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4156.0 - Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
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Contents >> Sport and Social Capital >> Feelings of trust

FEELINGS OF TRUST

Having trust in others to behave according to accepted social values and norms is a fundamental aspect of a well-functioning community and data which seek to measure levels of trust in others are recognised as being important to monitoring levels of social capital (ABS 2006a).

Respondents in the 2010 General Social Survey (ABS 2011c) were asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with a number of statements including that:

  • most people can be trusted
  • your doctor can be trusted
  • hospitals can be trusted to do the right thing by you
  • police in your local area can be trusted.

Responses were reported on a five-point scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

Focusing on the level of generalised trust, participants in sport and physical recreation reported greater levels of trust in people than did non-participants. The participation rate in sport and physical recreation decreased slightly as feelings of trust diminished. The participation rate amongst those who strongly agreed that most people could be trusted was 74%, compared with 66% for those who strongly disagreed. Over half of participants in sport and physical recreation (56%) reported that they either strongly or somewhat agreed that most people could be trusted compared with just under half (48%) of non-participants.

6.3 Participation in sport and physical recreation, Level of generalised trust - 2010

Participated
Did not participate
Total
Participation rate
Non-participation rate
Total
'000
'000
'000
%
%
%

Strongly agree
1 285.7
443.7
1 729.3
74.3
25.7
100.0
Somewhat agree
5 724.4
1 625.5
7 349.8
77.9
22.1
100.0
Neither agree nor disagree
2 110.2
813.1
2 923.3
72.2
27.8
100.0
Somewhat disagree
2 366.9
939.7
3 306.7
71.6
28.4
100.0
Strongly disagree
971.5
507.4
1 479.0
65.7
34.3
100.0
Total
12 458.7
4 329.4
16 788.2
74.2
25.8
100.0

Source: Unpublished ABS data, General Social Survey, Australia, 2010.


An indirect measure of trust is people's feelings of safety while at home or walking alone. Over half (53%) of people who participated in sport and physical recreation felt very safe or safe walking alone in their local area after dark compared with 33% of non-participants. Only 15% of participants in sport and physical recreation never walked alone after dark, compared with 33% of non-participants. Similar rates of participation in sport and physical recreation were seen amongst people who felt very safe or safe walking alone in their local area after dark (both 82%) which is significantly higher than the rates of participation amongst people who reported feeling unsafe (69%) or very unsafe (65%). People who never walked alone after dark had the highest non-participation rate (43%).

6.4 Participation in sport and physical recreation, Feelings of safety walking alone in local area after dark - 2010

Participated
Did not participate
Total
Participation rate
Non-participation rate
Total
'000
'000
'000
%
%
%

Very safe
2 327.5
524.6
2 852.1
81.6
18.4
100.0
Safe
4 306.2
922.2
5 228.4
82.4
17.6
100.0
Neither safe nor unsafe
1 784.6
464.5
2 249.1
79.3
20.7
100.0
Unsafe
1 598.0
706.5
2 304.4
69.3
30.7
100.0
Very unsafe
515.0
279.6
794.7
64.8
35.2
100.0
Never walk alone after dark
1 927.5
1 432.0
3 359.5
57.4
42.6
100.0
Total
12 458.7
4 329.4
16 788.2
74.2
25.8
100.0

Source: Unpublished ABS data, General Social Survey, Australia, 2010.






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