What is social exclusion?

Understanding and measuring poverty and disadvantage has moved beyond a person's income and assets, such as owning their home.

It now includes 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.

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 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.

Social inclusion

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.

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.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes