Issues Monitor: Inflation/Cost of Living is now the most important issue facing the nation

ipsos-mackay-report

The Ipsos Social Research Institute Issues Monitor is an ongoing quantitative survey of Australians about the issues facing the nation, Australian states and territories and Australians’ local areas. Since November 2010, Ipsos has asked approximately 1,000 Australians per month to select the three most important issues facing Australia, their state/territory and their local area from a list of 19 issues.

Over the past seven quarters, there has been a substantial increase in the relative importance of financial issues.   The most recent quarter (May-July 2012) saw Inflation/Cost of Living overtake Healthcare/Hospitals as the top issue facing the nation for the first time since surveying began in November 2010.   Two –fifths (40%) of Australians believed that this was a top issue facing the nation in the most recent quarter.

The top two issues facing the nation

Significant increases over the past year also reflect the pertinence of financial issues.  The relative importance of the Economy increased by 5% in the year to July 2012, making it the fourth most important issue overall.  The relative importance of Unemployment more than doubled (+9%) in the year to July 2012.  Unemployment is now the seventh most important issue, while in July 2011, it was 14th.

Significant increases since May 2011 – July 2012

Issue

May 2011 
– July 2011

May 2012
– July 2012

Change over the year*

The Economy

21%

27%

+5%

Unemployment

8%

17%

+9%

*Numbers may not add up due to rounding.

As attention has shifted towards financial issues, concerns over social and environmental issues have declined.  Environmental/Pollution/Water Concerns decreased the most, down seven percent from a year ago.  Race Relations/Racism and Issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders retreated two and one percent respectively.

The biggest decreases since May 2011 – July 2012

Issue

May 2011 
– July 2011

May 2012
– Jul 2012

Change over the year*

Environmental/Pollution/Water Concerns

19%

13%

-7%

Race Relations/Racism

6%

4%

-2%

Issues Facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

4%

2%

-1%

*Numbers may not add up due to rounding.

More detailed national and state based reports on the latest Issues Monitor findings are available here.

For further information about the Ipsos Social Research Institute Issues Monitor or to subscribe to the quarterly national and state based (Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia) editions, please contact Dan Evans at dan.evans@ipsos.com.

Julia Knapp
Project Manager
julia.knapp@ipsos.com