Depth of social exclusion

We arrived at our composite measure of exclusion by giving weightings to each of the 30 indicators we used – such as low income, unemployment, poor English and poor physical health – to determine a combined score.

Three-quarters of Australians score less than 1 (using the latest data, from 2016). People scoring above a total of 1 on our scale are considered to be experiencing some level of exclusion.

People’s experiences of social exclusion can then be divided into three levels: marginal exclusion, deep exclusion and very deep exclusion.

Marginal social exclusion

People scoring 1–2 on our scale are considered to be experiencing marginal social exclusion.

In 2008, 17% of Australians were marginally excluded (down from 23% in 2001). SInce 2008, there has been a slight increase in marginal exclusion, with 19% of Australians experiencing this level of exclusion in 2017.

Deep social exclusion

People scoring 2 or more on our scale are considered to be experiencing deep social exclusion.

In 2008, 5.1% of Australians were experiencing deep exclusion (down from 7.8% in 2001). Over ten years the rate of deep exclusion has risen very slightly to 5.6% in 2017. This means that more than 1.1 million Australians still experience deep social exclusion.

Very deep social exclusion

People scoring 3 or more on our scale are considered to be experiencing very deep social exclusion.

In 2008, 0.9% of Australians were very deeply excluded. By 2017, this figure rose slightly to 1.2%, which means that more than 240,000 Australians experience very deep social exclusion each year.

To copy this graph for your own use, right-click on the image (or control-click on a Mac) and paste the graph into your document. Please credit 'The Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Melbourne Institute 2019'.

See data table for this graph and note on updated indicators

Read also in Measuring social exclusion:  Persistence of social exclusion » Social exclusion and poverty »

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.

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