Jesuit Social Services has conducted research into place-based disadvantage for more than 20 years, beginning with the ground-breaking Unequal in Life report in 1999.

We are pleased to announce that on 18 November we launched Dropping off the Edge 2021, the fifth report in the series that now investigates disadvantage in every community in each State and Territory across the country.

The report finds that a small number of communities continue to bear the brunt of multilayered disadvantage and experience disproportionate levels of unemployment, housing stress, early school leaving and other significant challenges.

Dropping off the Edge 2021 is our most comprehensive research yet, measuring disadvantage on 37 unique indicators and including intergenerational and environmental indicators for the first time. This includes teen pregnancy, children with no parent in paid work, heat stress, poor air quality, green canopy and access to nature reserves.

CEO Julie Edwards said the report paints a stark picture of the disproportionate distribution of disadvantage across Australia.

“This disadvantage is persistent and multilayered – for example the 10 most disadvantaged communities in Victoria, and nine of the 10 most disadvantaged communities in New South Wales, also ranked as highly disadvantaged in the 2015 report,” she said.

“Each of these communities has inherent strengths and resilience which we want to see fostered and supported so that people can flourish. For nearly 45 years, Jesuit Social Services has worked in a strengths-based way with people and communities to help them reach their potential.”

Jesuit Social Services will use Dropping off the Edge 2021 to advocate to State, Territory and Federal Governments for tailored, targeted and long-term work to create better outcomes for future generations.

Learn more about Dropping off the Edge 2021 at