What is social exclusion?
Understanding and measuring poverty and disadvantage has moved beyond a person's income and assets, such as owning their home, to include other essentials for their participation in society, such as access to education, health services and transport, and non-material aspects such as stigma and denial of rights.
The concept of social exclusion captures the many overlapping factors that may exclude a person from society, rather than income alone.
See background for more information on the history of the social exclusion concept.
Why is social exclusion important?
The social exclusion monitor shows that there are many causes of social disadvantage. Tackling them by integrating government services and applying broader social policies will not only improve people’s lives but also increase Australia’s prosperity by bringing people into the workforce and expanding our economic capacity.
A new way to measure social exclusion
The Brotherhood of St Laurence began collaborating with the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (MIAESR) in 2008 to develop a new way to measure social exclusion.
Our measure combines results collected about an individual’s circumstances based on 30 different components of disadvantage, called indicators. For example, a person may have a low income, poor health and little formal education, which all compound to restrict their participation in society.
The flipside of social exclusion is ‘social inclusion’. Social inclusion is about everyone being able to participate fully in social and economic life – by getting a good education, receiving an adequate income, having a job and being closely connected to family, friends and the community.
For more information, see our Research and Policy Centre's work on social inclusion.
The social exclusion monitor is the work of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (MIAESR). This page was updated using analysis of Wave 10 of the HILDA Survey in November 2012.