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Determinants of wellbeing

Determinants of wellbeing are features of our broader social world that individuals often have limited control over in the short term. There is great scope for these determinants to affect people’s wellbeing from the ability to afford appropriate housing and food, to people’s access to education across the lifespan, and to the extent to which trees cool and beautify local streets.

Financial determinants

Socioeconomic status

Rationale

Socioeconomic status (SES) is strongly linked to a range of health and wellbeing indicators, as well as overall life expectancy. Life expectancy is shorter, and most diseases are more prevalent, further down the social gradient. Lower SES populations generally have reduced access to protective factors, such as employment, education, and nutrition, and experience greater exposure to risk factors, including higher smoking rates, lower income, housing insecurity.

This indicator aligns with the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 (Commonwealth of Australia, 2021).

Measure

Proportion of South Australians living in areas classified as lowest and low Socioeconomic Indexes For Areas quintiles

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

  • Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) is an ABS product that ranks areas in Australia according to relative socioeconomic advantage and disadvantage. SEIFA is a suite of four indexes that have been created from social and economic Census information. Each index ranks geographic areas across Australia in terms of their relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage. The four indexes each summarise a slightly different aspect of the socioeconomic conditions in an area. The indexes are based on information from the five yearly Census of Population and Housing. The Index of Relative Socioeconomic Disadvantage (IRSD) is used in this figure.
  • All areas across Australia are ordered from lowest to highest score, then the lowest 20% of areas are given a quintile number of 1, the next lowest 20% of areas are given a quintile number 2 and so on, up to the highest 20% of areas which are given a quintile number of 5. This means that areas are divided up into 5 equal sized groups, depending on their score. The figure shows the proportion of South Australians living in the lowest 2 national quintiles (40% of Australia).

Housing stress

Rationale

Everybody needs affordable, stable, secure and good quality housing. Research on the effects of housing availability and payment problems on health and wellbeing indicates that these effects can be significant and diverse. Constant stress associated with a lack of money contributes to health problems and stress on family relationships, and financial hardship outcomes such as children missing out on school activities and access to adequate health care.

This indicator aligns with the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 (Commonwealth of Australia, 2021).

Measures

Proportion of South Australian rental households reporting they perceive their rent as affordable:

Source: Australian Centre for Housing Research at The University of Adelaide - The Australian Rental Housing Conditions Dataset (ARHCD)

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked 'In general, how affordable is this amount for your household? This followed the question ‘What is your household rent per calendar month? Please provide your best estimate if you are not sure.’ Respondents that reported 'very affordable' and 'affordable’ are presented as the proportion of South Australian rental households as perceiving their rent as affordable.

Food security

Rationale

Food security is a critical determinant of wellbeing and, for some people, food insecurity is a chronic issue, rather than a short-term issue. The National Preventive Health Strategy (2021-2030) states that people living in food insecure households are more likely to develop chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and mental health issues, as the food and drinks they are consuming are generally high in energy, fat and sugar, and provide low nutritional value.

This indicator aligns with the National Preventive Health Strategy (Commonwealth of Australia, 2021) and the South Australian Government’s report, ‘Improving individual and household food security outcomes in South Australia’ (2019).

Measure

Proportion of South Australian adults who experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months:

Source: South Australian Population Health Survey (SAPHS)

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked if there had been any time in the past 12 months that they had run out of food and could not afford to buy more.

Financial resilience

Rationale

Financial safety can create security and peace of mind for individuals and have a positive effect on wellbeing. Conversely, financial stress including not being able to pay bills regularly can increase the risks of homelessness, negatively impact an individual’s physical and mental wellbeing, decrease living standards and deprive households of basic living needs.

This indicator aligns with both the national Men’s and Women’s health strategies 2020-30 (Commonwealth of Australia, 2019), which recognise financial stress as a risk factor. This indicator also aligns with the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 (Commonwealth of Australia, 2021).

Measure

Proportion of South Australian adults not experiencing financial stress:

Source: South Australian Population Health Survey (SAPHS)

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked if suddenly they had to get $2,000 for something important, could they get the money within a week. The proportion that responded 'yes' are reported in the figure as not experiencing financial stress.

Education

Early childhood education

Rationale

Attending high quality early childhood education gives children the best start in life. It provides important opportunities to learn and develop, helping build the foundations to become creative, resilient and capable learners, enhancing developmental outcomes for all children, and particularly disadvantaged children.

This indicator aligns with the Government of South Australia Early Learning Strategy 2021 to 2031: All Young Children Thriving and Learning

Measure

The proportion of children enrolled in the year before full time school, in quality early childhood education programme(s) available for 600 hours per year:

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) - National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection

  • The proportion of children enrolled in the year before full-time school in quality early childhood education programme(s) available for 600 hours per year.
  • For the purposes of the collection, a preschool program is defined as a structured, play based learning program, delivered by a degree qualified teacher, aimed primarily at children in the year or two before they commence full-time schooling. A preschool program can be delivered in a variety of settings such as stand alone preschools, preschools co-located as part of a school (both government and non-government), and centre based day care services (formerly known as long day care).
  • A child may attend both a preschool and a separate or adjoined child care facility, such as family day care, outside school hours care, vacation care, in-home care and occasional care services.
  • Participation in preschool is not compulsory and is influenced by parental preference.

Early childhood development

Rationale

Early childhood is the most critical time for growth and development and sets the foundation for the rest of a child’s life. When we support children to thrive and learn in their first five years, we help them develop the foundational skills and abilities needed for school and life. This improves children’s chances of prospering into the future.

This indicator aligns with the Government of South Australia’s Early Learning Strategy 2021 to 2031: All Young Children Thriving and Learning

Measures

  • Proportion of young children who are developmentally vulnerable in one or more domains
  • Proportion of young children who are developmentally vulnerable in two or more domains


Source: Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)

  • The AEDC is a national measure of children’s development as they enter their first year of full-time school. The data for the AEDC is collected every three years using the Australian version of the Early Development Instrument, adapted from Canada.
  • Proportions are presented for those children in the first year of school who are ‘developmentally vulnerable’ (in lowest 10%) in one or more domains, and two or more domains. The five domains are physical, social, emotional, language/cognitive and communication.

Completing school

Rationale

The completion of year 12 or equivalent is an important predictor of future health and employment prospects. It is an important milestone in the transition to adulthood. Those who have completed year 12 are more likely to continue with further education or training and have a more successful transition into the workforce, improving their ability to participate socially and economically in society.

The South Australian Department for Education seeks to improve completions of Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications and the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) through the Aboriginal Education Strategy 2019-2029 and Towards 2028.

Measure

The proportion of South Australians 20-24 years who have completed Year 12 or equivalent:

Source: Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

  • Proportion of the 20–24-year-old population having attained at least Year 12 or equivalent or Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate III or above.
  • Year 12 or equivalent includes AQF senior secondary certificates of education issued by Australian state and territory accreditation authorities and equivalent qualifications such as tertiary preparation certificates and school leaving qualifications obtained outside Australia. It also includes respondents to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Education and Work (SEW) and/or the Census of Population and Housing who indicated that their highest level of education was Year 12.
  • AQF Certificate III is a VET qualification regarded as intermediate level training for employment (or a similar qualification gained outside Australia).
  • The Survey of Education and Work (SEW) is run in the first two weeks of May each year as part of the Monthly Population Survey (MPS).

Non-school qualifications

Rationale

Higher levels of educational attainment are associated with increased likelihood of being employed, and higher earnings. Increasing levels of education have been shown to have an overall positive effect on an individual’s life satisfaction, particularly through the indirect effects of improved income and better health.

The National Preventative Health Strategy states economic determinants are some of the most influential factors affecting health and wellbeing. Education is a protective factor enabling individuals to access higher skilled jobs and incomes, and increased health literacy through greater understanding of preventive health messaging. Those with lower education levels experience greater disadvantage leading to higher mortality rates.

Measure

Proportion of South Australians aged 15-74 years with highest non-school qualification:

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) - Survey of Education and Work (SEW)

  • Proportion of South Australians aged 15-74 years with highest non-school qualification. Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education.
  • Higher Education Qualification includes: Postgraduate Degree level, Master Degree level, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate level, Bachelor Degree level.
  • VET Qualification includes: Advanced Diploma and Diploma level, and Certificates I, II, III and IV levels.
  • School level qualifications obtained through institutions other than primary and secondary schools (such as TAFE) are not included. Non-school qualifications may be attained concurrently with school study.
  • The ABS Survey of Education and Work (SEW) is an annual collection, which is a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who were in scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions about education.
  • The publication provides information on educational participation and attainment of people aged 15-74 years, with the reference date being May each year.
  • The figures reported are based on information provided by a sample of people rather than the total population, and are subject to sampling variability; that is, the figures may differ from the estimates that would have arisen had all people been included and responded to the survey.

Employment

Employment overall

Rationale

Employment contributes to positive wellbeing in a number of ways. It provides a source of income which can contribute to financial stability and access to resources that support wellbeing. Being employed in a stable and meaningful job can contribute to a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. Workplaces can also support wellbeing and provide opportunities for social connections.

Measure

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate:

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) - Labour Force Survey (LFS)

  • The presented unemployment rate is the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of South Australians aged 15 years and over by month, with figures for June of each year highlighted.
  • Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that attempts to measure and remove the effects of systematic calendar related patterns, that is, which happen at the same time every year, including seasonal variation to reveal how a series changes from period to period. This allows other influences on the series to be more clearly recognised.

Employment security

Rationale

Employment security increases mental wellbeing and contributes to job satisfaction. The World Health Organisation reports that job insecurity has been correlated with negative effects on mental health and wellbeing (especially anxiety and depression), self reported ill health, heart disease and risk factors for heart disease. Employment security also contributes to financial stability.

Measure

Proportion of South Australian workers who are engaged in casual employment:

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) - Characteristics of Employment (COE) survey

  • The COE is conducted as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who fall within the scope of the supplementary survey are asked further questions.
  • There is no single definitive measure to determine the number of people in casual employment at any one time; however, the ABS most regularly uses information on paid leave entitlements as a proxy for measuring casual employment in the Australian labour force.
  • The ABS has three data items related to casual employment: employees without paid leave entitlements, employees who receive a casual loading (last collected in a labour household survey in August 2013), employees who consider their job to be casual (self perception).
  • The proportion of South Australians aged 15+ years in employment without paid leave entitlement are presented as those in casual employment.

Work stress

Rationale

The National Preventive Health Strategy identifies working conditions as an important social determinant of health. While working conditions can be a protective factor, psychologically harmful working conditions such as extreme stress in the workplace have an adverse effect on wellbeing.

Continuous stress without relief can lead to impacts on physical wellbeing such as headaches, loss of appetite, increased blood pressure, chest pain, sexual dysfunction, and problems sleeping. Stress can also cause or influence a broad range of physical health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, poor healing, irritable bowel syndrome, and mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.

Measure

Proportion of South Australian adult workers who report they fear that the amount of stress in their job will make them physically ill:

These data are not yet available

Housing

Homelessness

Rationale

People experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness are among Australia’s most socially and economic disadvantaged. Homelessness can be the result of many social, economic and health related factors including individual and structural factors.

The Government of South Australia Our Housing Future 2020–2030, aims to prevent and reduce homelessness through targeted and tailored responses.

Measure

Rate (per 10,000 estimated residential population) accessing specialist homelessness services per year:

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) - Specialist Homelessness Services Collection

  • The figure relates to all clients who were assisted between 2016–17 and 2020–21 by specialist homelessness agencies. Individual clients are represented for each reporting year in which they received support. An individual client may have had more than one support period—either from the same agency or from a different agency. Refer to AIHW website for more detail on how individual clients who received services from different agencies are matched.
  • Clients per 10,000 estimated resident population (ERP) is calculated using crude rates. Crude rates are calculated using the Australian Bureau of Statistics ERP at the start of the range (for example, rates for 2016–17 were calculated using the ERP at 30 June 2016).

Rental housing quality

Rationale

Access to good quality, affordable housing is fundamental to wellbeing as there is an association between poor housing and living conditions, and poor physical and mental wellbeing outcomes. Good quality, appropriate housing can help reduce poverty and enhance equality of opportunity, social inclusion and mobility.

The Government of South Australia through the Our Housing Future 2020-2030 plan aims to improve the quality of public and community housing in South Australia.

Measure

Proportion of South Australian renters who rate the condition of their home as good or better:


Source: Australian Centre for Housing Research at The University of Adelaide - The Australian Rental Housing Conditions Dataset (ARHCD)

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked 'how would you rate the overall condition of your current home, such as the walls, roof, doors and windows for example?' Respondents that responded good or better are presented in the figure.

Environment

Urban tree canopy

Rationale

Trees in urban areas help us to live longer, healthier and happier lives. The range of benefits they provide is enormous: they provide shade and cool the air around them, they improve air quality, and they contribute to carbon sequestration, which is the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

This indicator aligns with 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide (2017 Update; Government of South Australia, 2017), Green Adelaide Regional Landscape Plan 2021-26 (Government of South Australia, 2021) and the Healthy Parks Healthy People SA 2021-2016 framework (Government of South Australia, 2021).

Measure

Proportion of metropolitan Adelaide suburbs by the proportion of tree canopy cover:

Source: Green Adelaide – Department for Environment and Water (DEW) - Metropolitan Adelaide Canopy and Permeability Statistics 2018-19

  • The proportion of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) derived tree canopy cover, determined at 3 metres and above in height, is presented by proportion of Metropolitan Adelaide suburbs.
  • Refer to Urban Heat and Tree Mapping of Adelaide Metropolitan Area for technical information on how tree canopy has been mapped.

Access to public, open, green spaces

Rationale

Access to open green spaces such as parks, trails, ovals and community gardens is good for us. This ‘green infrastructure’ promotes and protects our physical and mental wellbeing by providing opportunities for physical activity, social connection, rest and relaxation. It contributes to the reduction of stress, and reduced exposure to heat, noise and air pollution.

This indicator aligns with 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide (2017 Update; Government of South Australia, 2017), Green Adelaide Regional Landscape Plan 2021-26 (Government of South Australia, 2021) and the Healthy Parks Healthy People SA 2021-2026 framework (Government of South Australia, 2021).

Measure

Proportion of South Australian adults reporting access to green spaces such as parks, trails, ovals or a community garden within 400m of where they live

Source: Population Health Survey Module System (PHSMS)

  • Respondents (18+ years) were asked if they have access to green spaces such as parks, trails, ovals or a community garden within 400m of where they live.

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