4914.0.55.001 - Age Matters, May 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2009   
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Image: Welcome


Introduction and News
A Picture of the Nation
Community Indicators Summit
Statistical Resources


Welcome to the May 2009 edition of Age Matters. This newsletter provides information on the latest ABS news, releases on age-related statistics, latest findings and upcoming events.

We are pleased to announce that the Australian Social Trends publication is now available electronically on a quarterly basis. The first quarterly issue, released in March 2009, featured articles about Australia's ageing population, including future population trends, retirement and superannuation.

Since the last issue of Age Matters, the ABS has also released 'A Picture of the Nation: the Statistician's Report on the 2006 Census', a report which analyses the latest Census data and identifies emerging differences and similarities between five age-based generation groups, including the Lucky generation (people aged 60-79 years) and the Oldest generation (people aged 80 years and over).

This edition of Age Matters contains some articles drawn from Australian Social Trends and A Picture of the Nation, as well as several articles drawn from other recent ABS publications, covering topics such as Australia's ageing population, household debt, sport and social capital, superannuation and retirement.

The ABS is holding a Community Indicators Summit in Brisbane in July 2009, to facilitate the development of emerging requirements in measuring Australia's progress.

This edition of Age Matters also includes information about some helpful resources for users of statistics. CURF Microdata News is a regular newsletter for users of confidentialised unit record files (CURFs) which helps to keep users and Contact Officers up to date with news about accessing and using ABS microdata. The National Statistical Service website provides information about statistical resources, training and events.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Age Matters.

Graeme Thompson
Family and Community Statistics


A new look at our society with: A Picture of the Nation: the Statistician's Report on the 2006 Census

The recently released publication A Picture of the Nation, taps into a rich vein of data collected in the 2006 Census. This report looks at Australia in an exciting new way providing a detailed insight into our nation's people and culture.

Not just your standard statistical publication A Picture of the Nation analyses the latest Census data and identifies emerging differences and similarities between the five age-based generation groups of; Oldest (aged 80+), Lucky (60 to 79), Baby Boomers (40 to 59), Gen X and Y (20 to 39) and the iGeneration (0 to 19).

A Picture of the Nation shows that the proportion of people stating 'no religion' is higher for each successive generation, while women have closed the gap in university qualifications with more women than men in Generation X and Y attaining a Bachelor Degree or higher (28% compared with 21%).

While the report looks at generational trends, it also provides a detailed analysis of other population groups such as working mothers, migrants, empty nesters, people with a need for assistance and many more...
  • Of the five generations, members of the Oldest Generation were the most likely to be affiliated with a Christian denomination (4 out of every 5 members) and the least likely to be affiliated with a non-Christian religion (2.1%). They were also least likely to state 'no religion' (6.4%).
  • In 1947, 18% of women aged 30-39 (early Oldest Generation members) were employed. This compares with 52% of 30-39 year old women in 1976 (late Lucky Generation members), and 68% in 2006 (early Generation X and Y members).
  • Around one quarter (27%) of people aged 65 years or more were living on their own. However. the proportion of people living alone declined in the very old age groups from a peak of 39% at the age of 85. This is associated with increased frailty making independent living difficult.

For a unique look into contemporary Australian society you can't go past A Picture of the Nation, an invaluable statistical reference.

To purchase your copy of A Picture of the Nation for $25.00, phone 1300 135 070, alternatively you may download chapters free from the ABS website: www.abs.gov.au/about/print2070.0.


Community Indicators Summit, Brisbane, 22-23 July 2009 - Measuring the Progress of Australian Communities

A discussion is occurring around the world about the need to move 'beyond GDP', to a more comprehensive view of societal progress that takes into account social and environmental concerns as well as economic ones. As a result, hundreds of initiatives are underway around the world relating to measuring progress and well-being at the international, national and sub-national levels.

The ABS is holding a Community Indicators Summit in Brisbane from 22 -23 July 2009, coinciding with the OECD's "Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies". Delegates involved in the development of the community indicators platforms and frameworks will be able to share ideas, strategies and contribute to the development of emerging requirements in measuring Australia's progress along with other community indicator practitioners.

An exciting program is being developed. Confirmed speakers include:
  • Jon Hall (OECD Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies)
  • Peter Crossman (Assistant Under Treasurer and QLD Government Statistician)
  • Desley Renton (Social Policy Advisor, Local Government Association QLD)
  • David Tune (Associate Secretary (Domestic Policy) Prime Minister and Cabinet)
  • Leigh Gatt (New Zealand Big Cities)

A feature of the conference program will be practical workshops to explore current issues in the development and application of Community Indicators.

For further information, or to express interest in attending, please visit the website www.nss.gov.au/communityindicators09 or e-mail inquiries@nss.gov.au.


CURF Microdata News

CURF Microdata News is aimed at informing new and current Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) Microdata users about issues and developments in the access to, and use of, CURF Microdata. The newsletter periodically covers topics such as 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 ABS CURF microdata.

The most recent edition will contain up to date news and previous editions can be accessed using the 'Past & Future Releases' tab.

Some recent CURF releases of significance to older persons and ageing research and policy developers include:
  • Microdata: Personal Fraud, Expanded CURF, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 4528.0.55.001) contains summary results of the Personal Fraud Survey. Topics covered in the survey are identity fraud, including credit or bank card fraud and identity theft; and a selected range of scams: lotteries, pyramid schemes, phishing, financial advice, chain letters, advance fee fraud and other scams. It includes information about the characteristics of the most recent incidents of personal frauds, and socio-demographic details of victims and non-victims. Age is in single years from 15-84 years and top-coded for those aged 85 years and over.
  • Microdata: Multipurpose Household Survey, Expanded CURF, Australia, 2007-08 (cat. no. 4100.0.55.001) provides statistics on two topics: Household Use of Information Technology, and Environmental Views and Behaviour. Age is in single years from 15-84 years and top-coded for those aged 85 years and over.
  • Microdata: Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation, Expanded CURF, Australia, Apr to Jul 2007 contains variables from the Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation 2007 master file at the unit record level.

National Statistical Service

The National Statistical Service (NSS) is the community of government agencies building a rich statistical picture for a better informed Australia. It aims to develop and improve a statistical system that ensures providers and users of statistics have the confidence to trust the statistics produced within it. Information about statistical references and resources, links to NSS newsletters, and dates for the National Statistical Seminar Series can all be found on the NSS website at http://www.nss.gov.au.