2033.0.55.001 - Census of Population and Housing: Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia, 2016 Quality Declaration
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/2018
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HOW TO USE SEIFA
More detail on these guidelines can be found in Chapter 6 of the Technical Paper, which is available from the Downloads tab.
OTHER ISSUES TO CONSIDER
Topics not represented in the index
Users of the indexes should examine the variables contained in each index (see the pages about the individual indexes in this guide) to ascertain whether they are appropriate for analysis. There are two aspects of advantage which the indexes do not represent well. Firstly, the indexes do not directly measure wealth, and secondly, there is very limited information available through the Census about the infrastructure within an area. Both of these measures may provide more information about the level of advantage and disadvantage in an area. Other potential topics that could be associated with advantage and disadvantage but are not captured on the Census include health (beyond the single disability variable used in SEIFA), crime, and the environment.
Area vs. Individual
The indexes reflect the socio-economic well-being of an area, rather than that of individuals. They were calculated at the SA1 level, and reflect SA1 characteristics. Because the people within an SA1 are not identical, the index scores for an SA1 do not directly reflect the relative advantage or disadvantage of an individual residing in that SA1. For example, it is possible for a relatively advantaged person to be a resident in an SA1 which may have a low score on some or all of the indexes. This needs to be taken into consideration when both using and validating the indexes. For further reading on finer level indexes and diversity within areas please see the 'SEIFA: Getting a Handle on Individual Diversity Within Areas' article.
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