How do you feel about 2021? More Aussies are now positive about their future as Australia returns to normal


How positive do you feel about next year?

A Roy Morgan web survey conducted in November found that 59% of Australians now think 2021 will be ‘better’ than 2020 – the highest positive view on the year ahead since 2009 following the Global Financial Crisis. Jobs Future Prediction Business

A further 17% say 2021 will be ‘the same’, an all-time record low of 10% say 2021 will be ‘worse’ than 2020 and 14% don’t know.

Australians are far more positive about 2021 than they were a year ago about 2020 when only 12% said 2020 would be ‘better’ than 2019 and a large 40% said the year ahead would be ‘worse’.

This comes as little surprise as people hope for a return to normality after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Do you think next year will be ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’ – long-term trend (1980-2020)

Expectations for 2021

Source: Roy Morgan telephone, SMS and web surveys in Australia 1980-2020 with an average of 1,000 Australians aged 18+ interviewed each year. Question: “As far as you are concerned, do you think that 2021 will be better, worse, or the same as 2020?”

Analysis by Age & Gender – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Expectations for 2021 by Age & Gender

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in early mid-November with a cross-section of 1,008 Australians aged 18+.


More men (59%) than women (58%) expect 2021 will be ‘better’ than 2020, although there are also more men (12%) that say 2021 will be ‘worse’ than 2020 than women (8%).

Analysing by age group shows a change in the usual trend of younger people being more optimistic about the future when compared to older generations. 56% of 18-24 year olds expect 2021 will be ‘better’ than 2020 – this is the lowest figure amongst all age groups: 60% of 25-34yr olds, 57% of 35-49yr olds and 61% of those aged 50-64 say 2021 will be ‘better’ than 2020, with the latter group increasing a significant 33% points when compared to 28% a year ago.



Gender Age
Men Women 18-24 25-34 35-49 50-64
% % % % % % %
Better 59 59 58 56 60 57 61
Same 18 17 18 13 17 21 17
Worse 10 12 8 6 12 10 9
Don’t know 14 11 16 25 12 12 13
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100


Analysis by States & Regions – Next Year ‘Better’ or ‘Worse’

Expectations for 2021 by State

Source: This special Roy Morgan web survey was conducted in early mid-November with a cross-section of 1,008 Australians aged 18+.

Victorians are the most positive about 2021

Analysing by State shows respondents in all States are more positive about 2021 compared to 2020 with clear majorities in every State expecting 2021 to be ‘better’ than 2020.

After an extensive lockdown, Victorians are the most optimistic about 2021 with 64% expecting 2021 to be ‘better’ than 2020 ahead 59% of people in New South Wales and Western Australians (57%). Queenslanders are the least optimistic with a slim majority of 52% expecting 2021 to be ‘better’ than 2020.

Respondents in Australia’s Capital Cities (60%) are slightly more positive about 2021 being ‘better’ than 2020 compared to those in Country Regions (56%).

States City/ Country


% % % % % % % %
Better 59 59 64 52 57 56 60 56
Same 18 17 15 20 22 16 17 19
Worse 10 11 8 11 6 13 10 9
Don’t know 14 13 13 17 14 15 13 16
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says:

“Australians will enter 2021 in a more positive frame of mind than a year ago with 59% expecting 2021 will be ‘better’ than 2020, a record increase of 47% points from a year ago. In late 2019 only 12% of Australians predicted 2020 would be ‘better’ than 2019 in what turned out to be a prescient forecast of the year we’ve all lived through.

“Thankfully only one-in-ten Australians (10%) expect 2021 will be ‘worse’ than 2020, which is well down on a year ago when 40% of respondents expected 2020 would be ‘worse’ than 2019. Consumer Confidence in 2020 has so far averaged only 95.8, its lowest yearly average since 1990.

“Somewhat surprisingly younger Australians are the least optimistic about 2021 with 56% of 18-24 years old expecting 2021 will be ‘better’ than 2020 while there is more optimism about the year ahead from older age groups including people aged 25-34 (60%), 35-49 (57%) and 50-64 (61%).

“The first half of 2021 is set to be dominated by Covid-19 discussions and returning to normality. The tourism industry will be wondering when international flights will be allowed to once again take place. A large majority of 91% of Australians either ‘Strongly Agree’ or ‘Agree’ that travel restrictions between countries are acceptable in order to fight against the spreading of the Coronavirus.”

Guest Author: This article was first published by Roy Morgan on their website here

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