New research on disadvantage in Australia has found that it’s not just income that matters when calculating disadvantage, but other factors such as health and education. Source: The Conversation.
The research, conducted by the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods and commissioned by Catholic Social Services Australia, (CSSA), found the gap between rich and poor is very wide in Sydney, while much of Queensland struggles with educational disadvantage and regional NSW and Victoria are both more disadvantaged when it comes to health.
Study authors Ben Phillips, from the Australian National University, and Brenton Prosser, from the University of Canberra, said previous research on poverty placed a heavy emphasis on income and economic outcomes at a given point in time.
But, they said, disadvantage often goes beyond just economic factors. It’s also necessary to analyse the educational, health and social inequities in society to get a more accurate understanding of disadvantage.
The research, published in CSSA’s Mapping the Potential report, found Australia’s most disadvantaged electorate overall was Hinkler in regional Queensland, which ranks poorly in three of the disadvantage domains tracked: health, economic and social.
Australia’s least disadvantaged electorate is North Sydney.
The research also shows the vast disparities between urban and regional areas in Australia and the deep level of disadvantage found in predominantly Indigenous communities, mostly in the Northern Territory.