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1504.0 - Methodological News, Mar 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/03/2008   
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Release of SEIFA 2006

On March 26, the ABS released the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas based on the 2006 Census. The ABS has produced SEIFA since 1991 and the production of SEIFA is currently undertaken by the Analytical Services Branch (ASB). With information available at the Census Collection District (CD) level, SEIFA is a popular and unique source of information on relative socio-economic disadvantage.

SEIFA is a suite of four indexes, where each index summarises a slightly different aspect of socio-economic conditions within an area. Each is described below:

  • The Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage is a general socio-economic index that summarises a range of information about the economic and social resources of people and households within an area. Unlike the other indexes, this index includes only measures of relative disadvantage;
  • The Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage also summarises information about the economic and social resources of people and households within an area. It includes both relative advantage and disadvantage measures;
  • The Index of Economic Resources focuses on the general level of access to economic resources of people and households within an area; and
  • The Index of Education and Occupation focuses on the general level of education and occupation-related skills of people within an area.

As well as constructing the indexes, the ASB has significantly revised the accompanying documentation on how SEIFA can be used and interpreted. This has resulted in two papers which accompany the release of the SEIFA indexes. The Information Paper: An Introduction to Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) (2039.0) provides users with a non-technical introduction to SEIFA and how it can be used. The Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) - Technical Paper (ABS cat. no. 2039.0.55.001) provides more technical detail on how SEIFA has been constructed.

The 2006 SEIFA indexes and accompanying documentation are all freely available on the ABS website.

For more information please contact Jonathon Khoo on (02) 6252 5506.

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