Dropping off the Edge

A landmark research project into long-term, locational disadvantage.

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Dropping off the Edge is Jesuit Social Services’ landmark research into locational disadvantage, conducted over more than 20 years.

Through major reports mapping disadvantage across every community in Australia, released in 2007, 2015 and 2021, Dropping off the Edge shows clearly that complex and entrenched disadvantage is experienced by a small but persistent number of locations in each state and territory across Australia.

A collaborative research project to understand entrenched disadvantage

For more than 20 years, Jesuit Social Services has collaborated with researchers to examine complex disadvantage in communities around the country, releasing a series of reports now generally known as Dropping off the Edge.

These reports show clearly that complex and entrenched disadvantage is experienced by a small but persistent number of locations in each state and territory across Australia.

The most recent report, released in 2021, studies communities in every Australian state and territory to identify pockets of entrenched location-based disadvantage and the unique web of challenges these communities face. It provides an unparalleled picture of where disadvantage is concentrated, how various forms of disadvantage overlap, and how disadvantage becomes entrenched and difficult to escape.

View a summary of the 2021 report

Mapping the blueprint for positive change

The report measures 37 indicators across seven domains of social wellbeing, health, community safety, economic, education, environmental and intergenerational outcomes for 2,292 communities in every Australian state and territory. These locations are then ranked according to their susceptibility to disadvantage.

While Dropping off the Edge 2021 shows that the pattern of entrenched disadvantage in each state and territory is persistent over time, change can be achieved when the inter-related factors causing disadvantage are understood and community-led solutions are properly resourced.

2023 Annual Dinner

Please join us for our Annual Dinner on 25 March 2023.