Socio-Economic Indexes - review underway
For the past three censuses, the ABS has produced five summary indexes designed to measure different aspects of socio-economic conditions by geographic area.
These indexes, known as SEIFA (Socio-economic Indexes for Areas), are lifestyle groupings of Australia’s communities. They reveal where the affluent, the disadvantaged or the highly skilled live - ideal for business or research to assist in identifying the areas in which target lifestyle groups live. In the past, the indexes have been calculated using a technique called Principal Components Analysis which takes a number of correlated variables and calculates one index which represents most of the information in the original set of variables. The SEIFA were last reviewed in 1991.
A review team, in consultation with the user community, is now looking at:
• what variables should be included in the 2001 SEIFA indexes
• the method used for calculating the indexes
• what documentation and information should be released to assist users understand the indexes and
• how the indexes are validated.
SEIFA 2001 is currently scheduled for release in September 2003. The outcomes of this review and progress reports on SEIFA development and release will be reported in future issues of Census Update.