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The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, 2019




McNeil, N., Evans, A., McEachern, S., Tranter, B., & Wilson, S. (2022, July 25). The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, 2019.


The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (AuSSA) is Australia's main source of data for the scientific study of the social attitudes, beliefs and opinions of Australians, how they change over time, and how they compare with other societies. The survey is used to help researchers better understand how Australians think and feel about their lives. It produces important information about the changing views and attitudes of Australians as we move through the 21st century. Similar surveys are run in other countries, so data from the AuSSA also allows us to compare Australia with countries all over the world.

The aims of the survey are to discover: the range of Australians' views on topics that are important to all of us; how these views differ for people in different circumstances; how they have changed over the past quarter century; and how they compare with people in other countries. AuSSA is also the Australian component of the International Social Survey Project (ISSP). The ISSP is a cross-national collaboration on surveys covering important topics. Each year, survey researchers in some 40 countries each do a national survey using the same questions.

The ISSP focuses on a special topic each year, repeating that topic from time to time. The topic for the 2019 survey is "social inequality". This is the fifth time this has been the topic of the survey, having previously been the theme for the survey in 1987, 1992, 1999 and 2009.

The AuSSA is deposited at the ARDA by the ACSPRI. The codebooks are available at the ARDA. The data are available from the Australian Data Archive.

The 2019 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes has been updated as of July 2023. This release includes the addition of embargoed data from questions in sections B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K7, K52, and X.

The ARDA has added six additional variables to the original data set to enhance the users' experience on our site.

Data File

Cases: 1089
Variables: 268
Weight Variable: AU_WEIGHT

A post-stratification weighting variable is included and calculated to adjust to match the 2016 census by age, sex and highest education level.

Data Collection

May 2019-May 2020

Original Survey (Instrument)

AUSSA2019 Questionnaire

Funded By

Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated (ACSPRI)

Collection Procedures

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) supplied name and address information for the project. 5,000 citizens were randomly selected from the electoral roll. 1,089 respondents completed the paper based questionnaire, which took an average of 40 minutes to complete (self reported). The questionnaire was printed as an A4 size booklet with a glossy cover, and 32 internal pages. Each of them was posted an explanatory letter, followed by a questionnaire booklet and reply paid envelope. Respondents were required to return the booklet via a reply paid envelope.

Up to three reminder mailings were sent for participants who did not return a booklet. Preletter sent in week 1 included a plain language statement. Week 2 included questionnaire and reply paid envelope. Week 3 had a reminder postcard. Week 6 included a replacement questionnaire and a reply paid envelope. In week 7, a final reminder and a thank you postcard were sent.

Response rate 1 was 23.1%. Out of 5,000 randomly selected units, 283 were ineligible and 1,089 returned a completed questionnaire.

Sampling Procedures

Multi-stage stratified random sample

Principal Investigators

Nicola McNeil, La Trobe University
Ann Evans, Australian National University
Steve McEachern, Australian National University
Bruce Tranter, University of Tasmania
Shaun Wilson, Macquarie University

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