2011.0.55.001 - Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing - Products and Services, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/03/2017   
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Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) provide summary measures derived from the Census and can help users understand the relative level of social and economic wellbeing of a region. 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.

SEIFA can be used for research into the relationship between socio-economic status and various health and educational outcomes, helping to 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 down to a Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1).

SEIFA 2016 will comprise the same four indexes produced for SEIFA 2011. 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).

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.

Further information about the 2011 version of SEIFA is available in Census of Population and Housing: Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia, 2011 (cat. no. 2033.0.55.001).

SEIFA based on 2016 Census data will be released on 27 March 2018 and will be available free of charge on the ABS website.