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1300.1.55.001 - Statistics News NSW, Jun 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2007   
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Image: Is Life in Australia Getting Any Better ?

IS LIFE IN AUSTRALIA GETTING ANY BETTER?

The ABS released the 2007 edition of Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators (cat. no. 1383.0.55.001) in April 2007. This publication is designed to help people judge how Australia is doing – economically, socially and environmentally. It provides a suite of indicators which people can use to assess Australia's progress.

The publication shows that:
  • We're living longer. A boy born in 2005 could expect to live to 78 (4 years longer than a boy born in 1995), while a girl could expect to reach 83 (3 years longer than a girl born in 1995).

  • We're more educated. Between 1996 and 2006 the proportion of 25-64 year olds with a non-school qualification such as a degree or certificate rose from 48% to 59%.

  • We're wealthier. Australia's real (i.e. adjusted to remove the effects of price change) net worth per person rose at an average rate of 1.0% per year between June 1996 and June 2006, reaching almost $237,000 in 2006.

  • There was a small increase in the rate of people who had experienced a 'personal crime' (assault, sexual assault or robbery) between 1998 and 2005, from 4.8% to 5.3%. The rate of household crime (break-ins and car theft), on the other hand, fell from 9.0% to 6.2% over the same period.

  • Biodiversity is on the decline. Available data suggests some decline in Australia's biodiversity in the last decade, partly encapsulated in a rise in the number of threatened bird and mammal species (a 44% increase over the 1996–2006 period). Biodiversity cannot be measured comprehensively and up-to-date data are not available for some indicators.

  • Air quality in Australia is generally good. Between 1997 and 2005 fine particle health standards were exceeded in selected urban areas on average between one and two days each year, with the exception of 2002 and 2003. The health standards were exceeded more frequently in 2002 and 2003, mainly because of bushfires and dust storms around the Sydney and Melbourne areas.
For more information contact Josie Barac (02) 6252 5414, email client.services@abs.gov.au.

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