What if Australia was a town of 100: Ipsos report

How well you do understand our country and its people?

illustration of diverse community

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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    To make a comment, please register or login
    17th Dec 2019
    Now they need to ask what percentage of people think this survey is flawed and if this is our population sector they are seriously uneducated.

    EVERY keystroke on a computer or mobile phone is being leaked to another source! - and that is just one dot point.
    BEAUTY and employment/life/romantic connectivity success are absolutely connected. etc etc etc.
    17th Dec 2019
    unfortunately there was no survey question for determining the proportion of the population that believe in the validity of surveys. Are you suggesting the percentage of people who think the survey is flawed are seriously uneducated or reflecting on two separate questions?
    Horace Cope
    17th Dec 2019
    Interesting survey results. Some of the answers are so airy fairy that they are useless. "86 people believe humans contribute to climate change in some way", I'm in that group but where was the question "Do you think that anything that humans can do will alter climate change to any great degree?"

    "67 say Australia needs a strong leader to take it back from the rich and powerful". Well this is a lovely answer but it fails to define who the rich and powerful are or what "it" is and why that needs to happen.

    "81 were optimistic 2019 would be a better year than 2018". Gee it's late December and people are optimistic when most would already know whether 2019 is better 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", no they're not, like YLC they just give people the opportunity to anonymously express their opinion.

    I'm not a great believer in polls/surveys because we don't know the questions or who was asked in most cases. If we believe in polls, Clinton would be POTUS, Shorten would be PM and Britain would be suffering under a hung parliament.
    18th Dec 2019
    They might think of a strong leader like Jeremy Corbyn, intent to nationalise production and power and water provision and tax businesses out of existence. But then these 67 just do not like people with money that can shake and move things and thus just show their envy. We had a very rich leader who wanted to cover the landscape with solar panels and wind turbines but we did not want him either.
    Knight Templar
    17th Dec 2019
    It is impossible to determine the veracity of the survey without access to the questions asked. Were they leading questions, open-ended, closed, vague, incapable of a specific response etc. It would also be necessary to establish who was surveyed ... their age, location, education, political allegiance etc .

    Does Ipsos have a particular agenda in respect of immigration, politics, climate and capitalism? If so, could this consciously, or otherwise, influence the type of questions asked in the survey.
    Horace Cope
    17th Dec 2019
    Here is a great example of how to conduct a survey, Knights Templar.

    17th Dec 2019
    You wave a magic wand and they're there. They last forever almost like existing in a Garden of Eden. They're free. What they give is free. Brainwashing/delusion free. Ask the 100.
    17th Dec 2019
    Of the few respondents so far it seems a significant majority think the survey is flawed, with the major reason being we don’t know how or what the question asked was posed, I think everyone knows the way a question is asked or phrased will create a different response. The response regarding the US, UK and our own elections should have produced a completely different result is very accurate and shows just how flawed surveys are.
    Retiring Well
    17th Dec 2019
    Just proves that an awful lot of people blame others for their own problems.
    17th Dec 2019
    A typically uncaring response from a heartless Right-winger.
    17th Dec 2019
    There would be more water.
    17th Dec 2019
    17th Dec 2019
    I actually got sent this survey to do and found it really interesting, good to see the results. I think it is a good representation of what Australians want and care about, now we just have to push for more positive changes and not be so negative.
    17th Dec 2019
    Lets face it this article has a huge leftwing bias and now we find a bloody Greenie has filled out the survey. They were probably all filled by your type of people.
    17th Dec 2019
    @Robie. What a moronic comment (as one would expect of a Right-winger). How exactly does this article have "a huge leftwing bias"? And how do you know that musicveg is "a bloody Greenie"?
    17th Dec 2019
    I have some ability on a computer to find out things about people it is not a safe sight I can put up all your details if I want I will tell you one thing about you, you are on the spastics pension want me to put more up about you I will?
    17th Dec 2019
    What the? Why are you attacking me Robie and assuming things? Very strange to say I am a "bloody greenie" without proof. Yes I do care about the environment always have, but it does not mean I vote for the Greens either. And what is your ability to find out things about me?

    17th Dec 2019
    What a load of rubbish 4 out of a hundred don't believe in climate change I don't know of anyone who believes in it and some of them vote labor.
    17th Dec 2019
    You obviously hang around a bunch of (predominantly Right-wing) cretins with their collective heads up their fundament so that they cannot - and will not - see the mountains of evidence confirming the reality of (anthropogenic) climate-change. Climate-change is not a matter of "belief": the hard data demonstrate it.

    17th Dec 2019
    "46 think immigration has had a positive impact on their country"

    Which means that up to 54 think that immigration has had a negative impact on the country. I am one of these 54. Indeed, I think Australia (certainly our largest cities) is being swamped by Chinese, Indians and Muslims - to the detriment of our sociocultural cohesion. Australia needs to stop ALL immigration, and encourage these groups in particular to emigrate.
    17th Dec 2019
    I agree with cutting back on legal dollar paying immigrants, pushing up housing prices and having way too many babies, we need more balance. Only the rich want more people to build a big Australia but seriously can Australia with its droughts, floods and fires actually cope? Indians just bought my local post office business, already got the servo, and a couple of other places.
    18th Dec 2019
    OK the Indians now bought your local businesses, musicveg. But then there was someone selling the businesses to them. Maybe some of us do not want to put in long hours to make a living - a bit like in the old days - the greeks had the milk bars. About the house prices I agree with you, we DO spend too much of our money on housing. But as long as housing is free of asset taxes etc that will continue. If I had the money I would do it myself.
    18th Dec 2019
    Intellego - how exactly would you go about encouraging "these groups" to emigrate? Most of them have only arrived in the last 20 years or so. Am currently in Fiji where they did encourage a section of the population to leave. That section is still firmly in control of most businesses and financial institutions. All we can hope for is that newcomers accept the Australian way of life.
    18th Dec 2019
    Yes Mariner they were Egyptians who had the local post office before the Indians for quite a few years and Aussies before that for years and years. Times are changing. Most immigrants in the 1950's/1960's were not skilled labor either, my dad was one, was not even educated, but there were many many jobs, he was never without work his whole life in Australia.
    17th Dec 2019
    Spot on Intellego it is all about greed.
    17th Dec 2019
    Ipsos report launch at https://www.ipsos.com/en-au/ipsos-launches-understanding-australia-2019

    download the report at https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2019-12/ua_report_v7_final_pages_lowres.pdf
    18th Dec 2019
    Pity that the whole discussion degenerates into Leftwing-Rightwing polemic. The findings are pretty general and some I agree with. Being an immigrant myself I agree our contribution was good at the time 60s/70s. The Govt advertised in European media for immigrants to come with glossy brochures etc. We were made welcome in basic accommodation and took jobs available outside of Sydney and Melbourne, no problem. Today I think we get too many immigrants with no skills and no desire to get ahead in the new country and many want to change the country to the place they come from. Feel sorry about the way Australia is changing and soon we can no longer walk around the town after sundown.
    Oz in Or
    18th Dec 2019
    We need to know the wording of the questions. "4 believe there is no such thing as climate change"???? The earth has undergone huge changes throughout its existence. Did the question mention human activity? The questions themselves are vital in order to determine the relevance of the responses.
    18th Dec 2019
    Since I still have a landline when at home I get quite a few calls about surveys. Never got one on my cell phone so it makes me wonder whether a lot of oldies are involved in these surveys. Do not know anyone under 50 years of age with a landline in my area. I stick with the line because I still have sisters and friends in Europe and using cell phones is a bit too costly still.

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