Children in Housing Disadvantage in Australia: Development of a Summary Small Area Index

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Journal Article

Abstract

The importance of suitable, affordable housing in promoting the well-being of children is widely acknowledged. However, despite growing interest in geographic differences in child well-being, little is known about the spatial distribution of characteristics associated with housing disadvantage for Australian children. This paper seeks to develop knowledge in this area by creating a headline indicator of child housing disadvantage. It uses spatially disaggregated Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census of Population and Housing 2006 capturing overcrowding, public housing tenure and dwelling type, and creates synthetic estimates of housing stress using spatial microsimulation techniques. These variables are then combined into a single index of housing disadvantage. Next, the spatial microsimulation techniques and index creation methodology are described, and the results of the validation process, including sensitivity analysis of alternative index creation approaches, are presented.

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