Media Commentary from the McCrindle team

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. From demographic analysis and future forecasts, to communication of key research findings and the identification of social trends, at McCrindle we are passionate about communicating insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Some of our recent media commentary includes:

Jobs of the future

The last few years of disruption has shown us that any role that can be replaced by technology will be.While technology is great for automating systems and replacing repetitive functions, it is not strong at adapting to complex change and engaging with people. Mark McCrindle speaks to The Daily Edition about how students can future proof their careers and skills. Watch it here.

Trends of 2016

From Donald Trump to Brexit, dabbing, bottle flipping and Pokemon Go, Mark McCrindle speaks to The Daily Edition about some of the biggest trends of 2016, including the 2016 word of the year which was Post Truth, and demographic milestones for Australia including reaching a population of 24 million people in February, and Sydney hitting a population of 5 million. Watch it here.

Trends of 2017

Rise of the local, growth of lifestyle cities, DIY everything, the Gig-economy and post-rationalism are the top five trends Mark McCrindle has identified for 2017. Mark joins the team from The Daily Edition to discuss the trends forecasted for 2017. Watch it here.

Melbourne growing faster than Sydney

After being voted the world’s most liveable city for the sixth year in a row, Melbourne property prices have grown faster than those of Sydney over the last year. With Melbourne being forecast to become Australia’s biggest city by 2050, Mark McCrindle attributes the diversified economy, lower house prices and its reputation as the fashion and cultural capital to its growth. Read the article here.

Are passive aggressive notes breaking down Sydney's sense of community?

The rise of anonymous, sarcastic signs left by Sydneysiders is seen to be breaking down communities. While this sort of behaviour is often seen on social media, Mark McCrindle says we don’t see so much of it normal civil interactions. When we are face to face, people aren’t nearly as sarcastic or nasty. Behind the venomous notes and social media posts, we really get a sense of the angst and frustration that is modern, busy stressful life. Read the article here.

Baby Name trends

Mark McCrindle has made his baby name predictions for 2017. He says longer and more culturally diverse names will be popular in 2017. Names beginning with X, Y and Z are also predicted to be huge, including Zander and Zephyr for boys, and Zyla and Zelda for girls. Read the article here.

Aussie parents are opting for sophistication and substance over quirky spellings or compound names, with gender neutral names back in vogue. Mark McCrindle predicts te top 10 ‘rising stars’ of 2017 for girls names were likely to be Addison, Penelope, Ariana, Frankie, Charlie, Elsie, Aurora, Billie, Lilian and Aisha. For the boys, McCrindle predicts Harvey, Beau, Chase, Theodore, Carter, Spencer, Ali, Harley, Darcy and Fletcher will be the rising stars for boys names next year. Read the article here.


The growing trend of finding others to do the jobs we hate has made the Christmas of 2016 a far cry from festive seasons past. “As for outsourcing, that is certainly a growing trend, especially around Christmas time when the shops are busy and perhaps there is a task that we don’t feel confident in completing, that we can have someone else complete for us,” says Ashley Fell from McCrindle. Read the article here.

Home ownership and renting

Sydney is turning into a city of renters as rising prices force more people to ditch the home owning dream. McCrindle research director Eliane Miles said while home ownership was still a major aspiration, it was ­simply affordability stopping young people from buying. “We did some research that showed 90 per cent of Australians still want to strive towards owning their own home,” Ms Miles said. “It’s still the Aussie dream, it’s just more difficult and I think for young people it seems incredibly far off.” Read the article here.

Digital Thumbprint; Social Media Trends Study

Monday, July 04, 2016

We were delighted to have been commissioned by Optus to conduct research into the increased use and implications of online selfies with a focus on the role played by parents in guiding their children’s online behaviour. This national research has been launched in partnership with Optus and their Digital Thumbprint Education Program, and revealed some interesting insights into the attitudes of Australia's next generations towards online safety and selfie regret.

Social media has taken the world by storm, with Facebook reaching 1 billion active users in 6 years. Today, Facebook has already exceeded the population of China at 1.4 billion users, while YouTube boasts 4 billion views per day. The report reveals that young adults (aged 18-25) and parents in Australia share in this statistic, with over 9 in 10 (93% and 92% respectively) of those who have at least one active social media account being active on Facebook.

The research found that one in four parents (25%) own a social media account to monitor their child’s online activities.

It also found that teens say they obsessively compare their life and achievements with others, with one in three admitting they regretted one or more selfies they had shared online. A quarter of 18 to 25-year-olds said they were affected by FOMO – the fear of missing out – and so were hooked on social media. 

"While at first it may seem self-obsessed to put photos up on Instagram of yet another selfie or the lunch we are about to eat, there is actually more to it than that. Individuals are taking photos of themselves to share their experience with others – it’s keeping in touch, trying to connect and communicate.” - Mark McCrindle.

 Find out more about the findings of the study in the below infographic:

How Australia’s Transformation Impacts Schools [Podcast]

Friday, June 10, 2016

Only occasionally in history do massive demographic changes combine with huge social shifts, ongoing generational transitions and unprecedented technological innovation so that within the span of a decade society altogether alters. 

Australia is currently in the midst of one such transformation.

Schools are not only in the midst of these massive changes, but they’re actually at the front line of it. Schools bridge more generation gaps than any other sector, because their end client, the student is in the youngest generations, and yet the average age of employee in education is one of the oldest ages.

Education is bridging more generation gaps than almost every other sector and of course the young people are driving some many of these trends – the technology ones, the social trends, and obviously generational changes. When it comes to education as we know it today, it really is a 19th Century concept with classes, curriculums and examinations. Most of the buildings there are 20th Century in their nature and yet it’s the 21st Century generation that we’re educating. That again highlights the challenge that exists for school today.

When we think about those youngest generations entering school, they’re going to live longer, work later, they’re going to work across more careers and some of those jobs they’ll be working in don’t currently exist. While we feel we’re at the start of this 21st Century, they’ll still be in the workforce as we’re edging closer to the 22nd Century.

It is imperative that we recognise the gap that we are bridging and the foundation of education that we’re providing to this generation, who through the midst of our challenges in this nation, in the midst of the middle of this century, they will be the leaders.

Mark McCrindle and Brad Entwistle discuss the key megatrends reshaping Australia and how they might change the ways non-government schools think about the future and the next generation of students. Mark concludes the interview with his biggest insight from his research and how that will impact schools to be relevant and attract students in the future.



Mark is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.


Generation Z at school

Friday, April 29, 2016

How well are our 19th Century Institutions connecting with 21st Century Students?

‘Schools are 19th Century institutions using 20th Century buildings to teach 21st Century students and we wonder why traditional education sometimes struggle to connect. So if they don’t learn the way we teach, then let’s teach the way we learn.’ – Mark McCrindle

The children of Australia are today’s students and tomorrow’s employees. And while each generation has passed through the student lifestage, Generation Z are the only ones to have done so in the 21st Century. They can be defined as being post-linear, post-literate, and post-logical.

They have been born into a time that has seen the printed word morph into an electronic form. Ironically, today an electronic document is perceived to have more currency, and therefore accuracy, than the printed page. Books give way to YouTube videos. The written word is replaced by icons and images. Education is shifting from structured classrooms to collaborative means, from textbooks to tablets and from reports to infographics and video presentations. Words in this global era are progressively replaced with symbols or universal icons. They have been labelled generation glass because it is this medium that communicates content: glass you don’t just look through but look at, and wear and carry and interact with.

Characteristics of today's learners

Post linear

While schools structure learning by subject, Generations Z live life in a hyperlinked world. For digital natives it is not a subject but a lifestyle. Teachers deliver formal lessons, yet students are experiential and participative. We test academic knowledge and memory in examinations yet they, with the always-on Internet, are living in an open-book world, only ever a few clicks away from any piece of information on the planet.

Generation Z and the emerging Generation Alpha are also the most technologically literate and socially empowered generation of children ever. They are highly intuitive and confident users of digital technology, with Facebook having been around more than a decade, and iPhones, iPads, apps and social media having been available to them from their formative years.

There are 4.5 million reasons to engage Generation Z, the students of today and university graduates, employees and leaders of tomorrow. What’s more, the future of education depends on understanding and engaging with these 21st century learners. In order to fulfil the demand for labour and to ensure the future of our employment sector, our education system will need to adapt to and accommodate the learning styles of today’s students.

Post literate

Note we use the term post-literate, not illiterate. They are writing more (emails) and sending more (text) messages, just in ways different to previous generations. The issue is that literate forms of communication alone just won’t connect in today’s visual world. Today’s learners are a multi-modal generation and therefore demand communication styles that engage multiple learning channels. While the chalk and talk teaching approach was the only style on offer in previous generations, this structured approach to classroom communication is far less engaging for today’s technologically savvy, multi-media, post-structured learners. Though many complain about the short attention spans of today’s youth, this is mainly exhibited in the context of old methods of teaching that largely involve passive models of communication.

Post logical

The language of today’s learners is one that communicates content as well as being exciting, social and creative. They value visual and interactive communication with quick and easy access to information. This is in distinct contrast to perception of the education system where learning and fun are seen as mutually exclusive. Learning must not just be an academic exercise- of logic and rationale, but a development experience- of social, emotional and visceral connection as well. The point is that students have changed, so approaches to teaching need to change as well.

Engaging with today's learners

It is excellent to see that schools and classrooms are responding effectively to these changing learning styles through the implementation of learning stations, shifting from ‘teacher’ to facilitator’, managing more group work, providing real world case studies, outdoor education and teaching through activity-based learning. This, to the credit of schools is how they’ve been able to engage with changing learner needs while maintaining educational excellence. That said, there are still more changes to be made. According to our survey on parents’ opinions on education, over 90 per cent would like to see schools work harder at engaging with students and making learning interesting.

Traditionally, children were pre-formatted to learn within a structured environment, having spent their preschool years in a household where formative character was set through routine, compliance and training. However, increasingly, many children enter formal schooling without such a background and when such a student does not complete year 12, it is said that ‘they failed school’ when actually ‘their school experience failed them’.

While in the past parents, extended family, Sunday school and the Scouts or sports teams all had a role in developing the character, values and socialisation skills of the child, today parents are juggling increasingly complex roles and the average young person is less connected with other formative institutions. Schools are increasingly the one social bottleneck through which young people pass and so have a key role of developing the whole person. That is, in addition to its academic aims, the education system is expected to develop people skills, character formation, life skills and resilience.

The four R's


Not only must our communication style be credible, but we must be credible also. This generation doesn’t expect us to know all about their lifestyle, nor do they want us to embrace their culture. They are simply seeking understanding and respect. If we are less than transparent, it will be seen.


Both the content and style in which we deliver it must be relevant to a generation which is visually educated and entertained. There is no point in going to a friend’s movie night with a rented DVD if they only have a streaming service. Similarly, we must communicate in the most appropriate format for those we are reaching. So in understanding the communication styles of our students we will be better equipped to reach them.


Education can either be teacher-centric (traditional), curriculum targeted (with a predominate focus on state-wide testing) or learner focused (responsive to their learning styles and needs).

In a generation education has moved from ‘classes’ to individual learning plans. As part of the shift from students confirming to the system to education responding to the changing times, needs and learners.


The old saying in education circles still rings true for today’s students: ‘they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!’ Communicating to this generation requires more than just good content and new technology – it needs engagement and involvement. The more we create an environment conductive to engaging with the head (knowledge), hands (application) and heart (inspiration), the more likely they learning will be embedded, opportunities enlarged and futures shaped.

Listen to Mark McCrindle on 2SER talking about the 21st Century classroom

McCrindle Education Services

For more information on our education services, including research and providing content and presentations for School Professional Development Days, Executive Staff Sessions and Parents Evenings, please refer to our Education Pack below, or get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!

P: 02 8824 3422


McCrindle in the Media

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. From demographic analysis and future forecasts, to communication of key research findings and the identification of social trends, at McCrindle we are passionate about communicating insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Here are some of the most recent media pieces our research and team have been cited in:

Millenials found to be far more likely to quit work than other generations

“Millenials are a multi-career generation, moving from one job to another and from one job to further study or an overseas job. Mobility defines them,” he said.
“They’re a more educated cohort, they’re more tech-resourced. Even when they’re happy in a job they’re passive job hunters because they’re so well networked. People are approaching them on LinkedIn and they want to be future proofed.”
“They are looking for belonging and leading and shaping things. They want to be successful so if employers are empowering and involving them they will stay longer. A pay increase is a short-term fix but in the long term it’s all about engagement.”

Buyers Swap 'Traditional Aussie Dream' For High Density Apartments

McCrinde Research social demographer Mark McCrindle concedes many foreign buyers are getting into the market, but said the lift in demand was also due to more Australian singles, couples and families opting for apartments.

Australia's booming population was underpinning the shift, he said, by pushing up demand for property of which apartments were an affordable type. "In less than 2 weeks we hit the 24 million mark and that's an increase of a million people in just around three years, so it's pretty significant growth," he told The Huffington Post Australia.

Inside Sydney’s homes of the future: A city of cities as homes get smaller and taller

McCrinde Research social demographer Mark McCrindle says Sydney's residential landscape will be forced to change to cope with the population growth, with multi-use residential developments the way of the future and a move away from CBD workplaces.

“We’re essentially going to be a city of cities, with not everyone working in the CBD,” Mark explains. “People will work in the suburbs, in business parks, and we will have second, third and fourth CBD areas where you work, live and play all within the locale.”

Why money is a big issue for Australian retirees in 2016

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said financial instability was an enemy of retirees. After the GFC a lot of people had to change their retirement plans and expectations because so much was wiped off,” he said.

Falling house prices in several states were adding uncertainty to retirees looking to downsize, Mr McCrindle said, while there were social impacts caused by children failing to leave the nest. “Retirees can’t quite make their own independent decisions because they still have adult children living at home.”


According to Optus’ Renter of the Future report out today, three out of ten renting households consider themselves as “choice renters” who are not buying into the great Australian property dream. And when it comes to choice renters, they are three times more likely to be tech savvy.
The report, which was conducted by McCrindle Research shows that 2016 will see a new generation of tech-savvy renters who favour a lifestyle fuelled by freedom, flexibility and choice.
“We wanted to understand the renter and find out who they are. Demographically they’re got punch, geographically they’re got punch and as we’ve found from this technologically they’re amongst the earliest adopters,” said Mark McCrindle, social demographer.

Today's trends are coming at us faster than ever and have a life cycle that is shorter than we've ever seen before. Trends are increasingly global -- and with that, they're bigger, better, and faster.

From a generation who can track, monitor, record and analyse their every moment, to work that is increasingly being done in non-traditional places, here are some trends to watch in 2016.


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