Families and services


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Content type
Research report

December 1993

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This working paper is one in a series arising from the Australian Living Standards Study, being conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. The Australian Living Standards Study involves interviews with households and service providers in selected Local Government Areas throughout Australia.

This paper discusses some of the common assumptions about the significance of location as a factor in living standards. Drawing on available data for Sydney and Melbourne, the paper examines the hypotheses: that affordable housing is located on the fringe of capital cities; that families living on the fringe are economically disadvantaged; that a lack of services in fringe areas means that standards of living are lower than for families living in inner and middle suburbs. The availability of employment, job opportunities, education, health and community services, day care and secondary schools in fringe suburbs is assessed. The final section discusses some of the conceptual issues associated with translating information about service availability and usage into impact on family living standards.   


  • AIFS Australian Living Standards Study
  • Introduction
  • 1 The Distribution of Low Cost Housing 
    • First Home Buyers 
    • First Home Owners Scheme 
    • Fringe Areas and Capital Gains 
  • 2 Economic Characteristics of Families on the Fringe 
  • 3 The Availability of Services 
    • Employment 
    • Job Opportunities 
    • Education, Health & Community Services 
    • Day Care 
    • Secondary Schools 
  • 4 Services and Standards of Living 
    • Living standards or wellbeing 
    • Income or Consumption Approach 
  • 5 The Importance of Services to Living Standards
    • The Scope of Analysis 
    • Quantifying Services 
    • The Value of Services to an Individual 
    • Variations in Individual Needs 
  • 6 Conclusion: Location and Services
  • References
  • Glossary
  • Footnotes

Burbidge, A. (1993). Families and services (Working Paper No. 12). Melbourne: Institute of Family Studies.



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