Social Indicator Reports
The Melbourne Institute measures a range of social indicators, from household expenditure to individual and social well-being.
Our research aims to determine the extent of economic and social disadvantage in Australia.
It also seeks to understand how such disadvantage creates barriers to education, employment and housing.
The Melbourne Institute’s social indicator reports explore three core areas of disadvantage – poverty, household expenditure and social exclusion.
They are valuable resources for anyone concerned with social welfare policy in Australia.
Reports and Publications
- Poverty Lines: Australia
Poverty Lines: Australia
This report updates the poverty lines defined in the 1973 Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry into Poverty. The updated poverty lines consider changes in the average income level of all Australians, reflecting the idea that poverty is relative.
The report lists the minimum income levels required for families of different size and circumstance to avoid a situation of poverty. It also indicates changes in the purchasing power of each poverty line and compares welfare payment levels to the lines.
- Household Expenditure Measure
Household Expenditure Measure
This report examines household expenditure in Australia. Using local survey data linked to the Consumer Price Index, the HEM looks at what families actually spend in relation to different types of household.
The HEM classifies more than 600 items in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Household Expenditure Survey as absolute basics, discretionary basics or non-basics. These items are then used to calculate modest expenditure for eight types of household.
- The HEM is defined as the median spend on absolute basics plus the 25th percentile spend on discretionary basics.
- Absolute basics are most food items, children’s clothing, utilities, transport costs and communications.
- Discretionary basics include take-away food, restaurants, confectionery, alcohol and tobacco, adult clothing, childcare and entertainment.
- Non-basics include luxury services such as gardeners and overseas holidays.
- Rents and mortgage payments are not included, as the HEM is a net-of-housing costs measure.
Publication Frequency: Quarterly
Available Options: Subscription (contact Dane Binney from RFi Group for more information)
- Social Exclusion Monitor