Socioeconomic factors, including economic conditions, provide contextual information and help in the interpretation of other indicators.
Context statement: An indicator of levels of wealth accumulation and housing security, and potential future welfare service need. Housing tenure patterns result from complex factors – including affordability, choice, and mobility.
From 1997–98 to 2017–18, the percentage of Australian households that own their own home:
Between 1997–98 and 2017–18, the percentage of Australian households that rent their home from:
For more information, see Home ownership and housing tenure and AIHW Housing Data Dashboard.
Reference: ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2019. Housing occupancy and costs; Reference period: 2017-18 financial year. Canberra: ABS.
Context statement: Indicator of the financial resources available to the welfare sector to deliver services; also signals the relative priority of welfare expenditure among other budget areas.
As a proportion of overall economic activity, government welfare spending had been reducing in the years leading up to 2019–20, declining from 9.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015–16 to 8.8% in 2018–19. In 2019–20, it grew to 9.9% of GDP. The main driver for this increase was the economic measures the Australian Government introduced in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The only time it has been higher in the past 2 decades was after the global financial crisis (GFC), when it reached 10% in 2008–09.
The ratio of government welfare spending to tax revenue had also generally been declining before the COVID-19 pandemic. It fell from 35% in 2014–15 to 31% in 2018–19, suggesting that a smaller proportion of tax revenue was being spent by governments on welfare payments and services each year before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019–20, the ratio increased to 36% but remained below the peak it reached following the GFC in 2008–09 (39%).
For more information, see Welfare expenditure.
Context statement: High level summary measure of the economic performance of a country, providing insight into the living standards of its citizens.
The Australian economy contracted by 0.3% in chain volume terms in 2019–20, ending 28 consecutive years of economic growth. Economic activity in 2019–20 was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and bushfires, leading to GDP per capita falling by 1.7%, the first decline since 2008–09 (ABS 2020).
For international comparisons, see International comparisons of welfare data.
Reference: ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2020. Australian System of National Accounts; Reference period: 2019-20 financial year. Canberra: ABS.
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