2033.0.55.001 - Census of Population and Housing: Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia - Data only , 2006 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2008   
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29/05/2008 Note: Three additional tables have been released in the SEIFA 2006 product range. The first table contains SEIFA indexes for State Suburb Codes. The other two tables are illustrative tools describing the population distributions of Local Government Areas and 2007 Commonwealth Electoral Divisions.

30/04/2008 Note: The Postal Area table was reissued to correct the allocation of cross-border Postal Areas to State. The allocation is now based on the State with the highest proportion of population in that Postal Area. The correction affects State ranks, State deciles and State percentiles within the Postal Area data.


SEIFA is a suite of four summary measures that have been created from 2006 Census information. The indexes can be used to explore different aspects of socio-economic conditions by geographic areas. For each index, every geographic area in Australia is given a SEIFA score which shows how disadvantaged that area is compared with other areas in Australia.

Each index summarises a different aspect of the socio-economic conditions of people living in an area. They each summarise a different set of social and economic information. The indexes take into account a range of factors in determining socio-economic conditions.

The four indexes in SEIFA 2006 are:

    • Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage: focuses primarily on disadvantage, and is derived from Census variables like low income, low educational attainment, unemployment, and dwellings without motor vehicles.
    • Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage: is a continuum of advantage (high values) to disadvantage (low values), and is derived from Census variables related to both advantage and disadvantage.
    • Index of Economic Resources: focuses on financial aspects of advantage and disadvantage, using Census variables relating to residents' incomes, housing expenditure and assets.
    • Index of Education and Occupation: includes Census variables relating to the educational attainment, employment and vocational skills.
The concept of relative socio-economic disadvantage is neither simple, nor well defined. SEIFA uses a broad definition of relative socio-economic disadvantage in terms people's access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society. While SEIFA represents an average of all people living in an area, SEIFA does not represent the individual situation of each person. Larger areas are more likely to have greater diversity of people and households.

Users of SEIFA datacubes are advised to carefully read the accompanying Information Paper and Technical Manual:
    2039.0 Information Paper: An Introduction to Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas
    2039.0.55.001 Technical Manual: Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) - Technical Paper
Some further information on SEIFA 2006 is presented in the explanatory notes associated with this publication


The SEIFA indexes are available in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format. These spreadsheets have been optimised for use in Microsoft Excel and may lose functionality in other spreadsheet packages.

Main Tables
A separate downloadable spreadsheet is available for each of four geographical areas:
      • Census Collection District (CD)
      • Statistical Local Area (SLA)
      • Local Government Area (LGA)
      • Postal Area (POA)

Each spreadsheet contains the four SEIFA indexes that have been created for that geographical area, each on separate worksheets. There is also a summary worksheet containing information on all four indexes for that geographical area. The worksheet for each index shows:
      • the geographic area code
      • number of people who usually resided in the area on Census Night
      • the set of four index numbers: SEIFA score, rank, decile and percentile for each area
      • a State rank, State decile and State percentile, which are only applicable within each State/Territory

SEIFA Population Distributions for Larger Areas
In 2006 SEIFA indexes have not been created for larger geographical areas, such as:
      • State,
      • Statistical Division (SD)
      • Statistical Sub-Division (SSD)

Instead, an interactive spreadsheet is available that shows the distribution of SEIFA scores within these areas. This spreadsheet shows the distribution of people who are usual residents on Census Night (rather than the distribution of CDs). For each larger area, the spreadsheet includes both tabular and graphical information for each of the four indexes.

For each index a particular geographic area can be selected, and the tool will show the population distribution by CD-level scores. The distribution can be directly compared to the distribution for Australia.

Forthcoming Datacubes
An additional spreadsheet is expected to be release subsequently. This spreadsheet will provide information for State Suburbs (SSC).


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070