Allianz Future Optimism Index: Women much more likely to be pessimistic about the future than men

Allianz Future Optimism Index: Women much more likely to be pessimistic about the future than men

Sydney, 23 August 2011

Allianz has joined forces with Newspoll to conduct a survey which measures Australians’ level of optimism about the future of the economy, environment and society, as well as their overall happiness. The results for these four measures are combined to create the Allianz Future Optimism Index (FOI).

The most recent Allianz Future Optimism Index for women was 58 out of 100 compared to a score of 63 for men. This result is driven by the fact that women are more likely to be pessimistic than men on all of the measures that make up the overall Index.

Economy Index

Women, with a score of 56 out of 100 are much less optimistic about the future of the economy than men, who scored 63. This result is driven by stark differences between the sexes when it comes to the measures of whether they are pessimistic or optimistic.

Nearly twice as many women (18%) are pessimistic about the future of the economy compared to men (10%).

The significant difference between the sexes is also reflected in the numbers that can be regarded as optimistic about the future of the economy, where only 20% of women are optimistic compared to 31% of men.

Environment Index

In terms of the future of the environment in relation to pollution and climate change, similar gender differences are apparent, with women scoring 52 out of 100 on the Environment Index of the Allianz FOI compared to men, who scored 57.

Again, the outcome on the Environment Index is largely because more women are pessimistic (18%) about the environment than men (13%). And, conversely, only 13% of women are optimistic about the future of the environment compared to 17% of men.

Society Index

Similar differences also apply in relation to optimism about the future of our society in relation to crime levels and community values, where the level of optimism of women is significantly lower, with a Society Index score of 51 out of 100, compared to 57 for men.

The same divergences are apparent in respect of the numbers of each sex that are pessimistic (23% of women, 17% of men), and optimistic (13% of women compared to 21% of men).

Happiness Index

In relation to Australians’ optimism about their overall future prospects and happiness for themselves and their family, the results are much closer. Women score 73 out of 100, compared to 75 for men.

Commenting on the results, Allianz Managing Director, Terry Towell, said “the differences in optimism between men and women is one of the more interesting results of the Allianz Future Optimism Index. In the first survey conducted in November 2010, it was only on the Economy Index where women were much less optimistic than men. However, since that time, this gender difference has also emerged in relation to optimism about the future of the environment and our society.”

Background

The Newspoll survey on which the Allianz Future Optimism Indexes are based, asks around 1200 Australians to rate each of the following statements on a scale of 0-10, where 10 is extremely optimistic and 0 is not optimistic at all:

1. The future of the economy;
2. The future of the environment in relation to pollution and climate change;
3. The future of our society in relation to crime levels and community values;
4. The overall future prospects and happiness for you and your family.

The responses to these questions are multiplied by ten to obtain an equivalent score out of 100 and averaged to create an index score out of 100 for each question. The four subindices are then averaged to obtain the overall Allianz Future Optimism Index.

In the analysis of the survey, respondents that give a score of 8 or more out of 10 are regarded as being optimistic and those with a score of 3 or less out of 10 are regarded as being pessimistic. Results based on these definitions are given as a proportion of the demographic group in question (eg 30% of Australians are optimistic/pessimistic about the economy).

More detailed demographic and geographic results for the Allianz Future Optimism Index are available on request.

Allianz Australia

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Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services to more than 2 million policyholders. Over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW-listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group and the group provides workers compensation services to around one-fifth of Australian employees.

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