Socioeconomic Breakdown Of House Electorates

The influence of socioeconomic conditions on voting behaviour is difficult to dispute, considering the relationship between socioeconomic statistics and results in federal elections.

A paper produced in 2001 by Gerard Newman and Andrew Kopras of the Statistics Group in the Federal Parliamentary Library matches census data with election results. The data has been adapted to the new electoral boundaries that will be used in the 2001 election.

Index of Relative Socioeconomic Advantage

This index measures the relative social and economic well-being of an area. It measures the proportions of high income families (incomes greater than $77,999), professional occupations, tertiary education qualifications, home ownership and purchase, size of homes and number of motor vehicles.

A higher score on this index means that the electorate has a relatively large proportion of people with the above attributes. Conversely, a lower score means that the electorate has a relatively low proportion of people with these characteristics.

Index of Relative Socioeconomic Disadvantage

This index measures the relative extent of social and economic hardship by considering low income (family incomes less than $15,600), low educational attainment, unskilled occupations, unemployment, one-parent families, renting households and Aboriginal and torrest Strait Islanders.

A lower score on this index means that the electorate has a relatively large proportion of people with the above attributes. Conversely, a higher score means that the electorate has a relatively high proportion of people with these characteristics.

Index of Education and Occupation

This index measures the educational and occupational levels within federal electorates, including major occupation groups (professional, clerical, labouring, etc) and whether further study is being undertaken.

A high score on this index means that the electorate has a high concentration of people with higher educational qualifications or undertaking further study and persons employed in higher skilled occupations. Conversely, a lower score indicates a concentration of people with low education attainment, low occupation skills or unemployed persons.

Index of Economic Resources

This index measures the economic resources of families, including income and expenditure levels, home ownership/purchasing, high family incomes, high mortgage repayments (greater than $1,300 per month) and high rental payments (greater than $249 per week). It includes data on dwelling size and number of motor vehicles.

A high score on this index indicates a higher proportion of families with these characteristics. Conversely, a lower score indicates a lower proportion of families with these characteristics.

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