2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Jul 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2000   
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SEIFA - Profiling the Population

The Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) are groupings that provide a comprehensive profile of the Australian people. Using data from the 1996 Census of Population and Housing, five indexes have been constructed to summarise the social and economic conditions of Australia.

People using census data are sometimes interested in an overview or summary of a number of related items, rather than just one item of social or economic interest. The indexes used in SEIFA can provide this information by summarising a variety of underlying social and economic variables.

The five indexes are:
1. Urban Index of Advantage - contains items such as high income and home ownership.
2. Rural Index of Advantage - looks at characteristics related specifically to rural areas.
3. Index of Disadvantage - focuses on items such as low income earners and high unemployment.
4. Index of Economic Resources - highlights disposable income and the economic resources of a household.
5. Index of Education and Occupation - contains specific rankings based on educational background.

People can choose from a wide range of geographical areas including Collection District, Statistical Local Area, and Postal Area. Alternatively, clients can customise areas to suit their own specifications. Combining SEIFA with the mapping capabilities of CDATA96 further increases the useability of this product.

For those in the business of targeting products or services, demographic profiling, survey design, service provision or research, SEIFA is an essential tool. The five indexes can help with the following and much more:

  • market segmentation consultation
  • identifying features of a unique target group
  • the analysis of consumer profiles
  • identifying a new business location.

    For more information about SEIFA, contact an ABS consultant on 1300 135 070 or visit the ABS Consultancies web page. Overseas clients please call 61 2 9268 4909.