The most common approach to measuring and defining poverty is the low income approach. It has been suggested that an alternative approach, or one that could be combined with measures of low income in order to improve measurement of economic well-being, is to assess poverty and disadvantage by measuring "financial stress". A symptom of "financial stress" is the inability to raise a moderate sum of money to deal with an emergency of the kind created by the need to pay an unexpected bill.
People Who Could Raise 2000 Dollars in Two Days in an Emergency: expressed as a percentage of the adult population.
For 2008, the response category "Yes" has been used to derive the measure.
Could you raise $2000 within two days in an emergency?
2008 response categories - Yes; No
A question of this nature may be particularly sensitive to differences in methodologies between particular surveys. DPCD has noted the difference between the total Victorian result for this question from the 2004 DPCD survey (63%) and that from the Victorian Population Health Survey (VPHS) (82% in the corresponding survey). It is thought that the longer VPHS may allow more time for the interviewer to establish trust with the respondent before asking what may be a sensitive question for some respondents.
Long, S (2006). Transcript from The World Today, ABC Local Radio
Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, Inequalities of Aussie Wealth. September 2005. Issue 9.