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A person of any age who is a natural, adopted, step, or foster son or daughter of a couple or lone parent, usually resident in the same household, and who does not have a child or partner of his/her own usually resident in the household.
Children living outside the household
Includes children aged 0-24 years.
Civic and political groups
In this topic the question refers to whether the respondent has been actively involved in a civic or political group in the last 12 months, or taken part in an activity they organised.
Examples of civic or political groups include:
Involvement in activities reflecting interest and engagement with governance and democracy.
Involvement in activities that are directed at providing assistance to other individuals, groups and the wider community.
Community support groups
In this topic the question refers to whether the respondent has been actively involved in a community support group in the last 12 months or taken part in an activity they organised.
Examples of community support groups include:
Debt or liabilities usually associated with the purchase of consumables, such as clothing, electrical goods or cars, incurred by way of credit or store card and which are not completely paid off, car or personal loans, interest free purchases and hire purchase agreements.
Investment loans, lines of credit, overdue bills for telephone/electricity etc., outstanding fines or Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)/Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debts are excluded.
Contact with family or friends living outside the household
Refers to face to face contact, or other types of contact such as telephone, mail and email, which a person has had with family or friends who do not live with them.
Two people in a registered or de facto marriage, who usually live in the same household.
Cultural venues or events
Refers to venues or events which people attend for leisure purposes. Types of venues or events included are:
All persons aged under 15 years; and people aged 15-24 years who are full-time students, have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household.
A disability exists if a limitation, restriction, impairment, disease or disorder, had lasted, or was likely to last for at least six months, and which restricted everyday activities.
It is classified by whether or not a person has a specific limitation or restriction. Specific limitation or restriction is further classified by whether the limitation or restriction is a limitation in core activities or a schooling/employment restriction only.
There are four levels of core activity limitation (profound, severe, moderate and mild) which are based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment with any of the core activities (self care, mobility or communication). A person's overall level of core activity limitation is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.
The four levels are:
Discrimination may happen when people are treated unfairly because they are seen as being different from others. People who had experienced discrimination were asked whether they thought it was because of any of the following:
Any action where spending is greater than income, thereby reducing already accumulated savings or leading to borrowing to finance the expenditure. Examples of dissaving actions include:
An employment restriction is determined for persons with one or more disabilities if, because of their disability, they have any difficulties with employment such as:
Equity in dwelling
Calculated as the value of the dwelling less the amount owing on mortgages or secured loans against the dwelling.
Equivalised gross household income
Gross household income adjusted using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household it is equal to gross household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the gross household income that would need to be received by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic well-being as the household in question.
Equivalised gross household income quintiles
These are groupings of 20% of the total population when ranked in ascending order according to equivalised gross household income. The population used for this purpose includes all people living in private dwellings, including children and other persons under the age of 18 years.
Two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will, therefore, contain more than one family.
Feelings of safety
How safe a person feels in various circumstances (i.e. when home alone after dark or when walking alone through their local area after dark) was reported on a five point scale, from very safe to very unsafe. If the respondent indicated that they were never home alone or never walked alone after dark this response was recorded.
Field of study
Describes the field of study for a respondent's current qualification or the highest completed non-school qualification.
The extent to which a person is excluded from mainstream banking and financial services, for example being denied an application for a credit card.
This includes actions taken to improve a person's ability to control their current financial situation or manage in a situation involving a major loss of income. Actions covered included: paying off more than the minimum required on loans or credit cards; following a budget; obtaining financial advice or making additional contributions to superannuation.
Three measures aimed at identifying households that may have been constrained in their activities because of shortage of money. The measures are the ability to raise 'emergency money', whether had cash flow problems and whether had taken dissaving actions. One person in the household was asked to provide these assessments of the household's financial situation.
Cash support from the government in the form of pensions, benefits or allowances.
Gross household income
All current receipts that are usually or regularly received by the household or by individual members of the household, and which are available for, or intended to support, current consumption. This includes receipts from wages and salaries (including salary sacrificed income), profit or loss from own unincorporated business (including partnerships), net investment income (e.g. interest, rent, dividends), government pensions and allowances, and private transfers (e.g. superannuation, workers' compensation, income from annuities, child support and financial support from family members not living in the same household). Gross household income is the sum of the income from all these sources before income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are deducted.
Ever delayed seeking medical attention or buying prescribed medicines for own health because of cost.
Highest year of school completed
The highest level of primary or secondary education which a person has completed, irrespective of the type of institution or location where that education was undertaken.
Refers to whether a person has ever previously been without a 'permanent place to live' for reasons other than one (or more) of the following only: saving money; work related reasons; building or renovating their home; travelling/on holiday; house-sitting or having just moved back to a town or city. People who had ever previously been without a permanent place to live for other reasons (e.g. family/relationship breakdowns, financial problems, tight rental/property markets etc.) were counted in the survey as having had an experience of homelessness.
As the GSS only enumerates usual residents of private dwellings, it will not include: people currently living in shelters; people sleeping rough; people 'couch surfing' (staying temporarily with other households); nor people staying in boarding houses. It may include some people staying in Transitional Housing Management (THM) properties, if the adult staying there at the time of the survey considered that it was their usual residence at that time (THMs have been included in researcher estimates of the homeless). The GSS does not attempt to measure the prevalence of homelessness in Australia. Instead the survey sought information about a person's previous experience of being without a permanent place to live. That is, whether a person has ever experienced being without a permanent place to live at some point in their lives.
One or more persons usually resident in the same private dwelling.
Household tenure type
The nature of a household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which they usually reside. In this publication, households are grouped into one of four broad tenure categories:
Refers to recreational activities undertaken with others which have not been organised by an organisation or group with a formal structure. The most common examples are where family and/or friends come together to enjoy themselves.
A jobless household is one in which no usual resident of the household aged 15 years or over is currently employed.
Labour force status
Refers to the situation of respondents in relation to the labour force at the time of the survey. Categories are:
Refers to the highest level of current study or level attained by a person.
Long-term health condition
A long-term health condition is a current disease or disorder that has lasted, or is likely to last, for six months or more. The exception to this is a periodic or episodic condition (e.g. asthma, epilepsy or schizophrenia, where people suffer attacks or relapses at irregular intervals) where the attack or relapse has occurred in the last 12 months. If the condition has not occurred within the last 12 months because it has been controlled by medication, it should still be recorded. Respondents might still be experiencing limitations or restrictions due to these conditions (or due to the medication itself), even though they have not had an attack or a relapse for quite a while. Conditions or restrictions which are expected but not yet apparent, should not be included (e.g. in young children where they are still too young to show). NOTE: This data item was self-reported by the respondent.
The marital status of couples within households. This item includes Married in a registered marriage, Married in a de facto marriage and Not married.
The sum of values divided by the number of values.
The middle value of a set of values when the values are sorted in order.
Mental health condition
This data item refers to clinically recognised emotional and behavioural disorders, and perceived mental health problems such as feeling depressed, feeling anxious, stress and sadness. NOTE: This data item was self-reported by the respondent.
Mental health conditions such as depression, feeling depressed, behavioural and emotional disorders, and feeling anxious were included.
Mode of delivery of study
A measure of how common an occurrence or condition is.
Principal source of household income
The source of income from which the most positive income for the household is received. If total income is nil or negative the principal source is undefined. The household's principal source of income comes from:
Houses, flats, home units, garages, tents and other structures used as private places of residence at the time of the survey.
Proficiency in spoken English
A self assessment by persons who speak a language other than English at home, of whether they speak English very well, well, not well or not at all.
Those who were born overseas and arrived in Australia in 2004 or later and have stayed or are planning to stay more than 12 months. These may be Australian citizens or citizens of another country, excluding New Zealand citizens.
Broad geographical regions that share common characteristics of remoteness based on the Remoteness Structure of the ABS's Australian Statistical Geographical Standard. In this publication, the categories Major Cities of Australia, and Inner Regional Australia from the Remoteness Structure are presented along with a residual category labelled 'Other areas'. As the GSS did not cover very remote areas of Australia, 'Other Areas', encompasses Outer Regional Australia and Remote Australia.
A payment made periodically by a tenant to an owner or landlord in return for lodgement.
A schooling restriction is determined for persons aged 15 to 20 years who have one or more disabilities and, because of their disability, they have any difficulties with education such as:
Any of the following type of assets:
In the GSS only one adult (aged 15 years or over) in each dwelling was selected for the survey. This person was randomly chosen after all usual residents of the household were listed.
Self assessed health status
The selected person's general assessment of their own health, against a five point scale from excellent through to poor.
Sense of efficacy
The belief that an individual, group, or community has it in their capacity to produce desired outcomes by their own actions. It also relates to self reliance, initiative, and the degree of influence believed to be held, as well as the ability to draw upon additional resources as required.
Refers to whether a person identifies as being heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or other. Other includes people identifying as bisexual and sexual orientations other than heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Assistance which a person may seek from other people in their day to day lives. Examples of small favours include looking after pets or watering the garden, collecting mail or checking the house, minding a child for a brief period, helping with moving or lifting objects, and borrowing equipment.
'Social attachment' refers to the nature and strength of relationships that people have with each other. It includes the more intimate relationships with family and friends as well as people's associations with individuals and organisations in the wider community.
The ABS has adopted the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development definition of social capital: "networks, together with shared norms, values and understandings which facilitate cooperation within or among groups".
Social disorder includes antisocial behaviour and refers to issues which may or may not be criminal offences such as public drunkenness, noisy neighbours, and offensive language or behaviour. It is an important topic because if people feel unsafe in their neighbourhood, this then impacts on their daily lives and they are less likely to take part in community activities, or venture out of their house.
In this topic the question refers to whether the respondent has been actively involved in a social group in the last 12 months or taken part in an activity they organised.
Examples of social groups include:
A state of social inclusion exists where people are able to participate fully in the social and economic life of their community, and have a good network of relationships with family, friends and the wider community.
Involvement in activities that are valued in their own right, and reflect personal interests or a desire for individual enjoyment and gratification.
Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)
SEIFA is a product developed especially for those interested in the assessment of the welfare of Australian communities. The ABS has developed four indexes to allow ranking of regions/areas, providing a method of determining the level of social and economic wellbeing in each region.
Each of the indexes summarise different aspects of the socio-economic status of the people living in those areas. The index refers to the attributes of the area in which a person lives, not to the socio-economic situation of a particular individual. The index used in this publication was compiled following the 2011 Census. For further information about the SEIFAs, see Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing - Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas, Australia (cat. no. 2039.0).
The four indexes are:
Differences between population estimates are said to be statistically significant when it can be stated with 95% confidence that there is a real difference between the populations (see Technical Note for more information)
Support for children living outside the household
Support for child(ren) provided by a person (or where specified by a person and their partner) who does not live with them. Support may be provided to the other parent/carer for the child(ren), or to the child themselves. Types of support may be financial, such as child support payments, paying for educational costs, or providing pocket money or an allowance, or non-financial, such as driving them places, letting them borrow the car, or providing food or clothing.
Types of support provided to relatives, such as elderly parents, children aged 25 years or over, or grandchildren who live outside the household such as these:
Refers to whether there is someone outside the person's household who could be asked for support in a time of crisis. Support could be in the form of emotional, physical or financial help. Potential sources of support could be family members, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and various community, government and professional organisations.
A person who was born overseas, who arrived in Australia in 2004 or later, was not an Australian citizen on arrival, was not born in New Zealand, does not hold New Zealand citizenship, and has a temporary visa.
Transitional Housing Management
For people in crisis, this can be the most secure type of accommodation that is available. Rent is normally 25 percent of income and includes a lease. Transitional Housing Management is the dominant model of government funded housing for homeless people in Victoria.
The person's assessment of how difficult it is for them to travel to places they may need to go to in normal circumstances. Four options were provided:
To ascertain peoples feelings of trust in others, and in some major institutions, they were asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the following statements, giving a rating on a 5-point scale:
The phrase 'most people' is based on the respondent's interpretation - there is no specific definition. The idea is whether people can go about their affairs confidently, expecting that others will generally deal fairly with them and act in the ways normally expected in our society.
The unemployment rate for any group is the number of unemployed persons in that group expressed as a percentage of the labour force (i.e. employed persons plus unemployed persons) in the same group.
Unpaid assistance to persons living outside the household
Provided any of the following types of help to persons living outside the household:
A person who had experienced a break-in or attempted break-in at any place they had lived in the last 12 months. Break-ins to homes, garages or sheds are included. However, break-ins to cars or gardens are excluded.
Victim of physical or threatened violence
A person who in the last 12 months had physical force or violence used against them or threatened in person to be used against them. It includes violence or threats made by persons known to the respondent.
The provision of unpaid help willingly undertaken in the form of time, service or skills, to an organisation or group, excluding work done overseas. The following forms of unpaid work are not strictly voluntary and have been excluded:
Refers to whether a person has access to working conditions allowing for family or community responsibilities such as carer's leave, flexible working hours or working from home arrangements.
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