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The latest two-yearly snapshot of national wellbeing uses high-quality data to show how Australians are faring in key areas, including housing, education and skills, employment, social support and justice and safety.


  • The report shows that record employment and an increase in education levels are contributing to Australia’s wellbeing but challenges facing the nation include housing stress among low-income earners.
  • The proportion of Australians working very long hours (50 or more per week) declined from 16% to 14% and more Australians are using part-time work to balance work with other activities including caring responsibilities.
  • However, in December 2018, about 9% of workers were underemployed, or unable to find as many hours of work as they would like. One in 9 families with children had no one in the family who was employed.
  • Generally, the higher a person’s level of education, the more opportunities they have in their working life.
  • Australia has high levels of civic engagement with 97% of eligible people enrolled to vote in 2019—up from 90% in 2010 and strong rates of volunteering (contributing 743 million hours a year). But an estimated 1 in 4 Australians are currently experiencing an episode of loneliness – with people who live alone, young adults, males and people with children more likely to feel lonely.
  • Finding affordable housing remains a challenge for many Australians, with more people spending a higher proportion of their incomes on housing than in the past and fewer younger people owning their own homes.
  • There has been little change in income inequality since the mid-2000s—though it is higher now than it was in the 1980s—and wealth is more unequally distributed than income.
  • Most crime rates have fallen in recent years but Australia ranked in the bottom third of countries for people feeling safe walking alone at night.
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