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1318.3 - Qld Stats, Apr 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/04/2008   
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Image: Financial Stressors, Queensland FINANCIAL STRESSORS, QUEENSLAND

The financial stress indicators and income data collected in the GSS can provide insights into the economic wellbeing of various groups in the Queensland community. Some of the financial stress questions required objective answers, but the interpretation of the responses as indicators of financial stress are subjective. Other questions are inherently subjective in nature. While some of the indicators (such as seeking assistance from welfare/community organisations) appear to be more severe than others, such as 'could not pay electricity, gas or telephone bills on time', it is difficult to rank or weight them in order to derive a single measure of intensity of financial stress.

Compared to 2002, fewer people in Queensland in 2006 reported having one or more cash flow problems in the 12 months prior to interview (21% in 2006 compared to 24% in 2002); fewer people reported that they were unable to raise $2,000 within a week for something important (12% in 2006 compared with 15% in 2002); and a smaller proportion of all people aged 18 and over in 2006 reported taking at least one dissaving action (e.g. sold household goods or jewellery or took out a personal loan to meet basic living expenses) in the last 12 months than in 2002 (21% compared with 23%). Financial stress, as measured by these indicators, tended to decline as age increased.


Selected Financial Stress Indicators, by age group, Queensland, 2006
Graph: Selected Financial Stress Indicators, by age group, Queensland, 2006
Source: General Social Survey, Queensland, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001).


Differing household composition was associated with different levels of financial stress. For example, of the 73,000 adults in lone parent households with children aged under 15 years, 37% reported that they could not raise $2,000 in an emergency, compared with 13% of the 752,000 adults in couple households with children aged under 15 years; 68% of adults in lone parent households had at least one cash flow problem (26% for adults in couple households with children aged under 15 years; and 49% of adults in lone parent households took at least one dissaving action (29% for those in couple households with children aged under 15 years.

The reporting of financial stress does not necessarily imply that a household has low income. Some people in high income households reported financial stressors. Nevertheless, comparing the income characteristics of those experiencing financial stress shows that those in the lowest income quintile (the bottom 20% of people ranked by equivalised household income) were less likely to be able to raise money quickly for something important, more likely to have experienced cash flow problems in the last 12 months, and more likely to have taken a dissaving action in the past 12 months than people in the higher income quintiles. People in the second quintile were more likely to have had at least one cash flow problem in the previous twelve months than people in the lowest quintile.

Selected Financial Stress Indicators, by equivalised household gross weekly income, Queensland, 2006
Graph: Selected financial stress indicators, By equivalised household gross weekly income, Queensland, 2006
(a) Percentages for the fourth and highest quintilles are based on
estimates where the RSE's are too high for practical purposes.

Source: General Social Survey, Queensland, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001).


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