1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Dec 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2009   
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Chrissy Shopping
Let The Stats Guide You

“Tis the season to be jolly, and by golly it’s also the season to go shopping!”

Christmas is the one time of the year when we have to shop – truly, it is not our fault that we have to buy presents for people.

This is the excuse that at least 1,162,529 Western Australians could use as they nominated themselves as Christians in the 2006 Census. Of course you don’t have to be a Christian to participate, other religions and even the almost half a million Western Australians who said they had no religious affiliation are welcome to join in.

So what to get for the kiddies? Well according to ABS figures (Children’s Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities, cat. no. 4901.0) a lot of WA children aged 5 to 14 play organised sport (63%). At the Australian level the most popular sports for boys were outdoor soccer (13%), swimming (17%) and Aussie Rules football (16%).

For girls, popular sports were swimming (20%), netball (17%) and then gymnastics (8%). Luckily for us these sports come with a range of paraphernalia that would be suitable Christmas presents (and for different budgets too).

Christmas Presents

Not Sporty?
If your child isn’t the sporty type you could play it safe and get them a DVD, since 97% of children had watched TV, DVDs or videos in the two weeks prior to being surveyed.

But if you would like to get your child out and about then buy them a bike, since 60% of children went bike riding in the two weeks prior to the ABS coming to call.

This might also help those 25% of children aged between 5 and 17 years who were obese, according to the National Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0).

When thinking about what to buy for your parents remember it will form part of the inheritable estate, so don’t be afraid to buy something that you like, such as that beautiful painting you’ve had your eye on.

According to the Mature Aged Persons Statistical profile: Community Life (cat no. 4905.0.55.001) nearly one in three people over the age of 65 visited a library, museum or art gallery in the previous three month period, so your parents might like to ‘babysit’ that lovely painting!

Christmas Feast
Are you having Christmas lunch or dinner at your house? Perhaps you should have a quick look at the Average Retail Prices of Selected Items, Eight Capital Cities survey (cat. no. 6403.0.55.001) which shows Perth’s roast beef is the second cheapest in the land.

Forget the spuds though, as only Darwin and Canberra have more expensive ones, but go heavy on the carrots, we’ve got easily the nation’s cheapest. Stay off the grog too, Perth’s alcohol prices are above the national average.

Now you are probably wondering how to pay for all this shopping (and I haven’t even mentioned Christmas decorations, pressies for the pets, neighbours, even partners!), but don’t worry the answer is simple – put it on the plastic!

There are two good reasons for this; first of all it doesn’t feel as bad as handing over wads of cash; and secondly everyone else is doing it, so it’s totally normal! ABS data from Australian Social Trends (cat. no.4102.0) show that 55% of all households have credit card debt.

Right, now that you can justify spending some money and have a few ideas about what to buy for presents, go out there and shop till you drop!

Naomi Summers
Article by: Naomi Summers,
Client Liaison Unit
and keen reader of sale catalogues.