A person’s welfare, or wellbeing, is affected by many factors, including their housing, education and family functioning. Some people see welfare as primarily income support, but support and services in many areas of life are critical.

Wellbeing can be difficult to measure and report on. Frequently measured outcomes include a person’s income, work–life balance and feelings of safety. Measuring the performance of welfare services also enables us to track the need for welfare support and provides insights into the nation’s wellbeing more broadly.

A person’s wellbeing is the result of many interrelated factors:

  • Determinants of wellbeing—for example: family functioning, social engagement, material resources, health status, support networks, employment and skills, secure housing, personal factors and behaviours.
  • Wellbeing—for example: housing quality and living conditions, housing status, employment status, safety and security, educational attainment, health and functioning.
  • Welfare services and supports—for example: housing and homelessness services, child protection services, disability services, employment services, income support payments, informal support provided by friends, family and community groups.
  • Contextual factors—for example: sociodemographic trends (immigration patterns, ageing), environmental factors, economic conditions, and policy settings.