The Index of Economic Resources (IER) focuses on the financial aspects of relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage, by summarising variables related to income and wealth. This index excludes education and occupation variables because they are not direct measures of economic resources. It also misses some assets such as savings or equities which, although relevant, could not be included because this information was not collected in the 2016 Census.
A low score indicates a relative lack of access to economic resources in general. For example, an area may have a low score if there are:
- many households with low income, or many households paying low rent, AND
- few households with high income, or few owned homes.
score indicates relatively greater access to economic resources in general. For example, an area may have a high score if there are:
- many households with high income, or many owned homes, AND
- few low income households, or few households paying low rent.
This index is recommended in situations where the user:
- is specifically analysing access to economic resources.
For example, IER may be applicable when a user:
- is interested in wealth as well as income for analysis.
IER is not recommended if the user:
- is only interested in disadvantage, as this index measures both advantage and disadvantage
- is interested in a more general measure of advantage and disadvantage, such as IRSAD
- is using the index in an analysis with information that has already been included in the index, such as household income.
The variables used in the index are listed in this section.
The following variables are considered to be indicators of disadvantage. INC_LOW is the strongest indicator of disadvantage in the index.
- INC_LOW: % People with stated annual household equivalised income between $1 and $25,999 (approx. 1st and 2nd deciles)
- NOCAR: % Occupied private dwellings with no cars
- LOWRENT: % Occupied private dwellings paying rent less than $215 per week (excluding $0 per week)
- LONE: % Occupied private dwellings who are lone person occupied private dwellings
- ONEPARENT: % One parent families with dependent offspring only
- UNEMPLOYED1: % People aged 15 years and over who are unemployed
- OVERCROWD: % Occupied private dwellings requiring one or more extra bedrooms (based on Canadian National Occupancy Standard)
- GROUP: % Occupied private dwellings who are group occupied private dwellings
The following variables are considered to be indicators of advantage. HIGH_BED is the strongest indicator of advantage in the index.
- HIGHBED: % Occupied private dwellings with four or more bedrooms
- HIGHMORTGAGE: % Occupied private dwellings paying mortgage greater than $2,800 per month
- MORTGAGE: % Occupied private dwellings owning dwelling (with a mortgage)
- INC_HIGH: % People with stated annual household equivalised income greater than $78,000 (approx 9th and 10th deciles)
- UNINCORP: % Dwellings with at least one person who is an owner of an unincorporated enterprise
- OWNING: % Occupied private dwellings owning dwelling without a mortgage
The following variable was initially considered for the index, but was excluded when the analysis showed that it was a weak indicator of relative disadvantage in this data. For more information, please refer to Chapter 4.3 in the SEIFA 2016 Technical Paper, which is available from the Downloads tab.
- HIGHRENT: % Occupied private dwellings paying rent greater than $470 per week