“Optimism levels climbed among South Australians and Queenslanders, in particular, as well as those living in New South Wales, but remained more or less flat among Victorians and West Australians.”
Dr Tim Sharp, also known as Dr Happy, from the Happiness Institute said that an overall rise in people’s positivity could show that Australians valued their way of life.
“I'd hypothesise that it has something to do with most people being able to see an end to the financial woes and to appreciating that things here, in Australia, are actually pretty good,” he said.
“Despite the negative hype in the media the reality is that the economy and employment and most quality of life aspects here in Australia are actually very good, certainly much better than in many other parts of the world.”
While women have generally ranked as more optimistic than men on the Index, and this remains true, both sexes have experienced an uplift in future optimism since March.
The rise is most pronounced in men, whose positivity climbed 7 points on the Index.
Dr Sharp said women’s outlooks tended to rank as wider in range than men’s because women often had more openness of emotions.
“Studies looking at gender differences have come up with mixed results but there are some suggestions that females are both more optimistic and pessimistic.”
“If this sounds incongruent then it can be understood by noting that women are generally more expressive of their emotions – at both ends.”
Optimism remains high among younger people – aged 18 to 34 – and Australians over 65, but has plateaued among those aged in between.
In terms of voting intentions, while Coalition voters have become slightly more optimistic, the overall rise was driven by a large increase in the optimism of ALP voters.
Allianz Australia general manager corporate affairs Nicholas Scofield said the marked difference between the optimism of Coalition and ALP voters was an interesting finding from their surveys.
“ALP voters are more optimistic than Coalition voters,” he said.
“We started this survey about 18 months ago so it’s only been running while there’s been a Labor government in office federally.”
“So we’re waiting with interest to see if and when there’s a change of government in Canberra to the Coalition, just what happens to the relative optimism of people who vote Coalition and Labor.”
Allianz Australia conducts surveys every two months for the Index, polling about 1200 Australians on their optimism about the futures of the economy, environment, society and general future prospects.
Mr Scofield said the research was useful for Allianz to use in understanding the outlook of their customers.
“Insurance is one of those products that people use to give them comfort, peace of mind and protection if there’s a major adverse event in their lives.”
“So it was about having a sense of understanding about how optimistic people are about the future.”
But Dr Sharp said gauging public positivity was essential and optimism should be a necessary consideration for other businesses.
“[It’s] very important as it's a key measures of happiness and satisfaction which then drives certain behaviours.”
“In fact I'd say all businesses would benefit as again, optimism will impact on things like savings and/or spending, so obviously this is important for retail businesses but also much more generally than that.”
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