Eight in ten Australians expect a better year in 2022

Majority of Australians expect more extreme weather events next year as a consequence of climate change

People around the world are optimistic that 2022 will be a better year following a challenging 2021 and in Australia 82% expect a better year, according to a new Ipsos' Global Advisor survey in 33 countries.

Of the nine questions where Ipsos has trend data since 2020, four show significant change in attitudes among respondents, indicating a more optimistic view of what 2022 will bring. Nonetheless, concerns about the environment and rising prices persist. And while most expect greater COVID vaccination rates around the world, half (47%) expect a new deadly strain of the virus to appear.

Key Australian highlights:

  • 85% of Australians said 2021 was a bad year, but 2020 was worse
  • 69% of Australians say the global economy will be better next year, however 77% say prices will rise higher than incomes here
  • Almost seven in ten Australians say there will be more extreme weather events here in 2022 compared to 2021 as a consequence of climate change
  • Three quarters of Australians expect cities to get busier in 2022 as people return to offices regularly
  • Half of Australians say it is likely that strict rules for large technology companies will be introduced by the Government.

Ipsos Australia Director, David Elliott, said: “Despite another tough year, particularly after it started relatively optimistically, Australians continue to show their positivity, optimism and ability to bounce back.  While there is optimism about 2022 and the global economy, there is also a high proportion who are concerned about prices rising faster than incomes, which perhaps isn’t that surprising as Australia’s slow wage growth is well documented and discussed.

“The other stand out, but not a surprise is that Australia ranked third highest among the countries surveyed at 68% in terms of believing there will be more extreme weather events in Australia in 2022 than there were in 2021.  Across a number of our studies, we continue to see growing concerns with climate change and people wanting to know how the Government plans to tackle it.”

Outlook 2022

Hope springs eternal. More than eight in 10 Australians (82%), compared to the global average of 77%, expect a better year in 2022. It ranges from 54% of Japanese saying they are optimistic that 2022 will be a better year for them than it was in 2021, to 94% of Chinese.

2021 seemed to have been a better year than 2020 for most countries, although 85% of Australians said it was a bad year. When asked in 2020, 90% said 2020 was a bad year for their country. This year when asked about 2021 this has dropped to 77% globally.

Only 56% say 2021 was bad for them and their families - down from 90% last year and Australia was close to the global average at 59%.

As in most years, three in four say they will make some personal resolutions to do some specific things for themselves or others in 2022, with 72% of those in Australia. Japan (44%) and Sweden (23%) are the only surveyed countries where only a minority will be making resolutions for the new year.

Overall, there is more optimism about the global economy. Three in five around the world agree the global economy will be stronger next year, compared to 54% in 2020. In Australia, the figure was 69%.

COVID-19

More than half of people (56%) believe that more than 80% of the world’s population will receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in 2022. In Australia, 65% of people agree with this statement. Latin Americans are highly optimistic, with figures rising to 81% in Peru, 76% in Brazil, and 69% in Chile. Europeans are more sceptical about wider vaccine distribution, where figures fall to 42% in France, 38% in Switzerland and 33% in Germany.

The environment

Most people around the world believe in 2022 we will see more climate change consequences, with 60% saying is likely there will be more extreme weather events in their country in 2022 than there were in 2021. Australia ranked third highest among the countries surveyed at 68%, no doubt due to the bushfires, floods, and droughts across the country.

In addition, 45% expect to see people flying less than they did in 2019. Australia ranked higher than the global average, at 57%. Those in Asia are more confident that this is likely to be the case, with 68% in China, 67% in Singapore and 66% in Malaysia. 

Economics

A clear majority (75%) expect prices in their countries to increase faster than incomes. Australia was close to the global average at 77%. While most people around the world think this is likely to happen, only a third (33%) think so in Japan, which has been subject to decades of deflation.

Only a third (35%) globally expect to see stock markets around the world crashing and Australia was again close to the global average at 38%. Globally, people have greater expectations for stock market stability in 2022 than they did in 2021, when 40% said major stock markets around the world were likely to crash.

Society

71% anticipate seeing city centres in their countries becoming busy again as people get back to working in offices on a regular basis. Almost eight in 10 Australians agreed with this statement, at 76%. Nine in ten (87%) in China say this is likely to happen. People in South America have similar expectations with four in five (78%) in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia expecting their city centres to be busy again.

Globally, around three in ten (28%) say is likely that people in their country will become more tolerant of each other and almost one third (32%) of Australians agree. While this rises to 60% in India, only 9% of French think this is likely to happen.

Technology

More than half (57%) say it is likely many more people will live their lives in a virtual world. Australians were more sceptical, with 49% agreeing with this statement. This figure rises to almost eight in ten (77%) in Turkey, but falls to 43% in Great Britain, 36% in Saudi Arabia and only 18% in Japan.

Four in ten (38%) think it is likely that strict rules for large technology companies will be introduced by the Government in their country, and from Ipsos’ Global Trends Survey 2021 83% think social media companies have too much power. Almost half of Australians (49%) said rules would be introduced by Government, influenced by the ACCC investigation and subsequent proposed legislation for the global technology giants.

Global threats

Four in ten expect a natural disaster to hit a major city in their country which was higher in Australia at 49%. This rises to 63% in the US and 58% in Turkey. In contrast, Scandinavians are more optimistic and only a minority expect a natural disaster to hit in Sweden (24%) and Denmark (21%) respectively.

Four in 10 (38%) say it is likely hackers from a foreign government will cause a global IT shutdown, which was again higher in Australia at 44%.

Armageddon? One in three (34%) globally think is likely that nuclear weapons will be used in a conflict somewhere in the world and Australia was close to the global average at 38%. This figure rises to half (52%) of people in Turkey.

One in seven (14%) expect aliens to visit the earth in 2022, but as ever, Indians are most likely to expect visitors from outer space. Only 17% of Australians expect an alien visit.

Society