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The material presented in Australian Social Trends 2006 is organised into nine chapters. As in previous editions, each of the first seven chapters represents a major area of social concern (i.e. population, family and community, health, education and training, work, economic resources, and housing), with an eighth chapter covering other areas of concern (e.g. crime and justice, culture and leisure, and the environment). The ninth chapter provides international comparisons for a number of these areas. Australian Social Trends also contains an introduction which is designed to further explain the rationale behind the publication and describe its main aims and features.
The opportunity has been taken to present some articles which expand and update analysis of topics examined in previous editions using the most recently available data. For example, in this edition, such articles cover government and non-government schooling, migrants' labour force participation and the environmental impact of household energy use. There are also articles on topics of interest not previously examined, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, community participation of people with a disability, the distribution and composition of household wealth, and mortality improvements among people in their 50s. The number of articles listed in the cumulative index now comes to over 400, published across all 13 editions.
The national and state summary tables which present key social indicators in each of the seven major areas of social concern have been updated, as have the tables comparing Australia with major OECD countries, our closest neighbours, and our trading partners.
I would like to thank the people throughout the ABS who compiled, wrote and edited Australian Social Trends 2006, and Francis Mitrou, David Lawrence (Curtin University of Technology), John De Maio (Telethon Institute of Child Health Research) and the Western Australian Aboriginal and Child Health Survey team who authored an article for the Education and training chapter. I would also like to thank reviewers from a range of Australian government agencies and departments who gave their time and expertise, and various organisations that assisted in other ways by providing data and advice, in particular the Department of Education, Science and Training.
The ABS welcomes readers' suggestions on how the publication could be improved. To convey your views or to ask for more information, please contact the Director of Social Analysis and Reporting at the address below.
Australian Bureau of Statistics