Table 1

Household characteristics and financial stress (n=6892)

Household characteristics% in sampleFinancial stress index* average% reporting any financial stress†% reporting severe financial stress‡
Source: 1998–99 Household Expenditure Survey, Australian Bureau of Statistics.
*The values of the scale range from 0–14 depending on the number of items to which the respondent gave a response indicating financial stress.
†Percentage who indicated having experienced financial stress in response to at least one of the 14 financial stress items.
‡Percentage reporting any of the following happened in the past year because of a shortage of money:
“Went without meals”; “Unable to heat home”; and “Sought assistance from welfare/community organisations”.
Smoking status
    Smoking household33.22.458.511.2
    Non-smoking household66.81.339.93.9
Education
    No qualifications45.92.053.28.5
    Diploma35.21.543.34.8
    Degree15.80.828.31.9
    Unknown3.12.962.215.3
Occupation
    Blue collar22.21.852.84.8
    White collar14.11.548.25.4
    Professional29.20.829.81.9
    Not applicable34.52.354.712.2
Unemployment
    One or more unemployed persons9.13.675.218.5
    No-one unemployed90.91.443.25.1
Pension
    One or more persons on pension57.02.359.79.8
    No-one on pension43.00.728.02.0
Type of housing occupancy
    Renter28.23.066.016.3
    Purchaser29.81.446.32.8
    Owner39.60.831.61.5
    Other2.41.946.27.3
Index of relative socioeconomic disadvantage
    First quintile (high disadvantage)19.82.560.611.2
    Second quintile20.41.951.38.0
    Third quintile19.61.547.85.0
    Fourth quintile19.81.340.84.6
    Fifth quintile (low disadvantage)18.00.828.12.7
    Unknown2.41.645.46.3
Age of head of household
    15–34 years25.12.255.510.3
    35–54 years42.81.747.36.2
    55+ years32.11.137.13.0
Lone parenthood
    Lone parent5.04.584.627.8
    Other95.01.544.05.0