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SPOTLIGHT: Australia's welfare 2019

Australia’s welfare 2019 is the AIHW’s 14th biennial welfare report, capturing how Australia is faring in key areas, including housing, education and skills, employment, social support, and justice and safety. This report demonstrates the value in continuing to build an evidence base that supports the community, policymakers and service providers to better understand the varying and diverse needs of Australians.

 in brief
Australia’s welfare 2019: data insight and Australia’s welfare 2019: in brief

Photo of AIHW Board chair Louise Markus, the Minister for Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston and AIHW CEO Barry Sandison. Minister Ruston is holding a copy of the data insights and in brief publications
Mrs Louise Markus, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, Mr Barry Sandison, 11 September 2019

The AIHW’s flagship reports, Australia’s health and Australia’s welfare, are highly regarded as sources of authoritative and accessible information. Since the first flagship report was published in 1988, methods of communication and the information technology environment have undergone rapid change. The AIHW has also grown and diversified its reporting and data offerings in this time. Hence, there was a need to modernise our flagship reports to meet the evolving expectations of our audience.

Australia’s welfare 2019 introduced a new product suite:

  • Australia’s welfare 2019: data insights is a collection of articles on selected welfare topics, including an overview of the welfare data landscape. It is available as a print report and online as a PDF document.
  • Australia’s welfare snapshots comprise 41 web pages presenting key facts on welfare, housing, education and skills, employment and work, income and finance, social support, justice and safety, and Indigenous Australians. They are available online in HTML format. A point-in-time compilation is also available as a PDF document.
  • Australia’s welfare 2019: in brief presents key findings from the snapshots to tell the story of welfare in Australia. It is available as a print report and online as a PDF document.
  • Australia’s welfare indicators is an interactive data visualisation tool that measures welfare system performance, individual and household determinants and the nation’s wellbeing. It is available online in HTML format.

Photo of the 5 members of the Australia's welfare 2020 project team standing together and holding a copy of the data insights and in brief reports
Australia’s welfare 2020 project team, 11 September 2019

The new product suite is consistent with global moves away from large print publications towards more diverse, layered and accessible formats. It also supports the use of dynamic data displays. Compared with static data displays, which illustrate specific findings, interactive displays are flexible and enable users to answer their own questions of the data, which in turn supports data-driven decision making.

Australia’s welfare 2019: data insights includes four articles authored by academic experts and one by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. The report’s original articles demonstrate that data are essential to understanding how people engage with, and navigate, welfare services, and that public data should be used for public good, while protecting privacy.