09/07/14

Most people living in regional parts of Australia find their local community a good place to live in, according to a newly released report on the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

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The 2013 Regional Wellbeing Survey Report released this month by the University of Canberra also found that the majority of people are proud to live in their community and feel it has a positive future. The Western Downs Region was one of five local government areas in Queensland sampled intensively for the survey, which also included a number of regional communities in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Survey participants were asked how they felt about the future of their community, its liveability and its ability to adapt to change. These measures formed the basis of the Community Wellbeing Index, which is based on the extent to which local residents report that their community has the characteristics typically considered to result from high levels of wellbeing. The results of the 2013 survey suggest a majority of rural and regional Australians feel good about their community and its future, with the average community wellbeing score reported as 5.3 out of a possible 7. The wellbeing score for rural and regional Queensland equalled that of Australia as whole, while the Western Downs scored slightly lower at 5.0 out of 7.

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The report revealed that views differed in some regions and some people could not easily access the resources and services available in their community. Older people were more satisfied with their community and the quality of life it provides them, while younger people (particularly those younger than 30) were less satisfied.

The principle indicator of individual wellbeing measured in the survey was the Life Satisfaction Index.The average Life Satisfaction Index score of rural and regional Australians in 2013 was 69 out of a possible 100, compared to 67 in the Western Downs. People living in New South Wales and Western Australia reported higher levels of life satisfaction than average, and those in Queensland had lower levels. Those surveyed were most satisfied with their standard of living and personal relationships, and were least satisfied with their free time, future security, and feeling part of their community.

For more detailed results of the survey download the 2013 Regional Wellbeing Report.

via Advance Western Downs