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Scanlon Foundation's 2015 Mapping Social Cohesion Report has been launched
Scanlon Foundation's latest Mapping Social Cohesion Report has been launched!
The Mapping Social Cohesion Reports track public attitudes on issues including immigration, multiculturalism, discrimination, and belonging, and maps our national mood via the Scanlon-Monash Index of Social Cohesion.
Report author, Professor Andrew Markus said while the overall shift in the Scanlon-Monash Index of social cohesion was positive, the domain of Social Justice and Equity had slipped. And, in 2015, the index sits at the third lowest point since 2007.
The report shows experience of discrimination based on ethnic background and religion has lessened from 18% to 15% since last year, and there continues to be a high level of acceptance of immigration and cultural diversity.
In the domain of social equity and justice, there has been a decline in satisfaction since the election of the Coalition government. This reflects heightened concern over lack of support for those on low incomes, the gap between rich and poor, lessened economic opportunity and low trust in government. Key findings also show that in 2015, economic concerns remain on top in the ranking of the most important issue facing Australia today, with national security, terrorism, and social issues ranking second.
The level of concern about immigration remains at the lowest point recorded by the Scanlon Foundation surveys – just 35% of respondents consider that the intake is too high. Since 2014, there has been little change in attitudes toward asylum seekers arriving by boat – just one in four people consider that they should be eligible for permanent settlement in Australia.
In response to questions on integration, two thirds of respondents agreed that Australians should do more to learn about the customs and heritage of immigrants, while a similar proportion agreed that immigrants should change their behaviour to be more like Australians. Professor Markus says that, “the survey found considerable support for the idea that both people born in Australia and immigrants needed to adapt to life in a changing Australia”.
Summary of findings by State and region:
• Residents in regional Australia have lower support for migration, cultural diversity and the resettlement of asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia than respondents living in capital cities.
• Residents in regional areas are more likely to consider Australia’s immigration intake to be too high with 44% of people holding this view, compared to 36% in capital cities - but in both areas, this is a minority view.
• Residents in Melbourne and Canberra have the highest level of support for cultural diversity, compared with those in Brisbane and Perth who are most negative.
• The lowest level of trust in the federal government was in Victoria, the highest level in Queensland and Western Australia.
To view the 2015 Report and previous years visit: http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/research/surveys/