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In July 2013, Australia’s population will exceed 23 million.

TREND 1: Big Australia

dotted with popular new enterprises, including creative food

Having doubled since 1966, this rise is fuelled by an increase

kiosks usually associated with New York or Los Angeles.



in birth rate, life expectancy and migration. These factors have

allowed Australia to grow at a rate of 1.6% per year, above

With Australia’s increasing population also comes

the world average of 1.1%. Not only is Australia the fastest

greater influence in the global arena. As our

growing OECD nation, but its population is increasing faster

economy maintains stability, Australia is a

than Indonesia, India, and Malaysia.

key place to invest and foster



This presents challenges and opportunities for Australians.

A larger population can place greater strain on our

infrastructure, increase our environmental impact, and create

Australia’s biggest city:


Cities between 4 - 5m

a new level of social complexity. These potential problems can











make the prospect of a ‘Big Australia’ daunting for many.

European biggest city:


St Petersburg:


The diversity that comes with population growth presents

Alexandria (Egypt):

many benefits for Australians. We are spoilt for choice in

USA’s biggest city:

New York


where we shop, in what we eat, in who we interact with.



Our social identity is enriched and enlivened, and in turn our

Asia biggest city:



quality of life improves.



China’s biggest city


Cape Town:

The vibrant urban cultures of Australia’s big cities, such as

Sydney and Melbourne illustrate the positive effects that a


large, diverse population can bring. These “global” cities



Australia’s annual population growth rate:

boast a wide range of cafes, restaurants, performance venues

China’s annual population growth rate:

and cultural attractions. The cities’ streets are becoming


Tweens are those aged 8 to 12, “in-between” childhood


Tweens are greatly influenced by celebrities.

and adolescence. They are the children of Generation X.

The Olsen twins were pioneers in catering

Tweens have emerged as their own demographic, and

for tweens.

are now seen as brand influencers, a consumer segment,

and a target market.

Since then, personalities including Taylor Swift

and Justin Bieber have developed

In the past, tween girls have been the predominant focus

sophisticated methods of connecting with

for media and marketers. However, we are now seeing

tweens, hosting their own e-stores that

an array of products targeting tween boys. Focusing on

sell fashion and cosmetic items to

this demographic is surprisingly lucrative. Despite their

this age group.

lack of income, Australian tweens are a one billion dollar

consumer force: the average 8 year-old receives $10.68

The relatively new world of

in pocket money a week, increasing to $21.36 for the

‘tweendom’ is evidence of

average 12 year-old.

the up-ageing of today’s

emerging generations.

Social media has been integral to the development

These young people have

of tween identity. Many tweens are actively engaging

access to more technology,

on sites, uploading their own YouTube videos and

information, and external influences

connecting with friends on Facebook. Many websites are

than any generation before them.

targeted specifically at this demographic. Tweens can

create virtual pets, play dress-ups, and interact with other

people their age online.




Numbers of 8-12 year olds: 1,387,130 (larger than the city of Adelaide [1.2m])

Number of 6-12 year olds: 1,949,443 (more people than thestate of

South Australia [1.67m])

Today’s tweens – Gen Z, are the children of Gen X.

They are the first generation who are wholly born and raised in the 21st Century.

They are the most global connected, tech savvy, materially endowed, and formally

educated generation ever.

Pocket Money $10.68 - $21.36 per week which equates to a total of $1.08 billion

for Australian tweens per year.


TREND 3: Student-preneur

Gone are the days of Australian students earning

entrepreneurial generation. They are responsive

preneurs’ may also use their university connections

their money from paper runs. As one of the top

to global trends and innovative ways to increase

to further market and distribute their products or

countries for years spent in education, Australia’s

profits. ‘Student-preneurs’ are more likely than


students are looking for creative ways to use their

other demographics to use the internet as a way to

skills and make a profit where study prevents them

develop, market, and sell their businesses. ‘Student-

As Australia’s students spend longer in tertiary

from full-time employment.

preneurship’ begins the journey of what will be an

education, this emerging trend is one way in

ongoing reality for many of today’s students that

which younger generations are employing their

This generation is not interested in jobs that do not

they will be self-employed at some point.

technological savvy to great effect, as a means

serve their future career paths. Many work part-time

to financially support themselves and express

in the retail, service and technology sectors. As

Universities themselves have a significant role

themselves creatively.

Gen Ys and Zs, today’s students are technological

to play in aiding ‘student-preneurs’. Students

natives. Always connected via social networking

intentionally use the knowledge and skills gained

and other online media, this generation of students

from their degrees in their business ventures.

now has the means to start up businesses from their

Universities are responding to this, developing small


business courses and entrepreneurial education

programs. Recently, some universities have held

Contrary to Australia’s traditionally risk-averse

entrepreneurship competitions with cash prizes to

culture, our university students are part of a heavily

help business plans get off the ground. ‘Student-


TREND 3: Student-preneur


2,132,412 – trading business Australia of which 1,305,024 don’t

have any employees. That’s 61% of all businesses.

Almost 1 in 3 (29%) Australian businesses have revenue of less

than 50K per year.

54% of businesses that began 4 years ago are no longer operating,

but this does not mean they all failed: for student-preneurs, these

businesses were only designed to last through their university years,

and offer some earnings, and some experience.


Australians are shopping ‘smarter’ than ever before. Strategies to save money

TREND 4: Smart Shopper

or secure a bargain are a common part of today’s consumer culture. Puchasing

non-mainstream brands and getting discounts for goods and services is no longer

“cheap” shopping, but “smart” shopping.

Discount sites such as GroupOn and Spreets have experienced a spike in popularity,

owing in part to an unstable global market following the economic down-turn.

Consumers are turning to store brands or ‘private label’ brands, which now fill the

shelves of our supermarkets. Bulk buying is also on the rise, and supermarkets have

responded to this trend with basic goods now available in larger units, and wholesale

warehouses like Costco having gained popularity.

Smartphones are becoming an indispensible tool for the smart shopper. Traditional

stores must now not only contend with the growth of online shopping, but with

consumers comparing prices, checking reviews and consulting with friends and

family on-line, all while browsing a store’s aisles. Australians are actively using their

smartphones and tablets in these “showrooming” activities to save money.

Generation Y exemplifies this trend: 46% have used their device in-store to enter

model numbers or compare prices, 31% have used a scanner or barcode app to

compare prices with other stores; and 48% have taken a photo of a product to

compare with online stores. Just over 2 in 5 have accessed consumer blogs or online

discussions while shopping, and 3 in 5 have taken a photo of a product to get a

second opinion from friends or family.

Smart shopping is a trend that shows no signs of slowing any time soon!


Many Australians are now returning to the local shopping


owners who are able to provide personal advice

strip, and investing into their local businesses.

and source goods to meet their customers’ needs.

Australia has also seen a growing number of farmers’

This resurgence is partly due to re-investment by owners,

and street markets, where consumers are able to

local councils and government policies to counteract

connect directly with producers.

the effects of urban sprawl of our major cities. The

convenience, expression of local culture, personal

In this era of resurgent communities, there has been a

connections and open-air environment provided by local

change to shopping habits, and growth in the more regular

shops hold lasting appeal.

“top-up” shop compared to the once-a-week “trolley-fill”

shop. The local stores are the preferred option for the

These are qualities that the expanding online retail sector,

quick and frequent top-up shop.

large chains and shopping centres are unable to duplicate.

Local shops are also responding to Australia’s ‘smart

The local shopping strip offers products and services

shopping’ trend, providing vouchers and discounts via

that invest directly back into the local community, and

online sites like GroupOn.

contributes to a sense of identity and belonging for its


Shopping locally is a social experience. Shopping strips

not only offer local cafes, take-away food, fresh groceries,

and bakeries, but also hairdressers, tax accountants,

doctors, pharmacy and clothing stores. Such diversity

and specialisation provides a vibrant community space for

local residents, and fosters a sense of belonging.

Many Australians see the value of investing into the local

community, and appreciate the relationships that are built

with other community members, as well as business


Today’s students are constantly connected through


Retaining new teachers is a challenge when they have

ever-advancing technology and social media. The

a multi-career outlook.The average Gen Yer works

education sector is responding to this by tailoring

for only 3 years per employer. New methods of

curriculums and classroom strategies to address the

engagement need to be developed to ensure

challenges and opportunities presented by this shift.

that this emerging generation of educators

gain career experience and growing

The emphasis on project-based assessments and

in their skills.

increased ‘real-world’ connections are evidence of

Australia carrying its education systems into the 21st

Education for Gen Z is about social

century. Collaboration is highly encouraged, and

connection, collaboration, ease of

schools have prioritised communication skills as a major

access and real-world applications.

focus area.

Schools are experimenting with

school times, and relying more

Today’s school communities are comprised of Gen X

on interactive social media

parents, Gen Y teachers and Gen Z students. Gen X

technology and flexible

parents were shaped at the start of the computer era,

learning spaces.

and while generally not highly technologically savvy,

they are keen to see their children absorb the ever-

Australia’s schools are

increasing world of technology while also seeing them

demonstrating a trend towards

grow in literacy, numeracy and social skills.

replicating elements of our ever-

connected social lifestyles in

The challenge for schools is to attract and retain

curriculums and teaching

Generation Y teachers and staff members. In a sector

methods, so that education is

with an ageing workforce, and with record numbers of

congruent with 21st century life,

school age students in our population, the demand for

rather than a step back in time.

these emerging teachers is higher than ever.


Social relationships are timeless and integral to the formation of community.

TREND 7: Real World Relational

demonstrated. Emerging generations have been socially networking since

They have a bearing on our behaviours, attitudes and emotions. New social

their pre-teens, from instant messaging, to Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter.

media has expanded and altered the way we relate, and has made the world

Smartphones have added further flexibility, so that these generations are

seem much smaller. Connecting with others online is quick and simple, but

constantly connecting with current trends and issues.

comes with its drawbacks. Online interaction can deprive us of ‘real-world’

connections and foster increased interactions yet reduced friendships.

New platforms are being used to galvanise people into action or interaction,

whether it be to unite for a political cause or to form a flash mob, or to create

In contrast to traditional identity markers of culture, gender and place,

an interest group. Online social media allows for greater breadth of connection,

our online social identities are defined by our lifestyle choices and media

used as a tool to assist our deeper ‘real-world’ interactions.

consumption. We are able to interact with people irrespective of location.

In turn, our interaction with others online is tempered by scepticism, as it is

relatively simple for anyone to create a false or misleading identity.

Australians are now responding to our reliance on our online social world,

seeking more real-world interactions. Online technology is used as a tool to

facilitate these relationships. In the business world, we’re seeing face-to-face

meetings instead of just webinars or video-conferencing.

New technologies are responding to our desire for real-world connection

by ‘augmenting reality’. The barriers between the online and the real-world

are breaking down. Shops are encouraging consumers to interact via social

media on their smartphones while in-store. Interaction by users can ‘enhance’

advertisements and encourage participation. These new technologies connect

the limitless online realm with our tangible, every-day lives.

YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and the like are enabling a new kind of activism,

where information can be spread to an entire movement of people by

simply posting a status or uploading a video, as the ‘Occupy’ movements



McCrindle Research is one of the Asia Pacific region’s most renowned research agencies,

commissioned by government and commercial organisations to conduct demographic, market, social and generational research

to help them observe the changing times, understand the emerging trends, and strategically respond to the shifts.