Are Australians satisfied with their lives?

Life satisfaction is one important measure of personal wellbeing. Most recent results from the 2022 Australian Community Survey reveal that most Australians claim to be satisfied with their lives. Two thirds of respondents rate themselves a score of 7 out of ten or higher, indicating strong levels of life satisfaction.

According to the 2022 Australian Community Survey (2022 ACS) by NCLS Research, most Australians claim to be satisfied with their lives. 

On a scale from 0 (no satisfaction) to 10 (complete satisfaction), the average score of those surveyed was 6.88. 

Two thirds (67%) of respondents rate themselves a score of 7 or higher, indicating strong levels of life satisfaction.  

 

 

In a closer look at the trends for different groups of Australians., we discovered some Australians, including church attenders, are more satisfied with their lives than others.

 

Who is most satisfied with life? 

When we compared the average satisfaction scores for four different age groups, the oldest Australians (those aged 65 +) have the highest levels of satisfaction with life. 

Factors that made no difference in life satisfaction scores were being male or female, levels of education or whether a person was born in Australia or overseas.

 

What about religion and spirituality? 

Our analysis of the 2022 ACS supports the findings from many other studies that Australians who identify as ‘Christian’ or ‘Religious and Spiritual’ have higher levels of life satisfaction on average than other Australians. 

Christians who attend church had higher average scores for life satisfaction than non-attenders.

“More research is needed to disentangle the factors that might drive the difference faith practices make,” says NCLS Research Director, Dr Ruth Powell. “But positive psychological behaviours such as 'gratitude’, ‘mindfulness’ and ‘living in the moment’, are frequently expressed in healthy faith communities.”

 

How satisfied are we with our communities?

We also asked Australians “How satisfied are you with feeling part of your community?” and they gave a rating from 0 (no satisfaction) to 10 (complete satisfaction). The average score was 6.14 out of 10. 

Around half (49%) rate their levels of satisfaction on feeling part of their community between a 7 out of 10 or above. These ratings about satisfaction about their community are lower than their ratings of satisfaction with life overall.

 

 

Factors such as gender, education and ethnicity had no bearing on how respondents felt about being part of their community. Once again the oldest age group, people who identify as Christian or ‘Religious and Spiritual’ and those who attend religious services, are more satisfied with their communities. 

Similar results over the past three years indicate a remarkable stability in life satisfaction and general wellbeing of Australians.

 

Data Sources:

2022 Australian Community Survey by NCLS Research (n=3,090)

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