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Personal profile


Professor Robert Tanton has a PhD in Economics from the University of Canberra, and has been at NATSEM since June 2005.

Robert’s main interest is spatial disadvantage, and he is a recognised Australian and international expert on spatial disadvantage. The research conducted by him covers areas such as spatial housing disadvantage, economic disadvantage (poverty), income inequality and wellbeing. His principal areas of research are spatial disadvantage and wellbeing; spatial statistics and small area estimation; and community wellbeing.

Robert also leads work using a spatial microsimulation technique to derive small area estimates of many indicators of disadvantage and wellbeing. So far, this technique has been used to derive small area estimates of poverty and housing stress; and small area estimates of subjective wellbeing and indigenous disadvantage.

Robert has published extensively in the academic literature on spatial disadvantage and social exclusion, and has presented results of his work to a number of national and international conferences. He has also presented results from his research on spatial housing stress to the Senate Select Committee on Housing Affordability. He has been a Chief Investigator on a number of Australian Research Council grants, and has conducted commissioned work for a number of agencies including the Tasmanian Social Inclusion Unit; the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; the AMP; Commonwealth Bank; and Veda.

Robert is involved in the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), and is on the academic sub-committee of this group.


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Education/Academic qualification


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Research Output

Creating community indicators for early childhood development: Challenges and innovations from the kids in communities study

Goldfeld, S., Villanueva, K., TANTON, R., Katz, I., Brinkman, S., Giles-Corti, B. & Woolcock, G., 29 Apr 2019, In : Cities & Health. p. 1-10 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • Economic costs of informal care for people with chronic diseases in the community: Lost income, extra welfare payments, and reduced taxes in Australia in 2015–2030

    Schofield, D., Shrestha, R. N., Zeppel, M. J. B., Cunich, M. M., Tanton, R., Veerman, J. L., Kelly, S. J. & Passey, M. E., 1 Mar 2019, In : Health and Social Care in the Community. 27, 2, p. 493-501 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    How does the budget affect us: 2019

    LI, J., LA, H. A., TANTON, R. & VIDYATTAMA, Y., 2019, Canberra, Australia: University of Canberra. 8 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportOther

    Open Access
  • Index of Wellbeing of Older Australians (IWOA)

    TANTON, R., MIRANTI, R., VIDYATTAMA, Y. & TULI, S., Jan 2019, Canberra, Australia: Benevolent Society . 37 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

  • Indirect costs of depression and other mental and behavioural disorders for Australia from 2015 to 2030

    TANTON, R., Schofield, D., Cunich, M., Shrestha, R. N., Veerman, J. L., KELLY, S. & Passey, M. E., 2019, In : BJPsych Open. 5, 3, p. 1-7 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 5 Downloads (Pure)


    • 1 Editorial work

    Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (Journal)

    Robert TANTON (Reviewer)
    1 May 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work