Notes on the data: Summary measure of disadvantage
Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage, 2021
Policy context: The Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD) is one of four Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFAs) compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) after the Census of Population and Housing. The aim is to represent the socioeconomic status (SES) of Australian communities and identify areas of advantage and disadvantage. The IRSD scores each area by summarising attributes of the population, such as low income, low educational attainment, high unemployment and jobs in relatively unskilled occupations. It reflects an area’s relative disadvantage and lack of disadvantage. Being an average, the score is likely to reduce apparent differences between individuals in an area, and between areas: this is of particular importance for areas with larger populations.
The IRSD is a useful summary measure. However, if you are studying a particular population, then there may be more appropriate indicators. For example, if interested in children in disadvantaged families, you can use the indicator of the number of children in families where no parent has a job ('jobless' families); or the number of children in families where the mother is receiving welfare benefits at the maximum level, due to having no other income.
Notes: The Index has a base of 1000 for Australia: scores above 1000 indicate relative lack of disadvantage and those below indicate relatively greater disadvantage.
For further information see the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia, available here.
Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Quintiles within PHNs, and Remoteness Area
Numerator: Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage, derived by ABS from 2021 Census data.
Note: The Local Government Area (LGA) data were re-produced from the ABS originals. Data for other geographic areas were constructed using population weighted averages, based on the published ABS Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2) data.
Denominator: Not applicable
Detail of analysis: The Index has a base of 1000 for Australia: scores above 1000 indicate relative lack of disadvantage (referred to as least disadvantaged) and those below indicate relatively greater disadvantage (referred to as most disadvantaged)
Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), 2021 data.