Context statement: Proxy indicator for social capital, which is an important contributor to wellbeing directly, and signals other aspects of social participation.
Levels of generalised trust did not change between 2006 and 2014 with more than half (54%) of adults somewhat or strongly agreeing that most people can be trusted. In 2019, 55% of Australians somewhat or strongly agreed that most people could be trusted. In 2020, the proportion of Australians that agreed most people can be trusted increased to 61% (ABS 2021).
Additionally, results from the ANUpoll showed that between February (pre-COVID-19) and May 2020, there was a significant increase in ‘social cohesion’ (people’s perception of whether most people can be trusted, are fair and most of the time try to be helpful). There was then another increase in perceived social cohesion between May and October 2020, and a slight (but not significant) decline between October 2020 and August 2021 (Biddle & Gray 2021).
ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2021. General Social Survey; Reference period: 2020. Canberra: ABS
Biddle, N and Gray, M 2021. Tracking wellbeing outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic (August 2021): Lockdown blues. Australian National University: ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods.