Diversity of our Region

We must understand the diversity of our society in our region and how these intersect and impact upon wellbeing and health of women in our region.


Within the SMR, the percentage of individuals living with a severe or profound disability varies across its municipalities. In 2016, 5% of the population living in the SMR had a severe or profound disability1. While this is slightly below the state average of 5.5%, a number of Local Government Areas (LGAs) exceeded the state average.


In addition to being home to those living with a disability, the SMR is also home to significant numbers of individuals that are carers caring for someone with a disability. The SMR has a total population of 129,243 carers and carers are predominantly female across all LGAs1.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

In 2016, the total Indigenous population was approximately 7,2001 within the SMR.

In 2011, Victoria had an estimated 47,333 Indigenous persons (0.9% of the Victorian population). The median age according to the ABS (2011) was 21.1 years compared to 37.3 years amongst the non-Indigenous population across Victoria.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander PopulationTotal Pop by numberTotal Pop by percentage
Glen Eira2520.2
Greater Dandenong5160.4
Mornington Peninsula13040.9
Port Phillip3920.4
SMR Total7270

Young People within the SMR

Young people within the SMR represent a large proportion of the population. Cardinia and Casey, in particular, have substantial populations in the 0-14 year bracket2. These two LGAs also encompass large numbers within the 15-24 year bracket and these statistics highlight the significant presence of young people.

As two of the fastest growing regions in Victoria, the growth corridors of Cardinia and Casey have attracted large numbers of young families as evidenced in the data.

Young people by %0-14 years15-25 years
Glen Eira18.412.8
Greater Dandenong18.114.2
Mornington Peninsula17.710.9
Port Phillip11.89.8

LGTBIQA+ communities in the SMR

It is difficult to ascertain exact numbers and statistics about the numbers of individuals who identify as belonging to the LGTBIQA+ community across Australia. The Australian Human Rights Commission has estimated that “up to 11 in 100 Australians may have a diverse sexual orientation, sex or gender identity”3.

The rate of same sex couples in Victoria was 12,658 with 6,589 male same sex couples and 6,066 female same sex couples4.

It is estimated that 34% of LGBTIQ+ people hide their identity when accessing services; 42% hide their identity when participating in social and community events and up to 39% of LGBTIQ+ people will hide their identity at a workplace5.

Given these statistics, it may therefore be safe to suggest that within the SMR, the LGBTIQ+ population is significant.

Single Parent Families

Within the SMR, a significant number of families are single parent households. They are predominantly female headed with most LGAs having around 81% as female headed households. According to ABS figures, Frankston and Greater Dandenong have the highest number of single parent households6.

Single parent familiesNumberPercentageFemale headed single families
Glen Eira468412.381.6
Greater Dandenong719418.784.2
Mornington Peninsula637115.282
Port Phillip267111.483.1


Within the SMR, there exists significant ethnic diversity. Within Greater Dandenong, 61.7% of the population is born overseas, while Port Phillip’s overseas born population is 35.1%1.

Within the SMR, several LGAs have higher numbers of refugees and asylum seekers. For example, Greater Dandenong represents 23.6% of all asylum seekers residing in Victoria, which is the most of any LGA1.


Socio-economic advantage/disadvantage

The SMR consists of contrasting socio-economic statuses. At one end of the spectrum for example, Greater Dandenong, with a medium income for persons over the age of 15 at $476 per week, is one of the most disadvantaged areas in Victoria. In contrast, Port Phillip’s median income for the same grouping is $1,088, signifying one of the least disadvantaged areas in the country.


According to the Socio Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA) (ABS 2016), Greater Dandenong is ranked as the second most disadvantaged municipality within Victoria. Within Australia, Greater Dandenong is ranked in the lowest 10% of municipalities in terms of disadvantage . On the other end of the socio-economic spectrum four of the 10 municipalities within the SMR are ranked in the top 10% of least disadvantage within Victoria and Australia7 1.


According to the Victorian Women’s Heath Atlas, “poverty means not having enough available income to afford life’s necessities.” 8

The chart below reveals “the percentage of persons aged 15 years and over, by sex, who live in households with disposable income of less than $353.45 per week (after housing costs are taken into account), by LGA” 9.  Therefore, those with a higher poverty indicator, experience greater poverty, while those with a lower poverty indicator experience less poverty in terms of disposable income.

The chart also reveals that across all LGA’s in the SMR, men have lower poverty indicators than females.  Moreover, the LGA’s of Greater Dandenong and Casey have the highest poverty indicators for females across the region, indicating greater poverty amongst women in these areas.  Greater Dandenong also has the highest poverty indicator for males across the region.



  1. http://www.greaterdandenong.com/document/18464/statistical-data-for-victorian-communities[][][][][][]
  2. http://stat.abs.gov.au/itt/r.jsp?databyregion#/[]
  3. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/file/face-facts-lesbian-gay-bisexual-trans-and-intersex-people-statistics[]
  4. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/2071.0~2016~Main%20Features~Same-Sex%20Couples~85[]
  5. This statistic is especially important as it highlights the difficulty in determining actual and accurate numbers and data about those who identify as LGTBIQA+ given both past and present harassment and discrimination.[]
  6. http://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/21204?opendocument[]
  7. According to the ABS (2016) “A low score on this index indicates a high proportion of relatively disadvantaged
    people in an area.” In contrast, an area “with a very high score has a relatively low incidence of disadvantage.” Pg 6 Technical Paper Socio Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) ABS 2016[]
  8. Victorian Women’s Health Atlas, 2019 https://victorianwomenshealthatlas.net.au/#!/[]
  9. Victorian Women’s Health Atals, 2019 https://victorianwomenshealthatlas.net.au/#!/Victorian Women’s Health Atlas, 2019a[]