Does location also matter? : a spatial analysis of social achievements of young South Australians

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för naturgeografi och ekosystemvetenskap

Abstract: There are spatial elements and factors in every social activity. Physical environment in particular and its characteristics has a significant effect in the social decisions and outcomes of a location and of the residents of disadvantaged areas. These spatial elements and factors have been the main focus in many researches and studies about young people’s socio-economic statuses and achievements. The importance of spatial dimension can never be overestimated and to explore this importance, this study tries to understand the spatial patterns and locational factors affecting social achievements for young adults in South Australia, located in Australia. Geographical indices such as Socioeconomic Index for Area - Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (SEIFA-IRSD), Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) and Distance to the nearest higher institution of learning (DTI) were all derived using GIS. These variables were all combined and analysed in a multiple logistic regression model to investigate and understand their effect on four key social outcomes – Employment, Qualification, Year 12 completion and independent living status. Results of the study show that on the overall, SEIFA-IRSD is the best estimator for employment, year 12 and qualification outcomes and ARIA is the best estimator for independent living, however, DTI is a moderately effective estimator for all four outcomes. These indices proved to be significant determinants to social achievements for young people and point to the presence of important geographical patterns within the study area. Location does have a strong effect on the social status of young Australians.

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