2.09 Index of disadvantage

This measure reports on the relative disadvantage of Indigenous Australians compared with non-Indigenous Australians, using indexes of socioeconomic outcomes.

Why is it important?

This measure reports on the relative disadvantage for Indigenous Australians compared with non‑Indigenous Australians. It is based on the Index of Relative Socio‑Economic Advantage and Disadvantage (SEIFA), and shows the distribution of the Indigenous population across areas of advantage and disadvantage. The areas are grouped into quintiles (5 categories of advantage or disadvantage, with 1 being the lowest socioeconomic status (SES) and 5 being the highest SES) under the Socio‑Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA). Results from the 2011 Census showed that Indigenous Australians had higher levels of socioeconomic disadvantage than non‑Indigenous Australians across all remoteness areas. In Australia, there were no areas where the Indigenous population had greater or equal economic outcomes compared with the non‑Indigenous population (Biddle 2013).

Related measures

Data sources

  • Census of Population and Housing


  • Biddle N 2013. CAEPR Indigenous Population Project 2011 census papers. Canberra: Australian National University.