As far as surveys go, the scope of this one is pretty breathtaking.

It’s the kind of data pit that’d make the Freakonomics guys drool.

Data sets on racist attitudes, incidences and experiences in Australia with research spanning 12 years and a sample size of 12,512 people.

You can examine the perspectives of Australians on issues of racism, ethnic-relations and cultural diversity via the National Level Findings or you can compare attitudes across states and territories.

Given the size of the sample, the findings are worth chewing over — including, at a national level:

  • Australians are largely tolerant people who are accepting and welcoming of other cultures
  • a large majority of Australians are positive about living in a multicultural country
  • most Australians feel secure and comfortable with cultural difference.
  • The data also indicate that most Australians recognise that racism is a problem in society
  • Too many Australians (41%) have a narrow view of who belongs in Australia
  • About one-in-ten Australians have very problematic views on diversity and on ethnic difference.

These are valuable insights for policy makers, pundits, politicians, and the public.

It’d also be worth comparing these findings to similar snapshots of other countries, if they exist.

That, or blame Muslims