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.