The 2021 Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion report

The 2021 Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion report marks the 15th Mapping Social Cohesion survey, and the third during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 report presents the findings from a national survey, interviews, and statistical indicators to calculate a composite Australian Cohesion Index. The findings document Australian opinion on a range of issues relevant for understanding social cohesion, including: trust in the government, financial well-being, perceptions of racism and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, significant findings from the national survey show increased social cohesion, that Australians are more optimistic and trusting but increasingly concerned about racism since the previous report in 2020.

This year’s report included for the first time two new datasets: 1) The Australian Cohesion Index, which combined attitudinal data from the survey with objective indicators from the Australian Bureau of Statistics; and 2) in-depth interviews with sixty-six people from local government areas across Australia with high immigrant and refugee populations. The addition of these datasets brought more depth and context to the picture of social cohesion in Australia.

Each year, the Mapping Social Cohesion Report builds on the previous year and informs the Scanlon-Monash Index (SMI) of Social Cohesion. The Mapping Australia's Population website provides access to the fifteen national Scanlon Foundation survey reports conducted since 2007, as well as to surveys conducted within segments of Australia's population and technical reports on each survey. These reports tell the story of Australia over the past 15 years, revealing the changing priorities and concerns that matter most to Australians.