The PM Glynn Survey on hope, trust and belonging

The PM Glynn Survey asks about people’s sense of hope in the future, their levels of trust in institutions and people around them, and their sense of belonging to the community and a broader life in common. It examines how these underlying attitudes influence attitudes to a range of important questions for public policy and democratic life in Australia.

The 2022 Survey

In June 2022 the PM Glynn Institute commissioned its second survey on hope, trust and belonging. Apart from new questions on the impact of COVID-19 and Human Flourishing, the 2022 survey questions substantially overlapped with those of the Institute’s first survey, conducted in 2018, allowing for changes in attitudes to be noted. The 2018 and 2022 surveys were commissioned by the PM Glynn Institute to an independent research company, SMR Global Pty Ltd, and its affiliate Action Market Research Pty Ltd. The sample for both surveys was 3,000 people, randomly selected and nationally representative on age, gender and location.

The 2022 survey focussed on seven key topics:

  • The impact of COVID-19.
  • Flourishing
  • Values
  • Religion
  • Rights
  • Aspirations and current circumstances
  • The direction in which Australia is heading

Download the Key Findings from the 2022 PM Glynn Survey on Hope, Trust and Belonging [PDF, 1.85MB]

Some findings from the 2022 survey

The impact of COVID-19

  • 83% of respondents saw the pandemic as a major event with impacts likely to be felt for a long time.
  • 79% are worried about COVID-19’s impact, with 70% who have been personally affected negatively by the disruptive changes to contain the virus.
  • While 46% of respondents praised the efforts by government and health authorities to contain the virus, 54% were critical of excessive government and health controls, or failure to act quickly enough.


Applying the 10 point scale of the Harvard Flourishing Measure, the survey showed:

  • Australians collectively have an overall flourishing score of 6.7 out of 10.
  • Scores are highest for those who actively practise a religion (7.3), and lowest among doubters, agnostics and atheists (6.4).
  • Among age groups, 18–24yos recorded the lowest scores (6.2), and the 65+ group the highest (7.3).
  • Women recorded slightly lower flourishing scores overall compared with men (6.6 to 6.8).


The values of caring and equality were seen by respondents as the values that carried Australians through the pandemic. Among the value sets rated as extremely or very important by the highest percentages were:

  • Caring for family and friends (89%)
  • Trying to be a good person (82%)
  • Fairness and treating people equally (80%)
  • Social and environmental responsibility (62%)


  • 70% see religion in Australia as being in decline, and 51% believe that this decline is creating negative outcomes.
  • However, the extent to which Australians hold religious beliefs (as opposed to calling themselves “religious”) remains unchanged from 2018.
  • Among survey respondents, total attendance at religious services and participation in prayer (at least occasionally) have not declined since the 2018 survey.
  • The survey findings suggest that the perceived decline in religion is the result of a decline in religion’s visibility and a decline in Australians’ willingness to say that they follow a religion.


  • There is a high level of in-principle support among Australians for the protection of basic human rights (86%). However, support for specific rights can vary depending on a number of factors.
  • There is majority support for free speech, religious freedom, and the right of terminally ill people to have quality palliative care, in preference to legislating assisted suicide or a “right to die”.
  • Respondents are willing to balance rights against other benefits for society but are wary in the light of the experience of COVID-19.

Aspirations and current circumstances

  • Employment in 2022 is seen as more meaningful and satisfying than in 2018.
  • Home ownership among respondents remains at the same level in 2022 as it was in 2018 (59%).
  • Younger respondents (18–24 year olds) share the same aspirations as older respondents in terms of wanting to own a home, get married, have children, improve their education and achieve financial independence. COVID-19 has not deterred them from pursuing their goals.

The direction in which Australia is heading

  • The Westpac-Melbourne Institute’s consumer confidence index in mid-2022 was 86 points (100 index points reflects a balance between optimism and pessimism in the community), reflecting a very pessimistic sentiment, and well below the typical level of optimism that characterises the Australian public’s mood in better times.
  • The 2022 survey confirmed this prevailing pessimism, with 90% of Australians holding moderate to serious concerns about what the future might hold.
  • Australians also see positive developments emerging in society in recent years, including greater social inclusion of minorities, as well as a greater level of caring and compassion, reflected in the strong safety net and families coming closer together to support each other during the pandemic.

The 2018 Survey

A series of short papers on the on some of the key findings from the 2018 survey was published in June 2020.

About the survey [PDF, 997KB]

Human rights: an uncertain commitment [PDF, 824KB]

Trading off human rights [PDF, 906KB]

Trust and confidence in institutions: Australia's system of democracy [PDF, 793KB]

Trust and confidence in institutions: Police, justice and courts systems [PDF, 684KB]

Three papers were published in October 2021 to discuss some select findings from the first wave of the PM Glynn Survey on Hope, Trust and Belonging.

Key Findings from the 2018 Baseline Survey sets out a selection of findings from the initial survey data, which serves as the baseline for tracking changes in what Australians think about a range of important issues. The next PM Glynn Survey will be conducted in early 2022

Download Key Findings from the 2018 Baseline Survey (PDF, 1.2MB)

The Reframing of Hope in Palliative Care looks at the importance of hope in patient care and how it leads to better quality of life for people with life-limiting illness. The paper highlights the need to re-frame hope as an essential component of quality palliative care.

Download The Reframing of Hope in Palliative Care (PDF, 1.4MB)

Friend or foe: Understanding the impact of the Australian Media looks at the impact of the media on Australians as reported in the survey, and how we consume news and current affairs. The paper suggests that boosting trust in media as an authorative source of information requires a refocus on substantive journalism.

Download Friend or foe: Understanding the impact of the Australian Media (PDF, 1.2MB)

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