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Economic and Social Impact Survey 2016

The Salvation Army’s 5th National Economic and Social Impact Survey (ESIS) surveyed more than 1600 Salvation Army clients across Australia. It found that children are hugely impacted, moving house multiple times a year, moving schools and missing out on medications, dental checks and even access to the internet due to extreme poverty with some single parent families living off less than $16 a day after accommodation expenses.



  • 68% of clients are now suffering extreme housing stress spending over 60% of income on housing.
  • Family violence is the leading cause of housing transiency with children at significant risk of social exclusion due to housing instability. 64% of respondents who moved due to family violence say their children had to change schools as a result. 40% of people who were surveyed have moved house an average of three (2.7) times in just 12 months.


  • 86% of clients (and 58% of households with children) report severe deprivation and now go without 5 or more basic items.
  • Numerous clients live off just $16.96 a day (to pay for everything after housing /accommodation is paid for.)
  • Some clients on Newstart Allowance are having to survive off just $15.29 a day.

Impact on children:

  • 20% (one in five) cannot afford medical treatment or medicines that are prescribed for their child and 42% (two in five) cannot afford a yearly dental check-up for their child.
  • More than half of all parents surveyed (6 out of 10) cannot afford an internet connection for their child. This places children at significant risk of social exclusion and hinders their ability to fully participate in schooling.

The report also shows people from regional towns/rural areas are over-represented in the survey, as are Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander people.

Download the full report

ESIS 2016 Key Findings

Economic and Social Impact Survey 2016 - Key Findings

01 Dec 2016 | 2 mb.

ESIS 2016 Full Report

Economic and Social Impact Survey 2016 - Full Report

01 Dec 2016 | 7 mb.