Spotlight on Rural Australia - Roy Morgan Research releases State of the Nation Report 11
Roy Morgan Research released their findings on the latest Australian trends within society, the environment, politics and the economy. The report focuses on 'Rural Australia', examining the differences in Australian life between those living in the two regions.
Brief summary of findings: State of the Nation: City versus Country
When it comes to health, a higher proportion of city residents participate in sport and exercise compared to their rural neighbours, whereas those from the country are more likely to smoke and also drink alcohol. A higher proportion of people from the country were also overweight or obese, and they generally suffered from more health problems.
Business confidence is higher in the city, with the ‘utilities, water and waste’ sector the most confident in the city. In the country however ‘mining’ is the most confident industry by a large amount. City businesses are also more likely to increase staff numbers and investment in the near future. As with business confidence, consumer confidence is also higher in the city due to a higher proportion of residents expecting good times financially in the next twelve months.
Unemployment rates tend to be higher in the country, with the younger generation most likely to be unemployed in both regions. Men are more likely to be employed in both city and country.Education levels are much higher in the city with a greater proportion of residents holding a university degree compared to those in the country. Those in the country are more likely to live in households with one or two people than those in the city. City residents are more likely to live in larger households.
When looking at country of birth, a higher proportion of country residents were born in Australia compared to those living in the city. Apart from those born in Australia, the second most prevalent racial background in the city was Asian, whereas in the country it was those born in the UK and Ireland.
Financial data indicates that those in the city have higher net wealth, higher personal and household incomes, and higher home values. Other components of the spotlight section include technology ownership and usage, media consumption, attitudes and values, and energy costs and consumption.
The Roy Morgan data comes from part of an ongoing nationwide Single Source survey of over 50,000 Australians annually, showing distinct trends over a number of years. In addition to the large consumer survey, Roy Morgan Research also conducts a business survey with over 24,000 businesses per annum covering city and rural Australia.
Economic and Financial issues in Australia
According to the latest Roy Morgan Research (conducted on the nights of April 17-19 and May 12/13, 2012), in May 2012 Australians believe the most important problems facing Australia and the World are Economic and Financial issues.
When asked about the most important problem facing Australia, Economic and Financial issues are mentioned by 44% (up 9% since January 2012) including Unemployment 11% (up 5%), Economy, Economic problems & Interest Rates 10% (down 1%), Cost of Living 5% (up 2%) and Disapprove Carbon Tax 3% (unchanged).
A group of issues labelled ‘Government, Politics, Immigration & Human Rights issues’ are named by 22% (down 6%) of Australians. Within that group 14% (unchanged) mentioned the Government, the political system, political leadership and Julia Gillard, 4% (down 3%) mentioned Refugees and asylum seekers and 2% (down 2%) mentioned Immigration/ Immigration policy.
Environmental issues are mentioned by 13% (up 2%) as the most important problem facing Australia. The most important Environmental Issues are Disapprove of Carbon Tax (3%, unchanged); Climate Change/ Global Warming 3% (down 1%) and Other Environmental issues 3% (up 1%).
Australians don't want foreign ownership of farmland
A special telephone Morgan Poll on foreign ownership of farmland shows that a large majority of Australians (74%) disapprove of foreign investors buying Australian farmland compared to only 20.5% that approve while 5.5% can’t say.
More women (78%) disapprove than men (70%) disapprove while those from Victoria (79%), New South Wales (75%) and South Australia (74.5%) are the most disapproving of foreign investment in Australia’s farmland.
Supporters of all political parties also disapprove of foreign ownership of Australian farmland. L-NP supporters (80.5%) and ALP supporters (77%) are very closely aligned on this issue.