21 July 2023

Release of national wellbeing framework

The Albanese Government is today releasing Measuring What Matters, Australia’s first national wellbeing framework, to help better track outcomes in our economy and society.

It uses 50 indicators to measure how we are faring as we pursue a more healthy, secure, sustainable, cohesive and prosperous Australia. The measures are in addition to, not instead of, the more traditional ways we measure our economy like GDP, employment, inflation and wages. 

The Government’s primary focus is addressing inflation and laying the foundations for future growth but it is important that we simultaneously work on better aligning our economic and social goals in our communities and right across the country.

Measuring What Matters is part of a deliberate effort to put people and progress, fairness and opportunity at the very core of our thinking about our economy and our society, now and into the future.

The framework will help tell us how we are tracking over time, where we are doing well and where we need to do better.

The release today is the first step of an iterative process as we continue to consult and refine the framework based on ongoing and welcome feedback as we go.

Our aim is to provide a better, more comprehensive foundation for understanding our economy and our society to inform the efforts of government, business and the community sector in improving the wellbeing of all Australians.

While Australia performs relatively well compared to similar countries on international indicators, we know there is more we can do to improve the wellbeing of our people and communities.

The framework currently shows mixed progress across the 50 selected indicators grouped under themes: healthy, secure, sustainable, cohesive, and prosperous. Over recent decades, 20 have improved and 12 have deteriorated, with the remaining indicators showing little change or mixed results.

Over the last two decades, Australia has made progress in improving life expectancy, job opportunities and resource use. We are more accepting of diversity and have more trust in others. Over those decades, our incomes have also improved.

However, Australians are experiencing higher rates of chronic conditions and, in some instances, are finding it harder to access health, care and support services. We perceive our national security to be lower and we face new threats online. Over recent decades, biological diversity has fallen, fiscal sustainability has declined, and for many Australians, housing is taking up more of our income.

Improving wellbeing is the job of government, business and other organisations as well as Australian communities and the Australian people.

I thank the hundreds of people and organisations that provided submissions and participated in the roundtables during the consultation process to develop the framework.

The Albanese Government’s agenda is focused on the issues that matter most to people and are central to their wellbeing. We’re investing more in Medicare, housing, early childhood education, the TAFE and university sector, and cleaner and cheaper energy.

Measuring What Matters is an important part of our efforts to build a stronger, more productive, and more resilient nation that provides more opportunities and delivers a better future for more Australians. 

This is the first of three key releases in the second half of this year that will help inform and broaden the economic debate: Measuring What Matters focuses on people, the Employment White Paper on opportunities, and the Intergenerational Report on the future of our economy.

The full report is available on the Treasury website.