the top five birthplaces of Australians born overseas has hardly changed: In 1915 it was, in order UK, Germany, New Zealand, China and Italy. Today it is UK, New Zealand, China, India and Italy.
Over the last 100 years Australia’s population has increased almost fivefold from just under five million to almost 24 million today.
The average household today has two less people in it than in 1915: from an average of 4.5 people to just 2.6 people today.
In 1915 there were 45,364 marriages registered per year while a century on there are 2.6 times more marriages registered at around 119,000 per year.
However while marriages have increased by 2.6 times, divorce numbers are up 95.7 times. 1915 saw just 498 divorces recorded compared to today’s annual numbers exceeding 47,000.
Back in 1915, Sydney was the city where most Aussies resided. However, Adelaide today has twice the population of Sydney back then.
As many people live in Sydney today (4.9 million) as lived in the whole of Australia in 1915.
Melbourne is seven times larger today than it was in 1915. In fact the Gold Coast has a larger population today than Melbourne had back then when it was home to the Commonwealth Parliament.
Australia’s population growth rate has almost halved in a century from more than 3 per cent per annum to 1.6 per cent today. However it remains the second fastest growing nation in the developed world — in 1915 it was beaten only by Canada, and today only by Luxembourg.
The population of Perth has seen the greatest growth rate of any Australian capital in a century. In 1915 the population of Perth was 106,792 while today it is 2,107,000 which is almost 20 times the size!
Brisbane has also experienced great growth over the last century, increasing by 16.6 times its population of 139,480 back in 1915 to 2,329,000 today.
The population of Adelaide has also experienced steady growth over the last 100 years from 189,646 people in 1915 to 1,318,000 today, which equates to 6.9 times its size of the century.
Hobart has experienced the least growth of all Australia’s major cities, only increasing by 5.5 times its 1915 population of 39,937 to its current population of 220,000.
In 1915 most of Australia’s population growth came from natural increase (births minus deaths) which accounted for almost three fifths of growth with just two fifths coming from net migrations (permanent arrivals from overseas minus permanent departures). Today this statistic is reversed with two fifths of our growth from natural increase and three fifths from immigration.
In 1915 there were just 2,465 university students in Australia while today there are almost 1.2 million — an increase of 480 times!
While a loaf of bread would have cost you 3½ pence in 1915, today a loaf could cost you around $2.50 and milk has gone from 3 pence per litre to $1.50 today. However land price rises have been even more significant with for example land blocks in newly developed suburbs such as Asquith for £200 compared to more than $600,000 today.
Back in 1915, the vast majority of the population (96 per cent) associated themselves with the Christian faith, while today this has dropped to 61.1 per cent.
A century ago the biggest religion after Christianity was Judaism (0.38 per cent) then Confucianism (0.12 per cent), Islam (0.09 per cent) and Buddhism (.07 per cent). Today Buddhism (2.5 per cent) has the most Australian adherents after Christianity followed by Islam (2.2 per cent), Hinduism (1.3 per cent) and Judaism (0.5 per cent).
While all the mainstream religions other than Christianity have increased their share of the population, the option with the biggest increase has been “no religion” and “agnostic” having gone from 0.6 per cent a century ago to 22.5 per cent currently, an increase of more than 37 times.
Today we have 4 times more students attending a state school than we did 100 years ago. Back in 1915, 593,059 students attended a state school compared to 2,406,495 today.
There are also a lot more students attending private or catholic schools then there were 100 years ago, eight times more in fact. Back in 1915 only 156,106 attended a private or Catholic school, compared to 1,287,606 today.
100 years on, due to increased migration capacity, less residents of our population are Australian born than they were a century ago. Back in 1915 more than four in five (82 per cent) people were Australian-born. Over the century this figure has decreased to 71 per cent of the population.
Australia’s European-born population has also decreased from 15 per cent of the total population in 1915 to 10 per cent 100 years later.
In the last 100 years Australia has only planted two new cities: places that had no population base and are now stand-alone cities: Canberra (our 8th largest currently) and the Gold Coast (6th largest).
By the end of World War 1, 420,000 men had enlisted which was around 39 per cent of the population of men aged 18 to 44. In 1915 there were 367,961 males aged 18 to 26.
When WW1 began in 1914, there were 161,910 more males than females in Australia. By the end of 1918 there were 83,885 more females than males nationally.
In WW1 there were 219,461 Australians killed, captured or injured in battle which was a casualty rate of almost two thirds of all those who embarked, and is the equivalent of one in five of the total 1915 Australian male population aged 18 to 44.
The total Australian soldier casualties in WW1 exceeds the total number of adult males currently living in the state of Tasmania.
It was predicted that 2015 would be a year of reflection as the country remembers the centenary of the ANZACS at Gallipoli and the military sacrifices of the 100 years since. A recent survey conducted by McCrindle Research demonstrates the high regard in which modern day Australians hold the ANZACS and their impact on shaping the identity and values of Australia today.
A Year of Reflection
The lucky country is in 2015 being transformed into the reflective country. This is largely attributed to the centenary of the ANZAC landings, and on which rests the anticipation of record attendance at ANZAC services around the country as well as the big events at Gallipoli. But it isn’t only April 25th that will be big in the calendar, the entire year is set to have centenary reflections of Australians involvement with WW1, causing us to reflect on sacrifice, loss, duty and the makings of modern Australia.
‘2015 will see Australia unusually reflective. Self-analysis is not part of our national psyche yet the year ahead will see us looking back, looking in, and remembering. It will not be a year of sadness – just sombreness – the ‘no worries’ attitude subdued for a while. Australians love a celebration and this land of the long-weekend is good at enjoying the journey – but the year ahead will bring some heaviness to the journey, and some healthy introspection as well’.– Mark McCrindle
ANZAC Spirit Alive Today
By the end of World War 1, 420,000 men had enlisted to serve at war, which was around 39% of the population of men aged 18 to 44. As we approach the centenary of ANZAC Day we take a look at the likelihood with which Aussie’s today would enlist to serve at war today.
Gen Y Men Most Likely To Enlist
While 1 in 4 (25%) Australians would enlist for a war today mirroring the global conflict of WW1, this figure increases to 1 in 3 (34%) among the male population across the country.
Gen Y males (aged 21-35) would be the most likely generation to enlist with more than 2 in 5 (42%) indicating so and mirroring the same representation of males aged 18 to 44, 100 years earlier (39%). As Australian males get older, the likelihood of them enlisting for war decreases.
There are 2.59 million Gen Y males in Australia today (those born 1980 to 1994). In this survey, 13% have stated that ‘yes definitely’ they would enlist in such a scenario, which equates to 335,482 from this age group (21-35 year olds) and is equivalent to the number that signed up in this age group a century ago.
ANZACS Influential in Shaping Australia’s National Identity
The characteristics which define us as a nation – mateship, freedom and respect have all been heavily influenced by the ANZACS and their sacrifice at Gallipoli 100 years ago according to modern day Australians.
Nearly all Australians surveyed consider the ANZACS to have been influential in shaping Australia’s ‘sacrifice for others’ characteristic (98%) and the Australian expression of ‘mateship’ (97%). More than 3 in 4 (78%) of those who indicated this felt the ANZACS were extremely or very influential in this regard, highlighting the formative role of the ANZACS when it comes to these components of Australia’s values and national identity.
Majority of Australians also believe that the Anzacs were heavily influential in shaping the following components of Australia’s character:
Earlier this month the Australian Government's Intergenerational Report was released, ‘outlining and assessing the long-term sustainability of current Government policies and how changes to Australia’s population size and age profile may impact on economic growth, workforce and public finances over the next 40 years’. (Aust Gov).
Social researchers and demographers Mark McCrindle and Claire Madden have given thought, analysis and media commentary on the report’s content, as well as implications this has for Australia moving forward.
Mark McCrindle on the Intergenerational report
Claire Madden on the Intergenerational report
1. Is increased immigration the answer to work participation shortages?
Currently, three fifths of our population increase is through migration with only two fifths from natural increase, so it’s already pretty high by historic levels. Also, migration doesn’t necessarily reduce the average age, since it is 37 for both an Australian and similarly a migrant coming in. So while increased migration meets the immediate workforce need, it will also add to the ageing population. Certainly it has been critical to Australia’s growth and will remain important into the future however it is just one part of the solution. The Intergenerational Report addresses the three P’s – population, productivity and participation. Participation refers to how the workforce can allow people to work later in life, as well as how workforce options and flexibility can build the participation of more young people and women. So apart from population factors, participation and productivity hold the key to future economic prosperity.
2. What jobs will help and pop up over time?
With the decline of manufacturing and the whole industrial base in Australia, there has always been talk of Australia moving to this knowledge economy and service jobs. I think from an older Australian perspective, if we do want to work through our 60s and 70s it is going to have to be in more technology-type roles rather than manual roles. But that’s part of the problem of the third P – productivity – we must ensure that we add the jobs to accommodate this and jobs that older people, students and others want to take up.
3. What does this mean for our cities?
Australia’s capital cities make up a significant proportion of Australia’s population. Because we are adding more than a million people every three years, we need to accommodate and plan for that – the infrastructure has to be there. People are not moving further and further out they are moving into the infill, into vertical communities. Infrastructure investment is critical to maintain the quality of life that Australians have come to expect.
4. Are intergenerational households set to increase?
Due to the increase in the cost of housing, we are going to see intergenerational households increase. Young people who can’t afford the $900,000 median house price in Sydney will be staying at home longer, as well as older Australians that don’t want to move into supported aged care, who will move back in with their families. So we are going to see a lot of change in household structures – where we are living and how we are living.
5. Will 2055 present a better experience of living in Sydney than today?
If you look at Sydney now it’s as good as it’s ever been. In fact the lifestyle is such that people are moving into the inner suburbs and we are seeing the renewal of areas that just a decade ago were not desirable. So I think we can find solutions. As this report says we do have to work, not harder – people don’t want to work longer or harder – but smarter. We’ve got to find some innovation skills and technology skills to solve the 21st century problems.
6. What challenges do Gen Y face in the wake of Australia’s Ageing Population?
It is certainly a challenge with the ageing population, the impact on government budgets, meeting the growing service demands, workforce shortages, leadership succession, wealth transfer and generational change. Keep in mind that the ageing of our population is a good news story. We are living longer, active later and able to work and contribute far more than any previous generation. But expectations will have to be managed. We have found in our research that some in Gen Y have a lifestyle expectation that they will be able to start their economic life in the manner which they have seen their parents finish theirs but such growth and gains are not always possible and should not be expected.
7. How does Gen Y’s situation differ from that of Gen X and the Baby Boomer generation?
The Baby Boomers certainly benefited from the post war boom, an increase in house worth and have had four decades of an economic boom. They’ve had stable economy and rising incomes over that time. And while we are at a point where the earnings have increased over the last couple of decades, wages have not kept up with the pace of house prices. So four decades ago the average earnings were $7600 in a year, while today it is around $72,000 so quite an increase, almost tenfold. But over that same period of time houses have increased by thirtyfold.
8. Considering the difficulty for Gen Y to become first home buyers, will we see a big preference shift among young Australians with regards to buying their first home?
The desire to buy a home is deep in the Aussie psyche, it’s the Aussie dream to have a place of your own but not necessarily a detached house with a backyard and a shed and a hills hoist. The Baby Boomers could pick up an average house in Sydney for $28,000 a couple of decades ago – now the average Sydney house price is over $850,000 so that is a dramatic change. Apart from the affordability challenge of such a home, there are changing lifestyles as well with new generations seeking not just a suburban life but an urban one, closer to public transport and more walkable communities. We are witnessing in Australia right now massive generational transitions.