Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) (2021 Census, ASGS Edition 3) cluster
Data Set Specification Attributes
Identifying and definitional attributes
|Metadata item type:||Data Set Specification|
Early Childhood, Standard 15/08/2023
|DSS type:||Data Element Cluster|
The SEIFA cluster contains data elements that may be used to ascertain a SEIFA score for a geographic area which is a measure of the collective socio-economic status of the people living in the area.
The person level geographical location data elements in this cluster refer to the person's usual residence. This is defined below.
When collecting the geographical location of a person's usual place of residence, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recommends that 'usual' be defined as: 'the place where the person has or intends to live for 6 months or more, or the place that the person regards as their main residence, or where the person has no other residence, the place they currently reside.' Apart from collecting a person's usual place of residence there is also a need in some collections to collect area of residence immediately prior to or after assistance is provided, or at some other point in time.
Collection and usage attributes
|Guide for use:|
SEIFA 2021 is a suite of four summary measures produced by the ABS from social and economic information in the 2021 Census of Population and Housing. The indexes reflect the socio-economic wellbeing of a geographic area, rather than that of individuals. They were calculated at the Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1), and reflect SA1 characteristics. For each index, every geographic area in Australia is given a SEIFA score which measures how relatively 'advantaged' or '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. They each summarise a different set of social and economic information. The indexes provide more general measures of socio-economic status than is given by measuring income or unemployment alone, for example.
The four indexes in SEIFA 2021 are:
The concept of relative socio-economic disadvantage is neither simple, nor well defined. SEIFA uses a broad definition of relative socio-economic disadvantage in terms of people's access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society. While SEIFA represents an average of all people living in an area, SEIFA does not represent the individual situation of each person. Larger areas are more likely to have greater diversity of people and households.
The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (ABS Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)) is the main geographical framework for the 2021 Census.
Data cubes for the SEIFA 2021 indexes are available for the following geographic units:
The basic geographic unit used to create SEIFA 2021 is SA1. LGAs are larger geographic units in the ASGS. POAs are an SA1-based approximation of Australia Post postcodes.
The data cube for the SA1 level indexes contains the index scores for each of the four indexes, as well as the associated ranks, deciles and percentiles at the national and state/territory level. All other data cubes are derived from the SA1 level data cube.
Population Distribution and SA1 Distribution data cubes have also been released by the ABS to assist users in understand the diversity of the socio-economic conditions of SA1s within larger areas.
SEIFA indexes are assigned to areas, not to individuals. They indicate the collective socio-economic status of the people living in an area. A relatively disadvantaged area is likely to have a high proportion of relatively disadvantaged people. However, such an area is also likely to contain people who are not disadvantaged, as well as people who are relatively advantaged.
The data elements listed below are used to determine the geographic unit which can be examined on the SEIFA indexes.
Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1): For an SA1 geographic unit either of the following data elements can be collected:
Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2): For an SA2 geographic unit the following data element can be collected:
Collection of locality, postcode and state/territory
The collection of information about a person's or service provider organisation's locality, postcode and state/territory enables the geographical entity to be ascertained which can then be examined in the relevant SEIFA index. The collection of residential postcode + locality + state/territory can be mapped to SA2. Where locality, postcode and state/territory are collected, there are a number of concordance/correspondence files available from [email protected] which can assist in assigning geographic area codes, such as:
Source and reference attributes
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
|Related metadata references:|
Supersedes Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) (2016 Census, ASGS 2016) cluster
Early Childhood, Superseded 15/08/2023
Health, Standard 06/09/2018
|Implementation in Data Set Specifications:|
Early Childhood Education and Care: Unit Record Level NMDS 2023
Early Childhood, Standard 15/08/2023
Implementation start date: 01/07/2023
DSS specific information:
The ECEC collection uses usual residence, in conjunction with the geographically based SEIFA Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD).
For the ECEC URL NMDS 2021 the data element Address—statistical area, level 1 (SA1) code (ASGS 2016) N(11) based on the usual residence of the child’s parent or guardian is collected for SEIFA. (Note: Other data elements in the SEIFA cluster are not collected by the ECEC collection for the purposes of SEIFA but may be collected outside of the SEIFA cluster).