|IS LIFE IN AUSTRALIA GETTING BETTER?|
The ABS released the 2008 edition of Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators
(cat. no. 1383.0.55.001) in April. This publication is designed to help Australians assess how our society, economy and environment are progressing. The release includes state/territory spreadsheets
, to show the relative contribution of each state/territory to the national indicators.
The publication shows that:
We're living longer. A boy born in 2006 could expect to live to 79 (three years longer than a boy born in 1996) while a girl could expect to reach 83 (two years longer than a girl born in 1996).
We're wealthier. Australia's real net worth (i.e. adjusted to remove the effects of price change) per person rose at an average rate of 0.9% per year between June 1997 and June 2007.
Crime rates varied. There was a small increase in the rate of people who had experienced certain types of 'personal crime' (assault, sexual assault or robbery) between 1998 and 2005, from 4.8% to 5.3%. However, the rate of selected household crimes (break-ins and car theft) fell from 9.0% to 6.2% over the same period.
There's mixed news on the environment. The data suggests some decline in Australia's biodiversity, partly captured in a rise in the number of threatened bird and mammal species (up 14% between 2000 and 2007). On the other hand, air quality is generally good and the rate of land clearing has declined slightly.
In New South Wales:
Life expectancy is similar to the figures for Australia as a whole.
About 61% of 25-64 year olds in NSW had a non-school qualification (e.g. a degree, diploma or certificate) in 2007, up from 47% in 1997.
The average net worth of households in NSW was about $632,000 in 2005-06, compared with $563,000 for Australian households.
For further information regarding this publication, contact the National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070 or Josie Barac in Canberra on (02) 6252 5414.