This report presents the findings of the eleventh Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion survey. The report builds on the knowledge gained through the ten earlier national surveys (2007, 2009-2017) and twelve local area and experimental surveys, which in total have been completed by 48,000 respondents. For the first time in Australia, the surveys enable annual tracking of public opinion on social cohesion, immigration and population issues. The Foundation’s social cohesion project also tracks the findings of other Australian and international surveys.
The Scanlon Foundation national surveys are administered by interviewers to respondents selected by randomly generated landline and mobile phone numbers. In 2018, in addition to the interviewer administered telephone survey, the full questionnaire was also administered on the probability-based Life in Australia™ panel, with most panel members completing the survey online. To our knowledge this is the first major survey on social cohesion that has been conducted simultaneously in interviewer administered and self-administered modes.
The 2018 survey was conducted from 9 July to 11 August. The interviewer administered version was completed by 1,500 respondents, the Life in Australia panel version by 2,260. The survey comprised 77 questions (56 substantive and 21 demographic), including eighteen questions that are used for calculation of the Scanlon-Monash Index of Social Cohesion. This comprehensive questionnaire enables a balanced understanding of public opinion, in contrast with survey findings based on just one or a small number of questions which are typically commissioned for media reporting.
In this report the focus remains on the results obtained by the interviewer administered survey, to enable consistent tracking of Australian opinion. Findings from the Life in Australia panel provide insight into the variability of public opinion by different mode of surveying.