You are on page 1of 1

Scanlon Foundation Social Cohesion Research Program, Monash University

Analysis prepared by Prof. Andrew Markus

Fact Sheet 1




SMI: The Scanlon-Monash


Index of Social Cohesion
What is the SMI?

The Scanlon-Monash Index of Social Cohesion (SMI)
shows how Australia ranks according to five key
indicators of social cohesion: belonging, worth, social
justice, participation and acceptance.

What are the five indicators of social cohesion?
The five domains of social cohesion are:
Belonging: Indication of pride in the Australian way of
life and culture; sense of belonging; importance of
maintaining Australian way of life and culture.
Worth: Satisfaction with present financial situation and
indication of happiness over the last year.
Social justice and equity: Views on the adequacy of
financial support for people on low incomes; the gap
between high and low incomes; Australia as a land of
economic opportunity; trust in the Australian
government.
Participation (political): Voted in an election; signed a
petition; contacted a Member of Parliament;
participated in a boycott; attended a protest.
Acceptance and rejection, legitimacy: The scale
measures rejection, indicated by negative view of
immigration from many different countries; reported
experience of discrimination in the last 12 months;
disagreement with government support to ethnic
minorities for maintenance of customs; feeling that life
in three or four years will be worse.
The 2015 Scanlon-Monash Index of Social Cohesion

The 2011 Scanlon-Monash Index of Social Cohesion is
at 92.5 compared with 89.2 in 2014 an increase of 3
points. This is the largest upward movement recorded
in the Index.

October 2015

Change in the 2015 Scanlon-Monash Index



The 2015 SMI registered upward movement
in four of the five domains of social cohesion.
The largest upward movement is 10.7 points
in the domain of acceptance / rejection,
matching the level in 2010. The domain that
measures political participation increased by
6.1 points, while there was marginal upward
movement in the domains of belonging an
worth.
The one domain to record negative
movement was social justice and equity,
which declined by 3.1 points, following decline
of 4.3 points in 2014. The decline reflects
heightened concern over lack of support for
those on low incomes, the gap between rich
and poor, lessened economic opportunity,
and low trust in government.
When respondents were asked if they had
experienced discrimination because of your
skin colour, ethnic origin or religion, the
proportion reporting discrimination was 15%,
down from the peak of 19% in 2013.
Sense of pessimism about the future, which
had increased between 2007 and 2012 to
reach 19%, showed statistically significant
decline to 15% in 2015.
General questions relating to national life and
levels of personal satisfaction continue to
elicit high levels of positive response. There
has been increase in sense of belonging and
sense of worth since these domains reached a
low point in 2013.

The Scanlon-Monash Index of Social Cohesion, 2007-2015


2007

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

1. Sense of belonging

100

96.9

95.0

96.6

95.1

91.0

92.6

93.4

2. Sense of worth

100

97.2

96.7

96.5

96.5

93.8

96.8

97.2

3. Social justice and equity

100

112.4

91.9

94.4

95.1

98.0

93.7

90.6

4. Participation

100

105.3

98.0

106.4

106.6

90.8

93.6

99.7

5. Acceptance (rejection)

100

94.4

81.5

75.3

78.6

68.8

70.9

81.6

Average

100

101.2

92.6

93.8

94.4

88.5

89.5

92.5

Analysis by Professor Andrew Markus, Scanlon Foundation Social Cohesion Research Program, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

Fact Sheet 1