Welfare refers to the wellbeing of individuals, families and the community. It is associated with comfort, happiness, health, prosperity, security and safety. A person's wellbeing is influenced by a broad range of individual, social, economic and environmental factors. While many Australians can manage their own wellbeing with little intervention or support, at times and in certain circumstances some may need to draw on additional support and services to help them fully participate in all facets of life. Such support may come from government and non-government agencies, local communities, family and friends.

The level and type of supports a person may need will depend on their life stage, level of disadvantage, health and disability status, social and economic participation, access to suitable housing, informal support networks and the complex interrelationships between these factors.

For many Australians, the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on wellbeing have been deep and wide ranging – and may be long lasting. Australia’s welfare 2021: data insights aims to tell Australia’s welfare story at this complex moment in history. It also examines the information and data environments that underlie the welfare system.

Australia’s welfare 2021: data insights contains 8 original articles that highlight the crucial role of high quality data, both in telling the story of Australia’s welfare and in changing that story for the better.

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