Great Aussie Debate: News.com.au reveals answers to uncomfortable questions

We asked 50,000 Australians 50 questions about all the topics dividing the nation, from the silly to the serious. It revealed their opinions on everything from work, politics and dating, to using your phone on the loo and wearing shorts in the office.

Their answers have resulted in a snapshot of how the average Aussie thinks, feels and lives in 2023, with some results more surprising than others. This is how Australia answered:

1. What salary do you need to be “rich” in Australia 2023?

$250,000 = 55.3%
$200,000 – $250,000 =19.6%
$150,000 – $200,000 = 15.9%
$100,000 – $150,000 = 6.7%
$80,000 – $100,000 = 2.6%

2. How much would you need to win the lotto to quit your job?

$5m = 33%
$10m = 24.7%
$20m = 15.6%
$1m = 13.7%
$50m = 4.8%
$100m or more = 4.8%

3. Is it OK for men to wear shorts in the office?

Yes, if women can, men should be able to = 44%
No, no one should be able to wear shorts in the office = 35.1%
No, trousers are the only professional option = 20.9%

4. Be honest, are you less productive when you work from home?

It depends on the day and how I’m feeling = 29.7%
I am more productive from home = 29.2%
I am less productive with household chores being a factor = 22.4%
I don’t work from home anymore = 18.7%

5. Have you ever ‘quiet quit’ your job, completing only your bare minimum tasks and refusing to do overtime, while still getting paid your full salary?

No, it damages your reputation = 44.4%
I’ve never heard of ‘quiet quitting’ = 25.5%
I have quiet quit my job = 21.1 %
I am quiet quitting my job right now = 9%

6. Is ghosting ever OK?

It is never OK = 50.8%
It depends on the relationship = 26%
I don’t know = 16%
It is OK any time before the first date = 4.2%
It is OK before the third date = 2.9%

7. Should you always split the bill evenly?

It depends who you’re what and what type of occasion = 64.3%
If you didn’t drink and everyone else did, you shouldn’t pay the same amount = 20.7%
Yes, nobody cares if you didn’t eat the garlic bread = 13.2%
It depends how much people earn = 1.8%

8. Are chores split evenly in your household?

Yes = 32.9%
I do more = 24.7%
My partner does more = 19.7%
I live alone = 15.5%
I carry the entire mental load in the household = 7.2%

9. How many times in the past seven days have you had an uninterrupted night’s sleep?

None = 24.7%
Seven times = 16.2%
Twice = 12%
Five times = 11.1%
Three times = 10.5%
Once = 9.7%
Six times = 6.3%

10. Is it ever OK to discipline someone else’s child?

Yes, if the child’s behaviour is endangering themselves or someone else = 54%
You should speak to their parents if there’s an issue = 36.7%
Yes, some kids are super annoying = 9.2%

11. What’s the right age to give your kids a phone?

12-14 = 40.8%
14-16 = 20.7%
10-12 = 18.3%
When old enough to pay for it = 12%
8-10 = 3.5%
As soon as the child asks for one = 0.7%

12. How much money for you have in savings?

$50,000 or more = 23.6%
$20,000-$50,000 = 15.8%
$5000-$20,000 = 15.8%
$1000-$5000 = 11.4%
$500-$1,000 = 5.5%
Prefer not to say = 13.8%
$0 = 8.8%
$0 with more debt every month = 4.5%

13. Which supermarket do you shop at?

Woolies = 52.7%
Coles = 40.2%
Aldi = 26.3%
IGA or local grocery stores = 13.4%
I shop around for cheapest groceries = 27.9%

14. Do you still aspire to own a house?

I already own a home = 59.7%
I still believe it’s the Australian dream = 19.8%
Yes, but I can never afford it = 10.1%
No, I will never be able to afford it = 5.3%
I would buy one as an investment but not living in it = 2.8%
No, I am happy renting = 2.4%

15. Is Australia a racist country?

Yes, but better than a decade ago = 35.1%
It hasn’t changed in a decade = 32.4%
Yes, it’s not better or worse than 10 years ago = 18.6%
I don’t know = 7.9%
No, it’s worse than 10 years ago = 6.1%

16. Should Australia become a republic?

No = 46.7%
Yes = 28.9%
I don’t care = 15.3%
I don’t know what that would mean for me = 9.1%

17. Do you support the Indigenous Voice to Parliament?

No, there are better ways to solve Indigenous issues = 36.4%
I am against the concept = 29.2%
I support the Voice = 22.8%
I don’t know = 11.6%

18. Should transgender athletes be allowed to compete in women’s sport?

No = 82.6%
It depends on the sport = 8.2%
I don’t know = 4.9%
Trans women are women = 4.2%

19. Do you feel unsafe walking home after dark?

It depends where and how late = 53.1%
I have never worried about it = 25%
I constantly worry about my safety = 21.9%.

20. Have you experienced sexual harassment in the workplace?

No = 65.4%
Yes, at least 1-3 times = 14.3%
Yes, once = 11.4%
Yes, more than five times = 8.9%

21. How worried are you about climate change?

I’m not worried about it = 36.7%
I’m somewhat worried about it = 33.9%
I am worried and have made lifestyle changes = 25.2%
I am terrified about it = 4.2%

22. Should Australia build nuclear power plants to combat the climate crisis?

Yes, it’s better than fossil fuels = 48.1%
No, renewable sources are better = 22.2%
I don’t know = 17.6%
No, it’s too dangerous and expensive = 12.3%

23. Are you considering an EV (electric vehicle) for your next car?

No = 53.8%
Maybe = 27.3%
Yes = 18.9%

24. Do you smoke or vape?

No = 81.4%
Yes = 9.6%
I have tried it = 5.3%
I smoke cigarettes and vape = 1.7%
Prefer not to say = 2%

25. Are you currently trying to lose weight?

Yes = 56.4%
No = 40.8%
Prefer not to say = 3.1%

26. How often do you drink alcohol?

Once a month or less = 27.1%
2-3 nights a week = 18.8%
Once a week = 18.8%
I never drink = 16.1%
Five or more nights a week = 10.7%
4-5 nights a week = 1.1%

27. What recreational drugs have you used?

Never used drugs = 49.7%
I’ve used marijuana = 41.9%
I’ve used cocaine = 18.2%
I’ve used MDMA = 17.5%
I’ve used methamphetamines = 8.8%
I’ve used other drugs = 8%
Prefer not to say = 6.4%

28. How often do you use recreational drugs?

Never = 57.8%
I used them when I was younger = 23.5%
1-2 times a year = 8.5%
1-2 times a week = 2.9%
Once a month = 2.2%
Once a week = 1.1%
Prefer not to say = 4.1%

29. Can you wear thongs on a plane?

Absolutely not = 55.7%
Yes, they’re just shoes = 44.3%

30. Is it ever OK to use your phone on speaker in public?

Never acceptable = 78.1%
Only if you’re 65 years and over = 12.1%
I’m fine with it = 9.9%

31. How far away from the beach is it acceptable to wear a bikini or Speedos?

Across the road = 30.1%
As far as you want = 26.9%
Put clothes back on after leaving the sand = 24.4%
One block away = 18.6%

32. Do you return your trolley to the trolley bay after unpacking your shopping into your car?

Yes = 75.6%
Depends how far away the trolley bay is = 22.2%
I don’t return it = 2.2%

33. How often do you wash your sheets?

Once a week = 35.9%
Once a fortnight = 33%
Once a month = 26.2%
I can’t remember = 3.7%
Prefer not to say = 1.2%

34. Do you still watch live TV?

Only when big shows are on = 38%
Every day = 30.5%
I don’t watch live TV = 31.5%

35. What is the most bogan holiday destination?

Bali = 64.3%
Any caravan park = 19.9%
The Gold Coast = 11.3%
NSW Central Coast = 3.5%
Airlie Beach = 0.8%

36. Do you use your phone in the toilet?

Yes = 46.7%
No, it’s gross = 31.1%
I do it but pretend I don’t = 20.4%
Prefer not to say = 1.8%

37. What is Australia’s best beach?

Whitehaven Beach = 12.5%
Noosa Beach = 9.3%
Burleigh Heads = 8.6%
Hyams Beach = 8.3%
Bondi Beach = 8%
Wineglass Bay = 7.8%
Cable Beach = 5.7%
Bells Beach = 5.6%
Cottesloe Beach = 5.6%
Byron Bay = 4.7%
Vivionne Bay Beach = 2.7%
Mindil Beach = 1.7%
Other = 19.4%

38. How often do you take cash out of an ATM?

Once a month = 34.5%
Once a year = 28.3%
I never do = 20.5%
Once a week = 13.2%
More than once a week = 3.4%

39. How many time have you attended church in the past 12 months?

None, I am not religious = 56.8%
None, but I am religious = 19.2%
Once or twice = 12.3%
Once a week = 4.9%
Once a month = 2.9%
More than once a week = 2.4%
Prefer not to say = 1.4%

40. Do you share your gender pronouns in your email signature or in social media profiles?

No = 48.2%
No, but respect others’ pronouns = 28.2%
No, it is too confusing = 11.2%
Yes, but I don’t care what others do = 5.3%
Yes, and I appreciate when others do = 4.9%
Prefer not to say = 1.7%
My workplace doesn’t allow it = 0.5%

41. How often do you have sex?

1-2 times a month = 24.3%
1-2 times a month = 18.3%
Once a week = 18.3%
Once a year = 17.3%
2-5 times a week = 16.3%
Prefer not to say = 11.5%
1-2 times a year = 9.5%
More than five times a week = 2.8%

42. How often would you like to have sex?

More than I do currently = 58.2%
The same amount I am having now = 32.3%
Prefer not to say = 7.2%
I wish I had never had sex = 2.3%

43. Are you having sex with anyone other than your partner?

No = 79%
I’m not in a relationship = 14.3%
Yes, my partner doesn’t know = 2.9%
Yes, I’m in an open relationship = 1.4%
Prefer not to say = 2.4%

44. Have you ever sent or received a nude?

No = 55%
Occasionally I have sent and received nudes = 20.1%
I have received but never sent nudes = 13%
Prefer not to say = 6.2%
Yes, frequently = 3.8%
I’ve sent but never received nudes = 1.9%

The following six questions were designed to find out more about who was participating in the survey. This is what we know:

45. What gender do you identify as?

Male = 57.4%
Female = 41.7%
Non-binary or other = 0.8%

46. What is your age?

40-49 = 28.2%
50-59 = 23.6%
30-39 = 22.1%
60-69 = 13.6%
18-29 = 6.7%
70 and over = 5.8%

47. Where do you live?

Sydney = 18.7%
Melbourne = 17.6%
NSW excluding Sydney = 12.3%
Brisbane = 12.3%
Queensland excluding Brisbane = 11.6%
Victoria excluding Melbourne = 6.9%
Perth = 6.2%
Adelaide = 5.1%
Canberra = 3%
WA excluding Perth = 1.7%
SA excluding Adelaide = 1.6%
Tasmania excluding Hobart = 1%
Hobart = 0.9%
Darwin = 0.3%
ACT = 0.3%
NT excluding Darwin = 0.2%

48. Which of the following best describes your marital status?

Married or defacto = 69.4%
Single = 16.1%
In a relationship but live alone = 5.9%
Divorced or separated = 5.5%
Prefer not to say = 1.7%
Widowed = 1.5%

49. Which of the following best describes the residence that you are currently living in?

A home with a mortgage = 45.1%
Own my house outright = 23.6%
Rent my place with a partner = 10.5%
Rent alone = 8.2%
Rent with family = 8%
Rent with friends = 2.4%
Live in a retirement village = 0.7%

50. Are you a parent/guardian with children under 18?

No = 44.5%
I have two or more children = 26.2%
I have children over 18 = 17.5%
I have one child = 11.8%

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