1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Mar 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/2009   
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Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas

What is SEIFA?

SEIFA is a suite of four summary measures that have been created from 2006 Census information. The indexes can be used to explore different aspects of socio-economic conditions by geographic areas. For each index, every geographic area in Australia is given a SEIFA number which shows how disadvantaged that area is compared with other areas in Australia.

Each index summarises a different aspect of the socio-economic conditions of people living in an area, examining different sets of social and economic information. The indexes provide more general measures of socio-economic status than are given by measuring income or unemployment alone, for example.

The four indexes in SEIFA 2006 are:

Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage:
Derived from Census variables related to disadvantage, such as low income, low educational attainment, unemployment, and dwellings without motor vehicles.

Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage:
A continuum of advantage (high values) to disadvantage (low values) which is derived from Census variables related to both advantage and disadvantage, such as households with low income and people with a tertiary education.

Index of Economic Resources:
Focuses on Census variables such as the income, housing expenditure and household assets.

Index of Education and Occupation:
Includes Census variables relating to the educational and occupational characteristics of communities, like the proportion of people with a higher qualification or those employed in a skilled occupation.

For further information relating to the SEIFA suite, please contact the National Information Referral Service on 1300 135 070.