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4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/10/2009   
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FINANCIAL STRESS


Indicators of financial stress can help to provide insight into the economic well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The 2008 NATSISS included several measures which could be used to identify Indigenous households that were constrained in their activities because of a shortage of money or access to sufficient financial resources. Two of these measures were:

  • a household's ability to raise $2,000 within a week in an emergency; and
  • whether any members of the household ran out of money for basic living expenses in the 12 months prior to interview.


FINANCIAL STRESS INDICATORS

In 2008, just under half (47%) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over lived in a household where the household would be unable to raise $2,000 within a week in an emergency. Compared to 2002, the proportion of Indigenous people living in this situation decreased from 54%. In 2008, more than three in five (64%) Indigenous people in remote areas lived in households that would be unable to raise $2,000 within a week in an emergency, compared to two in five people living in major cities (40%) or regional areas (43%).

People were also asked whether their household had any difficulties paying for everyday necessities in the 12 months prior to interview, including food, clothing, medical bills and housing costs. In 2008, just over one-quarter (28%) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over lived in households where members had run out of money for basic living expenses in the 12 months prior to interview. Compared to 2002, the proportion of Indigenous people living in this situation decreased from 44%.

8.1 SELECTED HOUSEHOLD FINANCIAL STRESS INDICATORS(a) - 2002 and 2008
Graph: Selected household financial stress indicators - 2002 and 2008



Comparison to non-Indigenous people

The following table provides a comparison between Indigenous people from the 2008 NATSISS and non-Indigenous people from the 2006 General Social Survey (GSS). The underlying concepts used to collect data on financial stress in the 2006 GSS are similar to the 2008 NATSISS, but there are differences between the two surveys that should be considered when making comparisons. See Appendix 1 for more information.

Indigenous people aged 18 years and over were almost four times more likely than non-Indigenous people to live in households that were unable to raise $2,000 within a week in an emergency (47% compared to 13%).


8.2 INDIGENOUS AND NON-INDIGENOUS PERSONS, by household financial stress indicator

Indigenous persons(a)
Non-Indigenous persons(b)
Whether household members could raise $2000 in an emergency(c)
%
%

Could raise $2,000 within a week
46.4
85.3
Could not raise $2,000 within a week
47.2
12.9
Not stated
6.5
1.8
Total
100.0
100.0
Total persons aged 18 years and over ('000)
290.9
15 192.9

(a) Data from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.
(b) Data from the 2006 General Social Survey.
(c) Ability to raise $2,000 for something important within a week. See the Glossary.
Note: The 2008 NATSISS population in this table varies to that shown in the summary tables. Therefore, these estimates will differ from other estimates presented.



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