Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
1345.4 - SA Stats, Sep 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/09/2008   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

FEATURE ARTICLE: ADELAIDE'S ADVANTAGED AND DISADVANTAGED SUBURBS


ADELAIDE'S ADVANTAGED AND DISADVANTAGED SUBURBS

Introduction

Based on international research and also on information collected in the Census, the ABS broadly defines relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage in terms of people's access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society (ABS, 2006).

This article provides a picture of which suburbs in Adelaide are relatively advantaged and disadvantaged using the 2006 Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA). The SEIFA indexes are created by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for geographic areas across Australia using data collected in the Census of Population and Housing.


What is SEIFA?

SEIFA indexes are summary measures of a number of variables that represent different aspects of relative socio-economic disadvantage and/or advantage in a geographic area.

There are four different SEIFA indexes, each representing a slightly different concept:

  • the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage
  • the Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage
  • the Index of Economic Resources
  • the Index of Education and Occupation.

This article presents thematic maps for the Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage. The index is mapped by Census Collection Districts (CDs) for the Adelaide region. For the purpose of this article, the Adelaide region refers to the following Urban Centres - Localities: Adelaide, Silver Sands, Sellicks Beach, Gawler, Crafers-Bridgewater, Hahndorf and Mount Barker.

For further information on all four SEIFA indexes, including a list of the variables used to create the indexes, readers are directed to An Introduction to Socio-economic Indexes for Areas, 2006 (cat. no. 2039.0).


Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage

The Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage is a general socio-economic index that was created using measures of relative disadvantage as well as measures of relative advantage. A low score (or decile) indicates relative greater disadvantage and a lack of advantage in general, whereas a high score (or decile) indicates a relative lack of disadvantage and greater advantage in general. There are 21 measures used, including low and high income, internet connection, occupation and education.

Figure 1 shows how CDs in the Adelaide region compare to the rest of Australia for the Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage. The deciles for this map were created by comparing the SEIFA scores for all CDs in Australia and dividing them into ten equal groups (or deciles). There were 2106 CDs in the Adelaide region which received a SEIFA score in 2006. All other things being equal, approximately 210 CDs from the Adelaide region could be expected to be in each decile (where the decile boundaries are formed from an Australia-wide perspective). However, the Adelaide region appears to have had an over-representation of CDs in the most disadvantaged decile (283 CDs) and an under-representation of CDs in the most advantaged decile (83 CDs).

Looking at Figure 1, there is a distinct clustering of advantaged CDs located in the south-eastern parts of Adelaide, indicating that these areas are among the most advantaged suburbs in Australia. This includes suburbs such as Springfield and Stonyfell. It also shows clusters of disadvantaged CDs in some parts of Adelaide including the outer northern suburbs such as Elizabeth South, the outer southern suburbs such as Hackham West and also the north-western suburbs of Adelaide such as Mansfield Park. These suburbs are among the most disadvantaged in Australia.

Figure 1. Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage, Adelaide Region, 2006 - Australian Deciles

Diagram: Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage

Source: Census of Population and Housing: Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia - Data Only, 2006 (cat. no. 2033.0.55.001).

Figure 2 maps the Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage for CDs in the Adelaide region. The deciles for this map were created by comparing the SEIFA scores for CDs in the Adelaide region only. It shows a clustering of relatively advantaged CDs in the eastern, south-eastern and inner southern and northern suburbs such as Springfield and Stonyfell. There are clusters of CDs in the most disadvantaged decile in the outer northern suburbs such as Elizabeth South and Davoren Park. This map also shows clusters of relatively disadvantaged CDs in the outer southern suburbs of Adelaide such as Hackham West, and in the north-western suburbs such as Mansfield Park.

Figure 2. Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage, Adelaide Region, 2006

Diagram: Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage

Note: some CDs did not receive a SEIFA score due to low population or high non-response in the Census. These cells are not shaded on the map.

Source: Census of Population and Housing: Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia - Data Only, 2006 (cat. no. 2033.0.55.001).

Table 1 shows selected socio-economic characteristics for suburbs in the most advantaged and disadvantaged deciles of the Index of Relative Advantage and Disadvantage. The variables shown in this table are for illustrative purposes only, but they help to explain why a suburb may be considered relatively advantaged or disadvantaged. For a full list of the variables used to construct the SEIFA indexes, please see Appendix A in An Introduction to Socio-economic Indexes for Areas, 2006 (cat. no. 2039.0).

SEIFA scores are created for suburbs by using the population weighted average of the CDs within that suburb. The SEIFA score reflects the group of people within a suburb as a whole; it does not reflect any one person or household within that area. For example, it is possible for a high income household to reside in a relatively disadvantaged suburb.

Table 1. Socio-economic characteristics of selected suburbs in the most advantaged/disadvantaged decile of the Index of Relative Advantage and Disadvantage - Adelaide Region, 2006

Most advantaged decile
Most disadvantaged decile
Total Adelaide Region(a)
Springfield
Stonyfell
Elizabeth South
Davoren Park

Selected Person Characteristics
Usual Residents (no.)
541
1 324
2 838
6 780
1 089 726
Employed as 'Professionals'(b) (%)
31
39
4
4
21
Unemployed(b) (%)
2.7
4.3
17.6
17.0
5.3
No post-school qualifications(b) (%)
47
44
85
83
61
At university/other tertiary institution(b) (%)
9
9
1
1
5
Selected Household & Dwelling Characteristics
Median household income ($/week)
2 178
1 984
509
561
919
Median housing loan repayment ($/month)
2 876
1 733
650
650
1 083
Occupied private dwellings fully owned (%)
64
51
17
18
33
Median rent ($/week)
300
300
116
130
165
Occupied private dwellings rented from State housing authority (%)
-
-
35
25
7
Dwellings with no motor vehicles (%)
2
1
28
21
11
Dwellings with no internet connection (%)
17
15
63
58
39

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes the Urban Centres - Localities of Adelaide, Silver Sands, Sellicks Beach, Gawler, Crafers-Bridgewater, Hahndorf and Mount Barker.
(b) Applicable to persons aged 15 years and over.



Case Study - Suburb of Adelaide

Map of the suburb of Adelaide

There are four SEIFA indexes, each representing a slightly different concept. This article displayed a map of CDs in the Adelaide region for the Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage (Figure 2). Although they are not presented in this article, the three other SEIFA indexes display a similar pattern of advantage and disadvantage for the Adelaide region. However, there are suburbs which exhibit different levels of relative advantage and disadvantage depending on which SEIFA index is used. Each SEIFA index aims to capture a slightly different aspect of relative disadvantage and is constructed using different variables. It is therefore possible for the same area to have a different ranking on each index. For example, the suburb of Adelaide is relatively advantaged on the Index of Advantage and Disadvantage (decile 8), but relatively disadvantaged on the Index of Economic Resources (decile 3).

Table 2 shows selected socio-economic characteristics for the suburb of Adelaide. The variables shown in this table are for illustrative purposes only to highlight why Adelaide may have a different score for the various SEIFA indexes. For a full list of the variables used to construct the SEIFA indexes, please see An Introduction to Socio-economic Indexes for Areas, 2006 (cat. no. 2039.0).

Only 15% of occupied private dwellings in the suburb of Adelaide are fully owned, compared to 33% for the total Adelaide region. Furthermore, 30% of dwellings in the suburb of Adelaide have no motor vehicles, compared to only 11% for the Adelaide region. These variables help explain why the suburb of Adelaide has a relatively low level of access to economic resources compared to other suburbs.

The Index of Economic Resources does not contain any education or occupation measures but these are included in the other SEIFA indexes. The education and employment characteristics of persons living in the suburb of Adelaide help explain why the suburb is relatively advantaged on the Index of Advantage and Disadvantage. The suburb of Adelaide has a relatively high proportion of persons currently attending university or other tertiary institution (22%) and a relatively low proportion of persons with no post-school qualifications (55%). The suburb of Adelaide also has a relatively high proportion of employed people classified as 'Professionals' (38%) compared to the Adelaide region (21%).

Table 2. Socio-economic characteristics for the suburb of Adelaide, 2006

Adelaide Suburb
Total Adelaide Region(a)

Selected Person characteristics
Usual Residents (no.)
10 229
1 089 726
Employed as 'Professionals'(b) (%)
38
21
Unemployed(b) (%)
8.6
5.3
No post-school qualifications(b) (%)
55
61
At university/other tertiary institution(b) (%)
22
5
Selected Household & Dwelling Characteristics
Median household income ($/week)
893
919
Median housing loan repayment ($/month)
1 486
1 083
Occupied private dwellings fully owned (%)
15
33
Median rent ($/week)
240
165
Occupied private dwellings rented from State housing authority (%)
10
7
Dwellings with no motor vehicles (%)
30
11
Dwellings with no internet connection (%)
28
39

(a) Includes the Urban Centres - Localities of Adelaide, Silver Sands, Sellicks Beach, Gawler, Crafers-Bridgewater, Hahndorf and Mount Barker.
(b) Applicable to persons aged 15 years and over.
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 2006


Although the suburb of Adelaide has a relatively low SEIFA score on the Index of Economic Resources, it is important to note that a single SEIFA score can mask the diversity of advantage and disadvantage within that suburb. The following graph shows the proportion of people who are usual residents in the suburb of Adelaide by CD level decile for the Index of Economic Resources. There are 21 CDs in the suburb of Adelaide which received a 2006 SEIFA score. Even though the suburb was in the third decile on the Index of Economic Resources, there were CDs within the suburb which have a relatively greater level of access to economic resources. The graph shows 15% of Adelaide's usual residents were in deciles 5 and 6 and a further 10% were in deciles 7 and 8.

Index of Economic Resources, Suburb of Adelaide - Proportion of People
Graph: Index of Economic Resources, Suburb of Adelaide—Proportion of People



Conclusion

The Socio-economic Indexes for Areas is a useful tool for analysing various aspects of socio-economic disadvantage for a region. The indexes show how one community compares to another in terms of the level of relative disadvantage. This article shows that, compared to other suburbs in the Adelaide region, the south-eastern suburbs of Adelaide such as Springfield are relatively advantaged while the outer northern suburbs such as Elizabeth South, the outer southern suburbs such as Hackham West and the north western suburbs such as Mansfield Park are relatively disadvantaged.

This article also demonstrates how a suburb can have a different level of relative advantage and disadvantage, depending on which SEIFA index is used. The suburb of Adelaide is relatively advantaged on the Index of Advantage and Disadvantage, but relatively disadvantaged on the Index of Economic Resources. The suburb has a relatively high proportion of people who are studying or who are employed as Professionals, but a relatively low proportion of dwellings which are fully owned or which have a motor vehicle.


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.