Australia Talks National Survey reveals what Australians are most worried about

The Australia Talks National Survey has unlocked a fascinating insight into the Australian people: we have more faith in our own ability to deal with problems than we do in our country’s — or indeed the world’s.

Of more than 50,000 Australians who participated in the mammoth study, most — 78 per cent — were optimistic about their own futures.

But they were much less hopeful for the future of the nation at large (51 per cent optimistic), and frankly despairing about where the world’s headed, with only 30 per cent hopeful for the future of the globe.

In a hyperactive and increasingly tribalised world, it seems the fear of what lies outside our own sphere of control is far worse than the adversity we face personally.

So what is affecting us personally?

When confronted with a menu of 27 worry factors, ranging all the way from money to love to human survival, only four qualified as a matter of immediate personal concern to the majority of respondents.

Climate change was the leading worry; 72 per cent of respondents said it would affect their lives.

Saving for retirement was a problem for 62 per cent, health for 56 per cent, and 50 per cent of respondents (surprisingly low, considering) were darkly convinced ageing was definitely a thing that was going to happen to them.

The results are revealing on many levels.

Of the great partisan placard-fodder issues of our time, for instance, only climate change registers powerfully in the Australian home as a personal threat.

Only 37 per cent view terrorism as a concern for them personally.

And immigration haunts the dreams of only 27 per cent.

Many more — 45 per cent — live in fear of not being able to afford a home.

The lowest-ranking worry of all the options listed is access to education; only 18 per cent of Australians were very or even slightly pessimistic about their options in this respect.

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VIDEO: ABC chair Ita Buttrose says political correctness has gone too far in Australia (ABC News)

What do we view as a problem for Australia?

However, when presented with a list of issues and asked whether they were “a problem for Australia generally”, respondents became instantly more fretful.

Of 26 issues raised, ranging from racism to the loss of traditional values to crime, every single one was thought to be a threat to Australia by a majority of respondents.

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