Always vital - ABS demographic statistics
Demographic information - births, deaths marriages and divorces - are vital statistics in libraries. Not only does this data answer all sorts of questions that come to library Information Desks but it is fascinating in its own right!
Access to demographic data has just become simpler with the release in May 2004 of a new web title, Demography Australia (Cat. no 3311.0.55.001) This is free and provides an annual summary of key Australian demographic data.
To keep up to date between the annual releases of Demography Australia, refer to the quarterly Australian Demographic Statistics (Cat. no. 3101.0). This one is a print title and is sent to all LEP member libraries. But libraries like it online too - in fact Australian Demographic Statistics has been the title most often downloaded by libraries subscribing to eLEP.
Whilst the state Demography titles have now ceased in print form, the data is still available. The free National Regional Profile on the ABS web site provides demographic data down to Statistical Local Area (SLA) level and should be the first place to go to find this important local information.
Subscribers to AusStats - and this includes most Australian universities - should also look for the time series spreadsheets that complement Australian Demographic Statistics. They provide quarterly figures going back, in some cases, to 1981. Another set of Excel spreadsheets also offer specialist demographic data. All of these are a valuable resource for researchers and academics.
For expert researchers AusStats also offers datacubes. These allow users to manipulate data in sophisticated ways - using free SuperTable software. Demographic data is well represented among the ABS' datacubes - look for ABS Catalogue numbers with '33' in the datacubes section of AusStats. Another valuable resource for researchers within AusStats are the Excel spreadsheets that form Australian Historical Population Statistics (Cat. no. 3105.0.65.001).