Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
The latest research shows 4.25 million (22.7%) Australians aged 14+ report experiencing stress in the last 12 months.  Women are more likely to suffer stress (28.3%) than men (17%), as are people who live in country areas (25%) compared to those in capital cities (21.4%).  These results are from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey for the 12 months to June 2012.

Despite much discussion about stress in today’s society, the incidence of stress among Australians has remained remarkably constant over the last four years.

Stress levels differ by generation and can vary over time, as each generation grows older and moves through the different life stages. Currently Generations Y and X are the most likely to have experienced stress in the last 12 months (27.9% of Gen Y and 26.7% of Gen X).  The incidence of stress among Gen X has actually declined over the last two years, down from 28.7% in 2010. At the same time, the proportion of Gen Y’s with stress increased in the last year (up from 26.4% in 2011), and saw them overtaking Gen X for the first time in three years.

Stress by Generation

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2011 – June 2012 (n = 20,384).

Behind Gen Y and Gen X are Baby Boomers, with 22% reporting stress in the last 12 months, and remaining fairly static over the past few years.  By comparison, 20.4% of the youngest generation, Gen Z, reported stress in the 12 months to June 2012, which is up on the previous year and a significant increase compared to 2008, when only 12.3% of Gen Z reported stress.

The oldest generation, Pre-Boomers, are the least likely to experience stress, with only 10.6% reporting stress in the past 12 months, which is down slightly on last year’s result of 11.4%.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“A wide range of factors can contribute to stress, including work, financial, health & family matters, but according to our data if you’re a Gen Y female living in a country area and looking for work, then chances are you’re also more likely to be feeling stress than a retired Pre-Boomer who lives in a capital city.

“It’s accepted that stress is a part of life and most of us can expect to experience different levels of stress at different times, particularly in response to certain factors.  It is important, however, that we’re able to recognise when stress becomes so extreme or prolonged that it causes the sufferer to be in distress, potentially leading not only to physical health problems but also mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

“During Mental Health Week this week it’s a timely reminder for anyone suffering extreme stress to reach out and start a conversation or seek assistance.”

More Roy Morgan Research findings relating to stress can be found in the following articles:

Highest incidence of stress among the unemployed:


Overweight but not overly stressed: 


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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.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com


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