The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes - 2020 - Environment

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 the upcoming 2020 survey is "Environment". This is the fourth time this has been the topic of the survey, having previously been the theme for the survey in 1993, 2000 and 2010.


​Data collection for the AuSSA 2020 is due to begin in May 2020, and due to complete in May 2021.

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 randomly selected 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 expect at least 1200 will return a completed questionnaire.


​Selected questions

Questions asked of respondents will be on topics such as climate change, environmental harm, appreciation of nature and nationalism.


Contributing questions to the AuSSA 2020


Running a high quality, nationally representative survey requires the support of individual researchers willing to include their own questions in return for sponsorship of the survey. The fee will be $1,000 (exc GST) per question (i.e. per 'tick') for the full sample of 1200, or $400 to be included in any one of the 4 sub-samples. Please contact for more information.

  1. The first wave of data collection was due to run in May 2020. Any contributed questions must be finalised by 3 April 2020.
  2. The second wave began data was due to run in August 2020. Any contributed questions must be finalised by 17 July 2020.
  3. The third wave of data collection was due to run in November 2020. Any contributed questions must be finalised by 16 October 2020.
  4. The fourth wave of data collection will run in February 2021. Any contributed questions must be finalised by 15 January 2021.

Due to a change in the sample selection process, we were unable to run waves one, two and three as scheduled. All 4 waves will run as a single large survey (5000 invitees) in February 2021


Access to results from AuSSA 2020


A summary (codebook) of the results from the AuSSA 2020 is available to view in your web browser


The AuSSA 2020 data is available to the public on the Australian Data Archive dataverse.



For more information:

Tel. 1800 122 251 (free call)