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Sharp rise in Australian kids worried about terrorism

Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, January 2004 – December 2015, average annual sample n = 3,852 Australians aged 6-13.

The proportion of Australian children who report being worried about terrorism rose sharply last year in the wake of the Sydney siege in mid-December 2014, Roy Morgan Research shows.

The proportion of Australian 6-13 year-olds who agreed, “I worry about terrorism” had declined from just below half in 2004-2005 to around a third in 2010-2014. In the 12 months following the Martin Place hostage crisis, the rate jumped back to 40%—the highest level since 2007.

Older and younger children both experienced a clear increase in the incidence of terrorism-related anxiety in 2015: 48% of 10-13 year-olds said they worry about terrorism during the year (up 7% points since 2014), compared with 31% of 6-9 year-olds (up 5% points).  

Sydney kids were more likely than average to worry about terrorism in 2015: 43% of all young Sydneysiders aged 6-13 agreed, including 35% of 6-9 year-olds and 50% of 10-13 year-olds.

Australian kids worrying about terrorism

Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, January 2004 – December 2015, average annual sample n = 3,852 Australians aged 6-13.

Michele Levine – CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The latest Young Australians Survey for 2015 showed a clear increase in the proportion of children worried about terrorism. The rise coincides with the year following the Lindt café siege shortly before Christmas in 2014.

“Our research shows that younger boys are more likely to worry about terrorism than girls their age, while older girls are more concerned than older boys. Overall among 6-13 year-olds, there is little gender difference.

“However it’s also worth noting that terrorism is a distant second to another common worry among Australian kids: the environment. 70% of 6-13 year-olds now agree they worry about the environment—and this has also been rising over the past three years.”

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Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%