Highlights from #TuesdayTrend

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

As Australia’s social researchers, we take the pulse of the nation. We research communities. We survey society. We analyse the trends. And we communicate the findings.

Every Tuesday we release a trend about Australia for #TuesdayTrend. Here are some of our recent #TuesdayTrends, highlighting fun facts about Australia. Be sure to follow, share and interact with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.



ABOUT RESEARCH VISUALISATION


In a world of big data- we’re for visual data. We believe in the democratisation of information- that research should be accessible to everyone not just to the stats junkies. We’re passionate about turning tables into visuals, data into videos and reports into presentations. As researchers, we understand the methods but we’re also designers and we know what will communicate, and how to best engage. We’re in the business of making you look good and your data make sense.

For more information, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you:

W: researchvisualisation.com

E: info@researchvisualisation.com

P: +61 2 8824 3422

McCrindle Research: Celebrating 10 Years, 2006 to 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016


It was late August 2006, John Howard was Prime Minister, George W Bush was the US President, the Football World Cup had just wrapped up in Germany, Facebook had just been launched to the public, and McCrindle Research began operations in a newly opened area of Norwest Business Park in Sydney.

It was just a decade ago, but what a decade of change it has been. There was no iPhone, no tablet computers, Twitter was only just being developed, YouTube was just a year old and words like “apps”, “Wi-Fi” , “memes” and “selfies” meant nothing. In the year we began our research, “hashtag” was the rarely used character on the keyboard, “the cloud” was what could be seen in the sky, things “going viral” was an issue for public health and “tablets” were medications.



When we ran our first demographic analysis soon after we began, the 2006 Census had only just been held, and we were relying on the 2001 data which was based on the Australian population of 18.9 million compared to the 24.2 million of today.

McCrindle Research began with Mark McCrindle and a simple vision to “conduct world class research and communicate the insights in innovative ways”. Since those first days the research approach has grown from pen and paper surveys and focus groups to include online surveys, on-device surveys, data analytics, demographic and economic modelling and geomapping. True to the vision of engaging, visual output, the first person McCrindle Research employed was a designer, Mark Beard, who did an amazing job in the early months of developing a digital presence, and deploying research reports in visual forms and designing the data even before the genre of infographics existed.

Since then McCrindle has grown to be well regarded as one of the best research-based communications agencies and data designers in Australia with our research findings more likely to be presented via an event, interactive webpage, corporate keynote, infographic wall, pop-up banner, animated data video, visual report or media launch rather than just a written report.



It was in that first year that we designed “Australia’s Population Map” which has now been updated and reprinted dozens of times with hundreds of thousands in print. We love analysing numbers so here are some relating to our digital presence: we’ve had more than a third of a million YouTube views in addition to our Slideshare, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook presence, and almost a million blog and website visits. We analyse big data and create big data of our own with hundreds of research projects completed, involving thousands of focus group participants and hundreds of thousands of survey completions. 

So it has been a busy decade for us and a transformative one for our world. As we look at the decade ahead, one thing is sure: the speed of change will only increase, and we will continue to analyse the trends and effectively communicate the strategic implications to help organisations and leaders know the times.




find out more About McCrindle Research Services



Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.

2 IN 3 AUSSIES WILL COMPLETE THE CENSUS ONLINE

This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).

SHOWCASING OUR POPULATION MILESTONES

Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.

IMPORTANT QUESTION CHANGES TO THIS YEAR’S CENSUS

This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.

PARTICPATION IN THE CENSUS IS COMPULSORY

Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.

CENSUS RESULTS NOT RELEASED UNTIL 2017

If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

The Australian Communities Trends Report

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The not-for-profit sector in Australia is at the very heart of our community and shapes and facilitates the values and spirit of our nation. From organisations that provide care and assistance to our nation’s most vulnerable, the not-for-profit sector has an immeasurable impact on our society.

Not-for-profit organisations are invited to participate in the Australian Community Trends Report, a national, comprehensive research study of the sector, conducted by McCrindle and R2L.

This annual study is a longitudinal study, conducted annually starting in 2015, and provides a detailed analysis of the effectiveness, engagement and awareness of the not-for profit sector. It continues to help organisations understand the Australian community – the emerging trends, the giving landscape, and the current and emerging supporter segments. The Australian Community Trends Report delivers a clear analysis of the social context in which the not-for-profit sector is operating.


This infographic was developed from the 2015 Australian Communities Trends Report:

A snapshot of the external environment, the visibility of the community attitudes and perceptions plus the analysis of the key trends will be delivered through:

  • Identification of National Giving Macro Segments
  • Not-for-profit Awareness & Benchmarking Analysis
  • Identification of Giving Blockers & Enablers
  • Giving Sentiment Index
  • Not-for-profit Staff and Volunteer Snapshot
  • Expert Insights
  • Donor of the Future

“The results and data available from the Australian Community Trends Report are key for the future of the not-for-profit sector.”

- Australian Communities Forum Attendee

Why do the study?

Through conducting an industry wide study, participating organisations will benefit from the aggregated data which will identify trends and provide a comprehensive framework for understanding the behaviours of Australians when it comes to engaging with not-for-profits. Participating organisations receive their own data which can then be benchmarked against the national data. As well as adding significant breadth and depth to the strength of the research, this collaborative approach to an industry wide study will also provide valuable thought leadership material which will promote the work of the sector as a whole. The combined approach also allows for significant research to be conducted for organisations at a fraction of the price of a standard research project.

This national study will include the following stages:

  1. National surveys
  2. Young Australian survey
  3. Focus groups of the general public and some specifically of young is Australians
  4. Supporter survey
  5. Staff and volunteer survey
  6. Expert insights

Partnering with McCrindle for this inaugural Australian Community Trends study is R2L, one of Australia’s leading not-for-profit fundraising and advertising agencies who bring a wealth of experience and expertise in helping not-for-profits strategically engage with their stakeholders.

More about the Australian Community Trends national study can be found here.

For more information about the study please click here or contact Kirsten Brewer on (02) 8824 3422 or kirsten@mccrindle.com.au

Tattoos in Australia

Friday, March 11, 2016

If it seems like there are more Australians with tattoos currently that’s because there are. Australia is experiencing growth in the proportion of the nation opting to ‘inked’. This growth has been particularly evident among women with the proportion of Australian women with a tattoo now exceeding that of men. Here is the key summary from our research into Australians and their attitudes and behaviours regarding tattoos, based on a national survey of 1,011 representative Australians.

1 in 5 Australians has a tattoo

1 in 5 (19%) Australians has one or more tattoos. And with females it is almost in 1 and 4 (24%).

Not Just Youthful Rebellion

While a number of individuals report getting tattoos when they were younger, over a third (36%) of people got their first tattoo aged 26 or older, and 1 in 5 (20%) Australians got their first tattoo aged mid 30s or older. 3 in 10 (29%) of Gen Y 's (aged 22 - 36) have a tattoo, the largest portion of any age group.

Most tattooed Australians have more than one

Of the Australians who have tattoos, almost half (48%) only have one tattoo, 30% have two to three tattoos, and a further 15% have between four and nine, with another 7% having 10 or more tattoos.

Words almost as popular as symbols

While for the majority (72%) of tattooed Australians their most recent tattoo was a picture or symbol, for 1 in 5 (19%) it was a phrase or a word. The biggest growth in tattoo design is in the phrase or word category which has seen a massive increase over the last few years.

Not Without Regrets

More than 1 in 4 (27%) Australians with tattoos say that they regret, to some extent, getting a tattoo. 15% have commenced or looked into tattoo removal.

Tattooed parents, tattooed children?

Of tattooed Australians, 17% would discourage or strongly discourage their adult children from getting a tattoo. However, almost a third would encourage them to get a tattoo, and just over half of parents would neither encourage for discourage their adult children to get a tattoo if asked for advice.

Lifestyle trends & property market – Mark McCrindle interview

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle chats to Kevin Turner about some of the lifestyle trends and their impact on where and how we live and the obvious impact on property.

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

Kevin: You might recall a couple of weeks ago, I chatted to Mark McCrindle and we were talking about the Urban Living Index. Mark joins me once again. Good morning, Mark.

Mark: Good morning, Kevin. Great to be with you.

Kevin: Thanks again for your time. Mark, a very interesting conversation we had a couple of weeks ago on the show about the Urban Living Index. I wanted to come back and discuss that with you again.

Just a bit of fun now, Mark. Let’s have a look at some of the lifestyle trends that we’re expecting to see this year, 2016.

Mark: Probably one of those is just how we work. We’re continually seeing changes in our lifestyles. We’ve seen teleworking. People work a bit more from home. People work through technology. We see even the new developments now where you have mixed planning. You have residential nearby to business parks or offices, and of course, retail in the mix of that. People want to work and live and play and connect in a community, in an environment where they don’t separate each of those.

One of the trends we’re predicting for 2016, we call it power working, which is the work equivalent of power napping. Power napping is where you sleep in non-traditional times and places. You just have a quick zap. Power working’s a bit like that. We get people now working more on their commute. They’re working in cafes. They’re working before or after work, sometimes in front of another screen, even unwinding at night. Work is not just a nine to five, you’re at the desk, in the workplace phenomena anymore; it’s changed. With apps and devices and technologies and the expectation of quicker response times from clients, we’re going to see continual changes in what work looks like and where it’s done from.

Kevin: Mark, of course, with so many people concentrated, living on the eastern seaboard in our major capital cities, I guess that type of lifestyle change is going to encourage more people to move into some of those regional areas, which will probably have an impact on prices there, do you think?

Mark: That’s right. We’re certainly seeing growth in the regional market because they’re being priced out of the cities, and the price rises in our capitals have been pretty crazy. People are saying, look, the regions are not isolated anymore. You have great lifestyle. You have excellent affordability. Of course, the technology, the infrastructure out there is fantastic.

You can get out of the rat race of the city, take a bit of a breather on the mortgage, get some pretty nice lifestyle for what you get out of that house from the city, and of course, the kids have some good schools. Again, the cafe lifestyle and the technology, even running a small business working from home, all of that is possible pretty much anywhere in Australia now, not just in the cities alone.

Kevin: Mark is one of the authors of the Urban Living Index, which we mentioned. I might just touch on that if I may. By the way, the website for that is UrbanLivingIndex.com. A great report. Mark, it pretty much focused on Sydney, but one of the interesting points I noticed is that the high density living in Sydney seems to be increasing. If you look at detached housing around Australia, I think the percentages are lower in Sydney. Are more people preferring to live in more high-density areas?

Mark: Yes, that’s correct. There’s this little demographic measure called the center of population of a city, which is the point in the city where in the whole catchment of the city where you have as many people west as east, as many people north as south. Now, in our eastern capitals, that center of population was continually heading west because the urban sprawls were heading further and further west. Interestingly, in Sydney – and we’re going to see the same thing in the Brisbane market – it stopped; it’s not heading further west. That’s because for each new housing development that is taking place in the urban sprawl further out, you have an infield development, a densification development to the east of that center.

It’s interesting that it seems as if the center of population, the sprawl is slowing because people are now opting for those densified living options. That is because of the location. They don’t want to travel further and further into the city or into the lifestyle areas on those motorways or public transport. At some point, it’s so far out that they say, “You know what? I think I’ll opt for a different style of living, a vertical option rather than just that house with the block out the back.”

Kevin: Yes, if you look at the map that’s on the UrbanLivingIndex.com website, if you look at the spread of the population, I wonder what sort of story it tells between that northern part of Sydney up to Newcastle and the southern part going down to Wollongong as to whether we’re going to see in-fill there. You’re right. You can see it looks almost out of proportion moving out toward the west.

Mark: That’s right. In Sydney’s market, we are now seeing growth in the northwest corridor and the southwest corridor. In other words, where they’re putting in some infrastructure, now we have some metro, some rail lines going, both of those arteries, which really had been devoid of some rail, that is creating some great opportunities and some densification there.

Now in Sydney, we have not just the built-up areas within ten or 15 kilometers of the CBD itself, but now 20 or 30 kilometers away from the CBD, you have these hot spots of densification. You have these 10-, 15-, and now on the plans 20-story residential towers that are around these transport hubs, these interchanges, that are obviously a fair way from the city, but because the shopping centers, the transport hubs, the availability of accommodation, and of course, café lifestyle that goes with that, we’re getting a lot more people opting for that sort of living. In a sense, Sydney becomes a city of cities, and we’re going to see that with all of our 2,000,000+ capitals across Australia.

Kevin: I’ll get you back to talk more about that in some future shows, too, Mark, but I want to thank you for making your time available today. The two websites for Mark are, of course, the UrbanLivingIndex.com website we just mentioned, and there is another one, too, that’s simply called McCrindle.com.au.

Mark, thank you so much for your time.

Mark: You’re very welcome. Thanks, Kevin.

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

ABOUT MARK MCCRINDLE

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.


DOWNLOAD MARK'S SPEAKING PACK HERE

24 facts about Australia at 24 million

Friday, January 22, 2016

As Australia closes in on the next population milestone of 24 million, which it will reach in February, social researcher Mark McCrindle analyses what life was like when the population was half this- and how we have changed in the 48 years since.

  1. Australia hit 12 million in 1968 and has doubled since then to hit 24 million in 2016. Over the 48 years from 1968 to 2016 Australia’s population increased by 12 million. Over the previous 48 years (1920 to 1968) the population increased by just 6.5 million.

  2. More people live in the three cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane today than lived in the whole nation in 1968.

  3. More than 1 in 3 Australians (8.6 million) have seen the population of the nation double in their lifetime.

  4. In the time that Australia’s population has doubled, (1968 to 2016), Tasmania has only increased by one-third (36%) while the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have increased more than two and a half times (252% and 263% respectively)!

  5. In 1968, there were 83,807 more males than females while today there are 121,292 more females than males
  6. 1968 = 101.3 males per 100 females

    2016 = 99.0 males per 100 females


  7. 29% of the population in 1968 was aged 0-14 compared to under 19% of the population today, however there are still 1 million more under 15’s today than then.
  8. 0-14 years

    1968: 29%, 3,486,000

    2016: 18.8%, 4, 476,045


  9. In the time that the population has doubled, the number of Australians aged over 65 has more than tripled from 8.4% of the population (1,014,000) to today’s 15% of the population (3,569,556).

  10. The rate of marriages has dropped by over 40% since 1968 from 8.8 per 1000 population to 5.2 today. However there are around 20,000 more marriages annually than the 106,000 seen in 1968.

  11. The total birth rate has decreased by a quarter since 1968, from an average of 2.34 births per woman to 1.8 today. However with a population twice as large there are far more births today, exceeding 300,000 annually compared to 240,906 in 1968.

  12. The death rate has dropped by almost 30% since 1968 and life expectancy has increased by 13.2 years for males and 10.9 years for females to now exceed 80 for males and 85 for females.

  13. Standard variable interest rates were exactly the same in 1968 as today, at 5.4% while inflation was slightly higher (2.6%) compared to today (1.5%).

  14. The male average hourly wage was $1.22 and the weekly full time wage was $48.93 which in today’s dollars is $567. The current average weekly full time earnings is almost three times this at $1,484.50.

  15. Back then 1 Australian dollar bought 1.11 US dollars compared to 0.73 US dollars today.

  16. The maximum marginal tax rate was much higher at 68.4% on $32,000 and over while for the 2015-16 financial year it is 45% on $180,000 and over. The tax free threshold has also increased from $416 ($4,800 in today’s dollars) to $18,200 today.

  17. The company tax rate was 40% for private companies and 45% for public companies while for the 2015-16 year it is 30% and 28.5% for small businesses.

  18. While our population is twice as large, our economy is five times the size it was in 1968. Back then Australia’s GDP was $28,817 million ($334,072m in today’s dollars) while for the 2014-15 financial year was $1,619,195m.

  19. Men are participating in the workforce much less (male participation rate has dropped from 83.7% to 70.8%) while women are participating much more (up from 37.7% to 59.6%).

  20. Homes cost 5 times more. The median Sydney house price was around $18,000 (in today’s dollars this equates to $195,300) compared to the current Sydney median house price which exceeds $1 million.

  21. But milk, butter and potatoes cost less today.

  22. In 1968 TV was black and white, music was played on record players and the moon had not been reached.

  23. John Farnham’s Sadie the Cleaning Lady was the top song for five weeks and 1968 was the year that Hugh Jackman and Kylie Minogue were born.

  24. The postage rate in 1968 was 5 cents for a standard letter compared to $1 today. Most suburbs had twice-daily delivery service compared to the current 3-day delivery times.

  25. In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Australia bagged 5 gold medals (17 in total) compared to an AOC target of 13 gold medals (and 37 in total) for Rio in 2016.

  26. Australia was still getting used to the new currency system, moving from the Australian pound to the Australian dollar from 1966 and we’ve gained two new coins and two new notes since then.

  27. The coins in use were the 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins. There were also notes with values of $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20.

IN THE MEDIA

 

About Mark McCrindle

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.

Download Mark's speaking pack here

2015 in review: Top trends of the year

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

As we begin 2016, we have taken a retrospective look at 2015 and the trends that were...

Most searched

Top “How to” search on Google Australia How to Tie a Tie

Top “What is?” search on Google Australia – Netflix

Top recipe search on Google Australia – Pancake Recipe

Most Globally Googled Topic – Paris Under Attack – 897+m searches


Colour of the year



Oxford Word of the Year


"Face with tears of joy"


Biggest crowdsourced project of the year

Top 2015 Kickstarter Project – Pebble Time - $20.34m USD


Social media: Instagram

Most Liked Post

Kendall Jenner


Meme of the year

Most Reblogged Meme

Pepe the Frog

Background: Pepe the Frog is an anthropomorphic frog character from the comic series Boy’s Clubby Matt Furie. On 4chan, various illustrations of the frog creature have been used as reaction faces, including Feels Good Man, Sad Frog, Angry Pepe, Smug Frog and Well Meme’d.


Twitter

Most Retweeted Tweet

Harry Styles

From boy band One Direction, Harry Styles’ tweet of gratitude to fans was sent after word came out that Zayn Malik was leaving the band. This tweet was retweeted almost 750,000 times, making it the most popular tweet of 2015 and one of the most popular messages ever published on the social media platform.


# of the year

Top Twitter Hashtags

  • Music = #OneDirection  
  • TV =  #KCA (2015 Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards)
  • Tech =  #iPad
  • News = #jobs
  • Stars =  #ArianaGrande

Facebook

  • Top Place = Disney theme parks
  • Top Athlete = Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
  • Top Entertainer = Ed Sheeran
  • Top Movie = Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Top Politician = Barack Obama
  • Top Game = FIFA 15
  • Top TV Show = Game of Thrones 

Smartphone Apps

Top Smartphone App Released in 2015 – Apple Music with approx. 55m downloads.

Best Selling Album

25 by Adele

Best Selling Song

Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran


Youtube

Top Trending Video (Trending includes shares, comments and views)

Silento- Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) #WatchMeDanceOn

Most Watched YouTube Video Released in 2015

Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth [Official Video] Furious 7 Soundtrack

Sydney's Rising Star Suburbs

Monday, January 04, 2016

Analysis of the Urban Living Index shows the
top 3 growth areas to watch


The Urban Living Index rates each of Sydney’s suburbs based on five key liveability factors: Community, Employability, Amenity, Accessibility and importantly, Affordability.

While some of Sydney’s most glamorous suburbs such as Bondi, Neutral Bay and Manly did very well on the first four measures, they did not do well in the affordability category. The cost of living and the cost of housing are currently red-hot issues for Sydney siders and so affordability is in many ways the priority issue with the other lifestyle measures remaining purely theoretical for those priced out of an area.

The majority of Sydneysiders (51%) believe that their area will be even less affordable in three years’ time than it is today- which is almost five times as many as those who believe their area will become more affordable. And most strikingly, almost 9 in 10 Sydney residents (88%) state that housing affordability will be a massive or significant challenge for the next generation.

With this in mind, we have analysed the Urban Living Index data of all Sydney suburbs to find the areas that have excellent affordability- but also rate very well on the other lifestyle measures.

While there are 25 suburbs that score 15 or above (out of 20) for affordability, there are three areas in this list that have great results in the other liveability categories as well.

1st Lalor Park

Lalor Park and the adjoining Kings Langley toped our hot spotting list. The affordability score (15) was excellent, and these suburbs have an amenity score (a measure of the number of shops, restaurants, arts and recreation facilities and educational options in the suburb) which was very good. In fact these suburbs scored higher on the local amenity provisions than suburbs including Newport, Wahroonga and Frenchs Forest. Similarly Lalor Park and Kings Langley scored well on accessibility (a measure that looks at public transport, employment access and walkability of an area) and above beach and harbour side suburbs like Avalon and Rose Bay.

While the overall score for Lalor Park-Kings Langley is in the “Very Good” category, its excellent affordability ranking makes it a suburb likely to boom.

2nd Menai

Menai and the adjoining suburbs of Lucas Heights and Woronora are the next suburbs set to take off based on this analysis. Relative to other Sydney suburbs, the affordability is in the excellent category and this is matched by the employability category. So the combination of good employment numbers, a significant local economy and access to housing more affordable than much of Sydney, this area in Sydney’s south is a clear hotspot.

3rd Blaxland

The third most rated area from this affordability and liveability analysis is Blaxland at the foot of the Blue Mountains and the adjoining suburbs of Warrimoo and Lapstone. Just 8 minutes from the M4 motorway, and less than 10 minutes from the Western Sydney suburbs of Penrith and Emu Plains, this area has become part of Sydney’s greater west yet the affordability, along with the community and amenity scores lift it above many areas in the outer western Sydney ring.

As the urban living index data shows, liveability depends on more than just water views and beach access- the practical factors of educational options, employment access, public transport and other built amenity and of course affordability all make an area desirable and facilitate lifestyle. That is why each of these areas have rated on the Index above the well-heeled suburbs of Palm Beach, Belrose and Vaucluse and it is why they stand out as rising stars.


This research we conducted for Urban Taskforce Australia is an example of robust research generating significant media activity and reader interest. This particular piece was summarised in the Sydney Morning Herald here, and as you can see from the image below was in the top 5 most read columns on the day in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Melbourne Age and the Brisbane Times.

For more information

The Urban Living Index was developed by McCrindle for Urban Taskforce Australia. More information and interactive maps are available at www.urbanlivingindex.com

The Top 5 Trends to Watch in 2016

Monday, January 04, 2016

1. Life Tracking

Not only do we photograph much of life and share it as we go in this era of selfies and social media but armed with Go Pros and dashboard cams we video a lot of life too. However the year ahead will see tracking of life go to new levels with the use of the now ubiquitous wearable life tracking technology like the Apple watch, Microsoft band and Fitbit. Never before has there been a generation who can track, monitor, record and analyse their every moment- literally their every heartbeat- like this generation today. From steps walked to hours of sleep, to pulse monitoring, users now have access to more health data than their doctor- all uploadable and analysable. The year ahead will see apps emerge and programs developed to make this data more comparable and usable and interested parties such as health insurance companies, health advocacy groups and even local communities will provide rewards, discounts, competitions and benefits to support the wider use and corresponding healthy lifestyles that such technology encourages.

2. Technocracy

Technology is now empowering and in many ways improving democracy. Traditionally, democracy worked through corresponding with one’s local Member of Parliament, signing petitions to be tabled, and of course voting in elections. However in a technocracy, tweets, trending hashtags, likes and online campaigns have the power to reverse government decisions and influence policy priorities. Such clicktivism gives voice to those beyond adults and enrolled voters and those outside of an electoral or state boundary. The year ahead will see more sophisticated technology-driven campaigns and both viral and promoted campaigns will become more common. Just as we have seen the power of technology to influence legislation such as Uber shaping transport legislation and Air BnB impacting accommodation regulations, the mass usage of convenience and lifestyle apps will continue to shape policy.

3. Bigger Australia

In February Australia will hit its next population milestone of 24 million. And by the end of the year Sydney will be Australia’s first city to hit the 5 million mark, with Melbourne just shy of this number. While the population growth rate has slowed over the last year with slightly fewer births and declined migration numbers, Australia is still adding more than a million people every three years. In fact in 2009 when then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd talked about Big Australia the population had just hit 22 million and since then it has increased by almost 10% in just 6 years. The population forecast then was for Australia to reach almost 36 million by the middle of this century however on current trends it will exceed 40 million by then. It seems that Australians have responded to the growth with housing trends of densification, the growth in apartment living and “walkable” urban communities. In addition to this the year ahead will see policy and political responses to population growth through more focus on growing regional centres, investing in public transport and road infrastructure, airport and flight movement expansions and renewed discussion of a very fast train link between Sydney and Melbourne which together are home to 40% of the national population.

4. Brand Fatigue

Price sensitive shopping and value seeking is the new norm for Australian consumers. Cost of living pressures will continue to drive consumer demand for low prices, discounts and sales. The year ahead will see Australians adapt even more to new brands or “non brands” in an era of high quality private label brands that deliver lower prices. A new generation of consumers who are early adoptors, used to online shopping and influenced by global brands are redefining the Australian brand landscape. Even in areas that were very brand sensitive such as consumer electronics we are seeing the rapid rise of emerging brands- many of these from China. Two of the five leading global smartphone brands are Huawei and Xiaomi and emerging brands like Oppo (from China) now sit alongside the iPhone. Australian consumers are in many ways brand agnostic- but they are price believers. They are still tuned into brands that offer a great value proposition and legacy brands that have built a reputation of quality are well trusted and regarded- but the year ahead will see an ongoing challenge to maintain this relevance in a landscape of more brands, less loyalty and ongoing price sensitivity.

5. Powerworking

This is the work equivalent of power napping. With widespread Wi-Fi access and the growing acceptance of teleworking, work is increasingly being done in non-traditional places (while commuting, at home, cafés, shared spaces), and outside of the typical working hours. More importantly work is being done in bursts. The hot-desking and coworking spaces of today create more collaboration- but also more distraction. Combined with a new generation of staff used to multi-screening and shaped in an era of shorter attention spans we are seeing the emergence of a changing approach to work with chunking or micro-working meaning that work is being conducted across more hours but in a series of concentrated phases. The year ahead will see an ongoing attempt by employers to support the flexibility of modern workers and workplaces while improving productivity. This will see more tracking tools, and output measurement apps provided to measure and enable productivity.

-Mark McCrindle


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