Friday, May 18th, 2012 - Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research has released the State of the Nation Report 11, which looks at the latest Australian trends within society, technology, the environment, politics and the economy. The report focuses a spotlight on ‘Rural Australia’, examining the differences in Australian life between those living in the two regions.

Below is a brief summary of findings included in the spotlight section of the Roy Morgan State of the Nation Report 11.

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.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Australian citizens - whether those living in the city or country – generally share many similarities. Many findings of the ‘City versus Country’ focus made sense given the differences between city and country life. However, there are many differences between the two regions, particularly in health, unemployment and wealth. ”

“Qualitative research conducted by Roy Morgan Research in April and May found that overall Australians generally agreed on what they thought were the most important issues currently facing Australia, however there were some important differences. A much higher proportion of city residents rated the ‘environment’ as the most important issue compared with those living in the country. Whereas ‘government, political, human rights’ rated much higher in the country than in the city.” 

Most Important Issues Facing Australia




40% Unemployment

Economic problems Cost of Living Carbon tax

Money issues Tax Homelessness Overpopulation

46% Unemployment

Economic downturn/problems Carbon Tax
Cost of living

Money issues Poverty
Foreign Ownership



Climate Change Environmental problems Water conservation Famine
Severe weather conditions

Global Warming/Climate Change

Destroying environment Water conservation Pollution


0.2% Troops overseas

3% Relationship with Asian countries

Border Control Troops overseas


26% Government/Julia Gillard

Boat people/refugees Immigration Multiculturalism Racism

19% Government/Julia Gillard

Refugees / Asylum problems Immigration
Aboriginal issues



Behaviour of young people Crime
Drugs and alcohol Violence
Lack of respect


Crime and drugs Lack of community Youth issues Greed


Depletion of Natural Resources

Sustainable energy

2% Reliance on fossil fuels

Depletion of natural Resources


5% Health care

Medical services/hospitals Aged services

3% Health care/health system

Aging population/aged care

Source: Roy Morgan Qualitative Research, April 17-19, n = 818, May 12-13 n=167.

For more information about Roy Morgan’s Australian State of the Nation Report 11 – Focus on Rural Australia, email: [email protected]

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company.

Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.

Vaishali Nagaratnam
P: 0392245309


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