1014.0 - Trust in ABS and ABS Statistics - A survey of informed users and the general community, 2020  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/07/2020   
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Survey Overview

About the Survey

The Community Trust in ABS Statistics Survey (CTASS) measures the levels of trust in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), among the general Australian community and informed users of ABS statistics.

In 2020 the ABS commissioned an external company, ENGINE, to obtain an independent view of the public's opinions about the ABS and its statistics. The survey's purpose is to guide ABS statistical activities and inform strategies for engagement with data users and survey respondents. The main results are included in public performance reporting for the ABS.

The 2020 CTASS was conducted between March - May 2020. It was the third cycle of the survey, which was also run in 2010 and 2015. These regular cycles help to identify changes in the levels of trust that the general community and informed users have in the ABS and official statistics.

The general community survey involved Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) with 2,203 Australian residents, aged 15 and over, from all states and territories. This sample was statistically representative of the general population of Australia.

The sample for the informed users of ABS statistics was provided by the ABS. It included academics, journalists and economists who are known users in direct contact with the ABS and had agreed to be contacted for research purposes. A total of 178 interviews were achieved with 166 academics, four journalists and eight economists.


Key Findings

General community respondents reported high levels of trust, with:

  • 87% (up from 81% in 2015) indicating that they either tend to trust or greatly trust the ABS as an organisation (5% answered 'Don't know' or did not respond), and
  • 85% (up from 76% in 2015) indicating that they tend to trust or greatly trust ABS statistics (2% answered 'Don't know' or did not respond).

Informed users of ABS statistics continued to report high levels of trust, with:
  • 100% (same as 2015) indicating that they either tend to trust or greatly trust the ABS as an organisation, and
  • 99% (same as 2015) indicating that they tend to trust or greatly trust ABS statistics.

For more results and information about the survey, please refer to the report.