Life in AustraliaTM provides insight into Bushfire-Affected Australians

ANUpoll data collected through Life in AustraliaTM in January 2020 estimate that that the vast majority of Australians (78.6 per cent) were impacted in one way or another either directly, through their family/friends, or through the physical effects of smoke.

It is estimated that 2.9 million Australians, or 14.4 percent of Australian adults had property damage, property threatened, or had to be evacuated due to the Spring/Summer bushfires as of mid-January 2020. An additional 12.5 million adults were estimated to have experienced damage or threats of damage to friend or family’s property, travel plan interruptions, smoke inhalation, or feeling worried or anxious about the fires. The study also measured attitudes towards leadership and government institutions charged with responding to the fires, and opinions on environmental issues.

The nationally representative data were collected using the Social Research Centre’s expanded survey panel, Life in AustraliaTM, the only probability-based panel in the country. To measure changes in attitudes over time, the study leveraged longitudinal panel data and made comparisons with other studies asking similar questions in 2008.

Social Research Centre CEO Diane Herz and ANU Professor Nicholas Biddle report on the data in The Conversation. The full analysis can be found on the ANU website.

The Social Research Centre also collected data for the Beyond Bushfires study, tracking individuals affected by the 2008 Black Saturday fires at 5 and then 10 years.

Read more about Life in AustraliaTM.