The Scanlon Foundation surveys, together with a number of international indicators, find that Australia remains a stable and highly cohesive society. International indicators which rank Australia at or near the top of developed countries in terms of living standard, education, health, and quality of life, include the OECD Better Life Index, the United Nations Human Development Index, and the Economist Global Liveability Ranking. The 2011-12 wave of the World Values Survey indicated that 70% of Australians were ‘very proud’ of their nationality, compared with 56% of Americans, 40% of Swedes, 29% of Russians, 24% of Germans, and 21% of Dutch.

 

The 2015 Scanlon Foundation survey found that 93% of respondents have a ‘sense of belonging in Australia’ either to a ‘great extent’ or ‘some extent’. While sense of belonging ‘to a great extent’ declined from 73% in 2011 to 65%-66% in 2013 and 2014, in 2015 it is at 69%; 91% of respondents agree with the proposition that ‘in the modern world, maintaining the Australian way of life and culture is important’, and 89% indicate that they take ‘pride in the Australian way of life and culture’.

 

The 2015 survey does not find significant increase in economic concerns. Economic issues are ranked first as the major problem facing Australia, but the proportion of respondents specifying the economy has not increased over the last four surveys. The proportion indicating that they are ‘very worried’ or ‘worried’ that they will lose their job ‘in the next year or so’ declined marginally from 14% in 2014 to 12% in 2015. There has been little change in the proportion indicating dissatisfaction with their ‘present financial situation’, 25% in 2013, 24% in 2014, and 24% in 2015.

Navigate this interactive video platform to listen to a keynote address from Andrew Markus, Professor of Monash University and Mapping Social Cohesion report author. You can then choose to explore a number of questions related to the report and view the response of four panel members from AMES, SBS, Australian Industry Group and Victoria Police.