Generation Z: The World’s Largest Generation

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Those born from 1995 to 2009 and aged between 9 and 23 are referred to as Generation Z. They comprise a quarter of the global population – almost 2 billion in total making them the largest generation in history.

Top 3 countries by Generation Z

Interestingly, while the largest populations by country are China, India and the United States, the largest countries with a Generation Z population are India, China and Indonesia.

To find out more information about this global, digital, social, mobile and visual generation, please see our infographic below.

Our McCrindle Speakers regularly deliver keynote presentations and workshops on Understanding and Engaging with Generation Z.
If you are interested in obtaining a speaker for an upcoming event, please feel free to get in touch.

Aussie Sentiment Towards Christmas

Monday, December 18, 2017

Our recent survey of 1,002 Australians reveals that while there may be some debate about the Christmas story in our religiously diverse world, Australians don’t want to lose the true meaning of Christmas.

Our annual research on best or worst gifts reveals technology is still voted the best gift to receive and novelty or decorative items once again are the least desired.

True meaning of Christmas still a strong sentiment

Over four in five Australians (85%) prefer the traditional greeting of “Merry Christmas” compared to more neutral salutations like “Season’s Greetings” (8%) and “Happy Holidays” (7%).

Although there are some debates around whether the Christmas Story should be shared, nine in ten Australians (91%) support nativity scenes in public spaces. Just 9% of Australians say shopping centres and local councils should not display these decorations.

Religious insights

Even Australians who practice a religion other than Christianity or have no religious beliefs are happy to see a nativity scene in public spaces (91% of those with a religion other than Christianity and 86% with no religion think 'it's great' or they 'should be allowed').

Generational insights

The older generations (Generation X, Baby Boomers and Builders, 87%) are more likely to prefer the more traditional Christmas greeting, “Merry Christmas,” compared to the younger generations, Generation Z & Y (81%).

The best gifts… and the worst

With so many new and exciting gadgets hitting the market each year, it is no surprise that nine in ten Australians (90%) rate technology as the best gift, or one they wouldn’t mind receiving. Experiences remain high on the wish list at number two for over four in five Aussies (83%). Jewellery comes in at number three with just under three quarters of Australians (74%) saying this would be their best gift or that they wouldn't mind receiving it.

On the bottom end of the scale are novelty gifts which are rated the worst gifts. Almost three in five Australians (57%) say they wouldn’t like to receive such trinkets or that it would be their worst gift. Ornaments and decorative items come in second last (54% state they wouldn't like to receive it or that it would be the worst gift).

For Australian women, the top three ‘best gifts’ are experiences (36%), technology (35%) and jewellery (29%). For Australian men, the top three ‘best gifts’ are technology (37%), experiences (17%) and food gifts (16%).

Generational Insights

Although technology is perceived to only be enjoyed by the younger generations, this research reveals technology is actually the number one ‘best gift’ across all generations.

Experiences are rate second across all generations, except the Builder Generation (aged over 72), for whom a food gift is considered to be the best gift.

Download the full media release here

About this study

This research was conducted by McCrindle in November 2017 based on a nationwide study of 1,002 respondents.

For media commentary or enquiries, please contact Kimberley Linco at or via 02 8824 3422.

Gen Z Career Aspirations & the Future of Work

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What do Gen Z aspire to be when they grow up? Social researcher Eliane Miles was recently asked to unpack the latest findings from the Australian Institute on Family Studies on ABC The Drum.

Gender-based career preferences

The research identified there are significant gender differences among Gen Zs aged 14 and 15 when they think about their possible futures. Boys gravitate most towards engineering (14% of those who stated an occupation), information technology (10%), construction (9%), automotive (8%), or sports (6%), while the top five occupations chosen by girls were medical professionals (13%), education professionals (11%), legal (11%), personal services (7%), and performance arts (7%). Just three occupations (health, design, and performance arts) overlapped among both genders when looking at the top ten list.

Girls need more inspiration to move towards STEM

While are naturally career preferences that appeal to each gender (with Eliane’s commentary highlighting that this is strongly linked to parental influence, as shown in our work with the Career Industry Council of Australia), there are challenges that may emerge for women in future-proofing their careers.

We know that Australia’s workforce is at the cusp of significant change. In 2030, the majority of the jobs that we will do (85%, according to Dell Technologies) are not yet invented. Yet 75% of the fastest growing careers require STEM skills – qualifications and skills in science, technology, engineering and maths. As we look across Australia’s educational landscape, just 16% of STEM graduates in our nation are female, highlighting the continuing need to lift the profile of STEM careers for female school-leavers among parents, educators, and media personalities.

Fantasies or a new work order?

There were a disproportionate number of ‘fantasy-type’ occupations listed in the AIFS study, things like ICT (‘games developer’, ‘YouTuber’, and ‘blogger’), sports (professional AFL player), and performing arts (actor, ballet dancer). And, not surprisingly, 41% of young people aged 14 and 15 didn’t have a clue as to what they want to do when they are older.

This uncertainty of the future is to be expected, and not only among Gen Z. In an era of multiple careers, lifelong learning, the gig-economy, in which digital disruption is bringing whole sectors to an end, and new jobs are emerging each year (nanotechnology, virtual reality engineers, user-experience managers, data designers etc.), what will the future of work look like?

Our average length of job tenure is now less than three years, and three in ten workers now work casually or contractually (up from one in ten three decades ago). Today’s school leaver will have multiple jobs (17) across many (5+) careers, and part of their reality on the job is that they will constantly be learning. We all will be. By 2030, workers will be spending at least 30% more time on the job learning.

As the workforce shifts (with 32% of our workforce comprised of Gen Z in a decade’s time), so will our mindsets in regards to careers and the future of work. Yes, Gen Zs will bring idealism and self-assuredness, but they will also bring a new wave of entrepreneurialism that might just be what we need to face disruption and manage change. They, and we all, will need to increase our level of critical thinking, problem solving, and digital skills as we move towards this new reality.

About Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, business strategist and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends. 

If you would like to have Eliane Miles speak at your next event, please feel free to get in touch. 

Download Eliane's full speakers pack here and view her show reel video below.

The Fastest Growing Suburb in NSW

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Willowdale in Sydney’s south-west is a suburb that has emerged from rural acreages in just a few years. It sits in the Cobbitty-Leppington area which is the fastest growing region in NSW, Australia’s largest state.

In 10 years, the population of Cobbitty-Leppington has tripled, from 6,000 to around 18,000 currently. Yet it sits in the south-west growth corridor which comprises three of the 10 largest growth areas in NSW. These large growth areas include Elderslie-Harrington park, Mount Annan-Currant Hill and Cobbitty-Leppington, and together they have grown by almost 30,000 people in the last decade.

One of the reasons for the population growth of these areas is the more affordable new housing on offer.

The median house price in this new suburb is around $650,000 compared to the Sydney median house price of almost $1.3 million.

“The Aussie Dream is still alive in Sydney. People can afford not only a house with a back yard in a new community, but one at half the median Sydney house price” - Mark McCrindle

About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle 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. Download Mark's full speakers pack here.

Food Insecurity in Australia

Monday, October 16, 2017

It was a pleasure teaming up with Foodbank Australia, to conduct new research into the hidden problem of food insecurity in Australia.

What is food insecurity?

Food insecurity can be defined as “a situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life” - Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Despite our reputation as the “lucky country”, the issue of hunger exists in Australia but is largely unnoticed

The reality is that 3.6 million Australians (15%) have experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months. Three in five of these individuals experience food insecurity at least once a month.

Food insecurity impacts a wide range of groups in the community, and is not restricted to the unemployed or homeless. In fact, almost half of food insecure Australians (48%) are employed in some way, whether full-time, part-time or casually.

Our youngest members of the community are also impacted, as dependent children live in 40% of food insecure households.

The study shows how easy it is for someone to fall into food insecurity, given the rising cost of living

Financial pressures can create difficult choices, such as choosing between heating and eating. Two in five food insecure Australians (41%) have not paid bills in order to have enough money to buy food.

The experience of food insecurity is incredibly challenging and can cause a significant decline in quality of life for individuals and families. Skipping meals in these instances is quite common, and 28% of food insecure Australians report going for an entire day without eating in times where they have run out of food.

Download the full report here

Download the full infographic here

Australian attitudes towards coffee

Thursday, October 12, 2017

We were delighted to partner with Jura Australia to conduct new research to better understand Australian perspectives, attitudes and behaviours towards coffee.

Coffee is crucial for the survival of more than one in four Australians.

The love of coffee is strong in Australia, with more than one in four (27%) indicating they cannot survive the day without it, and 9 in 10 (88%) stating they like it to some extent.

Australia’s younger generations have a greater dependency on coffee, with around a third needing it to survive the day (33% Gen Y and 30% Gen X). By comparison the Builders generation are the most likely to see coffee as something nice to have but don't need it (45%).

We also don’t mind paying for what we love, with more than four in five Australians (84%) spending money on coffee in an average week.

Three quarters of Australians have at least one cup a day.

Three in four Australians (75%) enjoy at least one cup of coffee per day, and of those, 28% have three or more cups per day! Those who prefer instant coffee are the most likely to have three or more cups per day.

Instant Vs espresso, who wins?

Australian coffee drinkers are evenly divided between those who prefer instant coffee (39%) and espresso coffee (39%).

Older generations are likely to prefer instant coffee, whilst a preference for espresso coffee is higher among Australia’s younger generations. The Builders generation are the exception, with two in five (42%) preferring espresso coffee.

Coffee is most enjoyed at home.

The majority of Australians who drink coffee will make a coffee at home on a usual weekday (86%). However, when it comes to purchasing a coffee from a café, younger generations are more likely to do so than their older counterparts (61% Gen Z, 53% Gen Y cf. 36% Gen X, 33% Baby Boomers, 26% Builders).

Coffee drinkers who prefer espresso coffee are the most likely to purchase their coffee from a cafe (60% cf. 36% coffee pods, 22% instant coffee). More than three quarters of those who prefer espresso coffee (77%), however, will make a coffee at home on an average weekday.

Research Methodology

This research is a collation of data gained through an online national representation survey of 1,000 Australians over the age of 18 across the different generations, genders and states in Australia.

Get In Touch

If we can assist with any research, event speaking or infographic design please feel free to get in touch:

P: +61 2 8824 3422


Are the rich getting richer?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Australia has long been considered the land of the fair go. It is a nation regarded as a classless society where the suburbs were the social equalisers- a melting pot of lawyers and labourers, teachers and tradies.

The ‘great Australian dream’ where people on average incomes near the start of their working life could afford a home is fading and the latest data reveals a widening wealth gap.

What are the drivers of this wealth stratification?

Property prices and ownership

The latest HILDA data from the University of Melbourne showed that two decades ago, one in three young people aged 18 - 39 owned a property, compared to today, where just one in four young people own a property.

The impact of growing demand on house prices is most evident when comparing prices to average earnings. Twenty years ago, the average Sydney house was 5.6 times average annual earnings while in Melbourne it was an affordable 3.4 times annual earnings.

Today, Sydney homes are more than 14 times average earnings, and in Melbourne more than 11 times annual earnings.

Generational challenge

The generational financial inequities are even more pronounced when analysing net wealth by generational cohort.

While Gen Y have a household net worth of $268,800, it is less than half that of the Gen Xers who are just a decade older. The highest net worth generation in Australia are the Boomers aged 55-64 who not only have a net wealth almost 5 times that of the generation of their children (Gen Y) but they still have a decade or more of earnings and wealth accumulating ahead of them.

How can we level the playing field?

Policy has partly created the rising house prices through migration settings and therefore population growth. Policy settings have also created the SMSF demand for property and tax settings such as negative gearing have been a boon for property investment. Therefore policy could also assist in bringing a solution such as assisting in intergenerational wealth transfer or allowing superannuation fund access for first-home buyers. For a generation finding it harder to get a foothold in property, further research into possible policy adjustments is a worthwhile approach.

About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle 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. Download Mark's full speakers pack here.

A shift to volunteering in the NFP sector

Friday, August 18, 2017

Australia is a nation of volunteers. According to the latest Census results, almost one in five (19%) Australians volunteer through an organisation or group, which equates to 3.6 million Australians and is an increase of 2% since the 2011 Census. Our Australian Community Trends Report showed that this increases to 1 in 3 (34%) among Australians who give financially to charitable organisations.

There is an increasing desire of Australians to be involved in charitable organisations in an experiential way. This is particularly true among young people, who desire to go on a journey, have a tangible experience and develop a partnership, not just a transactional relationship of donating money and the charity does the work. The ability of an organisation to engage a donor on multiple levels and take them on a journey can increase loyalty and generosity towards the organisation. When Australians give of their time not just their money, there is an increasing sense of partnership and advocacy with the organisation they are engaging with.

Key motivators for volunteering

When it comes to volunteering, responsibility and satisfaction are the key motivators for volunteers with more than half (51%) indicating that they do so because of the feeling they get when they volunteer, or because they feel it is their responsibility to give back to the community (51%). Almost half (49%) are also motivated by their desire to make the world a better place.

Regular Vs. one-off

Australian charitable givers are volunteering more regularely than just a one-off. 61% of respondents indicated that they regularly give of their time, helping out once a month (24%) or at least a few times a year (37%). Two in five (39%) volunteer on a more sporadic basis with one-off activities such as Clean up Australia Day.

Time-poor students and young workers are more commonly participating in once-off activities while the older generations in retirement are more likely to volunteer very regularly for one or more charities. 35% of the Baby Boomers and 40% of Australians from the Builder generation who are charitable givers volunteer regularly for one or more charities. This compares to just 13% of Gen Y and 21% of Gen X. These young generations are more likely to participate in on-off activities instead of regularly volunteering (47% Gen Y and 41% Gen X).

How charities can engage consistent volunteers

The below mind-map shows some of the key strategies not-for-profits can use to engage consistent volunteers.


The challenge recognised by charitable organisations is the time and administration costs incurred with the management of volunteers. Some charities find it challenging to accommodate volunteers within their operations while others rely heavily on volunteers for the execution of their services or programs. Overall, the sector recognises that if it can navigate the challenges, there the countless opportunities for everyday Australians to both give back and have their own lives enriched through voluntary engagement with the not-for-profit sector.


Results are from a nationally representative survey of 1,510 Australians who give financially to charitable organisations at least once per year (80% of the total Australian population), as well as six focus groups and 14 expert interviews. Research conducted in September 2016.

Recap from the 2016 Census Results

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Rolling around only every 5 years, the Australian Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs. The Census has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia.

Last week, the results of the 2016 Census results were released and revealed a picture of our changing nation. Australia is larger, older, more culturally diverse and less religious than at any other time in history.

At McCrindle, our social researchers are passionate about communicating the insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Census media activity

Here is a recap of our media activity from last week’s census release:


Australia Street Infographic

If you lived on an average sized street in Australia comprised of 100 households, and these households were exactly representative of the Australian population, did you know that in a year, your street would see 1.2 marriages, 1.7 deaths and 3.3 births? These 100 households comprise 260 people, 49 dogs and 39 cats! There are 180 cars owned on the street, which each drive, on average, 14,000 kilometres each year.

We are delighted to present the brand new Australia Street infographic based on the just-released census data.

Click here for a summary of the findings from the Census data.

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.

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