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4106.1 - Population Ageing in New South Wales, 2008, Dec 2008 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/12/2008  First Issue
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PARTICIPATION IN SOCIETY

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Family and Community Support
4.3 Community Involvement
4.4 Education and Technology

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4.1 INTRODUCTION

As outlined in the NSW Government’s policy on population ageing Toward 2030, the ability of individuals to remain connected and engaged with society is influenced by a range of factors. These factors include health, employment, mobility, access to social networks (both formal and informal) and the demands arising from caring responsibilities. By participating in their community, people are better able to keep active and healthy and reduce isolation, thereby enhancing both their wellbeing and the wellbeing of society as a whole.

This Chapter presents information on indicators of the level and ways in which people aged 45 years and over participate in society. These include contact with other people, the level of support people have emotionally and practically, participation in social activities, the level of support people provide to others (including grandchildren and as carers of others) participation in education and use of the Internet.


4.2 FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Contact with family and friends

Families, community networks and interpersonal relationships are vital aspects of society and essential to individual wellbeing. Many older males (aged 65 years and over) are likely to be living with a spouse, while a greater proportion of older females are likely to be living alone as, due to their higher life expectancy, they survive beyond the death of a partner. In NSW in 2006, 81% of males and 66% of females aged 65 years and over lived with at least one other person in the household. In the same year, around 75% of older males and 79% of older females had face-to-face contact in the previous week with family and friends living outside the household.

Most people aged 65 years and over (90%) reported that, in a time of crisis, they could get support from outside their household, mainly from family (79%), friends (45%), and neighbours (45%). Older people are important contributors to their families and communities, including providing support to relatives living outside the household. About 20% of older people (aged 65 years and over) provided support to relatives living outside the household, and around 21% of older people with a disability and 8.8% on a low income also provided this type of support.

4.1 FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT(a), By selected ages, NSW-2006
Graph: 4.1 family and community support(a), By selected ages, NSW—2006



4.2 FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages, NSW - 2006

Aged 65 years and over
Age group (years)
Low income(b)
Disability or long-term
health condition
Males
Females
Persons
45-54
55-64
65-74
75 and
over
Total persons aged 18 years and over
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Lives with at least one other person(c)
62.5
71.9
80.6
66.4
72.9
88.9
84.3
78.6
66.1
87.6
Had face to face contact with family or friends(d)(e)
75.1
76.1
74.7
79.0
77.0
75.0
79.0
76.4
77.7
78.9
Has family members can confide in(d)
91.6
90.5
91.1
90.6
90.8
83.6
89.4
89.6
92.3
87.3
Person provides support to other relatives(d)(f)
8.8
21.1
18.6
22.0
20.4
32.9
37.8
24.1
16.0
27.6
Able to get support in time of crisis(d)
90.1
90.2
88.5
92.1
90.4
90.8
91.2
87.0
94.6
92.8
Sources of support
Family member
79.5
79.3
78.0
80.3
79.2
74.0
74.4
73.7
85.9
78.4
Friend
38.8
43.3
44.0
46.3
45.2
66.5
61.6
53.0
36.1
67.8
Neighbour
44.7
46.3
41.2
47.3
44.5
39.3
44.1
47.7
40.6
35.0
Community, charity or religious organisation
13.6
17.7
19.5
16.2
17.7
12.9
14.2
21.3
13.4
13.6
Total persons ('000)
390.8
615.4
404.6
475.2
879.8
927.3
745.2
478.4
401.4
5 123.9

(a) Person may have undertaken more than one activity or event therefore totals will not sum to 100%.
(b) Lowest gross income quintile (the lowest 20% of households when ranked according to gross income).
(c) In the household.
(d) Outside the household.
(e) In last week.
(f) 'Other relatives' excludes own or partner's children aged 0-24 years.
Source: ABS data available on request, General Social Survey, 2006 (cat. no. 4195.0).

Time spent with partner and alone

In 2006, the proportion of time people spent per week with their partner increased from 35% for those aged 45-54 years to 53% for those aged 65-74 years. For women aged 75 years and over, the proportion of time spent with a partner sharply declined to 26%, and the waking hours women spent alone (47%) was almost double the proportion for men (24%), reflecting women's higher life expectancy. (For more information please refer to the Population Ageing in New South Wales, 2008 electronic datacubes on the ABS website.)

People aged 65 years and over who were born overseas in non-English speaking countries (29%) were three times more likely than older people born in Australia (8%) to spend time with family living in the same household (excluding their partner).

4.3 TIME SPENT ALONE OR WITH OTHERS(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages, NSW - 2006

Alone
Partner
Family in household
(excluding partner)
Family living
elsewhere
Friends
Colleagues, neighbours,
acquaintances
%
%
%
%
%
%

Age group (years)
45-54
18.0
34.9
32.7
5.4
7.5
23.3
55- 64
22.1
45.8
15.7
9.5
5.5
15.2
65-74
26.6
53.0
13.6
7.1
6.9
3.5
75 and over
36.4
40.7
11.3
6.5
6.2
*2.9
Aged 65 years and over
Sex
Males
23.5
58.7
11.5
6.3
6.2
*4.3
Females
37.1
38.2
13.7
7.3
6.9
2.4
Living arrangement
Alone
74.8
. .
. .
7.3
8.0
*3.6
With partner
9.2
80.6
**3.1
6.4
6.5
*3.6
Remoteness Area
Major City
31.8
46.9
12.9
6.8
6.0
*3.8
Inner Regional
26.5
48.3
14.1
*7.8
9.8
*1.8
Country of birth
Australia
32.4
45.7
8.3
6.2
6.8
3.5
Overseas non-English speaking countries
22.4
54.5
28.7
*8.9
5.9
*2.9
Total persons aged 65 years and over
30.8
47.7
12.6
6.8
6.6
3.3

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
. . not applicable
(a) Percentage of time awake per day, excluding time sleeping.
Source: ABS data available on request, Time Use Survey, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0).

Grandparents providing child care

Grandparents are important providers of child care. In 2006, 49% of older female grandparents (aged 65 years and over) and 42% of male grandparents provided child care in the previous year. About 71% of grandparents aged 45-54 years provided child care, compared to 67% of those aged 55-64 years and 46% of those aged 65 years and over. The main types of child care provided by grandparents aged 65 years and over were babysitting (34%), occasional care (28%), school holiday care (26%) and regular care while parents are at work (21%).


4.4 GRANDPARENTS PROVIDING CHILD CARE(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages, NSW - 2006

Aged 65 years and over
Age group (years)
Low
income(b)
Has disability
or long-term health
condition
Males
Females
45-54
55-64
65 and
over
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Grandparent
Has grandchild(ren) living elsewhere only
97.5
95.2
93.2
94.0
92.2
94.6
93.6
Provided care(c)
Babysitting
25.0
26.0
33.0
35.0
60.2
56.6
34.0
Occasional care
*21.5
22.7
27.7
27.9
31.1
34.6
27.8
School holiday care
*18.2
23.0
23.5
29.0
*10.1
23.3
26.3
Regular care while parents at work
*15.5
17.0
18.9
21.9
*15.1
22.6
20.5
Total grandparents provided care for children aged under 15 years
35.4
37.2
42.4
48.8
70.7
66.7
45.6
Received no return for regular/school holiday care provided
19.3
22.7
25.7
27.0
*19.2
29.7
26.4
Age of youngest grandchild cared for(c)
0-4 years
*12.1
18.9
21.0
19.8
62.2
49.3
20.4
5-14 years
23.3
18.3
21.4
29.0
*7.3
17.4
25.3
Total grandparents ('000)
207.2
313.9
231.8
243.1
208.3
459.2
474.9
Total persons ('000)
343.2
538.0
369.3
424.6
992.2
745.6
793.9

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Person may have undertaken more than one activity or event therefore totals will not sum to 100%.
(b) Lowest gross income quintile (the lowest 20% of households when ranked according to gross income).
(c) In previous 12 months.
Source: ABS data available on request, Time Use Survey, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0).

Older carers of people with a disability

Carers play a significant role as providers of informal care, helping older people with a disability to remain living in their home. Carers provide ongoing informal assistance to people with disability, including emotional support, financial, practical and personal assistance. Generally, the need for assistance is highest at older ages, and much of the informal assistance provided to older people living at home is provided by spouses, often with their own disabilities.

In 2003 in NSW, almost one in five people aged 65 years and over were carers (17%), and almost a third of these older carers (31%) were primary carers. In the same year, 85% of older primary carers provided care to people aged 65 years and over with a disability. More than 60% of older primary carers said they had a disability, and the majority (79%) of older female primary carers were caring for their partner.

About 62% and 48% of older female and male primary carers spent 40 hours or more per week providing care. Many primary carers reported negative effects due to their caring role, which shows the importance of ongoing support services for carers. The main negative effects reported were: feels weary or lacking in energy (35%); frequently feels worried or depressed (29%); and needs an improvement in situation or more support (27%), with older females more likely to report negative effects than older males.


4.5 PRIMARY CARERS AGED 65 YEARS AND OVER(a), Selected characteristics, NSW-2003
Graph: 4.5 primary carers aged 65 years and over(a), Selected characteristics, NSW—2003


4.6 CARER STATUS(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages, NSW - 2003

Aged 65 years and over
Age group (years)
Males
Females
Persons
45-54
55-64
65-74
75 and
over
Total persons
aged 15 years
and over
Total persons aged 15 years
and over
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
'000

ALL PERSONS

Carer
Primary carer
4.1
6.0
5.1
4.0
3.6
5.0
5.3
2.8
149.7
Other carer
14.6
8.8
11.5
13.7
14.9
11.8
11.1
10.9
576.4
Total carers
18.7
14.8
16.6
17.6
18.6
16.7
16.4
13.8
726.1
Not a carer
81.3
85.2
83.4
82.4
81.4
83.3
83.6
86.2
4 552.7
Total persons ('000)
368.9
443.6
812.5
893.5
666.6
450.9
361.6
. .
5 278.7

SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS OF PRIMARY CARERS

Age group of main care recipient(b)
0-64 years
*21.2
*12.1
*15.3
(c)np
(c)np
*28.6
-
43.6
65.3
65 and years and over
78.8
87.9
84.7
52.7
56.8
71.9
100.0
53.4
79.9
Lives in the same household as main care recipient(b)
np
88.7
np
56.5
68.3
82.6
np
75.2
112.5
Partner is carer's main recipient of care(b)
np
78.9
np
*15.2
46.1
71.9
np
39.8
59.6
Carer has a disability
65.6
57.4
60.4
*33.0
*33.7
50.4
71.9
37.1
55.6
Hours per week spent caring(d)
Less than 40 hours
np
*29.1
np
69.0
49.4
*35.3
np
53.6
80.3
40 hours or more
47.7
61.5
56.7
*19.7
41.6
*54.0
59.9
36.5
54.6
Emotional effects of caring role
Needs an improvement in situation or more support to aid caring role
18.5
32.1
27.2
39.2
36.6
*25.0
29.7
35.0
52.4
Feels weary/lacks energy due to caring role
*31.1
37.4
35.1
34.9
40.3
35.7
33.9
35.9
53.7
Frequently feels worried/depressed due to caring role
*23.2
32.1
28.9
38.9
49.0
*21.0
*38.0
33.5
50.2
Total primary carers ('000)
15.1
26.5
41.6
35.5
*24.3
22.4
19.2
. .
149.7

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
(a) Carer status of persons living in households.
(b) Main care recipient has one or more disabilities.
(c) There are a small number of carers aged under 65 years for whom the age of the main care recipient is not known.
(d) Excludes 'Not stated'.
Source: ABS data available on request, Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2003 (cat. no. 4430.0).

4.3 COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Social activities

Social, cultural and physical activities provide opportunities for social interaction and contribute to the wellbeing of individuals. Many older people actively participate in social and physical activities, though participation rates tend to decline with age. Older people's participation in social activities can be influenced by a range of factors including, health, disability, living arrangement, income, transport and access to information technology. In 2006, the most common types of social activities older people participated in were visiting (or being visited by) friends (87%), followed by attending cultural and leisure venues (69%) and meeting friends for indoor (62%) or outdoor (56%) activities. The same activities were also popular among older people with a disability.

4.7 PARTICIPATION IN SOCIAL ACTIVITIES(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages, NSW - 2006

Aged 65 years and over
Age group (years)
Disability or
long-term
health

condition
Males
Females
Persons
45-54
55-64
65-74
75 and
over
Total persons aged 18 years and over
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Types of social activities
Visited/was visited by friends(b)
83.9
83.9
88.7
86.5
92.5
93.5
86.7
86.3
92.3
Went out with or met group of friends - outdoor activities(b)
52.8
54.0
58.3
56.3
79.3
71.4
56.6
56.0
75.4
Went out with or met group of friends - indoor activities(b)
57.4
61.4
62.2
61.8
73.6
67.9
64.0
59.3
72.6
Spent time in Internet social activity(b)
*5.1
10.0
6.4
8.1
18.3
15.8
11.1
*4.5
21.8
Participated in sport/recreational physical activity(c)
36.5
44.7
34.8
39.3
64.1
57.3
48.6
28.3
58.7
Attended a sporting event(c)
19.9
24.8
17.7
21.0
52.7
44.4
27.8
12.9
49.4
Attended selected culture and leisure venues and activities(c)
66.4
66.3
71.7
69.2
87.6
88.0
72.7
65.0
87.0
Types of venues or events
Cinemas
34.5
32.9
39.9
36.6
63.9
60.8
43.7
28.2
66.0
Libraries
32.5
32.0
37.7
35.1
40.9
41.5
35.6
34.5
43.1
Botanic gardens, Zoological parks, Aquariums
31.0
30.5
35.5
33.2
52.9
54.8
40.8
24.1
52.7
Art galleries, Museums
24.2
25.5
30.3
28.1
35.8
47.6
34.4
20.6
35.9
Popular, Classic music concerts
22.7
24.9
22.9
23.8
38.2
43.1
26.3
20.8
39.1
Musicals, Operas, Theatre, Dance performances
26.5
28.8
30.4
29.7
41.9
43.8
36.2
21.9
37.9
Total persons ('000)
615.4
404.6
475.2
879.8
927.3
745.2
478.4
401.4
5 123.9

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Person may have undertaken more than one activity or event therefore totals will not sum to 100%.
(b) In last 3 months.
(c) In last 12 months.
Source: ABS data available on request, General Social Survey, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0).
Sports and recreation activity

Around 49% of older males (aged 65 years and over) and 42% of older females participated in sport and physical recreation in 2005-06. Participation rates for people aged 65 years and over were higher in non-organised sports and physical activities (28%) compared with organised sports and physical activities (11%). The proportion of people aged 75 years and over participating in sport and physical recreation activities was 34%, almost half the proportion of people participating aged 55-64 years (59%). Walking (25%) was the most common activity for persons aged 65 years and over, followed by lawn bowls (6.0%), golf (5.5%) and swimming (4.9%).

4.8 PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES(a), Persons aged 65 years and over, By sex, NSW-2005-06
Graph: 4.8 PARTICIPATION IN selected SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION activities(a), Persons aged 65 years and over, By sex, NSW—2005–06

4.9 PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages, NSW - 2005-06

Aged 65 years and over
Age group (years)
Males
Females
Persons
45-54
55-64
65-74
75 and
over
Total persons
aged 15 years
and over
Total persons
aged 15 years
and over
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
'000

Type of activity
Walking for exercise
22.3
27.7
25.2
28.1
33.5
29.9
19.7
22.5
1 206.5
Lawn bowls
7.5
4.7
6.0
*0.8
2.9
6.4
5.4
1.7
89.1
Golf
9.2
*2.3
5.5
5.6
8.3
*6.2
*4.6
5.2
277.0
Swimming
5.7
*4.2
4.9
13.6
5.5
7.8
*1.4
10.4
556.4
Aerobics/fitness
*4.8
2.9
3.8
12.0
5.3
4.6
**2.8
12.3
659.6
Type of participation
Organised
10.7
10.7
10.7
8.1
6.2
11.9
9.3
11.1
596.2
Non-organised
30.1
25.5
27.6
41.3
41.2
35.1
18.7
37.7
2 022.9
Both organised and non-organised
8.6
6.2
7.3
12.9
12.0
8.7
5.5
15.3
818.6
Frequency
Once or twice a week
8.6
7.1
7.8
7.5
7.3
8.5
6.9
8.2
437.5
More than twice a week
20.8
22.6
21.7
28.1
30.7
27.0
15.4
27.3
1 463.8
Total participation (%)
49.3
42.4
45.6
62.4
59.4
55.7
33.6
64.1
. .
Total persons ('000)
402.5
473.6
876.1
921.0
738.7
476.0
400.0
. .
5 364.9

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
. . not applicable
(a) Persons who participated in physical activities for recreation, exercise or sport as players during the 12 months prior to interview.
Source: ABS Sports and Physical Recreation data available on request, Multi-Purpose Household Survey, 2005-06 (cat. no. 4117.0).

Community participation

In 2006, similar proportions of older males aged 65 years and over (60%) and females (62%) were actively involved in a social group. The most popular types of groups people aged 65 years and over participated in were social clubs providing restaurants or bars (26%), religious or spiritual group organisations (23%), and sport or physical recreation groups (18%).

4.10 COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION, Persons aged 65 years and over(a)(b), By sex and types of groups, NSW-2006



4.11 COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages, NSW - 2006

Aged 65 years and over
Age group (years)
Disability or long-term health condition
Males
Females
Persons
45-54
55-64
65-74
75 and
over
Total persons
aged 18 years and over
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Actively participated in group(s)(b)
Social group
56.4
59.5
62.2
60.9
60.8
68.6
67.8
52.7
62.8
Community support group
25.0
23.8
31.2
27.8
35.5
28.2
34.0
20.4
33.3
Civic and political group
*8.0
13.4
*8.6
10.8
22.9
26.8
14.1
*6.9
18.3
Types of group(b)
Sport/physical recreation group
16.9
19.5
15.8
17.5
31.7
25.8
21.2
13.1
31.8
Social clubs providing restaurants or bars
26.7
30.6
22.7
26.3
22.8
28.1
26.8
25.8
23.9
Religious/spiritual group or organisation
21.1
20.9
25.6
23.4
21.5
22.0
25.6
20.9
20.7
Adult education, other recreation or special interest group
*6.2
*6.6
12.9
10.0
12.7
17.5
12.1
*7.5
11.5
Type of civic activity participated in
Signed petition(b)
15.5
18.4
17.5
17.9
27.3
29.6
22.1
13.0
23.6
Boycotted/bought products for political/ethical/environmental reasons(b)
16.2
15.6
16.9
16.3
27.2
28.3
20.6
11.3
22.1
Contacted local councillor/territory government member(b)
9.4
13.1
9.3
11.0
15.1
21.0
13.2
8.3
12.5
Community consultation/public meeting(b)
*6.9
*8.6
*5.9
7.2
9.5
11.3
10.6
*3.1
7.6
Contacted member of parliament(b)
5.6
*8.0
*4.2
5.9
8.2
7.2
*6.6
*5.1
5.8
Participated in community event(c)
45.3
45.9
49.5
47.8
68.2
62.8
55.2
39.1
63.1
Worked to provide service or activity in local area(b)
21.4
25.2
23.3
24.1
28.0
22.7
27.2
20.5
22.7
Feels able to have a say in community on important issues all/most of the time(b)
32.8
34.0
32.3
33.1
30.4
26.6
33.3
32.8
29.0
Total persons ('000)
615.4
404.6
475.2
879.8
927.3
745.2
478.4
401.4
5 123.9

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Person may have undertaken more than one activity or event therefore totals will not sum to 100%.
(b) In last 12 months.
(c) In last 6 months.
Source: ABS data available on request, General Social Survey, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community participation

Due to higher rates of fertility and a lower life expectancy, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a relatively young age structure; therefore in this Chapter the phrase older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people refers to those aged 55 years and over.

In 2002 in NSW, 72% of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported they had been involved in social activities in the last three months. In the last 12 months, 22% had participated in sport or physical recreation activities and 30% had undertaken voluntary work. The majority of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (87%) reported that, in a time of crisis, they could get support from outside their household. In 2002, 53% of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported they identified with a clan, tribal or language group and 63% had attended a cultural event in the last 12 months.

4.12 ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PERSONS COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages and sex, NSW - 2002

Aged 45 years and over
Age group (years)
Males
Females
45-54
55 and
over
Total persons
aged 15 years
and over
Total persons
aged 15 years
and over
%
%
%
%
%
'000

Able to get support in times of crisis(b)
84.8
92.9
90.9
86.7
91.5
76.7
Source(s) of support in times of crisis(b)
Family member
74.5
82.6
80.5
76.7
80.5
67.5
Friend
52.3
46.5
51.7
46.5
59.8
50.1
Work colleague
*12.1
14.6
18.1
*8.0
16.7
14.0
Neighbour
*14.3
20.7
14.7
21.0
16.6
13.9
Government or professional services
*16.8
23.7
24.8
15.4
18.5
15.5
Community, charity or religious organisation
*14.8
19.3
*12.5
*22.4
15.3
12.8
Identifies with clan, tribal or language group
45.1
50.7
43.6
53.0
41.7
34.9
Currently lives in homelands/traditional country
32.6
25.2
29.2
28.3
23.3
19.5
Person or relative removed from natural family
35.6
25.1
34.2
25.7
30.8
25.8
Attended cultural events(c)
54.9
64.1
56.6
63.2
58.6
49.1
Type(s) of cultural event(s)(c)
Funeral
36.5
44.2
33.4
48.5
36.8
30.8
Festival or carnival involving arts, craft, music or dance
21.7
*22.1
21.0
*23.0
29.0
24.3
Sports carnival
*14.6
15.9
16.6
13.8
21.0
17.6
Ceremony
*13.9
14.7
*17.0
*11.3
12.4
10.4
Involved with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander organisation
31.1
33.7
29.7
35.6
26.1
21.9
Participated in sport or physical recreation activities(c)
29.6
19.4
26.7
21.6
45.0
37.7
Involved in social activities(d)
77.3
74.3
79.4
71.6
85.5
71.6
Participated in(d)
Went out to a cafe, restaurant or bar
61.6
56.9
65.8
51.6
64.5
54.0
Took part in or attended sport or physical activities
40.4
36.2
47.6
27.6
55.3
46.3
Church or religious activities
*8.0
15.9
*8.6
16.1
12.7
10.6
Had undertaken voluntary work(c)
29.3
35.1
34.0
30.3
31.6
26.5
Type(s) of voluntary work(c)
Sport/recreation/hobby
*10.8
*12.2
*19.1
**2.8
13.1
11.0
Welfare or community
*13.3
14.9
*13.0
*15.4
12.2
10.2
Education, training or youth development
*9.6
*8.3
*9.4
*8.4
11.2
9.3
Arts or culture
*4.2
*11.7
*7.6
**8.7
5.5
4.6
Other organisations(e)
17.2
16.9
*14.7
19.7
11.9
10.0
Information technology use(c)
Used computer
31.6
38.7
49.8
18.9
60.9
51.0
Accessed Internet
*23.0
28.5
38.6
*11.4
48.4
40.6
Total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons ('000)
10.7
11.6
11.9
10.4
. .
83.8

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
. . not applicable
(a) Categories are not mutually exclusive therefore totals will not sum to 100%.
(b) Outside household.
(c) In last 12 months.
(d) In last 3 months.
(e) Includes 'Health', 'Emergency services', 'Religious', 'Environmental/Animal welfare', 'Business/Professional/Union', 'Law/Justice/Political', 'Foreign/International', and 'Other voluntary organisations'.
Source: ABS data available on request, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2002 (cat. no. 4714.0).

Voluntary work and unpaid assistance

Voluntary work meets community needs, builds networks and increases social participation and personal development. A volunteer is defined as someone who, in the previous 12 months, willingly gave unpaid help, in the form of time, service or skills, through an organisation or group.

In 2006, almost one-third (29%) of people aged 65 years and over in NSW participated in organised voluntary work, and a similar proportion (33%) provided informal unpaid assistance to people living outside their household, though participation decreased with age. People aged 65 years and over were more likely to volunteer for welfare or community organisations, and common activities undertaken were fundraising and sales (14%), preparing and serving food (11%), and information management (9.1%). Helping with child care (16%) and emotional support (15%) were the most common types of unpaid informal assistance provided by older females, and older males most often were providing transport or running errands (14%).

4.13 VOLUNTARY WORK AND UNPAID INFORMAL ASSISTANCE(a), By selected ages, NSW-2006
Graph: 4.13 Voluntary work and unpaid informal assistance(a), By selected ages, NSW—2006

4.14 VOLUNTARY WORK AND UNPAID INFORMAL ASSISTANCE(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages, NSW - 2006

Aged 65 years and over
Age group (years)
Disability or
long-term
health

condition
Males
Females
Persons
45-54
55-64
65-74
75 and
over
Total persons aged 18 years and over
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Voluntary work undertaken in last 12 months
Undertaken voluntary work
25.8
29.1
29.1
29.1
40.9
32.0
35.0
22.1
32.7
Type of organisation
Sport and physical recreation
*3.2
*6.2
*2.3
*4.1
13.2
*6.4
*5.0
*3.0
9.5
Welfare or community
10.9
*10.3
15.4
13.0
9.9
10.7
15.6
10.0
7.9
Education and training
**1.6
np
*2.6
*1.6
11.6
*2.5
*2.1
np
7.7
Health
*4.5
*5.1
*4.9
5.0
4.5
*2.7
7.7
**1.6
3.0
Type of voluntary activity
Fundraising or sales
11.7
10.3
17.9
14.4
23.1
14.5
19.4
*8.4
17.3
Preparing or serving food
7.3
*5.7
14.9
10.7
19.0
15.1
12.9
8.1
13.2
Teaching or providing information
*5.5
*8.2
*5.1
6.5
14.2
12.5
10.5
**1.7
11.0
Administration, clerical, recruitment, information management
8.2
12.3
*6.4
9.1
12.7
12.0
13.4
*4.1
10.0
Transporting people or goods
5.6
10.6
6.8
8.5
13.3
12.9
12.7
*3.6
9.4
Befriending, supportive listening, counselling, mentoring
*6.6
*9.0
8.2
8.6
11.7
*9.4
13.2
*3.1
8.4
Management, committee work, coordination
5.7
9.5
5.6
7.4
11.0
10.3
9.9
*4.5
8.2
Repairing, maintenance, gardening
*6.0
11.4
**2.4
*6.5
9.8
7.6
*7.2
*5.7
6.9
Total voluntary hours worked
Less than 20 hours
*6.1
*5.4
*6.0
*5.7
6.4
6.5
*6.2
*5.2
7.2
20-99 hours
5.6
*5.6
9.4
7.6
16.6
11.5
9.1
*5.9
12.9
100 hours or more
14.1
18.2
13.7
15.8
17.9
14.0
19.8
11.0
12.6
Donated money
71.4
70.0
74.0
72.2
79.9
79.6
72.5
71.8
73.1
Unpaid informal assistance given in last 4 weeks
Provided unpaid assistance to persons living outside the household
31.7
30.0
34.8
32.6
49.6
52.7
42.6
20.6
45.4
Unpaid assistance to
Relative
22.0
19.8
25.2
22.7
33.2
40.0
31.4
12.4
28.5
Friend
8.8
9.2
10.4
9.8
17.0
11.4
11.8
7.5
16.0
Neighbour
*4.2
*3.8
*3.5
*3.6
5.6
*6.5
*4.3
*2.7
4.4
Type of unpaid assistance
Giving emotional support
12.6
10.3
15.0
12.8
26.3
20.8
18.2
*6.5
19.9
Providing transport or running errands
14.3
*13.3
14.2
13.8
25.1
17.5
16.5
10.5
19.2
Domestic work, home maintenance or gardening
8.2
*9.4
7.2
8.2
20.7
14.3
9.2
*7.0
15.1
Helping with child care
12.5
*10.1
16.2
13.4
8.7
22.0
19.8
*5.8
11.5
Total persons ('000)
615.4
404.6
475.2
879.8
927.3
745.2
478.4
401.4
5 123.9

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
(a) Person may have undertaken more than one activity or event.
Source: ABS data available on request, General Social Survey, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0).

4.4 EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY

Education

Fostering lifelong learning has become increasingly important as Australia's population ages in order to increase labour force and community participation. In 2006-07, about 68% of people aged 55-64 years engaged in some form of learning. Informal learning offers flexible learning opportunities based on a wide range of activities including reading, using computers or the Internet, watching television, visiting libraries and learning from family, friends and colleagues.

Many of the activities undertaken as part of informal learning are also either free or relatively inexpensive. Non-formal and formal learning, on the other hand, can be less accessible due to the timing, location of classes and cost. In 2006-07, a higher proportion of people aged 55-64 years participated in informal (66%) compared with non-formal (24%) learning. A smaller number of people aged 55-64 years participated in formal education. Non-participation occurred at higher rates in older age groups, with 37% of those aged 60-64 years not participating in learning.

4.15 PARTICIPATION IN LEARNING(a), By selected ages and sex, NSW - 2006-07

Aged 55-64 years
Age group (years)
Males
Females
Persons
45-49
50-54
55-59
60-64
Total persons
aged
25-64 years
Total persons
aged
25-64 years
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
'000

Participated in
Formal learning(b)
*2.1
*3.2
*2.7
12.3
*8.4
*3.2
*2.0
11.9
432.2
Non-formal learning(c)
23.4
23.5
23.5
36.3
30.1
24.5
22.3
31.0
1 125.7
Informal learning(d)
69.8
61.7
65.7
76.1
74.9
69.5
61.2
72.6
2 631.1
Did not participate in learning
27.9
35.6
31.7
20.4
20.5
27.8
36.5
22.5
817.2
Type of most recent non-formal learning(c)
Work-related course
17.6
12.1
14.8
29.1
26.3
17.3
11.9
23.6
856.2
Arts, craft or recreational course
*3.1
*6.7
4.9
*2.4
*3.2
*4.9
*4.9
3.8
136.1
Type of informal learning(d)
Reading manuals, reference books, journals or other written materials
54.0
41.2
47.6
58.4
57.8
50.5
44.1
54.1
1 961.8
Using computers or the Internet
44.4
35.3
39.8
51.2
52.0
45.0
33.6
52.2
1 891.2
Learning from a family member, friend or colleague
32.6
28.9
30.7
42.5
42.7
32.2
29.0
41.8
1 517.1
Using television, radio, video/DVD
30.8
25.9
28.3
24.4
28.4
29.8
26.6
26.7
966.9
Visiting a library
17.3
14.5
15.9
20.3
19.5
12.8
19.6
19.3
698.1
Going on guided tours at museum, art gallery or other location
12.3
12.7
12.5
10.0
15.3
7.9
18.0
12.4
449.1
Taking part in learning groups
*7.1
8.2
7.6
8.7
*6.4
*7.5
*7.8
9.4
340.6
Total persons ('000)
380.3
380.8
761.1
492.6
443.5
417.0
344.1
3 626.3
3 626.3

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Refers to learning in the 12 months prior to interview. Categories are not mutually exclusive.
(b) Formal learning refers to learning which is structured, taught learning in institutions and organisations and leads to a recognised qualification issued by a relevant body.
(c) Non-formal learning refers to structured, taught learning, but differs from formal learning in that it does not lead to a qualification within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). It includes non-accredited workplace training, that is, training that does not lead to a recognised qualification.
(d) Informal learning refers to unstructured, non-institutionalised learning activities that are related to work, family, community or leisure. Activities may occur on a self-directed basis, but are excluded from scope if there is no specific intention to learn.
Source: ABS Adult Learning data available on request, Multi-Purpose Household Survey, 2006-07 (cat. no. 4229.0).


Overall, in NSW, non-school outcomes as measured by the attainment of graduate qualifications are improving. Increasing participation in higher education is reflected by the higher proportion of people aged 45-49 years with non-school qualifications (65%) compared with people aged 55-64 years (52%).

4.16 HIGHEST LEVEL OF QUALIFICATION(a), By selected ages, NSW - May 2007

Aged 45-64 years
Age group (years)
Males
Females
45-49
50-54
55-64
Total person aged
45-64 years
Total persons aged
45-64 years
%
%
%
%
%
%
'000

HIGHEST LEVEL OF QUALIFICATION

Level of highest non-school qualification(b)
Postgraduate degree
5.5
2.9
4.3
5.5
3.4
4.2
68.9
Graduate diploma and graduate certificate
1.6
3.6
2.9
3.1
2.1
2.6
42.7
Bachelor degree
14.4
12.0
14.2
15.7
11.0
13.2
216.0
Advanced diploma and diploma
9.4
11.6
11.7
10.6
9.7
10.5
172.4
Certificate III and IV
24.3
9.4
19.7
15.2
15.9
16.8
275.6
Certificate I and II
4.9
11.5
9.5
6.3
8.4
8.2
133.9
Certificate not further defined
*0.4
1.4
*1.0
1.3
0.6
0.9
15.4
Level not determined
1.0
1.3
*1.3
*1.2
1.1
1.2
19.2
Total with a non-school qualification
61.6
53.8
64.5
59.0
52.2
57.7
944.0
Without a non-school qualification(b)
Highest year of school completed
Year 12
10.8
8.6
10.8
10.5
8.5
9.7
158.7
Year 11
2.0
1.4
1.5
1.3
2.0
1.7
27.4
Year 10
12.2
20.8
16.3
16.2
16.8
16.5
270.0
Year 9 or below
13.4
15.2
7.0
13.0
20.0
14.3
233.9
Total
38.4
46.2
35.5
41.0
47.8
42.3
692.8

ATTAINMENT

With Certificate III and above
55.2
39.6
52.8
50.1
42.1
47.4
775.6
With Year 12 or Certificate II and above
71.7
60.4
74.0
67.8
59.5
66.0
1 080.9

PERSONS ('000)

Total persons(c)
815.3
821.5
487.0
433.0
716.8
. .
1 636.8

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
. . not applicable
(a) Based on the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED).
(b) Non-school qualification refers to educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education.
(c) Includes person who never attended school.
Source: ABS data available on request, Survey of Education and Work, 2007 (cat. no. 6227.0).


With the exception of prose literacy, a lower proportion of people aged 65-74 years had high literacy skills (people attaining skill scores at levels 3-5) compared to people aged 45-49 years. This may relate to greater proportions of older people having lower educational attainment levels, and/or the relatively high rate of disabilities (some of which would affect literacy skills) among older people.

4.17 ADULT LITERACY, Functional to high skill levels 3-5(a), By selected ages, NSW-2005
Graph: 4.17 Adult literacy, Functional to high skill levels 3–5(a), By selected ages, NSW—2005


Computer and Internet use

There is an increasing use of technology by older people, potentially enhancing their social wellbeing and independent living through providing communication, information, and learning opportunities, as well as access to goods and services. Household Internet access has increased in recent years, though generally there is lower use in older age groups. In 2004-05 and 2006-07, Internet use for people aged 45-54 years was 66% and 73% respectively, and for people aged 65 years and over it was 17% and 21% respectively. The lower use of computers by older persons may be partially explained by their lower exposure to such technology and fewer opportunities to gain computing skills over their lifetime.

In 2006-07, more than 25% of males aged 65 years and over and 18% of females of the same age group used the Internet from any location. For older people (aged 65 years and over), the main purpose for using the Internet at home was personal or private use (19%). This was followed by education or study (5.1%), work or business (4.2%) and voluntary or community purposes (3.0%). Among older people accessing the Internet at home, broadband (19%) is more commonly used than dial-up access (13%).

4.18 USE OF THE INTERNET AT ANY LOCATION(a), By selected ages, NSW
Graph: 4.18 Use of the Internet at any location(a), By selected ages, NSW

4.19 USE OF THE INTERNET(a), Selected characteristics, By selected ages, NSW - 2006-07

Aged 65 years and over
Age group (years)
Males
Females
45-54
55-64
65 and
over
Total persons
aged 15 years
and over
%
%
%
%
%
%

Location of Internet use
Home
22.0
16.3
65.8
51.0
19.0
61.3
Work
*6.2
*2.3
40.8
27.1
4.1
31.1
Neighbour's or friend's or relative's house
*2.2
*3.5
15.7
9.7
2.9
25.6
Library
*5.9
**0.4
8.2
7.5
*2.9
10.1
Any location
25.4
18.0
73.2
57.8
21.4
69.5
Purpose
Personal or private
21.2
16.3
64.3
50.4
18.6
60.3
Used Internet to purchase goods/services for private purposes
10.5
6.4
46.4
32.5
8.3
42.8
Education or study
*6.3
*4.0
31.0
19.2
5.1
34.1
Work or business
*6.2
*2.6
40.7
21.9
4.2
31.5
Voluntary or community
*3.6
*2.6
9.3
6.4
3.0
7.2
Frequency
Everyday
8.9
*4.7
30.4
24.7
6.6
31.1
At least weekly
10.3
*6.3
29.5
20.2
8.1
24.7
At least monthly
*2.8
*5.4
5.9
6.0
4.2
5.6
Type of access for households
Broadband
18.8
18.5
54.1
40.3
18.6
48.8
Dial-up
15.7
10.9
23.3
20.2
13.1
20.3
Total persons ('000)
413.0
481.0
936.0
761.0
894.0
5 431.0

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
(a) Person may have undertaken more than one activity.
Source: ABS data available on request, Household Use of Information Technology Survey, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8146.0).
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