Social Indicators Research

, Volume 132, Issue 3, pp 1217–1236 | Cite as

Measuring Community Economic Resilience in Australia: Estimates of Recent Levels and Trends

  • Huong DinhEmail author
  • Ben Freyens
  • Anne Daly
  • Yogi Vidyattama


We measure changes in community economic resilience (CER) across geo-locations in Australia between 2006 and 2011, a time span characterised by major natural and economic shocks. We build an index of potential CER that captures communities’ stocks of human, social, natural, physical and financial capitals, levels of economic diversity and accessibility to service centres. Using Census data and the ARIA index, we resort to principal component analysis to generate CER indexes at statistical area level 1, which is our community proxy. Our analysis of index values provides a number of useful insights. First, there was a statistically significant improvement over time in the overall CER index in all states and regions. Second, our CER measures improved at a different pace across regions and states while their rank remained mostly unchanged. Third, CER improved over time in social and physical capital and accessibility terms, but declined in human, natural, financial capital and diversity terms. Fourth, communities with a high economic diversity level reported higher capital stock except for natural capital, and communities with a low accessibility level had lower capital stock except for social and natural capital. Finally, CER has a long-term positive association with household income.


Community economic resilience Community capital Accessibility Diversity 

JEL Classification

O10 R10 R12 



The paper was fully supported by the Murray-Darling Basin Futures Research and is supported through the Australian Government’s Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) Program. We would like to thank David Flemming for constructive comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huong Dinh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ben Freyens
    • 1
  • Anne Daly
    • 1
  • Yogi Vidyattama
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Business, Government and LawUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.National Centre for Social Economic ModellingUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia

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