Study reveals Greater Perth residents are increasingly satisfied with life in the region

Residents across Greater Perth are more positive about living in the region than they were three years ago, with new research revealing a marked increase in resident satisfaction.

Committee for Perth’s 2021 Perth Perceptions Survey highlights the positive trend is underpinned by family connections (48%), lifestyle (44%) and climate (30%) as key drivers for living in the region.

Topping the list of characteristics that define Greater Perth now is that it is ‘a safe place to live’ with over 51% of residents recognising Perth as being safe. Committee for Perth CEO, Marion Fulker acknowledges that the impact from the relatively low rates of COVID-19 made Greater Perth one of the safest places to live in the world and has ignited a renewed appreciation for the region.

“The survey cements the findings of Committee for Perth’s recent research report, Boorloo Kworp ‘Perth is Good’, which highlights there’s a general consensus that Greater Perth is, in fact, a good place to live. Positively spurred by our temperate climate and family-friendly living, residents are also touting recommendations for Perth as a good place to live and strengthening expectations to stay in the region long-term.

However, the research identifies improvements that can be made to further increase resident satisfaction, with the further deregulation of retail trading hours noted as a key opportunity. Over half (52%) of residents see retail trading regulation as disadvantaging Greater Perth with the majority of respondents supporting longer trading hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Despite acknowledging the potential negative impact on small businesses, residents of Greater Perth are showing strong support for the deregulation of trading hours — particularly the ‘sandwiched’ middle age group who typically balance work, children and ageing parents”, Mrs Fulker said.

The 2021 Perth Perceptions Survey also gauges resident opinion on issues that would be addressed if they were State Premier for a day. Cost of living (12%), healthcare (10%) and infrastructure/transport (10%) ranked as the top three priorities.

The survey also revealed:

  • Resident recommendations for Greater Perth as a good place to work (81%), find a new job (68%) and start a business (54%) have also strengthened.
  • An increase in resident perceptions on job security was also reported, up 17% from the 2018 survey to 61%.
  • Residents identify the State as a mining and resources led economy now more than ever.
  • A strong and effective government was identified as the second-highest factor.
  • Respondents most want to work in health and community services (23%) or government (23%), while construction rated as the least appealing.
  • Life in Perth is positively perceived as offering a good work-life balance, according to 78% of respondents. This is followed by a sense of community (74%) and a value of education (69%).
  • Access to affordable childcare continues to be an issue, with 25% of respondents with young children stating they do not have access to the paid childcare they need to work.

Of the initiatives and events recognised as positively impacting the region, the findings mark the freeway expansion, Optus Stadium and rail investment/Metronet in the top three. There was also strong support for the recognition of Aboriginal culture and the newly opened WA Museum Boola Bardip.

When looking into the future, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicting Perth will grow to a region of 3.5 people around the middle of the century, only 26% of respondents were aware of this with particular concerns raised on growth, social issues and cost of living.

Introduced in 2012 and commissioned by the Committee for Perth every three years, the Perth Perception Survey explores residents’ overall satisfaction with living in Greater Perth and its drivers. It also explores the perceived advantages and disadvantages of living in the region and people’s expectations for the future. This year’s survey was undertaken by 600 residents who are representative of the general population in the Perth and Peel regions.