Food Insecurity in Australia

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

We recently teamed up with Foodbank Australia to research and understand food insecurity in Australia.

The report, Rumbling Tummies: Child Hunger in Australia is a collation of data collected via an online survey of 1,002 parents in Australia. The survey was designed by McCrindle and explored the experiences of children living in food insecure households, from the perspective of their parents.

One in five children in Australia live in a food insecure household

In fact, it is more likely for a child to live in a food insecure household than an adult. Research conducted in 2017 found that 15% of Australians experienced food insecurity in the previous 12 months, while 22% of children experienced food insecurity over the same period.

Going hungry is a common occurrence for many children. One in three parents living in food insecure households (32%) say their children do not have enough to eat at least once a month because they cannot afford to buy enough food.

One in five parents living in food insecure households (22%) say their child goes a whole day without eating any fresh food at least once a week. Devastatingly, almost one in ten of these parents (9%) say their children go a whole day without eating at all at least once a week.

The cost of living is the main cause of household food insecurity

Unexpected expenses or large bills (52%) and housing payments (38%) are two of the most prominent causes of food insecurity in households with children under the age of 15. The cost of living forces parents to choose between paying their bills and feeding their family. More than half of parents (56%) have not paid bills in order to have enough money to buy food for their household.

Download the full report here and the full infographic here.

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Understanding Generation Y

Friday, April 06, 2018

The future can be prepared for by looking through the lens of the new generations. So how does the next generation think? How do the emerging community of leaders and influencers perceive the world around them?

The millennial mindset is characterised by a new way of seeing reality. Millennials (an interchangeable term for Generation Y, born from 1980 to 1994) are post-literate; post-logical, and post-loyal.


This next generation consume information differently. For them, technology is not simply a tool. Millennials engage with technology as a form of ‘natural language’.

As a post-literate generation, they have an entirely different relationship with technology. Technology for them is not about productivity or doing more – it’s their fundamental way of connecting with the world.

Social media is a new social fabric of both interaction and action: a platform for crowd intelligence and a reshaping of the relationships that people have with one another and even with themselves.

Social media is not simply another channel, but a fundamentally new and different way in which young people organise and live their lives.

With 4.7 quintillion bytes of data created every day, it’s no wonder that the next generation are more comfortable with icons and symbols that communicate meaning, rather than text.


The 20th Century world of structure, sequence and order has given way to a post-categorical era. From information being accessed in an alphabetically structured encyclopaedia to now being a few clicks from any field of information.

Classrooms have moved from a format of chairs and desks facing the front to embracing more interactive learning forms. Teachers were once the deliverers of content and are now facilitators of the learning process.

Climbing the career ladder within an organisation has given way to growing a career by moving across different organisations and industries. The categories of for profit and not-for-profit have also shifted. Today, two-thirds of millennials would be just as likely to support a social enterprise as a charity.

Customers look for an experience not just an outcome- making decisions based on the social, emotional, relational influences, not just the rational ones.


The next generation are in many ways post-loyal. They don’t just give their trust without it being earned. They are the most educated generation in history, and through their connectivity demand any-time any-where access to information. They want more information, evidence and experience before deciding. Consumers today are demanding greater choice, control, immediacy, relevance, personalisation, and transparency.

More than previous generations, the emerging customers want an experience that is tailored to them, and their input. They want to be part of the story. They want to be co-creators of the communication and service delivery. This has facilitated the rise of the sharing economy.

Business to Consumer (B2C) models have traditionally been characterised by a small group of large businesses serving huge numbers of unconnected customers. The disruption of the digital marketplace enables consumers to transact with one another and with the businesses they’re interacting with, on an equal footing.

It also means they compare the experience they have with us to every other experience they have in life, and every other person or business they can directly connect with and engage.

Religion in Australia is not dead

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Download the full Faith and Belief infographic here.

The latest Census results reveal a picture of a changing Australia. Those identifying with ‘no religion’ rose from 21.8% in 2011, to 29.6% in 2016. But is there more to the religion in Australia story? Our Faith and Belief research indicates that there is.

Churchgoing this Easter

More than half (52%) of the Australian population identify with a denomination of Christianity. Our Faith and Belief research showed that 15% of Australians who identify with Christianity attend church at least once a month. We can therefore conclude that 3.5 million Australians will be attending church this Easter.

Top suburbs by religion in Greater Sydney

Analysis of the latest ABS Census data for Greater Sydney shows the top suburbs by religious affiliation.

The ‘spiritual, but not religious’

Our Faith and Belief research study replicated the ABS Census question, but added in an option for ‘spiritual but not religious’, which had a response rate of 14% among Australians nationally.

Religion in Australia is not dead

More than two in three Australians (68%) follow a religion or have spiritual beliefs. Of those that do, almost half (47%) remain committed to the religion of their upbringing

Religion and spirituality a popular topic of conversation

When gathering with friends, more than half of Australians (55%) often or occasionally talk about religion or spirituality. Generation Z (65%) are the most comfortable talking the topic, while the Baby Boomers are the least with 51% never talking about it with their friends.

A genuine faith the greatest attraction to a religion or spirituality

Observing people with genuine faith is the greatest attraction to investigating spirituality. Second is experiencing personal trauma or a significant life change, and third is stories or testimonies from people who have changed due to their faith.

Perceptions of Christianity and the Church

Australians most value the Church and Christian organisations for their work with those in need, specifically looking after people who are homeless, offering financial assistance/food relief programs and providing disaster relief (74%, 72% and 69% respectively). 8% of Australian adults (1.5 million) do not know any Christians, while for Generation Y this is almost one in ten. One in 29 Australians have never heard of Jesus.


5 key principles to decipher demographics and data analysis

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Our Research team recently opened the mysterious black box for our clients on ‘how to use demographics and data analysis to drive organisational change’. We held a breakfast event in our Norwest office to provide a masterclass on this pivotal topic and here’s a snapshot of what we shared.

1. Value data

Despite the 4.6 quintillion bytes of data created every day, the right data still has exceptional value. The key is to understand what data is valuable to your organisation.

2. Prioritise data

The data that is a priority for analysis differs for individual organisations. Data is personal (unique), powerful (a lever you can find and adjust) and profitable (knowing your target market better than others gives you a competitive edge).

3. Categorise data

Our Team Leader of Analytics, Tim Edwards, shared a strong, yet simple approach to categorising data by differentiating whether it is internal or external. Internal data refers to capturing and responding to the data created within an organisation, and is a critical pathway on the ‘data journey’ of every organisation.

External data is about understanding the context, the sector and society in which an organisation operates. External data is vital tool for organisations looking to future-proof themselves against the demographic, social and technological trends shaping Australia.

4. Visualise data

The power of storytelling was unpacked by our Team Leader of Communications, Ashley Fell. You can see Ashley’s TEDx talk on ‘The power of storytelling’ here, from which she shared insights on the power of converting spreadsheets to infographics that are visually engaging, and can be consumed quickly in today’s time-poor workplaces. Ashley regularly speaks to schools, board rooms, and conferences on engaging Gen Z in the school, marketplace, community and workplace.

5. Integrate data

The final part of our masterclass assisted organisations to use data to drive organisations in strategic planning. We regularly assist organisations through DESTEL Enviro-scans to inform strategic planning from an ‘evidence bank’ of data.

And so in a world of big data ...

Understanding the trends through demographic and data analysis is for everyone. If we can help your organisation with collecting, analysing, visualising or communicating internal or external data, don't hesitate to get in touch.

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.

Five Factors Defining Generation Z

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Generation Z born from 1995 to 2009, were shaped in the era that society started looking at screens more than at faces. 

Therefore, many of the names given to this generation highlight the impact of the digital era on their formative years: the net generation; screenagers, click n go kids, the igen, the Ygen, generation connected, Google generation, the digital natives, the kids.

Not only is technology globally ubiquitous, but we as humans are significantly outnumbered by technologies. 

Today there are almost 50 billion connected devices on the planet - that is seven times larger than the number of people!

This generation of children and teenagers will comprise almost one third of the entire workforce within a decade. 

Five factors defining Generation Z

Digital change is constant, ubiquitous and fast. 

There have been periods of intensive change in history before, of course. But unlike other periods of significant upheaval – the agricultural or industrial revolutions, for example – the digital revolution has no borders or boundaries. Half of the world now use a smartphone, and 75% have access to a mobile device. 

What's more, emerging economies are adopting technologies as fast – or in some cases faster – than developed parts of the world. For example, 12% of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa have a mobile money account, while globally only 2% do.

Generation Z are our first truly global generation. 

Not only are the music, movies, and celebrities global as has been the case for previous generations, but through our global connectedness so are their fashion, foods, entertainment, social trends, and communication patterns.

Generation Z are truly social in nature. 

If social media sites were countries, Facebook would be the largest at 1.5 billion, followed by China at 1.4 billion, India at 1.3 billion and Instagram at 400 million.

Generation Z are mobile. Constantly on the go, moving from place to place – they are moving homes, jobs, and careers faster than ever before. 

Today’s school leaver is expected to have 17 jobs across 5 careers and live in 15 homes in their lifetime.

Generation Z are visually engaged. 

YouTube is a close 2nd global search engine, and more than 100 hours of content gets uploaded every minute. If you were to watch just the content that has been put up this week, it would take you 115 years.


For more information on our research and visualisation services, please feel free to check out our Research Pack, or get in touch!

P: 02 8824 3422


Reviving a Golden Era

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Two decades ago, Australia was beginning a golden era economically, socially and internationally.

In 1998 the top marginal tax rate was 47% which is the same as it is today (currently 45% plus 2% Medicare levy), and there was no GST. The unemployment rate was on its way down, beginning its ten year run of falling unemployment. Average earnings were growing solidly and consumer sentiment was strong.

House prices were rising, but back then you could buy the average house in a capital city for around one-quarter of what you would pay today. Sydney, then as now, had the most expensive homes nationally, but the median house price was just $248,750 – compared to more than one million dollars today. Interest rates were the lowest they had been for 28 years, at 6.7% and there were further falls to come. The federal government budget was brought into surplus for the first time in 9 years and it marked the start of a string of 9 more surplus budgets.

The Australian stock market was at record levels, and almost every month of that year it closed on a new high. It was the start of the tech era, with dot-com companies abounding, digital start-ups blossoming and mobile phones slowly replacing pagers on the belts of many workers.

It was an era of political stability on both sides of politics. By the end of the year, the Howard government was re-elected for a second term and John Howard would remain Prime Minister for the next nine years. The opposition leader, Kim Beasley, had been in the role for two years and would remain there for another three.

There were no international wars or conflicts in which Australia was involved. Sydney had won the rights to host the 2000 Olympics and was amidst an unprecedented construction boom. The national psyche, perhaps with an eye to the global stage that this nation would soon be, was one of optimism, and anticipation.

It was a simpler time- smartphones were a decade away, entertainment usually involved a trip to the video story to pick up a DVD if not a VHS, and Hey Hey It's Saturday was still a hit on TV.

But a look back to this era leaves Australia in 2018 with some big questions. Where did we lose our optimism? What happened to our excitement about what the future would bring? And how do we get our mojo back?

While we could point to the troubled state of politics, the uncertain economy or the complexity of life today as factors, perhaps much of the answer rests with us. Back then, the Baby Boomers were still in the family years, the Gen Xers were twenty-somethings making their way in the world, and Generation Y were just children or young teenagers. If we can lift our sentiment, regardless of the circumstances, and borrow some of the positivity from our younger selves, this will no doubt raise the national mood.

We created those times, and we can influence these times too and so bring new meaning to that iconic phrase of 20 years ago: "let's party like it's 1999".

Leading Teams in Changing Times with Ashley Fell

Friday, February 02, 2018

Leadership. There must be thousands of blogs, articles and books written about it. It's certainly front of mind for almost anyone who works in a team.

However, being an effective leader today is implicated by the inter-generational workplaces that are emerging. Where Baby Boomers and Gen Zeds, who have different expectations, learning habits and communication styles, collide.

Our research shows that the ideal manager is one who values communication and creates an environment of transparency and respect for staff.

Particularly for the emerging generations, their preferred leadership style is one that is more consensus than command, more participative than autocratic, and more flexible and organic than structured and hierarchical.

Here are 5 tips on how to lead people, your team or your organisation, so that people will follow.

1. Prioritise people

Leaders prioritise culture and build it within their organisation. By knowing your purpose (that is, what you do and why you exist) you can instil this into your team, and lead with a values-based vision.

2. Be collaborative

The best leaders intersect the differing levels of their organisation to make a cohesive and united team. While you might have senior leaders, managers and executives within an organisation, leaders bring these roles together to create alignment under the one vision.

3. Focus on the positives

Leaders focus on the positives, spread words of affirmation and celebrate the wins within their team. When things don’t go to plan, leaders initiate a culture of focusing on the positives, and using the negatives for improvement.

4. Shape the culture

Effective leaders shape a culture of participation, not isolation. Collaboration is key for 21st Century organisations, and by utilising the different skill sets and talents within a team, leaders will not only find more effective solutions and ideas but also bring out the potential in the members of their team.

5. Be proactive, not reactive

Leaders are proactive, not reactive. A proactive leader is one who sees opportunities or potential, and acts to make effective change, rather than waiting to respond. They are not victims of change but rather see the trends, shape a response and create the future.

So in a world of flat structures and consultative practices, it is leaders who coach and mentor rather than command and control, who understand and connect with their teams who will see people follow them.

Ashley Fell, Head of Communications at McCrindle

About Ashley Fell

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst and media commentator, she understands how to effectively communicate across diverse audiences.

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley advises on how to achieve cut through in message-saturated times. She is an expert in how to communicate across generational barriers.

Download Ashley's professional speakers pack here. 

What's in a surname?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The vast majority of women still take their husbands surname after marriage.

So, where does the tradition of taking the husband’s surname come from and how has it evolved over the years?

This tradition goes back many hundreds of years, to patriarchal times when it was almost unquestioned that a woman would take on the husband’s name. However, since then we’ve certainly seen a lot of change.

Across Western Europe, even if a bride might socially take on their spouse’s name, people keep their maiden names for life. In China the tradition of changing a name after marriage is not commonplace, and in Russia it is very uncommon to take on a new surname after the wedding.

In the Spanish-speaking world, it is very common to adopt both the mother’s and father’s name, and give their children a double-barrelled name.

What about in Australia?

Australia is quite conservative, with more than 80% of brides taking on the groom’s surname. About 10% of women keep their own name and this number is growing, particularly as women study later, engage in more education, and get established in their career longer before getting married.

Watch the full interview including real-life case studies below.

Work-Life Balance in Australia

Monday, January 15, 2018

It was January 1948 that the Commonwealth Arbitration Court gave official assent to the 40 hour, five day working week in Australia.

The public push for this work-life balance often included the symbol of ‘888’ with the accompanying statement of the daily ideal: 8 hours’ work, 8 hours’ recreation and 8 hours of sleep. However, 70 years on, it seems that this balance has eluded most Australians.

When it comes to discretionary time that is not allocated to either paid or unpaid work (such as housework and caring responsibilities), working Australians are enjoying around 3.5 hours per day.

Across every age group, Australian men have more leisure time, on average per day, than women. The average adult male in Australia has 34 minutes more leisure time than the average female which equates to 4 hours per week.

The 2016 Census data shows that we are still working long hours in paid employment too. Of those with a job, 2 in 5 are working beyond the 8-hour day, and way beyond it when commute time is included.

The resulting time pressure and stress, particularly amongst women

Women feel more stressed and pressed for time than men in Australia, with 35% of Australian men and 42% of Australian women in this ABS study released in September 2017 stating that they were always or often rushed or pressed for time.

Women are almost five times more likely than men to feel this way due to demands of family.

Men are as likely to feel no time pressure as constant time pressure. Women are much more likely to often/always feel rushed and pressed for time than to never/rarely feel this.

Eight hours of sleep? Closer to seven



Women outworking men in total time spent in work

Over the last decade, women have increased their paid work hours while men have plateaued here. While men have marginally increased their unpaid weekly work hours, it has done little to close the gap with women.

Total time spent working (paid and unpaid) by women in Australia significantly exceeds that of men in couple households, regardless of whether the woman earns more, less or the same as the man.

Watch Mark McCrindle's full interview on Ten News Here

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