Socio-Economics Indexes for Areas
(usually known by its acronym SEIFA
) is a product of the Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...
's national statistical
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...
, the Australian Bureau of Statistics
The Australian Bureau of Statistics is Australia's national statistical agency. It was created as the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics on 8 December 1905, when the Census and Statistics Act 1905 was given Royal assent. It had its beginnings in section 51 of the Constitution of Australia...
, which measures and ranks areas according to socio-economic and positional disadvantage based on information derived from the five-yearly Census of Population and Housing
The Australian census is administered once every five years by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The most recent census was conducted on 9 August 2011; the next will be conducted in 2016. Prior to the introduction of regular censuses in 1961, they had also been run in 1901, 1911, 1921, 1933,...
. The SEIFA is the most widely used general measure of socio-economic status (SES) by area, whose size may range from Census Collection Districts and metropolitan suburbs through to large Statistical Divisions such as metropolitan areas. The variables used are typically income, education, occupation and housing conditions.
Each area is ranked on four different indices, each with an average score of 1,000:
- Index of Advantage/Disadvantage—a composite index where lower scores indicate more disadvantaged areas and higher scores indicate more advantaged areas.
- Index of Disadvantage—focuses on low-income areas with lower educational attainment, people in low-skilled occupations and low employment.
- Index of Economic Resources—includes variables such as rent paid, income by family type, mortgage payments and rental properties.
- Index of Education and Occupation—includes all education and occupation variables.
The SEIFA indexes are published every five years as data cubes or as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Formerly available only to subscribers, the index was made available for free on the ABS website after changes in legislation relating to all ABS electronic products in 2005-06. It is used by federal, state and local government agencies as well as community and business groups.