2011.0 - Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Proposed Products and Services, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/07/2010   
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Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)

What is it?

If you are interested in assessing the welfare of Australian communities, then Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) can help you understand the level of social and economic well-being of a region.

SEIFA can be used for research into the relationship between socio-economic status and various health and educational outcomes. It helps identify areas that require funding and services; and identify new business opportunities.

SEIFA is a set of four indexes which rank geographical areas across Australia. These indexes are ranked by a score based on the characteristics of the people, families and dwellings in these areas. This can be used to determine where the wealthy live; where the disadvantaged live; and where the highly skilled and educated live.

Each index contains a different set of socio-economic information and is available right down to a Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1).

They are:
  • Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (IRSD)
  • Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD)
  • Index of Economic Resources (IER)
  • Index of Education and Occupation (IEO)
SEIFA uses a broad definition of relative socio-economic disadvantage in terms of 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, it does not represent the individual situation of each person. Larger areas are more likely to have greater diversity of people and households.

Who is it for?

SEIFA is for those wanting to investigate the socio-economic well-being of Australian communities.

It can also be used for:
  • targeting areas for business or services
  • demographic polling
  • strategic planning
  • design of sample surveys
  • social research.

When will it be available?

SEIFAData release
Early 2013

SEIFA will be released in Microsoft Excel format, free from the ABS website.