The social exclusion monitor provides benchmark data on the prevalence, depth and persistence of social exclusion in Australia. What does this mean for social policy?

We found that one in four Australians experiences social exclusion (using the latest 2018 data). For most people this experience is short.

However, importantly for social policy, more than 1.2 million Australians experience multiple barriers to full participation in society, or deep social exclusion. For many this situation persists or recurs in three years or more.

How should policy change?

The Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) believes that a strong economy and inclusive society should go hand in hand. Social exclusion is best addressed through economic growth policies that focus on employment together with social services, including health, housing, youth and aged-care services, that build people’s capacities to fully participate in society.

Our social exclusion monitor shows how deep social exclusion involves overlapping factors, including gender , age , country of birth , Indigenous background , health , household type , housing and education . Good policies will concentrate on these interrelated factors to improve opportunities and quality of life among disadvantaged Australians.

Reducing social exclusion can also require extra investment for some people and in some localities. Support services that are better integrated and personalised are sometimes necessary to prevent crises, such as homelessness, and to build resilience and social connections among Australians. This approach benefits the whole community while also ensuring that those in greater need get more.

What BSL is doing

The Brotherhood of St. Laurence uses findings such as the social exclusion data to advocate for social policy reform.

We have many other research projects that pursue systemic change for a fairer, more compassionate and just society. Read about the research topics of the Social Policy and Research Centre .

BSL also puts its ideas into practice and runs innovative programs that aim to reduce social exclusion, including:

About the social exclusion monitor

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 17 of the HILDA Survey in November 2019.