Australians’ support multiculturalism high, social survey finds
Support for Australia’s multicultural society remains high with 80 per cent of people agreeing that it is ‘a good thing for a society to be made up of people from different cultures’, according to a new survey of social wellbeing and experiences.
The survey, by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows 80.8 per cent of people agree that it is ‘a good thing for a society to be made up of people from different cultures.
Australians aged 70 years or over were less likely than those aged 15 to 24 years to agree with this statement, 74.5 per cent compared to 83.9 per cent respectively.
But the survey also found one in six Australians, or 17.4 per cent, experienced some form of racial or religious discrimination in the previous 12 months.
Almost a third, or 31.7 per cent, of people with a mental health condition reported having experienced some form of discrimination, compared to 15.5 per cent of people without a mental health condition.
People with disability were also more likely to report having experienced discrimination compared to those with no disability, 22.1 per cent and 15.5 per cent respectively.
People who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual were more likely to report experiencing discrimination than people who identified as heterosexual, 33.5 per cent compared to 16.9 per cent, the survey found.
Generally, the life satisfaction of Australians aged 15 years and over had dipped in recent years and was 7.5 out of 10 in 2019, compared to 7.6 in 2014. And more than half of Australians, or 56.3 per cent, experienced at least one personal stress factor in the last 12 months.
Almost two in five Australians, or 39.5 per cent, reported ‘Always’ or ‘Often’ feeling rushed for time.
Since 2010, there has been a general decrease in the proportion of people who are involved in social groups, community support groups, and civic and political groups, the survey found.
Just over two-thirds, or 67.8 per cent, of Australians had face to face contact with family or friends living outside their household at least once a week.
But new migrants and temporary residents were less likely than people born in Australia to have face to face contact with family or friends living outside the household at least once a week during the 3 months prior to the survey, 53.7 per cent compared to 70.3 per cent.
But overwhelmingly Australians reported being able to get support in times of crisis from persons living outside their household at 94.4 per cent, the ABS survey found.
Just over one in ten Australians, or 11 per cent, have been without a permanent place to live at some time in their lives. And, in 2019, nearly one in five households, or 19.5 per cent, were unable to raise $2,000 within a week for something important.
When compared with ‘couple families with dependent children’, ‘one parent families with dependent children’ are more likely to report that a government pension and allowances was the main source of income in the household, 31.1 per cent compared to 4.4 percent, and less able to save money most weeks, 20.0 per cent compared to 45.1 per cent.
‘One parent families with dependent children’ are also less likely to own their own home with a mortgage than ‘Couple families with dependent children’, 23.7 per cent compared to 58.4 per cent.
More than half, or 55.3 per cent, of Australians agree that most people can be trusted. Persons aged 70 years and over were more likely to agree that most people can be trusted compared to persons aged 15 to 24 years, 61.2 per cent compared to 49.5 per cent.
More than three quarters, or 76.8 per cent, of Australians agree that police can be trusted, while 57.6 per cent agree that the justice system can be trusted.
In 2019, 2.2 million Australians were without a permanent place to at some time in their lives. Of these people, 50.3 per cent were male and 48.0 per cent were female.
In situations where people found themselves without a permanent place to live, 75.1 per cent of people had stayed with friends or relatives and 34 per cent had slept rough. The most common reason for the most recent experience of being without a permanent place to live was due to relationship breakdowns, affecting about 1 million people, or 48.2 per cent of people who have ever been without a permanent place to live.
Other reasons included housing being too expensive and unemployment, 16.2 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively.
Almost one third, or 29.5 per cent, of Australians aged 15 years and over participated in unpaid voluntary work through an organisation in 2019.
Unpaid voluntary work through an organisation contributed 596.2 million hours to the community in the 12 months prior to the survey.
The rate of volunteering through an organisation for persons aged 18 years and over has declined from 36.2 per cent in 2010 to 28.8 per cent in 2019.
Just over half, or 51.5 per cent, of Australians aged 15 years and over provided unpaid work/support to persons living outside their household in the four weeks prior to the survey in 2019, the survey found.