4914.0.55.001 - Age Matters, June 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2010   
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Introduction and News
General Social Survey 2010
National Regional Profile
Events and Conferences
Statistical Resources


Welcome to the June 2010 edition of Age Matters. This newsletter provides the latest ABS news, releases, findings and upcoming events, concerning statistics on older people.

Several major ABS household surveys are approaching important milestones. In the last newsletter we mentioned that the 2009-10 Household Expenditure Survey (HES) and Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) were in the field. Enumeration of these surveys is nearing completion, with the results expected to become available from mid 2011. In addition, the 2010 General Social Survey (GSS) is about to go into the field. More information on the 2010 GSS is included below.

The ABS released new-look National Regional Profiles (NRP) on 29 April. The NRPs use a Google Maps interface to make finding and comparing information about different geographic regions of Australia easier. More information is included below.

This edition of Age Matters contains several articles and analyses from recent ABS publications, covering living alone, retirement and retirement intentions, underemployed workers and the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index.

If you have any queries relating to the information in this newsletter, please contact Fiona Dowsley on (03) 9615 7641 or at <fiona.dowsley@abs.gov.au>.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Age Matters.

John Billing
Living Conditions


The General Social Survey (GSS) is a multi-dimensional social survey that ranges across all aspects of life to enable analysis of the inter-relationships in social circumstances and outcomes, including an exploration of multiple advantage and disadvantage. The 2010 survey is the third iteration of the GSS, following on from previous surveys run in 2002 and 2006.

In this GSS, information is being collected about a wide range of topics related to human wellbeing. A number of new topics have been successfully tested and added, such as healthcare delays, cultural tolerance, homelessness, social disorder, and financial resilience and exclusion.

The GSS provides an extremely rich dataset that offers information on a number of topics that can be broken down by age groups, as well as by other demographic characteristics. One of the main benefits of this survey is its focus on the relationships between a wide range of social topics, rather than in-depth information about any particular topic of interest.

The survey will be enumerated in the second half of 2010 and it is expected that the results will be available in late 2011. For more information, or to look at the results from the previous survey, please refer to the General Social Survey web page.


Looking for data about your region? The latest National Regional Profile (NRP) contains data snapshots for over 2,000 regions across Australia, with up to five years of data available.

What you will find for each region is a range of data organised into 'economy', 'population/people', 'industry' and 'environment/energy' headings. The data included is from both ABS and other sources, for geographic areas such as Statistical Local Areas and Local Government Areas, right up to state/territory and Australia. The data is presented for all years on common boundaries, making it easy to analyse the data over time.

Data included for the first time are estimates of household wealth, age of motor vehicles, water use on Australian farms, and selected Government pensions and allowances. Some data in the NRP is not released at such small area levels elsewhere on the ABS website. The data is presented in summary web pages, Excel spreadsheets and data cubes, which enable users to make direct comparisons between regions.

The NRP has a new look 'entry' page, which uses an interactive map and list to locate your region of interest.

The NRP contains information about Australians of every age, but can be used to isolate specific groups of interest. For example, here is a taste of what we found about Australians aged 65 and over.

The number of Australians aged 65 and over increased 2.5% during 2007-08. At 30 June 2008 the Statistical Local Area (SLA) of Warringah (A) in NSW had the highest number of people aged 65 and over, with 20,953. The SLA of Bribie Island in Queensland had the highest proportion of people aged 65 and over, with 32.0% in that age range.

The number of persons in Australia receiving the Age Pension from Centrelink increased 4.5% during 2007-08. At 30 June 2008, the SLA of Canterbury in NSW had the highest number of people receiving the Age Pension, with 14,141 recipients.

At 30 June 2008 there were 130,657 Carer's Payment recipients in Australia, an increase of 12.0% over the previous year. The SLA of Fairfield - East in NSW had the highest number of Carer's Payment recipients, with 2,411.

To find data on your area go to the National Regional Profile webpage.


Recent events

The Australian Government held a Social Inclusion Conference in Melbourne on 28-29 January 2010. The conference was an opportunity for participants to discuss and learn about effective and innovative social inclusion policy and practice. More information is available from the Social Inclusion Conference website.

The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) held its 10th Global Conference at Melbourne's Convention Centre on 3-6 May 2010. There were five central themes that formed the basis of the conference program - climate change, social inclusion, human rights, resourcing change and healthy ageing, each informed by international and regional frameworks. More information is available form the IFA Conference website.

Upcoming events

The 11th Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) Conference, Sustaining Families in Challenging Times will be held on 7-9 July 2010 at Melbourne's Convention Centre. The conference is held biennially, with this event focussing on six major themes - economic wellbeing of families; families and work; social inclusion; violence, abuse and neglect; family transition and family law; and children, young people and their families. More information is available from the AIFS Conference website.

The 2010 NatStats Conference will be held on 15-17 September 2010, at Sydney's Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour. The conference is hosted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and provides a unique opportunity for key stakeholders across the statistical community to help build a strong and vibrant National Statistical Service in Australia. The overall theme for the conference will be 'Measuring what counts: economic development, wellbeing and progress in 21st century Australia'. It will explore drivers of economic and related social change that are shaping Australia's future development. More information - including the program and information about speakers - is available from the NatStats 2010 Conference website.

The 2010 Emerging Researchers in Ageing (ERA) Conference will be held on 21-22 October 2010 in Newcastle and will be hosted by Professor Julie Byles and Associate Professor Lynne Parkinson at the Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, The University of Newcastle. The conference will be an opportunity for researchers to network, share information and gain new skills. More information is available from the ERA website.


CURF Microdata News

CURF Microdata News provides information for Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) Microdata users on issues and developments in access and use of CURF Microdata. The newsletter covers available and forthcoming microdata releases, terms and conditions of access, responsible access to microdata and best practice tips, pricing, microdata research outputs, frequently asked questions, and information about applying for access to ABS CURF microdata.

Recent CURF releases of potential interest to newsletter readers include:
  • Microdata: Labour Force Survey and Forms of Employment Survey, Basic and Expanded CURF, Australia, November 2008 (cat. no. 6202.0.30.007) provides information from both the monthly Labour Force Survey and the related Forms of Employment supplementary survey. Detailed labour force and demographic characteristics for the civilian population aged 15 years and over are included. In addition, data are provided on independent contractors, other business operators and employees. Information is also provided on people who had found their job through a labour hire firm or employment agency. Released: 28 January 2010
  • Microdata: Survey of Education and Work, Basic CURF, Australia, May 2009 (cat. no. 6227.0.30.001) provides selected information on participation in education, highest educational attainment, transition from education to work and current labour force and demographic characteristics for the civilian population aged 15-64 years and persons aged 65-74 years who are in the labour force or marginally attached to it. Characteristics reported on include: type of educational institution attended or attending; level and main field of education of current study and highest level and main field of educational attainment. Information on unsuccessful enrolment and deferment of study is included for persons not studying in the survey year. Released: 28 January 2010
  • Microdata: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, Expanded CURFs, 2008 (cat. no. 4720.0.55.001) is available in the form of two Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs). The CURFs contain confidentialised data about each selected person and the household to which they belong. Data are available for the following topics: language and culture, social capital, life experiences, health, education, work, income and finances, housing and mobility, transport, information technology, and safety, crime and justice. Released: 3 March 2010

National Statistical Service

Information about statistical references and resources, links to the National Statistical Service (NSS) newsletters, and dates for the National Statistical Seminar Series can all be found on the NSS website.