December 20, 2021

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

Topic: Morgan Poll Review, Press Release, Public Opinion, Special Poll
Finding No: 8884
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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.

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)

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’

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’

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’:

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.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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