Does location help explain why some people are vulnerable to financial stress?

Melbourne Institute Research Insight No. 17/20

Date: July 2020


Guay Lim
Viet Nguyen
Tim Robinson
Sam Tsiaplias


The Australian labour market has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many workers experiencing loss of employment or having to work reduced hours. This has led to many people facing a decline in their income which can in turn trigger financial stress. However, the financial impact of the pandemic is not evenly spread across regions, meaning a spatial perspective could be valuable in adequately addressing financial stress. This Research Insight uses data from the Melbourne Institute’s Taking the Pulse of the Nation survey and the SEIFA Index of Economic Resources (IER) to examine the spatial aspects of financial vulnerability, assessing how different regions across Australia have been impacted. It also considers how these spatial dimensions of financial vulnerability can be linked to regional differences in access to economic resources.

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