Q and A: Fatherhood

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Where is fatherhood going, and how far has it really come?


1 in 5 Australians are dads. There are approximately 4.6 million fathers in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million of these have children aged under 18. The median age of a first-time dad today is 31, so today’s emerging generation of dads are Gen Yers and are parenting Generation Alpha, born since 2010.

Gen Alpha are the first generation of children to be shaped in an era of portable digital devices, and for many, the pacifiers have not been a rattle or set of keys but a smartphone or tablet device. A key role of fathers has always been to create a safe and supportive environment in which their children can thrive, and today this involves more than providing a physically secure home, but also a cybersafe one with 96% of households with children having internet access, and with Gen Alpha using personal digital devices at an ever younger age. However, Generation Y parents have been shaped in the digital world and so are better equipped to respond to new parenting challenges of managing cyberbullying, watching out for screen addiction, and ensuring child-friendly content. In the year that the oldest Gen Ys first became fathers in record numbers (2010), the iPad entered the market, “app” was the word of the year and Instagram was launched.

Our research has also found that Gen Y dads are not as competent or confident as their fathers were to change the oil in their car, repair a punctured bicycle tyre or fix a leaky tap, but in many ways, in an outsourcing era, they’re able to buy replacements or outsource those services. While they may have lost some of these traditional skills, they have picked up some new ones. Our research showed they are far more likely to be confident in changing a baby’s nappy, doing a grocery shop, buying clothes for their children and cooking a meal for their family.

Our analysis of Gen Y fathers has shown that they are parenting in ways that are responding to the changes relevant to these times and importantly, very relational with their children. This is important for this generation that was born in the 20th century, have entered parenthood in the 21st century and are shaping the first gen of children that will live into the 22nd century.


More on effective parenting strategies can be found in Mark McCrindle’s book The ABC of XYZ: Understanding The Global Generations.

Purchase it here.

Next Gen Dads: Parenting Screenagers and Digital Natives

Thursday, September 04, 2014

More Dads Than Ever

1 in 5 Australians are dads. There are approximately 4.6 million fathers in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million of these have children aged under 18. The median age of a first-time dad today is 31, so today’s emerging generation of dads are Gen Yers.

New Record Baby Boom

We are currently experiencing a baby boom in Australia, with birth numbers setting new records and exceeding 310,000 per year. This means that Gen Y will produce more children than any previous generation in Australia’s history. While the number of children per Gen Y family is significantly less than that of their grandparents (in 1961 the total fertility rate hit 3.5 births per woman), Generation Y parents are having more parents per couple than Generation X did. When Generation X were in their peak fertility years (turning 31 in 2001), this coincided with the very year Australia hit its lowest birth rate ever recorded in Australia (1.7). Now as Generation Y are reaching their peak fertility years we have a birth rate significantly higher, hovering around 2.0.

Introducing Generation Alpha

These Gen Y parents are giving birth to Generation Alpha – the cohort born since 2010. Generation Alpha are not only going to be the largest generation Australia has ever seen, but also the most globally connected, technologically savvy and materially endowed. Generation Y are delaying the traditional life markers, commencing their families in their 30s (compared to previous generations who did so in their 20s) so not only do they have many more years of earnings before they start their families, but they are also more likely to be double income households.

Parenting Screenagers

Generation Alpha are the first generation of children to be shaped in an era of portable digital devices, and for many, the pacifiers have not been a rattle or set of keys but a smartphone or tablet device. A key role of fathers has always been to create a safe and supportive environment in which their children can thrive and these days this involves more than providing a physically secure home but also a cybersafe home. 96% of households with children having internet access and Gen Alpha are using personal digital devices at an ever younger age. However, Generation Y parents have been shaped in the digital world and so are better equipped to respond to new parenting challenges of managing cyberbullying, watching out for screen addiction, and ensuring child-friendly content.

The Modern Dad

Our past research has found that Generation Y dads are not as competent and confident as their fathers were to change the oil in their car, repair a punctured bicycle tyre or fix a leaky tap, but in many ways, in an outsourcing era they’re able to buy replacements or outsource those services and they don’t need to do all those things themselves. Why they may have lost some of these traditional skills, they have picked up some new ones. Our research showed they are far more likely to be confident in changing a baby’s nappy, doing a grocery shop, buying clothes for their children and cooking a meal for their family.

Busier Than Ever

If fathers are feeling busier than ever, that’s because they are. The labour force participation rate shows that almost 4 in 5 fathers with dependent children participate in the labour force, with more than half of them working full time (an average of 7 hours 25 minutes per day) and yet at the same time, those with children aged under 15 are spending more time with their children, averaging 3 hours and 55 minutes per day. Additionally, almost half of all dads with kids aged up to 17 years old are also volunteering (46%), dads with full-time jobs are spending around 80 minutes a day on domestic work. So there’s little surprise that over a third of Australian men (34.9%) say that they always or often feel rushed or pressed for time, and 1 in 6 (16.3%) feel that their work and family responsibilities are rarely or never in balance.

Next Generation Parents

In the year that the oldest Gen Ys first became fathers in record numbers (2010), the iPad entered the market, “app” was the word of the year and Instagram was launched. Clearly they are parenting in a very different era to any other generation and will be facing new challenges never seen before.

From House-Hubbies to On-Duty Dads, Australian Fathers are Actively Parenting

Friday, August 23, 2013

Aussie dads are a diverse bunch. From workaholics to house-hubbies, McCrindle Research has crunched the statistics on what fatherhood looks like in 21st Century Australia... including what presents dad should expect to receive this Father’s Day!


A snapshot of fatherhood in Australia


20% of Australia’s population is made up of dads.  There are approximately 4.6 million dads in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million dads currently with children aged under 18.  Of these, approximately 156,000 are single-parent fathers, who look after 228,000 children, which averages at 1.5 kids for each single dad.


Stay-at-home dads


ABS figures show that in Australia there are approximately 144,000 stay-at-home dads with dependent children. This means that of the 4.4 million dependent children in couple families where one parent is employed full time, 3% have a mother who is employed, while the father is not.


Fatherhood - a later life pursuit


There is certainly a trend of fatherhood becoming a delayed life stage, with the average age of a new father now 33.1 years of age! The Northern Territory and Tasmania are home to our nation’s youngest dads, with the median age of fathers at 31.5 and 31.7 years respectively at the child’s birth. However, Victoria and the ACT have the oldest dads, with a median age of 33.7 years at birth.


Time spent fathering the same... but roles are a-changing


While fathers spend roughly four hours a day caring for their children (the same in 2006 as it was 11 years before in 1997), the role of the father has significantly evolved. In a study conducted by McCrindle Research in 2010, it was uncovered that men under 30 are less likely to be adept at building a cubby house, fixing a tap or a punctured tire, but more likely to be able to change a baby’s nappy, bake a birthday cake, wash clothes and drop the kids off at school. In comparison, mum’s spend 8.5 hours caring for their children, up from just under 8 hours in 1997.


Work hard for the money


Our nation’s men are more likely to feel their work and family responsibilities are out of whack, with 16% saying these are rarely or never in balance (ABS, 2007). This could be due to the fact that men with children do not work any less than men without children – that is, 42 hours per week on average. This shows that while our dad’s are working hard, they still greatly value time with their greatest asset - their children.


Googling the perfect present


Interestingly, Google search trends show “Father’s Day” was one of the most popular searches in Australia... in June! Rather than it being about shoppers getting in early, this shows the globalisation of the day as the “when is Father’s Day” searches peaked in Australia on Sunday June 16 which was America’s Father’s Day and obviously many Aussies were caught unawares, thinking they had missed the day!

For those who got the date right, we can see some interesting trends in what presents people are considering for their dads. By using Google analytics and exploring what Australian’s are googling in the ‘shopping’ category recently, we’ve seen some interesting trends, and the search “gifts for men” and “father’s day gifts” are near the top of the shopping search terms. The top searches in the days before Father’s Day last year were:

  1. GPS navigation devices. This shows that perhaps dads today, though evolving in many ways, still share one fundamental attribute... that is, they’d still rather not stop and ask for directions!

  2. Soccer rose strongly in popularity in Australia and perhaps a dad or two is looking to get on field, with a sporting retailer specialising in soccer supplies at the top of the search list.

  3. Hardware and outdoors supplies rose to the top of the charts.

  4. For the rev-head dad, we also saw a car merchandise suppliers in the top ten.

  5. The traditional ‘socks and jocks’ approach seems to have moved online. In the weeks before Father’s Day 2012 we saw ‘shoe size conversion’ trending in Google search... perhaps dad got some fancy European loafers or German Birkenstocks!


References:

ABS, McCrindle Research, Google Analytics 2012, 2013.


For further demographic analysis and the latest insights, visit our Resources Page.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

entrepreneur ultimo Channel Seven consumer criminal ashley mckenzie post rationalism Christmas presents click manly sydney market infographic investing university digital economy ACT Report ethnography names generation alpha high school state cica trend giving global generations education growing population aussie culture travel consumerism low density society trends Northern beaches Event future mateship World Water Day Christmas in Australia mccrindle tea breakfast monarchy baby names australia report financial fears community event professional development future-proof 23 million Research Executive tea marriages demographic trends urban leadership eliane miles McCridle generational trends the hills System's Architect January 26th professional speaker darwin data visualisation google new office Australia street workplace office space ease of travel property apartments daily commute urban living hills hopes mover and shaker care support What is food insecurity? WA gig economy sustainable baby name surname mining boom baby names socialising friends cooking Myth national wealth average sydneysider waverton child care emerging generations Assistant Store Manager volunteering data McCrindle Speaker high density apartments baby visualisation baby names report data analyst ACF2017 gold coast selfie employment mccrindle research huffington post teaching survey charity Australia Day Royals village language Generation Y weekly earnings trends Macquarie University Maxim Accounting business school students motivate budget award winner Scouts finance learn Hills Shire Council national crime rates 1980 population growth demographic transformations social shifts Australian Trends 2020 career teacher Queensland house price rise work from home sunburnt country households townhouses social life year 12 residents New South Wales donate suburban living millionth educated Duchess of Cambridge Financial Planning Association Financial Planning Week winter blues contiki bondi TEDx Speaker demographic repayments identity australians staying home more priorities Australian Census demographer rent insight teach cancel plans trends of 2017 surnames society maiden Mark McCrindle in the media Northern Territory spend video prince george casual Vocational education cash jobs census results going out social commentator trends analyst christian baby name trends average Australian tattoos 1994 mother's day professional emerging trends Skilling relevant staying in acf15 population milestone parents rain plans work mates intern PSI learner debate crows nest collaborative gen alpha norwest economic Christmas research jobs of the future engagement cloudy days easy rider growth Jura Australia rising house prices speakers pack housing trends mentor careers presentations culture New Zealand investor Financial Planning Association of Australia professional services housing growth housing hello fresh networking clothing 10 years entrepreneurs of today media shbc qualitative research snapshot families business index keynote speaker public holiday hornsby Work place food bank cars organisations social commentary pharmacy overcast Australia Day 2017 Generation X google for education SA growth of sydney media activity ashley fell Deaths brisbane study Christmas Stats JOMO increasing densification potts point do people still change their surname after marriage? social trends future of shopping goals communities sydney hills Black Friday in Australia mythbusting house conferences young people English lifestyle housing market workshop storytelling CBD politics the lucky country Tuesday Trend unemployment Social Trend shopping social impact Kirsten Brewer SMSF speakers ageing population charities The Daily Edition Research Director belief sunny days christianity Lower Hunter population screenage mortgage digital celebration housing affordability stats conference presentation McCrindle Keynote Speakers impact social researchers product new york times 2016 interactive TEDx innovation eliane Channel 7 brand experience micro sports social media nfp Real Estate Institute of Victoria Australian Families cultural diversity commuters DESTEL work optus focus group weather infographics toys sydney event rule keeper the hills shire community 24 million Willowdale business performance NFP event world The ABC of XYZ NEETs census urban taskforce educhat perth Valentine’s Day communicate high density living renter of the future grandparents faux-cilise menai woolworths global royal baby organisational culture skills thrive volunteer Business analysis leadersip Education Future Forum brands not for profit property market friendship speajer forecast micro apartments facts paying to work father's day commute Charlotte neutral bay technology the australian dream online shopping community engagement schools Adelaide infographic wall Sydney Lifestyle Study seasons greetings internships ACT Christmas data earnings mythbusters hills shire Hornsby Shire Council bus local events internship social enquiry ideas cancelling plans aged care research social lives learning wolloomooloo non profit Tuesday Trends change Performance Sentiment Index work-life TDE Australian demographics stay home crime data research data education research earn faux-ciliser demographics princess charlotte Mount Annan-Currant Hill FPA quote sydney speaker focus groups entertainment ABS resource debt newspaper christmas futurist professional presenters dreaming Netflix list capital cities christmas trees happiness supply and demand land of the middle class goal Lower Hunter Region define moreton bay student meetings office opening tv coffee local communities in depth interviews keynote financial dreams social change Caregiver financial Merry Christmas Northern Beaches publication Australian Population the average aussie energy Australian communities winter SMART royal family program story earning property development Australians staff optimistic sydneysiders Australian Bureau of Statistics investment workplace culture thought leadership mccrindle daily telegraph australian social research online commuting VET sector NBRS Architecture follow optus my business awards Black Friday Sales church apartment February 16 2016 census financial future Territory McCrindle Speakers EFF panel slideshare train survey design gig house prices faith holiday employmer report screenagers medicine Births youth gender marriage CPI education future report Bathburst Kiwi cold HR 2017 divorce Elderslie-Harrington park sydneycity poor cost of living year 7 marketing challenge news US ACF17 meals long weekend Aussies young australians social socialites researcher millennials dessert income conference speaker collaboration Christmas day area Western Australia media release sector wide study dream australian community trends report blaxland customer ferry entrepreneurial NT women government VIC generation Z wealth Tasmania census fail rich culturally diverse Australian Home purpose presentation vegemite Jura Coffee Do It Yourself sector sun cost social analysis cancelling event students home ownership divorce rate australian communities trends report public speaking nativity scene education future results showreel household research pack hunger middle class affordable DIY vegetarian christmas 2017 sydney property market environment local community transport environmental scanning Word Up summer award future proofing omnibus dreams Christchurch generations tuesday youth unemployment insights spirituality world youth day visual outsourcing responsive seasons wage changing face of sydney typical australian social issues sydneysider research visualisation school satisfaction authenticity owning a home travelling Retail pharmacies emerging technologies millenials TED talk education sector experience internet REIV Conference leadership workshop 2015 sector wide salary relational SRE anzac sydney metro food group volunteers fresh 1968 baby boomers the great screenage moderators guide shifts Res Vis easter leader communication Sydney keynote speaker ipswich forecasting wages property price social analyst pyrmont tertiary education social researcher coffee lovers car VET suburbs know the times marrickville rental stress trends of 2016 Sydney population urban living index balance offenders retirement high density the changing face of food insecurity "know the times" public transport training Crime Rates choice workers Northern Beaches Christian School greatness water in the media volunteering gen z cartodb communications buildings tips NBRS baby name predictions mccrindle in the media men house price chairty population map future of education faux-cilising city Australian Communities Trends states 2012 school personalities who is generation z Melbourne average aussie megatrends capital city narcissism Gen Y 2016 census results poker master conference financial planning holidays urban development donation safe teachers shopper's pick speaker living mccrinlde public speaker 1975 hobart kate middleton Christmas season australian communities forum New Zeland GPO Queensland: QLD real group session unaffordable geomapping schools students trades lalor park Wagga Wagga 24,000,000 future of work wellbeing media commentary Real Estate event home financial independence twentyseventeen FOMO not for profit research research on coffee suburb mobile trend tuesday deloitte affordability domestic younger generations learning styles family builders wealth distribution sentiments royal influence TAS 2013 live the dream census 2016 Christmas day weather not-for-profit small business forum participants money fears demography proactive equip Geoff Brailey innovative children alpha office Australian community trends Sydney’s south west grave decision etiquette IT Specialists Australian Dream 2014 Wellington generation happy holidays analysis bureau Engineering Manager brand victoria South Australia shopping centre Australian schools national private wealth Black Friday australia curiosity Canberra Gen X australian renting employmee ageing Love REIV National Conference recap Gen Z Expert ACF NSW Population Clock global financial crisis economy global retail James Ward 40 million employers Hunter Valley ACF 2016 religion workforce wealth inequality case study social research parenting graphs healthy future wealth and income teleworking Christmas lunch maiden names future proof home owner Cobbitty-Leppington couple aged care puzzle market research baby boom TED logan engage personal growth #censusfail royal research report Aussie resilience australian real estate rise of local Mark McCrindle Sydney dare to dream HSC life Wodonga tableau university degree research services annual income litter census data wealth and income distribution Andrew Duffin statistics cultural diveristy Sydney Hills Business Chamber wedding

Archive