CANBERRANS are the happiest of all capital city dwellers with more than 50 per cent extremely happy with their lives, according to Grey’s national “Eye on Australia” study released today.
The report suggests Canberrans feel optimistic about the future, their household budgets and work/life balance and are pretty relaxed about many of the big issues plaguing people elsewhere.
Grey Canberra general manager Warren Apps said this year’s report points to a jump in positivity compared with previous years, with 55 per cent of local respondents saying they were either extremely or very satisfied with their lives today.
“That’s a full five per cent higher than the next capital, Perth, and well above those gloomy Melbournites who came in last at 43 per cent. This is also a big improvement on 2010, when only 47 per cent of Canberrans were as satisfied with life,” Mr Apps said.
“Interestingly, our oldest residents are also our happiest with 80 per cent of elderly Canberrans being satisfied with life compared with only 51 per cent of Baby Boomers and 56 per cent of people in Generation Y. Living up to their moody reputations, Generation X recorded the lowest satisfaction levels at 44 per cent.
“Eighty-two per cent of Canberra respondents indicated that they are in control of their finances, and only 33 per cent reported living week-to-week. That compares with a national average of 50 per cent, and suggests Canberra’s higher average incomes and plentiful white-collar jobs are continuing to make us feel better off than others around Australia,” he said.
“Our jobs might also have something to do with our high satisfaction levels, as 77 per cent of Canberrans indicated that they enjoy their work and only 19 per cent reported that their working hours put a strain on their personal relationships.”
The report also found Canberrans being generally less concerned about crime, terrorism or immigration, and more concerned about house prices, infrastructure and environmental issues.
Housing affordability was the biggest concern in 2011 with 39 per cent of Canberrans admitting to worrying about this, and a whopping 72 per cent saying they expect young people will have to live at home for longer in the future as a result.
Research also found Canberra has quite a few climate sceptics in the national capital, with a surprising 16 per cent of people saying they just don’t care how big their carbon footprint is and 23 per cent of respondents indicated they were less concerned about climate change than they were a year ago.
The people and organisations Canberrans feel most comfortable with include the Rural Fire Service, major charities such as the Salvation Army and the police force all rank near the top.
“Our local MLAs will also be pleased to hear that we’re more comfortable with them than federal politicians, but only by the slimmest of margins. Both rank near the bottom of people or organisations we trust, along with real estate agents, oil companies and, shockingly, advertising agencies,” Mr Apps said.