4159.0 - General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/05/2007   
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May 22, 2007
Embargoed 11.30 am (AEST)
Over half of Australians felt they could trust most people: ABS

Just over half of Australian adults (54%) felt that they could trust 'most people', according to a new report on social wellbeing from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

People were most likely to trust their doctor (89%) and local police (76%). Older people (75+) were even more likely to trust their doctor (95%).

Most people felt that they had a network of people to contact if they needed advice or information, with 72% saying they knew someone in an organisation that they felt comfortable contacting.

Nearly all people (96%) had at least weekly contact with family or friends that they didn't live with. People's friends were generally a similar age (66%), similar education (57%), and similar ethnic background (73%).

Most people (93%) felt that in a time of crisis they could get support from people living outside their household, including family (80%) and friends (67%).

Some other findings from the General Social Survey include:

  • The most common stressful situations people found themselves in were serious illness (23%), death of family member or close friend (21%), unemployment (13%), divorce or separation (11%), mental illness (11%) and alcohol/drug related problems (9%).
  • More women (62%) experienced stressful situations than men (57%).
  • Five million people did voluntary work during 2006, with women (36%) volunteering more often than men (32%). People aged 35-44 had the highest rate of volunteering (43%).
  • Between 2002 and 2006, computer use increased from 55% to 69%, and internet use at home went from 43% to 60%. While men were still more likely to use computers and access the internet, the increases were greater for women.

Other topics covered include crime and safety, transport, financial stress, housing, and culture and leisure, and can be found in General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0). A set of tables for each state and territory will be available on the ABS website in June 2007.