Social Inclusion and Exclusion amount Australia's Chi8ldren: A Review of the Literature

Anne Daly

    Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


    This paper reviews the literature in three key areas covered by an Australian
    Research Council grant, ‘Social Inclusion and Exclusion among Australia’s Children:
    A Spatial Perspective’ (DP 560192). These are the evidence on the position of children
    in society, more particularly estimates of child poverty in Australia and how these
    compare with the level of child poverty in other developed countries; the
    methodological issues of measuring the broader concept of social exclusion and the
    results from applying this framework in Australia and other developed countries;
    and finally the Australian and international evidence on the relationship between
    area of residence and social exclusion. A risk of social exclusion arises when children
    suffer from multiple disadvantages that make it difficult for them to actively
    participate in society.
    The international evidence shows Australia in the middle of the league table on child
    poverty and that child poverty increased in many OECD countries over the 1990s.
    While the causes are complex, research suggests that demographic factors such as
    the age of the parents and family structure, labour market factors including the
    unemployment rate, and the tax and transfer system are important determinants of
    the level of child poverty. Children in jobless households, sole parent families and
    members of minority groups faced the greatest risk of living in poverty.
    The social exclusion framework examines a broader range of indicators than the
    more limited focus on household income as a measure of poverty. These include
    indicators of labour market status, educational attainment, housing status, health
    and social interaction. The argument for combining this into one summary measure
    of wellbeing must be traded off against the benefits of presenting more detailed
    results on individual indicators. The evidence shows that while income is correlated
    with many of the other indicators of risk of social exclusion, it is far from being
    perfectly correlated and additional insight can be gained from using a wider range of
    The final research area of interest was the relationship between area of residence and
    social exclusion. While there is some evidence of a neighbourhood effect on
    outcomes, it appears to be less important than individual and family factors in
    determining disadvantage. The literature on the position of children in Australia in
    the social exclusion framework is limited and this paper provides a basis for our
    further exploration of this area.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    Number of pages43
    ISBN (Print)1740882628
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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