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.

Black Friday Sales in Australia

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Black Friday is the retail super-day popular in the US and in 2017 it is November 24. It is the day following the Thanksgiving public holiday and in some states it is an additional holiday. 

All of this has combined to make it the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season, and the biggest single shopping day of the year. 

It has grown significantly over the last decade and last year, more than 100 million Americans went shopping on this one day, ringing up sales exceeding US$50 billion. For many stores, Black Friday and the shopping season launches a revenue boon that pushes revenues into the black, thus the eponymous name.

Without the Thanksgiving marker, or any public holidays, Black Friday is currently not a big event in Australia. In fact this national research we have just conducted shows that less than 1 in 20 Australians (4.7%) are expecting sales, and more than 1 in 4 (27%) have never even heard of it.

40% of Australians say Black Friday doesn’t really happen in Australia and another 39% don’t know.

Most Australians (54%) don’t know whether Black Friday is online only or also in stores.


Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, popular for online shopping super sales, has even lower awareness in Australia. Considering we are in a global marketplace, used to adopting retail trends from the US, the current low awareness of these sale super-days in Australia may be a surprise. However, the mass engagement with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US is really only a decade old, and so the years ahead will see a higher profile for these sale days in Australia.

Australians are up for a bargain, whatever the day is called, with 1 in 3 Australians (34%) agreeing that they will definitely be looking out for stores offering discounts. Even without the tradition of these sales, or the associated public holidays, late November presents an ideal opportunity for local retailers to kick start their Christmas sales, and so we can expect to hear more about Black Friday in coming years.

Download the summary report here.

Mark McCrindle in the media

SBS "Will Amazon join Australia's Black Friday party?"

Courier Mail "Black Friday 2017 sales: Australia missing out on best shopping deals because of ignorance"


Getting to Work: The Great Australian Commute

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The latest census data, released last month, highlights how much commuting will be transformed for Australians in the years ahead. 

Two in three Australians who work, put in at least 35 hours per week (62%) and half of all couple families are two-income earning households (47.4%). Australians also spend longer in the education system, with one in three adults having attained a tertiary qualification, and more than one in five (22%) have a university degree.

However, most of the commuting to work and university relies on driving. Of the nine million daily commuters in Australia, 7 in 10 workers commute by private car (68.4%), which is half a million more than in 2011. Just 1 in 8 (12%) get to work by public transport, and 1 in 20 (4.7%) work from home.

Given the increase in car usage over the last half decade, it is unsurprising to see therefore that most Australian households have at least two cars (54.3%) which is higher than in 2011 (52.6%).

However, nationally the combined public transport infrastructure investment currently under construction is the biggest in Australia’s history and will clearly provide a massive uplift in commuting options in our capital cities. In addition to this, the decade ahead will bring autonomous vehicles, driverless shuttle busses, and electric share bike and scooter options which will help us journey “the last mile” from public transport hubs to our final destination.

The coming decade of transformed transport will facilitate behaviour change and provide our cities with a faster, cheaper, and less car-reliant future.

Newcastle and the Lower Hunter Economy is on the Rise

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The Business Performance Sentiment Index (Business PSI), designed by McCrindle, is an ongoing measure of business conditions, performance and sentiment. The Lower Hunter PSI is an initiative of Maxim Accounting with support from NAB.

The Business PSI takes the pulse of business across a region and tracks changes in the health of the local and national economy over time. This edition of the Business PSI (2017) features the latest results for the Lower Hunter region. This report also features longitudinal comparisons to last year’s deployment of the Business PSI (2016).

The Business PSI measures three core business characteristics: business conditions, performance and sentiment. The PSI uniquely charts these measures on a scale that ranges from accelerating on the extreme positive to collapsing on the extreme negative. Each of the three core measures (conditions, performance, and sentiment) are comprised of three sub-measures which are derived from the results of several individual survey questions.

The Lower Hunter region continues to show strong, consistent growth and an optimistic outlook.

One in three households (34%) own their home outright (compared to 32% in NSW and 31% nationally) and the region reports a rise in household income of 45% from 2006 to 2016, compared to Australia which has seen a rise of 39%.

Impressively, this year’s PSI results show that the positive operating condition for businesses in the Lower Hunter have further increased since last year.

This year’s results highlight a continued struggle for businesses against red tape and regulation as well as an expressed concern for local infrastructure provision. These challenges are offset, however, with the expectation of business expansion in 2018 and this positive sentiment in the Lower Hunter economy is the dominant theme in this year’s Business PSI report.

Download the full Lower Hunter PSI report here. 

Download the full Lower Hunter PSI infographic here.

The Rise and Rise of Australia’s Population

Monday, October 30, 2017

Australia has increased its population by one third in the last 20 years, from 18.5 million in 1997 to 24.7 million people currently. But more remarkable is that this record population growth has exceeded all forecasts. 

In 1998, the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicted that, based on low-growth assumptions, Australia’s population would reach 23.5 million people in 2051, a benchmark it went on to achieve in July 2014. The mid-growth forecast of 24.9 million people by 2051 will be reached in the middle of next year, 33 years early! The upper end forecast of 26.4 million, based on high-growth assumptions, will be reached in mid-2021, less than four years away.

What has caused such population growth?

The current growth patterns of Australia will lead us to a population of 38 million by 2051, around 12 million higher than even the high-ball forecasts of the late 1990’s. It’s not that the calculations were wrong, it’s that migration policy changes as well as longevity increases and a solid birth rate have defied the trends that were evident twenty years ago.

Back then it was assumed that the total fertility rate (babies per woman in a lifetime) would remain low. However, today’s TFR of 1.81 is above even the highest assumption allowed for in the 1990’s of 1.75.

It was also thought that life expectancy at birth would hit a high of 82 for males and 86 for females by 2051. However, current life expectancy is already closing in on 81 for males and 85 for females and will reach these 2051 targets decades early.

Net Overseas Migration the biggest growth factor

The biggest growth factor that has blown out previous population modelling has been the rise and rise of Australia’s net overseas migration. In 1998 it was thought that it would grow our population annually by around 70,00, or at the most, 90,000. In the last 12 months, Australia has added 231,900 through net migration which is more than 2.5 times even the high-forecast of two decades ago.

Expected growth for our major cities

The expectations for our largest cities back in this era were also well below what has eventuated. This 1998 report expected Melbourne to reach a population of between 3.6 and 4.5 million by 2051. It is currently well above this range at 4.8 million. Sydney was predicted to reach between 4.7 and 6.2 million by the middle of this century. It is currently around 5.1 million and will reach the higher forecast within a decade, 23 years early.

Australia's population growth among the highest in the developed world

While the late 1990’s may not seem like that long ago- John Howard was Prime Minister and Bill Clinton was the US President, the last two decades have seen significant shifts in our demographic trends. Back then, slowing population growth was responded to with policy changes like the baby bonus and efforts to increase overseas migration. Australia’s population growth is now one of the highest in the developed world. 

We have added 390,000 people to our population in the last 12 months, which is like adding three cities the size of Darwin to our population each year. Sydney is now home to more people than the whole country of New Zealand. Speaking of which, New Zealand, back in 1998 was expected to reach 4.7 million in 2050- its population currently exceeds 4.8 million. Melbourne is growing even faster and rather than having 1.7 million fewer people than Sydney in 2051 as was predicted, it will likely overtake Sydney to be Australia’s largest city by this year.

Lessons to be learnt

The lesson for policy makers, urban planners and governments alike, is to keep a close eye on the population forecasts and plan early for the growth that is being experienced so that our cities are not left short of infrastructure. While population growth can’t realistically be stopped, it must be better planned for and managed to ensure the Australian lifestyle continues. And when in doubt, assume the higher growth forecasts not the lower ones. I’m yet to see an Australian population forecast that needs adjusting down.

Mark McCrindle, Demographer and Social Researcher

The Fastest Growing Suburb in NSW

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Willowdale in Sydney’s south-west is a suburb that has emerged from rural acreages in just a few years. It sits in the Cobbitty-Leppington area which is the fastest growing region in NSW, Australia’s largest state.

In 10 years, the population of Cobbitty-Leppington has tripled, from 6,000 to around 18,000 currently. Yet it sits in the south-west growth corridor which comprises three of the 10 largest growth areas in NSW. These large growth areas include Elderslie-Harrington park, Mount Annan-Currant Hill and Cobbitty-Leppington, and together they have grown by almost 30,000 people in the last decade.

One of the reasons for the population growth of these areas is the more affordable new housing on offer.

The median house price in this new suburb is around $650,000 compared to the Sydney median house price of almost $1.3 million.

“The Aussie Dream is still alive in Sydney. People can afford not only a house with a back yard in a new community, but one at half the median Sydney house price” - Mark McCrindle



About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle 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. Download Mark's full speakers pack here.

Food Insecurity in Australia

Monday, October 16, 2017

It was a pleasure teaming up with Foodbank Australia, to conduct new research into the hidden problem of food insecurity in Australia.

What is food insecurity?

Food insecurity can be defined as “a situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life” - Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Despite our reputation as the “lucky country”, the issue of hunger exists in Australia but is largely unnoticed

The reality is that 3.6 million Australians (15%) have experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months. Three in five of these individuals experience food insecurity at least once a month.

Food insecurity impacts a wide range of groups in the community, and is not restricted to the unemployed or homeless. In fact, almost half of food insecure Australians (48%) are employed in some way, whether full-time, part-time or casually.

Our youngest members of the community are also impacted, as dependent children live in 40% of food insecure households.

The study shows how easy it is for someone to fall into food insecurity, given the rising cost of living

Financial pressures can create difficult choices, such as choosing between heating and eating. Two in five food insecure Australians (41%) have not paid bills in order to have enough money to buy food.

The experience of food insecurity is incredibly challenging and can cause a significant decline in quality of life for individuals and families. Skipping meals in these instances is quite common, and 28% of food insecure Australians report going for an entire day without eating in times where they have run out of food.

Download the full report here

Download the full infographic here

Australian attitudes towards coffee

Thursday, October 12, 2017

We were delighted to partner with Jura Australia to conduct new research to better understand Australian perspectives, attitudes and behaviours towards coffee.

Coffee is crucial for the survival of more than one in four Australians.

The love of coffee is strong in Australia, with more than one in four (27%) indicating they cannot survive the day without it, and 9 in 10 (88%) stating they like it to some extent.

Australia’s younger generations have a greater dependency on coffee, with around a third needing it to survive the day (33% Gen Y and 30% Gen X). By comparison the Builders generation are the most likely to see coffee as something nice to have but don't need it (45%).

We also don’t mind paying for what we love, with more than four in five Australians (84%) spending money on coffee in an average week.

Three quarters of Australians have at least one cup a day.

Three in four Australians (75%) enjoy at least one cup of coffee per day, and of those, 28% have three or more cups per day! Those who prefer instant coffee are the most likely to have three or more cups per day.

Instant Vs espresso, who wins?

Australian coffee drinkers are evenly divided between those who prefer instant coffee (39%) and espresso coffee (39%).

Older generations are likely to prefer instant coffee, whilst a preference for espresso coffee is higher among Australia’s younger generations. The Builders generation are the exception, with two in five (42%) preferring espresso coffee.

Coffee is most enjoyed at home.

The majority of Australians who drink coffee will make a coffee at home on a usual weekday (86%). However, when it comes to purchasing a coffee from a café, younger generations are more likely to do so than their older counterparts (61% Gen Z, 53% Gen Y cf. 36% Gen X, 33% Baby Boomers, 26% Builders).

Coffee drinkers who prefer espresso coffee are the most likely to purchase their coffee from a cafe (60% cf. 36% coffee pods, 22% instant coffee). More than three quarters of those who prefer espresso coffee (77%), however, will make a coffee at home on an average weekday.

Research Methodology

This research is a collation of data gained through an online national representation survey of 1,000 Australians over the age of 18 across the different generations, genders and states in Australia.

Get In Touch

If we can assist with any research, event speaking or infographic design please feel free to get in touch:

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Australian Community Trends Report

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The sector that most directly and deliberately improves and supports Australian communities is the not-for-profit sector. 

Charities are in many ways the heart of Australia. Their value to this nation is demonstrated by the almost $135 billion given in the last year, most of it by the community rather than government.

The esteem of this sector is demonstrated by the size of the charity workforce, which employs one in every ten Australian workers. This is second in size only to retail. In addition to the 1.2 million Australians employed by not-for-profits are the 3.6 million volunteers, all of which makes charities by far Australia’s largest labour force.

While one in five Australian adults has volunteered for a community organisation in the last year, four in five adults have given financially to such organisations, of these one in four give at least monthly.

The landscape for charities is rapidly changing, with generation change, demographic shifts and technological transformation. For the average charity, half of their supporters have joined them since this decade began – and over the same period of time, the nation has grown by almost three million people.

Report

The purpose of this annual Australian Communities Report is to equip leaders in the sector to respond with relevance to the changing external environment and the emerging trends. This 2017 study builds on the results from the 2016 and 2015 research and offers insights to help Australia’s not-for-profit leaders continue to create ripples of change that over time will build the capacity of communities locally, nationally and indeed globally.

Click here to download your free copy. 







Infographic



About McCrindle 

At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.

Our expertise is analysing findings and effectively communicating insights and strategies. Our skills are in designing and deploying world class social and market research. Our purpose is advising organisations to respond strategically to the trends and so remain ever-relevant in changing times. As social researchers we help organisations, brands and communities know the times.

Feel free to Contact us to find out more about our research services.

Are the rich getting richer?

Friday, September 22, 2017


Australia has long been considered the land of the fair go. It is a nation regarded as a classless society where the suburbs were the social equalisers- a melting pot of lawyers and labourers, teachers and tradies.

The ‘great Australian dream’ where people on average incomes near the start of their working life could afford a home is fading and the latest data reveals a widening wealth gap.

What are the drivers of this wealth stratification?

Property prices and ownership

The latest HILDA data from the University of Melbourne showed that two decades ago, one in three young people aged 18 - 39 owned a property, compared to today, where just one in four young people own a property.

The impact of growing demand on house prices is most evident when comparing prices to average earnings. Twenty years ago, the average Sydney house was 5.6 times average annual earnings while in Melbourne it was an affordable 3.4 times annual earnings.

Today, Sydney homes are more than 14 times average earnings, and in Melbourne more than 11 times annual earnings.

Generational challenge

The generational financial inequities are even more pronounced when analysing net wealth by generational cohort.

While Gen Y have a household net worth of $268,800, it is less than half that of the Gen Xers who are just a decade older. The highest net worth generation in Australia are the Boomers aged 55-64 who not only have a net wealth almost 5 times that of the generation of their children (Gen Y) but they still have a decade or more of earnings and wealth accumulating ahead of them.

How can we level the playing field?

Policy has partly created the rising house prices through migration settings and therefore population growth. Policy settings have also created the SMSF demand for property and tax settings such as negative gearing have been a boon for property investment. Therefore policy could also assist in bringing a solution such as assisting in intergenerational wealth transfer or allowing superannuation fund access for first-home buyers. For a generation finding it harder to get a foothold in property, further research into possible policy adjustments is a worthwhile approach.


About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle 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. Download Mark's full speakers pack here.

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