Halloween is growing in Australia, but many are still spooked by the day...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkins | Halloween is growing in Australia | McCrindle Research BlogWith the scariest date in the Australian calendar on the horizon, research conducted by McCrindle Research in 2011 showed a quarter of Australians (26%) planned to celebrate Halloween last year, with 8% certain that they would. Over half of those (51%) with primary school aged children planned to get spooky last Halloween and 7 in 10 (71%) Australians said we are celebrating Halloween more than we used to.

Despite Halloween’s growing popularity, new research conducted by McCrindle Research in October 2012 showed that it still has a long way to go, with 2 in 5 (41%) seeing it as the “least meaningful” special event day of the year. In fact, just 2% of respondents rated it as the most meaningful to them.

Click here to download the Research Summary as a PDF.

Graph: Which of the following special days are the most or least meaningful to you?

Generationally speaking

Those in Generation Y (aged 18-31) were far more likely to have celebrated Halloween in the past than Generation X (aged 32-46) and the Baby Boomers (aged 46-65). When asked whether they had ever celebrated Halloween before, 53% of Gen Ys had, compared to 45% of Gen Xs and 40% of Baby Boomers.

An Australian Halloween

The 2011 research showed providing treats for trick or treaters is the most common Halloween activity, with 64% of those celebrating Halloween planning to take part in this activity, rising to 79% among families with primary school aged children. Even those who are anti-Halloween aren’t necessarily going to turn away a trick or treaters. While 64% of Australians weren’t planning on celebrating Halloween, a smaller number said they weren’t planning on giving anything to trick or treaters (46%), showing there are a number who would still give treats out despite their own personal view of Halloween.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of those celebrating Halloween planned to go trick or treating with family or friends, rising to 57% among those with primary school aged children.

Pie chart: Top three ways of getting involved in Halloween

And as for the uninvolved…

45% of those who did not intend to celebrate Halloween in 2011 would not do so because they saw it as an American tradition. This was a common belief, with 64% of all respondents selecting America as the origin of the holiday. Still, some did look further back, with nearly 1 in 5 (19%) survey respondents believing Halloween was a Celtic tradition.

“Halloween does have its challenges to becoming mainstream in Australia; firstly because of its American roots, secondly because of it’s dark themes, and thirdly because it involves Children knocking on strangers doors and requesting lollies to consume! However, despite these set-backs, Halloween continues to grow from a commercial perspective.” Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle

Click here to download the Research Summary as a PDF.

Spring has sprung and it's the season of weddings!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weddings and Marriages infographicThe weather is warmer and the days are finally longer. Here we are in October, the most popular month for weddings in Australia!

McCrindle Research conducted a little study into wedding and marriage trends in Australia and put together an infographic outlining the statistics and trends. Scroll a little further to see.

For more stats and trends download the Research Summary here.

Weddings + Marriages Infographic | McCrindle Research

Click here to download the Research Summary.

Australians and the acceptable apology

Thursday, October 18, 2012

McCrindle Research Apology Study | Sorry!Research conducted by McCrindle Research highlights what Australians think makes an acceptable apology and what doesn’t cut it!

Australians are excellent at apologising with 93% indicating they always or mostly offer an apology for something they’ve done wrong. 2 in 5 are even quick to apologise if they are not 100% sure they are the one to blame (42%).

Some demographics were more likely to apologise quickly and in a humble manner. Below are three key groups for whom saying sorry seems to come a little easier.

Click here to download the Research Summary.


Women are more likely than men to quickly admit they made a mistake, with 48% of women stating they are quick to apologise, compared to just 39% of men. Women were also more likely to respect someone for saying sorry, due to the courage and humility it would take to do so (89% compared to 82% of men). Men were more likely than women to be satisfied with the “non apology” (as outline below), while women were more likely to prefer the “unreserved” apology (also outlined below).

Older Australians

Older Australians are far more inclined to say sorry than the younger generations. 48% of Builders (aged 66 and above) say that would apologise quickly even when they aren’t sure it’s their fault. This compared to 41% of Baby Boomers, 44% of Gen Xs and just 37% of Gen Ys! Similarly, 93% of Builders said they would respect someone more for apologising, compared to just 76% of Gen Ys.

Those with a significant other

Perhaps having learnt the art of swallowing your pride, those with a significant other were more inclined to apologise quickly. 43% of this demographic would apologise quickly, compared to 40% of those without a partner.

McCrindle Research Apology Study | How often would you apologise?

It’s all in the wording

It’s not just making an apology that matters, but how you say it as well. Below are the key apology styles and how likely they will be accepted, as well as some famous examples.

McCrindle Research Apology Study | Which phrases would be acceptable?

1. The 'unreserved' apology

The most acceptable apology in the eyes of Australians is the most humble. 94% of us said that the best apology is one that leaves no room for pride and the apologiser acknowledges that they were wrong and are sorry for it. Moreover, they ask for forgiveness.

2. The 'thorough' apology

This type of apology is still acceptable for many Australians with 89% likely to respond well to the wording, “I’m sorry for saying those things about you - please forgive me”. This approach sees the one saying sorry taking ownership over what they said and again, asking for forgiveness. However, unlike the last apology, the apologiser does not admit that they were wrong.

3. The 'disclaimer' apology

In this type of apology, the culprit admits that the words they used weren’t good but there is no further admission beyond that – with a statement like “Please accept my apologies for the words that I used”. Even though this type of apology doesn’t really get to the heart of what has been done, 76% of Australians still think it is appropriate.

4. The 'share the blame' apology

Moving further away from apologies that admit wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness, this type of apology simply admits regret for the other person’s hurt with a statement like “I regret that my words may have hurt you”. 3 in 5 Australians still believe this sort of apology is fine, compared to 2 in 5 who do not.

5. The 'non-apology'

The non-apology is not so much an apology, as a message to the offended to “get over it”. The non apology, expressed with a statement like “If any offence has been taken from my words then this is unfortunate”, is disliked by nearly 8 in 10 Australians and only considered acceptable by 22%. Good examples of a non-apology are phrases like, “mistakes were made” with no indication of by whom!

Respecting those who say it

Not only are Australians quick to say sorry, but we respect others who humbly apologise. 85% of Australians respect someone more for saying sorry, while for a further 15% it doesn’t change their opinion either way. Only 1% of respondents would think less of the person.

Click here to download the Research Summary.

Australian Communities Forum: The Brochure

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Australian Communities Forum Brochure | Download | McCrindle ResearchWe're counting down the weeks to our inaugural event, the Australian Communities Forum, which will be held on Friday November 16th, 2012 in Sydney.

Click here to download the brochure.

We have a fantastic line-up of speakers from various industries who will be sharing their experiences, including social researcher and demographer Mark McCrindle, Chris Raine, Founder of Hello Sunday Morning, former Senator Guy Barnett, and Solaire Eggert, Manager - Economic Development of Parramatta City Council.

The day will cover four main topics: Communities Defined, Communities Engaged, Communities Equipped, and Communities Inspired. It will offer a demographic and social overview of Australian communities, equip leaders with resources to better connect with communities, and uniquely it will facilitate networking opportunities across the commercial, not-for-profit and government sectors. The Forum will deliver the latest information in an interactive format, with innovative local examples, and the sharing of great ideas.

For more information you can download the brochure or visit the Australian Communities Forum website.

If you're keen to register you can do so by:

  • Filling out the rego form (on the brochure) and fax it to our office at (02) 8824 3566
  • Registering online
  • Freecall 1800 TRENDS (1800 873 637) and pay over the phone

The first Generation Zs of Australia face their final exams

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gen Z to start their HSC exams | The McCrindle Blog

Our most formally educated generation to date starts their Year 12 exams.

15 October 2012: Today is a generational landmark, as the first of Australia’s “Digital Integrators” (Gen Zs) commence their final school exams. This research summary looks at who comprises Generation Z, their experience of education today and the jobs of the future they are being trained for.

Who are Generation Z? (Born 1995-2009)

Australia’s 4.6 million Generation Zs are almost exclusively the children of Generation X, and they are truly the 21st Century generation, with the whole of their formative years lived in this century. While they are today’s children and teenagers, by the end of the decade they will comprise 12% of the workforce.

Click here to download the PDF.

Armed with an education: Our most formally educated generation in history

Australian youth today are spending more time in education than any other generation, with 71.2% of high school graduates going onto further education and training (45.6% of whom go onto university). Generation Z will be Australia’s most formally educated generation to date with many schools already exceeding the Federal Government target that by 2015 90% of students nationally will complete Year 12.

Digital integrators: The next generation of digital entrepreneurs

Today’s adults are digital transactors, using the latest technology but in a structured, procedural and task focused way. However young people can best be described as digital integrators – being exposed to digital technology from their early formative years, they have integrated it seamlessly into their lives rather than using as a tool through which they transact. A social trend we have noticed is that the majority of Australian teenagers do not wear wristwatches as their mobile phone is an integrated device which provides for them the time as well as dozens of other applications. Exams provide the terrain in which generational conflict emerges – phones are banned yet time management is a key part of examination success. Additionally, with online education growing in popularity, this generation of Year 12 students may be the last to complete their final school exams with pen and paper, a trend we’re witnessing with e-tax overtaking traditional tax returns and millions of Australians opting for the eCensus over the paper form.

Cyber Bullying: New challenges for a virtual generation

With nearly all young Australians engaging online with their peers, it is a sad reality that a third of students (33%) have been bullied in a context outside of the playground, whether via social networking websites (such as Facebook), instant messaging, text or email. Home is no longer a safe haven from bullies, as cyber bullying can take place anywhere and spread quickly.

Click here to download the PDF.

Going to the chapel... or the park! Wedding and marriage trends in Australia

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wedding and marriage trends in Australia | The McCrindle BlogAnalysis of the latest ABS marriages data (ABS cat 3310.0) shows record wedding numbers and also a growing preoccupation with memorable wedding dates. With Spring the most popular season to tie the knot, and auspicious dates highly sought after (10/10/10 was the most popular wedding date in 2010 and the 11/11/11 last year), wedding venues in Australia should brace for a few busy days over the next three months.

Click here to download the full Research Summary.

Lucky in numbers

October was the most popular month for weddings in 2010, being in the middle of the most popular season for weddings, and helped by the sequence of numbers in 10/10, and in particular the most popular date of the year being 10/10/10 with 2,454 weddings taking place. Australians certainly place their faith in numbers as this was the only day that a Sunday exceeded the Saturday of the same weekend in relation to the number of weddings. Our focus on numbers is a growing phenomenon. In 2007, 28% of weddings held in July took place on the 07/07/07, while in 2008 1,444 couples held Friday weddings just to snag the 08/08/08. The 09/09/09 also proved popular, with 7 times more weddings on that date than any other that month!

When they are taking place

While Saturday is the most popular day to get married on by far, Fridays and Sundays are gaining momentum, perhaps as couples fight for the best venues and prices in an industry that turns over 4.3 billion a year (IBIS World 2011). Interestingly, Friday is continuing to boom and on some weekends in 2010 this day was even more popular than Sunday.

Transitioning wedding months

“The wedding industry is seeing a migration away from Summer as higher venue prices, competition for venues and increased flexibility in taking leave from work influence couples as they choose a date. Similar to the travel industry, shoulder seasons have replaced Summer as a more desirable option when it comes to tying the knot.”

“The trend to civil weddings is also driving the season. With church attendances declining, the one time Australians were likely to pass through the church doors was for a wedding, but now just 30% of all weddings are conducted by ministers of religion. This has led to a trend of more varied locations for ceremonies, many of these with an outdoor aesthetic where the climate matters more than for the church wedding,”
- social researcher Mark McCrindle

Whilst the statistics from 2012 aren’t in yet, October has been the most popular month for weddings for the past few years, with 15% of 2010’s nuptials occurring in this month. Other months that rated highly including March (10.7% of weddings), November (10.6% of weddings) and April (9.3% of weddings). June was the least popular month to tie the knot, with just 1 in 20 weddings taking place (4.7%). Up in the Northern Territory however (perhaps to escape the heat), June is the most popular most, with 17.6% of the states marriages taking place in that month.

How many we average per day: Australia sees an average of 332 weddings per day, with this figure rising to an average of 577 in October, the busiest month of the year, and down to 190 in June, the quietest month of the year.

Across the states and territories

Queenslanders had the highest wedding ratio in 2010, with 0.6% of the state’s population tying the knot and an average of 73 weddings per day. NSW came in at a close second, followed by Western Australia. Northern Territorians were the least likely to tie the knot with 0.4% of the population saying “I do” in 2010.

Click here to download the full Research Summary.

Australians' attitudes towards special events and holidays

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Australians attitudes towards special events and holidaysChristmas is the most meaningful public holiday of the year for Australians (37%), followed closely by Anzac Day (30%). When it comes to special events and occasions, Mum’s the word, with half (48%) of us seeing this special day as most meaningful –10 times more than those who selected Father’s Day (5%)! But Halloween has us spooked, with 2 in 5 seeing it as the least meaningful event of the year.

Click here to download the Social Analysis.

Public Holidays

It’s nearly been 100 years since the battle at Gallipoli that birthed ANZAC day and the interest and respect for this public holiday is as strong as ever. In fact, over a quarter of us (30%) feel Anzac Day is the most meaningful public holiday to them. Comparatively, other Christian holidays such as Easter were considered less meaningful, with just 15% selecting the Easter long weekend...that’s just 4% more than those whom selected Australia Day!

While we all appreciate the work-life balance afforded by our 8 hour work day, 29% felt Labour Day was the least meaningful public holiday of the lot – second only to the Queen’s Birthday (34%)! In fact, just 1 in 100 Australians feel Labour Day is the most important public holiday of the year!

“This study is a fascinating insight into what matters to Australians – and there are certainly some surprises. While the spirit of courage and mateship as exemplified by the Aussie digger still rings strongly, with Anzac Day and Remembrance Day deeply significant for us, the interest in 19th century labour reforms as celebrated by Labour Day and May Day has waned.”
- Mark McCrindle

Special events and festivals

Highlighting that Halloween may never achieve significant traction in Australia, just 2% of respondents rated it as the most meaningful to them, while 2 in 5 (41%) saw it as the least significant event of the year.

Mother’s Day was by far the most meaningful day, with nearly half of all respondents saying this day mattered most for them (48%). Sadly for the nation’s Dads, for every respondent who selected Father’s Day (5%), 19 said celebrating their Mum held the most meaning to them.

Similar to Anzac Day, our nation is certainly patriotic about our troops and the freedoms they have fought for, with 28% seeing Remembrance Day as the most important special occasion day of the year.

While National Sorry Day has only been around for 14 years, already 1 in 20 Australians see it as most meaningful to them – around the same amount who ranked Valentine’s Day as number 1. However, it has yet to achieve national importance, with the second highest number of “least meaningful” responses, after Halloween.

“In this Land of the Long Weekend, Australians still love a public holiday, however meaningful reflection and heartfelt celebration is not easily given. In Australia, Jesus, mums and our Diggers still hold a revered place as demonstrated by the strong meaning attached to Christmas Day, Mother’s Day, ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day compared to all other special days in the year.”
- Mark McCrindle

Click here to download the Social Analysis.

Play the McCrindle Research Conference Cliché game at your next event!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Conference Cliché | Game | McCrindle Research'Tis the season for conferences and events!

If you’ve ever been stuck in a meeting or conference with the management clichés flowing thick and fast, wondering if you’ll ever again see the light of day, then we hear you, and have designed this Conference Cliché game just for you. While you should avoid clichés like the plague, they make for a fun game so bring it on we say and circle 5 in a row and you’ll be #winning. It’s a no brainer, play McCrindle Research’s Conference Cliché at your next event – it’s not rocket science, in fact it’s all good!

Click here to download the PDF 

The reality is that clichés are a dime a dozen. To be honest, many people want closure on cliché use but having said that they’re not taking ownership of their language - go figure. Clichés are the low hanging fruit of management speak and because most of us are so over them, we need to take this on board, and if it’s doable, give them the flick!

This McCrindle Research project studied Australians nationally to find the most annoying clichés working Australians hear around the water cooler so we have unpacked this important issue in the hope that leaders can get on the same page as their workers and cut these over used clichés - it might seem like climbing Mount Everest, and it may not happen overnight, and while there’s no silver bullet solution, when it comes to curtailing clichés, never say never. Having said that, if all else fails, these 24 clichés can be read out to make a winner of a speech, so go for gold!

Click here to download the PDF 

McCrindle Research on Pinterest & Instagram [read: Follow Us!]

Tuesday, October 09, 2012
McCrindle Research | Social Media | Pinterest and Instagram

At McCrindle Research we can appreciate that not everyone relishes in statistic-heavy and wordy reports. That's why we want to be as engaging as possible in sharing our research findings in as many different ways and through as many channels as we can!

So for those of you who are more visually stimulated, McCrindle Research are now on Pinterest and Instagram. We'll work stats and figures, social analyses and research summaries into photos, infographics and more. If you're on either of these social networks, be sure to follow us! :)

Find us on both Instagram and Pinterest under the username: McCrindleResearch

See you there!
- The McCrindle Team -

"By Popular Demand" - Mark McCrindle's latest and most requested keynote presentation topics

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Mark McCrindle is a social analyst with an international renown for tracking global changes, and analysing social trends.

In our research fields of demographic change, social trends, employment shifts and technological and consumer influences, nothing stays the same for long and innovation is key.

This is mirrored with the speaking topics and issues that are most requested of Mark and therefore the content of his presentations and the sessions that he creates are similarly ever-changing. Here are some of his newest and in-demand sessions:

  • Trends and Tactics with Social Media: Engaging with New Communities, Connecting with Emerging Customers
  • 21st Century Consumers and the Key Influences Upon Them
  • A Demographic Snapshot of Australia Now and Towards 2020
  • Understanding and Engaging with Generation Z
  • Strategic Trends Forum: The External Environment

Want more details? Click here to download the PDF.
For more on Mark visit his website, Twitter, or check out the video below!

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