Almost one in two Australians feel the date of Australia Day should remain on 26th January

Only one in four Australians (27%) think the date of Australia Day should be changed, while 48% are against moving it. However, Australians are more likely to think the national day will move its date in the next decade than stay on 26th January, according to a new Ipsos poll.

Key findings

  • Forty-eight per cent of Australians think the national day should stay on 26th January, while 27% feel it should move.
  • Despite the Voice Referendum campaign, attitudes have remained the same towards the date of Australia Day as they were in 2021.
  • Those aged under 40 are more likely to support a change than for Australia Day to remain on its current date.
  • Australians aged over 40 are against moving Australia Day with a majority of over 55s “strongly against” changing the date.
  • However, Australians are more likely to think the date of the national day will move in the next decade.
  • Victorians are the most likely to believe Australia Day will move, while those from NSW don’t think a change will happen by 2034.

Nonie Finlayson, Associate Research Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos, said: “It is interesting to see that despite all the media around First Nations issues in the last few years, culminating in the Voice to Parliament referendum last year, there has been no significant change in how Australians feel about moving the date of Australia Day.

“And yet, there is a consensus that this is inevitable, perhaps reflecting the increasing knowledge of and interest in First Nations issues we’ve seen across Australia in recent research.”

Attitudes to moving Australia Day

One in four (27%) agree with the campaign to move Australia Day from 26th January, while 48% want it to remain on its current date. Even after the Voice Referendum, attitudes to moving Australia Day have not changed since Ipsos asked the Australian public the same question three years ago. In January 2021, 28% said they agreed with campaign to move the national day and 48% disagreed.

Despite Australians overall being against moving Australia Day, younger people are more likely to support a change. Forty-two per cent of 18–24-year-olds support the change, while 23% are against. For those aged 25-39, 36% are for moving the date with 28% against.

The feeling is stronger for people aged over 40. Almost one in two (47%) of 40–54-year-olds want Australia Day to remain at its current date, while two-thirds of over 55s (67%) feel the same, with 58% strongly against moving the Australia Day.

Queenslanders are the most against moving Australia’s national day with 56% saying they would disagree with this policy. In NSW almost one in two (49%) would not support moving Australia Day, while in Victoria this falls to 39%.

Australia Day in 10 years

While Australians are against a change in the date of Australia Day, they feel it is inevitable it will move in years to come.

Almost four in 10 (38%) think that in the next decade Australia will move the date of its national day. Three in 10 (31%) think this is unlikely.

Looking across the age groups, those aged over 55 are the only demographic more likely to think that the date of Australia Day will not change. Thirty-seven per cent think the national day will not move, while 34% do think it will move. Those aged 25-39 are the most likely to think this will happen with 46% saying they think it is likely.

Victorians are the most likely to believe a change is on the cards, with 48% saying they think Australia Day will move. While in Queensland people are more divided. Thirty-six per cent think it is likely Australia Day will be moved by 2034 with 32% thinking it is unlikely. In NSW more people think Australia’s national day will stay on 26th January (39%) compared to those think it will change (30%).

About the Study

This survey was conducted between 16 – 19 January 2024 via the Ipsos Online Panel system among 1,000 Australian adults aged 18 and over. Data is weighted to match the profile of the population. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 4.8 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/2017-03/IpsosPA_CredibilityIntervals.pdf

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