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.


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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 ascent 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 alluded 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

Uncovering Australia’s middle market [BDO Case Study]

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Today we launch the results of McCrindle's latest analysis into Australia’s dynamic mid-market, commissioned by BDO Australia.

In our research, we discovered that the mid-market is a mystery. People seem to understand what small business is and even big-business – but the middle market is less defined. To be clear, this is where the action is. These are growing businesses, dynamic, fast-moving, entrepreneurial in nature, exploring new regions and new markets, and embracing technology.

Defining the mid-market

There is a lack of clear consensus as to what counts as the ‘middle’ and how to define the ‘market’. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), for example, defines medium sized businesses as those who employ between 20 and 200 employees. Based on employment size, there are 51,024 medium sized businesses in Australia, and these medium sized businesses account for just 2% of the 2.2 million businesses recorded by the ABS.

For the purpose of the research, we define the Australian middle market as businesses with an annual turnover between $10 million and $250 million. This definition is based on data used by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Their definitions divide Australian businesses into seven size categories that range from ‘loss’ on the lowest end of the spectrum to ‘very large’ on the highest end. Businesses earning between $10 million and $250 million are defined as being ‘medium to large’ in size. Businesses in this category contribute close to one fifth of net tax (18% - almost $13b to the Australian economy, and produce nearly a quarter of Australia’s total revenue (23%; $645bn).

It is clearly a misunderstood space – so at McCrindle we have assisted BDO with the data to better understand the mid-market, and spoken with senior executives from mid-market companies to understand the challenges they face in the current business landscape.

Opportunities for the mid-market

Leaders in the mid-market face opportunities and challenges uniquely connected to their business size.

In a changing economic market, middle market players have the advantage of being nimble and agile, not subject to hierarchal structures in the way larger companies are. They are strongly focused on innovation. For leaders in the middle market, innovation has moved away from just being about the product to the systems and processes through which the product reaches the consumer. Business leaders see technology as a key way to adapt in a world of digitalisation, particularly internal technological innovations. They also recognise the challenge of securing suitably skilled talent to continue to drive growth in their businesses.

To read further, access the full report here.


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


Merry Christmas from McCrindle

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas, Australia!

Especially to the 305,377 newborn Australians experiencing their first Christmas and the 6,268 enjoying their 100th (or more) Christmas!

We hope you enjoy unwrapping the technological, experiential, and jewellery gifts you are hoping for this year. Enjoy decorating your Christmas tree, which would be over 8 million Christmas trees if every household in Australia had one! 

From all of us at McCrindle we hope you enjoy the infographic we have created, and that amidst the busyness of the season you have time to connect with family and friends, reflect on the Christmas story and enjoy the many things that make this country great.

Have a Merry Christmas, and a fantastic 2018!

- The McCrindle Team

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.

Which Australian Capital City with have the best weather on Christmas Day?

Friday, December 15, 2017

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the numbers reveal Perth, Adelaide and Canberra have the best chance of perfect weather on December 25th! 
The historical data reveals that all three cities are likely to have an average temperature in the high 20s and less than 20% chance of rain.
On the other end of the spectrum, Darwin has the highest chance of rain and a sweltering average of


From all of us at McCrindle, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas a safe and happy New Year!

Redefining Sydney’s urban lifestyles

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It was a pleasure to partner with Urban Taskforce Australia to produce the “Sydney Lifestyle Study”, launched to a room of urban developers, government representatives, and industry stakeholders this week.

The 2017 Sydney Lifestyle Study is a first-ever research study on Sydney’s apartment dwellers. Insights from the ABS and a new survey of 1,503 Sydney residents shed light on the different demographic segments in Sydney apartments and their lifestyle choices, habits, motivations and reasons for choosing apartment living.

Click here to download the full report.

Sydney’s changing lifestyles

Australia in the 1990s

A lot has changed in Australia over a very short period of time. Over a quarter of a century ago, in the year 1991, the population of Australia had just surpassed 16 million.

  • The median age was 32 years old and median individual income was just $13,950 per annum.
  • More than one in three (36%) Australians lived in New South Wales where individual income was slightly higher at $14,395.
  • Home owners in New South Wales paid a median monthly mortgage repayment of $627 while renters paid just $128 per week.

Modern Sydney

Fast-forward to today and the Australian population is on track to reach 25 million persons in early 2018.

  • That’s more than 50% higher than in 1991.
  • Our population has increased our median age to 38, both nationally and in New South Wales.
  • Today, median personal income in New South Wales has reached $34,528 per year while median mortgage repayments have more than doubled at $1,986 per month.
  • Median rent has nearly tripled to $380 per week.

Sydney’s urban lifestyles

Such population growth is changing the housing stock in Sydney. Sydneysiders have been trading traditional detached homes for apartments at an increasing rate. Currently, 30% of all households in Sydney’s urban area now live in apartments.

Sydney’s growing apartment market is comprised of nearly half a million households, representing many diverse cultures, languages and backgrounds.

McCrindle has identified four emerging urban family household types within Sydney’s apartment market. These are Vertical Families, Cosmo Couples, Solo Metropolites and One-Parent Households.

Vertical Families

Vertical families make up one in five apartment households (20%).

They are most likely to be young Gen Ys as nearly two in three (64%) are aged between 23 and 37.

Cosmo Couples

The second emerging family type who are increasingly adopting the apartment lifestyle are urban couples.

The number of couples with no children living in apartments has increased by 21% since 2011 and now represents over one quarter (27%) of apartment households.

Solo Metropolites

Sydney’s largest apartment segment is made up of lone persons (34%).

Three in five are renters (63%) and the largest generation represented are Baby Boomers aged between 53 and 71 (37%).

One-parent families

The fourth urban segment is one of the smallest but by no means insignificant. Single parents with children comprise one in 12 apartment dwellers (8%) in Sydney.

Single parents living in apartments are most likely aged between 38 and 52 (49%).

Sydney’s future forecast

Sydney in 2024

If the current trends observed across Sydney over the past five years continue, the number of traditional detached houses could drop to 49% by as early as 2024.

Filling the gap apartments would then make up 34% of Sydney’s total housing stock. The remaining housing stock (17%) would be made up of semi-detached or terrace housing.

These insights and more can be found in the Sydney Lifestyle Study Report.


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


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