CAEPR has a tradition of producing indices of Indigenous socioeconomic outcomes to support the work of Indigenous peoples and organisations in advocating for improved resources based on relative need, as well as of governments in targeting services where they will have the greatest impact on the Indigenous population. The aim of this paper is to replicate and extend this analysis. A number of insights emerge. First, leaving aside their own circumstances, Indigenous Australians were more likely to live in neighbourhoods where the rest of the population is relatively disadvantaged. Furthermore, in every area analysed, the Indigenous population had higher levels of socioeconomic disadvantage compared to the non-Indigenous population in the area. Within the Indigenous population, analysis showed that even though there was a higher level of disadvantage in remote parts of the country, there was significant variation within location types. There were many disadvantaged urban areas and many relatively advantaged ones in remote and regional Australia.
It was noted in the paper that while important, socioeconomic status is an incomplete measure of wellbeing. For this reason, a broader suite of indices was developed that allows for comparisons between different aspects of Indigenous outcomes. This confirmed previous findings that income, employment and education were correlated geographically, but that there were other notions of wellbeing that potentially move in opposite directions.
The data that was summarised in this paper is available for download in CSV format and it is hoped that this provides a rich set of information for research and policy planning.