2019 report card on the welfare of Australians
October 11th, 2019
The latest two-yearly snapshot, from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, of national well-being uses high-quality data to show how Australians are faring in key areas, including housing, education and skills, employment, social support and justice and safety.
The report shows that record employment and
an increase in education levels are contributing to Australia’s wellbeing but
challenges facing the nation include housing stress among low-income earners.
‘Australia’s welfare 2019 demonstrates the value in continuing to build an evidence base that supports the community, policy makers and services providers to better understand the varying and diverse needs of Australians,’ said AIHW spokesperson Mr. Dinesh Indraharan.
‘Australia is in the top third of
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for a
range of measures, including life satisfaction and social connectedness.
‘In 2018, 74% of people aged 15–64 were
employed—the highest annual employment rate recorded in Australia. In July 2019
the female and total employment rates remain at record levels.’
The proportion of Australians working very
long hours (50 or more per week) declined from 16% to 14% and more Australians
are using part-time work to balance work with other activities including caring
However, in December 2018, about 9% of
workers were underemployed, or unable to find as many hours of work as they
would like. One in 9 families with children had no one in the family who was
Generally, the higher a person’s level of
education, the more opportunities they have in their working life.
Australia has high levels of civic engagement
with 97% of eligible people enrolled to vote in 2019—up from 90% in 2010 and strong rates of volunteering
(contributing 743 million hours a year). But an estimated 1 in 4
Australians are currently experiencing an episode of loneliness – with people
who live alone, young adults, males and people with children more likely to
Finding affordable housing remains a
challenge for many Australians, with more people spending a higher proportion
of their incomes on housing than in the past and fewer younger people owning
their own homes.
Most crime rates have fallen in recent years
but Australia ranked in the bottom third of countries for people feeling
safe walking alone at night.
‘Survey data shows rates of partner and
sexual violence have remained relatively stable since 2005, while rates of
total violence have fallen. However, the number and rate of sexual assault
victims recorded by police has risen each year since 2011,’ Mr. Indraharan