Social exclusion monitor

More than 825,000 Australians experience deep social exclusion

Social exclusion occurs when someone experiences multiple, overlapping problems, such as unemployment, poor health and inadequate education, which stop them fully participating in society. Tackling social exclusion helps make Australia a better place to live for everyone.

The social exclusion monitor is a new approach to measuring social exclusion in Australia. Developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (MIAESR), it uses the annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey of 13,000 people. The monitor is updated with each new wave of the HILDA survey.

Last updated using the newest data from 2012, the monitor finds that more than 825,000 Australians deal with deep social exclusion. This means that they experience at least four different sorts of disadvantage in their lives, such as being on a low income, having little work experience, not being involved in community clubs or associations and not being socially active.

You can use the monitor to better understand who is missing out in Australia and to gauge the effectiveness of government social policy.

Click on the photos to find out how different groups of people experience social exclusion.

If you would like to be notified about updates to the social exclusion monitor, please subscribe to Brotherhood Update, the regular enewsletter from our Research and Policy Centre.

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Social exclusion monitor in the news

The latest findings were featured in an article by Ben Schneiders in the Sunday Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Dropping out: income tip of isolation slide and an accompanying story You've got to laugh to survive

Francisco Azpitarte and Shelley Mallett's article in The Conversation 22 July 2015
Who’s on the outer? Uncovering poverty’s many faces

Persistent disadvantage
CEDA Addressing entrenched disadvantage front cover

Brotherhood researchers Francisco Azpitarte and Eve Bodsworth wrote a chapter on the persistence of disadvantage for a new CEDA report Addressing entrenched disadvantage in Australia

Breaking the back of persistent disadvantage
12 July 2013
In her opinion piece in The Conversation, the Brotherhood's Eve Bodsworth argues that tackling the complex causes of deep disadvantage requires political leadership, serious investment and collaboration.

Using the social exclusion data

The social exclusion data produced by this project is a major source for the Productivity Commission working paper Deep and persistent disadvantage in Australia by Rosalie McLachlan, Geoff Gilfillan and Jenny Gordon, released in July 2013

The social exclusion monitor and policy

Michael Horn's essay, 'Measuring social exclusion: evidence for a new social policy agenda' appears in Staying power, the 11th State of the Family report, published by Anglicare Australia in 2011.

A personal story

Margaret's and David's lives changed when a stroke left David disabled. Their social circle contracted and getting out became harder.

Read their story

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood