Social Indicators Research

, Volume 97, Issue 3, pp 439–450 | Cite as

Measures of Disadvantage: is Car Ownership a Good Indicator?

  • Victoria JohnsonEmail author
  • Graham Currie
  • Janet Stanley


A need to better understand the multidimensional nature of disadvantage is leading to the adoption of a wider range of measurement variables. One variable now commonly adopted is zero car ownership. This paper challenges the logic of including ‘not having a car’ as an indicator of disadvantage. It argues that this can distort the real picture of disadvantage. It presents evidence to show that zero car ownership can be a positive feature of low income households and that conversely high car ownership can put significant financial stress on households with low income.


Multi-dimensional measures of disadvantage Distribution of disadvantage Car ownership Transport 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Johnson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Graham Currie
    • 1
  • Janet Stanley
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Institute of Transport StudiesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.Monash Sustainability InstituteMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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