While most Australians live well, there are some groups who are doing it very tough, according to this report. Approximately 5% of Australians aged 15 years and over experience three or more types of disadvantage.
While most Australians are employed, 15% of all Australian children live in jobless families. Most Australians have high life expectancies but some groups, such as Indigenous people, have much lower expectancies (10 to 12 years lower).
To make matters worse for some Australians, disadvantage in one area is often shown to be associated with disadvantage in other respects. For example, the Board’s report finds that low income households often have poorer health and/or more difficulty accessing transport and other essential services. 35% of people with low incomes reported fair or poor health compared to only 7% with high incomes. 10% of people with low incomes have difficulty accessing transport compared to only 1% of people with high incomes. People with low incomes are also less likely to have access to the internet at home (33% compared to 85% with high incomes).
Similarly, people living in areas of low socioeconomic status tend to have lower levels of involvement in many aspects of community life. People living in the most disadvantaged 20% of regions are shown to be much more likely to be unemployed, more likely to have children who are developmentally vulnerable, less likely to have Year 12 or equivalent at ages 20 to 24, less likely to participate in a community group and less likely to have a say in decisions that affect them.
This report sets the baseline for measuring progress on reducing disadvantage in Australia and provides a platform for the Board to address the topic of breaking the cycle of disadvantage over the coming year.