The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes - 2018 - Religion

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 AuSSA survey also allows us to compare Australia with countries all over the world.

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. Here are some examples of surveys in other countries that are the equivalent to AuSSA:


The ISSP focuses on a special topic each year, repeating that topic from time to time. The topic for 2018 is "Religion". This is the fourth time this has been the topic of the survey, having previously been the theme for the survey in 19911998 and 2008.


​Data collection for the AuSSA 2018 is due to begin in May 2018, and due to complete in May 2019.

How will participants be selected?

AuSSA aims to survey a representative sample of adult Australians. The fairest way of doing that is to draw a random sample from the Australian Electoral Roll. This means every Australian citizen has an equal chance of having their views included in the survey, and means that researchers are able to use statistical techniques to make inferences about Australian society overall on the basis of characteristics of the sample.

We have applied to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to supply name and address information for the project in accordance with Item 3 of subsection 90B(4) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

We will randomly select 5000 citizens from the electoral roll. Each of them will be posted an explanatory letter, followed by a questionnaire booklet and reply paid envelope. Up to three reminder mailings will be sent for participants who do not return a booklet. We hope at least 1200 will return a completed questionnaire.


​Selected questions

Questions asked of respondents will include:​

  • Do you agree or disagree that a husband's job is to earn money; a wife's job is to look after the home and family?
  • Do we trust too much in science and not enough in religious faith?
  • Would you accept a person from a different religion or with a very different religious view from yours marrying a relative of yours?
  • Do you believe in life after death, heaven, hell, religious miracles or the supernatural powers of deceased ancestors?
  • Do you have your own way of connecting with God without churches or religious services?
  • In your opinion, does your religion treat men and women equally, treat men better than women, or treat women better than men?
  • Do you agree that religion is just as relevant to life today as it was in the past?

Access to results from AuSSA 2018


A summary (codebook) of the results from the AuSSA 2018 is available to view in your web browser


The final complied AuSSA 2018 data is available to the public on the Australian Data Archive website

For more information:

Tel. 1800 122 251 (free call)