If Australia was a town of 100

How well do you know your neighbour, how he or she feels about immigration, politics, capitalism or climate change?

Each year, Ipsos undertakes research with more than a million Australians to learn (within known margins of error) about sentiments across the wider population.

What if Australia were a small town with a population of 100 adults? Ipsos has condensed its findings and presented them in this vein.

So, what is Australia like? How well you do understand our country and its people? Here’s what our town of 100 thinks, according to Ipsos.

  • 86 people believe humans contribute to climate change in some way
  • 86 report that taking all things together, they are happy (either very or rather)
  • 72 believe that given the difficult economic issues in Australia today, Australia needs to focus less on the world and more at home
  • 65 agree that in 2019 they will spend at least one full week away from home on holiday
  • 67 say Australia needs a strong leader to take it back from the rich and powerful
  • 71 believe in the past year, the world has become more dangerous
  • 81 were optimistic 2019 would be a better year than 2018
  • 58 agree that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are making debates about social issues much more divisive than they used to be
  • 64 believe increasing renewable capacity should be a “high or essential priority” in Australia’s energy policy
  • 57 believe there is “a fair to great extent” of fake news in newspapers and magazines
  • 80 believe Australia has a responsibility to be a moral leader in the world and to set an example for other countries to follow
  • 62 believe social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are giving a voice to people who wouldn’t normally take part in debates and social issues
  • 51 believe things in their country are heading in the wrong direction
  • 78 are concerned about the effects of plastic on the environment
  • 65 agree temporarily cutting off social media platforms is acceptable at times of crisis, to stop the spread of false information
  • 61 agree achieving gender equality is important to them personally
  • 46 think immigration has had a positive impact on their country
  • 37 agree most of the world’s countries are doing what is appropriate and reasonable to fight climate change
  • 46 think their personal data will be leaked on the internet this year
  • 29 are looking forward to old age
  • 38 think Australian society is facing more danger because of divisions between people with different political views than it was 20 years ago
  • 27 believe automation is putting their jobs at risk
  • 24 are dissatisfied with their standard of living
  • 8 believe time spent on social media is one of their greatest sources of happiness
  • 12 say a woman’s looks are a key factor in helping them get ahead (five per cent for men)
  • 45 would support legalising the growth and possession of marijuana for personal use
  • 37 believe a country’s human rights record should be most important to leaders, when deciding on whether to have relations with other countries
  • 40 believe there are differences in people’s political views, but it’s healthy for society
  • 39 would eat a plant-based substitute for meat
  • 22 are consistently late in making payments for the majority of their financial commitments
  • 15 would feel comfortable sharing their political opinions with others, even if they don’t necessarily agree
  • 4 believe there is no such thing as climate change

“Looking at ‘our 100’ through such a lens is not only fun, but informative. Our list of statistics may seem random, but on closer look, it is insightful in understanding the key concerns and interests of Australians,” writes Ipsos public affairs senior research manager Lucy Hedt.

“Overall, these statistics paint a relatively positive outlook (from our miniature version of Australia), begging the question: how do we maintain this positivity?”

How do you feel about our town of 100? Is it an accurate reflection of what you generally feel? Are any of these statements completely contradictory to how you feel?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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