Western Australia has topped five states to be the most racist place surveyed according to a new report on migration and social cohesion.
The Mapping Social Cohesion report takes an annual snapshot of Australia’s mood on immigration and civic feeling, revealing the unhappiest demographics and the places where the social contract may be fraying.
As Australia’s high migration rate continues, the report, from the pro-migration Scanlon Foundation, found that Western Australia was the most racist place out of five states measured.
The Perth city skyline in 2014. The survey found Western Australia was the most racist state
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 83 percent of migrants move to capital cities with Sydney (pictured) having the highest number at 37 percent of its total population
A shocking 30 percent of West Australian respondents said it should be possible to reject migrants on the basis of their race or ethnicity – topping all five states.
Monash University professor Andrew Markus, the study’s lead author, said it was important to remember that the majority – two in three – had not.
‘It’s still very much a minority position,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.
The report said most Australians reject racism, and that had been consistent over a number of years.
‘There has been a large measure of consistency in majority rejection of this form of discrimination,’ the report said.
* Australia’s population is 25.5 million and growing because of migration
* 29 percent of Australians, or 7.3 million people, are migrants as of 2018
* A baby is born in Australia every 1 minute 46 seconds
* A new migrant arrives in Australia every 59 seconds
* 49 percent of all Australians were either born overseas or had parent/s born overseas as of 2016
* Australia has the highest number of migrants in OECD nations where the average is 12 percent
* 83 percent of migrants move to capital cities
Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census 2016, Scanlon Foundation report Mapping Social Cohesion 2019
The survey also showed 22 percent of respondents in Western Australia said they had experienced discrimination in the past 12 months based on their race, ethnicity or religion.
Victoria came in second place at 20 percent, Queensland third at 18 percent, New South Wales fourth at 17 percent and South Australia last at 11 percent.
In all states surveyed, a larger number of respondents said it should be possible to reject migrants on the basis of religion instead of race, with Islam causing the most disquiet.
Again Western Australia topped the table with 37 percent of respondents saying it should be possible to reject migrants on the basis of religion.
‘Negative sentiment towards Muslims possibly explains the higher level of support for discrimination in immigrant selection policy on the basis of religion than race or ethnicity,’ the report said.
Western Australia also had the most unhappy people with 22 percent of respondents saying they had been ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’ in the past year, compared with NSW at 21 percent, Victoria and Queensland both on 20 percent, and South Australia at 13 percent.
Breaking down results by age, financial situation and education, the survey showed how generational, class and economic issues affect social thinking.
Young people aged 18 to 24 were found to be the unhappiest in the country, and 40 percent of young Australians saying they were pessimistic about Australia’s future.
Professor Markus said that was because young people are still struggling to establish their identity, their careers and to save money.
The gloomiest people were in sunny Queensland where 41 percent of respondents said they were pessimistic about Australia’s future compared with 34 percent in NSW, 32 percent in Victoria, 27 percent in South Australia and 23 percent in Western Australia.
Social trust was also canvassed in the survey, with New South Wales showing itself as the most trusting state, where 47 percent of respondents said ‘most people can be trusted’, compared with 42 percent in Victoria and South Australia, 41 percent in WA and 40 percent in Queensland.
Crowds wait at a Sydney train station for delayed trains. The Mapping Social Cohesion report took a snapshot of social cohesion in light of large migration figures and population growth
The report found that the most trusting people were rich Greens voters, with 61 percent of Greens supporters saying ‘most people can be trusted’, along with 58 percent of those with a ‘prosperous’ financial situation.
The least trusting people were poor One Nation voters, with 23 percent of One Nation supporters surveyed saying people can be trusted along with 28 percent of those who said they were ‘struggling to pay bills’, the report said.
Australia was projected to have a population of 25.5 million people as of Monday, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) population clock.
The nation adds a city bigger than Darwin worth of migrants each year to its population, ABS figures show, causing infrastructure strain, capital city crowding, real estate pressure and raising questions of social cohesion.
In 2018, a total of 526,300 migrants arrived and 289,000 departed for a net increase of 237,200 people, the ABS says on its website.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show in 2018, Australia had a 7.3 million migrants or 29 percent of its total population of 25 million people, the highest proportion since the late 1800s.
The Scanlon Foundation report found this was the highest level in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nations with populations over 10 million where the average is 12 percent.
When asked if there was any upper limit for migration for social cohesion, Professor Markus said that was not the aim of the report, which monitors changes in Australia over time.
Nearly half of all Australians, 49 percent, had either been born overseas or had one or both parents born overseas, the 2016 Census found.
The Census also found 83 percent of migrants lived in a capital city with Sydney having the largest overseas-born population where 37 percent of residents were migrants.
The Scanlon Foundation report found majority opinion to be positive towards immigration with high levels of endorsement of multiculturalism.
Crowds at an auction in North Ryde, Sydney, in 2016. The property was won by a Chinese bidder over local competition
This result differs from other polls which have found large numbers of Australians are uncomfortable with high levels of migration.
An ANU poll conducted in late 2018 found just three out of 10 Australians believe the nation needs more people, the Sydney Morning Herald reported in January.
A Lowy Institute poll conducted this year found 47 percent of all Australians thought immigration levels were too high with 71 percent saying the cities were too crowded.
The Mapping Social Cohesion report was produced by the pro-migration Scanlon Foundation, created in 2001 by property developer Peter Scanlon, whose family foundation is ranked 93 wealthiest in Australia at $977 million on the Australian Financial Review rich list.
Mr Scanlon made his fortune after founding stevedoring company Patrick Corporation which he sold to Toll Holdings in 2007.