Back To Listing

Only 37% of Australians expect 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021 – down 22% points on a year ago

This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in late November with a cross-section of 1,184 Australians aged 18+.

A special Roy Morgan web survey taken in late November shows only 37% of Australians think 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021, down a large 22% points from when the same question was asked a year ago in late 2020.

However, fewer than a quarter of Australians, 23%, think 2022 will be ‘worse’ than 2021, although this is up 13% points on a year ago. Nearly a third of Australians are hedging their bets on next year with 31% (up 14% points on a year ago) who say 2022 will be ‘the same’ and 9% (down 5% points) don’t know.

Analysing by State shows people in Victoria (46%) and New South Wales (44%) are easily the most positive about the new year with clear pluralities in both States expecting 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021.

However, this optimism is not as widespread in other States with only 29% of people in Queensland, 24% of people in Western Australia, 22% of people in South Australia and 20% of people in Tasmania who say 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021. In three States, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, more people say 2022 will be ‘worse’ than 2021.

This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in late November with a cross-section of 1,184 Australians aged 18+.


Do you think next year will be ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’ – long-term trend (1980-2021)

Next Year - 'Better' or 'Worse'

Source: Roy Morgan telephone, SMS and web surveys in Australia 1980-2020 with an average of 1,000 Australians aged 18+ interviewed each year.
Question: “As far as you are concerned, do you think that 2022 will be better, worse, or the same as 2021?”


Older Australians are the most positive about 2022 – 52% expect it will be ‘better’ than 2021

Analysing by age group shows it is older Australians who are clearly the most positive about 2022. Australians aged 65+ is the only age group in which a majority of people, 52%, say 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021 compared to only 17% that say it will be ‘worse’.

The second most positive are at the other end of the age scale with 42% of Australians aged 18-24 who say 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021 compared to 29% who say it will be ‘worse’.

Australians in other groups are also more positive than negative about next year – but only just. Only around a third of Australians aged 25-34 (29%), 35-49 (33%) or 50-64 (31%) say 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021 while around a quarter say it will be worse: 25-34 (24%), 35-49 (26%) and 50-64 (23%).

When it comes to the two genders men are more positive about next year than women with 40% of men who expect 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021 compared to only 34% of women. There are slightly more women (25%) that say 2022 will be ‘worse’ than 2021 than men (22%).


Analysis by Age & Gender – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Nest Year - 'Better' or 'Worse' - By Gender & Age

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in late November with a cross-section of 1,184 Australians aged 18+.


Total
Australia

Gender

Age

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

37

40

34

42

29

33

31

52

Same

31

31

30

17

37

35

33

23

Worse

23

22

25

29

24

26

23

17

Don’t know

9

7

11

12

10

6

13

8

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Victorians are the most positive about 2022 – after four lockdowns in 2021

Analysing by State shows people in Victoria (46%) and New South Wales (44%) are clearly the most positive about the new year with clear pluralities in both States expecting 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021. This is hardly surprising given the long lockdowns experienced during 2021 in both Melbourne (108 days) and Sydney (107 days).

In only one other State, Western Australia, are people more positive about 2022 than negative. Just under a quarter of people in Western Australia (24%) expect 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021 compared to 23% that say 2022 will be ‘worse’. Western Australia is now the only State which continues to have closed domestic borders to most of the rest of Australia.

In other States that have largely avoided COVID-19 so far but are now experiencing rising cases after re-opening their borders in recent weeks there are more people who say 2022 will be ‘worse’ than ‘better’.

Over a third of people in Tasmania (35%) say 2022 will be ‘worse’ than 2021 and this is followed by around a third of people in South Australia (32%) and Queensland (30%).

Respondents in Australia’s Capital Cities (38%) are slightly more positive about 2022 being ‘better’ than 2021 compared to those in Country Regions (35%).


Analysis by States & Regions – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Next Year - 'Better' or 'Worse' - By State & Region

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in late November with a cross-section of 1,184 Australians aged 18+.


City/ Country

States

Total
Australia

Capital
Cities

Country
Areas

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

37

38

35

44

46

29

24

22

20

Same

31

31

30

28

25

30

45

35

33

Worse

23

23

24

19

21

30

23

32

35

Don’t know

9

8

11

9

8

11

8

11

12

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says the emergence of the highly infectious ‘Omicron variant’ in recent weeks has unfortunately put paid to hopes that 2022 would be the year Australians returned to a pre-pandemic sense of ‘normality’:

“Australians are set to enter 2022 in a mixed state-of-mind with new outbreaks of COVID-19 spreading rapidly in New South Wales and Victoria over the last week as restrictions have been eased in both States in the run-up to Christmas.

“A bare plurality of 37% of Australians say 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021, down 22% points from a year ago. Just under a quarter of Australians, 23% (up 13% points), expect 2022 will be ‘worse’ than 2021 while just under a third, 31%, say it will be ‘the same’ and only 9% don’t know.

“The numbers are less encouraging than a year ago as Australia enjoyed a relatively COVID-free summer in 2020/21 and with new vaccines set to arrive from February 2021 it appeared the COVID-19 pandemic might soon be over. That hope proved not to be the case with extended lockdowns this year in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, these States are the most positive about 2022 being ‘better’ than 2021 and nearly half of the people in Victoria (46%) and New South Wales (44%) say next year will be ‘better’ than this year. However, in the four smaller States there are more people inclined to say next year will be ‘worse’ than this year – especially in South Australia and Tasmania which have been largely COVID-free throughout the pandemic.

“There are considerable uncertainties about the economic outlook for next year with Inflation Expectations now at a seven-year high of 4.9% in November. The threat of inflation looms over 2022 as supply chain issues, as well as strong demand worldwide as we – hopefully – emerge from the pandemic put upward pressure on prices. In Australia there is also the added uncertainty of a Federal Election with campaigning set to dominate the first half of next year and the country’s first ‘Hung Parliament’ for a decade remains a clear possibility.

“One of the most interesting aspects of the research is the breakdown by age. The most positive Australians are the oldest with a majority of 52% of people aged 65+ saying they expect 2022 will be ‘better’ than 2021. This compares to 42% of those aged 18-24 and only around a third of people in the middle: 25-34 (29%), 35-49 (33%) and 50-64 (31%).

“Older Australians are the most heavily vaccinated cohort and perhaps this helps underlie their confidence about the year ahead, however the new outbreaks of COVID-19 in NSW, Victoria and elsewhere suggest they may also have the most to worry about.

“To deal with these new outbreaks Australians are being advised to book in a ‘booster shot’ five months after receiving their second dose. Already over 1 million Australians have now received their first ‘booster shot’ which will significantly restore their immunity levels.

“During the past two years the only ‘certainty’ we have had during the pandemic has been dealing with uncertainty. Unfortunately for those who believed that achieving a high vaccination rate of over 90% of the population would lead to a return to normality as we knew it pre-pandemic, the last few weeks with the emergence of the ‘Omicron variant’ shows there will still be a large degree of uncertainty going forward into 2022.”


Finding No. 8884– This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted with a representative cross-section of 1,184 Australians on November 25 – 28, 2021. They were asked “Do you think that 2022 will be better, worse, or the same as 2021?”


Next Year – Better or Worse? (Australia)

“As far as you are concerned, do you think that 2022 will be better, worse, or the same as 2021?”

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

42

43

32

57

57

52

36

39

47

43

33

54

Same

33

26

22

24

25

24

23

21

22

22

18

20

Worse

25

31

46

19

18

24

41

40

31

35

49

26

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


1992

1993

1994

1995

1996*

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

42

60

65

53

n/a

50

55

49

46

53

51

68

Same

22

22

19

29

n/a

28

25

30

33

21

16

17

Worse

36

18

16

18

n/a

22

20

21

21

26

33

15

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Better

61

49

47

53

49

66

31

44

12

59

37

Same

22

22

25

24

17

18

39

32

41

17

31

Worse

17

29

28

23

34

16

30

14

40

10

23

Don’t know

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

10

7

14

9

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

*This survey wasn’t conducted in 1996 and from 2010-2016.