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In This Issue
Welcome to the second release of the 'What's New in Regional Statistics' newsletter!
A lot has happened since the last release of this newsletter. In this issue we provide information on some of these developments, including the Review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification, the release of additional 2006 Census data and planning and consultation commencing on content and procedures for the 2011 Census.
In the meantime, work is continuing on updating and improving the National Regional Profile (NRP) due for release in February 2008. The NRP is a key output of the Rural and Regional Statistics Program which brings together a range of ABS and non-ABS data available at the small area level for regions across Australia.
I trust that you will find this newsletter useful and we welcome your feedback and comments.
Future Directions of the ABS
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Forward Work Program detailing directions for the next three years was released on 22 August 2007.
This work program is established in the context of the ABS mission to 'assist and encourage informed decision making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by leading a high quality, objective and responsible national statistical service'.
Key strategic directions for the 2007-08 to 2009-10 reference period include:
For further information on these and other priorities refer to Forward Work Program, 2007-08 to 2009-10 (cat. no. 1006.0).
Subscribe to our free email notification service on the ABS website to receive notifications of the release of the 'What's New in Regional Statistics' newsletter. By subscribing you can also choose to receive news about other ABS releases.
National Regional Profile
The fourth edition of the National Regional Profile (NRP) is due for release in late February 2008. This edition spans the years 2002 to 2006 with data based on the geographical boundaries described in the 2006 edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC).
The NRP provides a brief statistical summary of key economic and social information for various levels of the ASGC including Statistical Local Areas and Local Government Areas (LGAs) making the NRP a useful tool for users of small area data. Data are provided in the NRP from a variety of ABS and non-ABS sources covering: population characteristics, births and deaths, unemployment, taxable income, wage and salary earners, building approvals and motor vehicle sales etc., enabling users to obtain a snapshot of selected characteristics of a local area or to compare the same characteristics across areas.
Improvements in the February 2008 release
The upcoming release of the NRP will feature a number of improvements on the current edition (released in late 2006) including:
As 2006 was a Census year, recently released Census data will also be included in the upcoming release of the NRP. Along with the traditional Census data items such as occupation, households and families, this edition of the NRP will include data on unpaid work, access to the internet and the mobility of the population.
Data in the fourth edition will again be presented in three main formats: as Summary pages, Excel spreadsheets and Supertable cubes.
For further information on the National Regional Profile please email: email@example.com.
2006 Census Data - second release
Developing the picture of our nation
The ABS second release of Census data have now been published. This allows users access to an even greater amount of free data on-line. This latest Census release includes data on topics such as:
There are a number of means of accessing the latest Census data and discovering information on-line about your local community and the people of Australia. You can search for data based primarily on your selected location or topic, or you can access data through one of the following products:
A number of additional products containing Census data are expected to be released in the first half of 2008. Refer to the 2006 Census: New Product Briefs for further information.
Note: If the Census information you require is not available as a standard product or service, the ABS also offers a Consultancy Service that can help you with customised services to suit your needs. A fee applies for this service.
2006 Census Products: Community Profiles
As mentioned, a number of 2006 Census Products have now been released by the ABS. This article focuses on one of these products - the 'Community Profile Series'.
There are six types of profiles within the Community Profile Series which are aimed at providing key Census characteristics relating to persons, families and dwellings and cover most topics on the Census form. These profiles are freely available online and are an economical way of obtaining a comprehensive statistical picture or for comparing different areas or different population groups.
The six profiles within the Community Profile Series include:
Basic Community Profile
Consists of 45 tables containing key Census characteristics on persons, families and dwellings.
Place of Enumeration Profile
Consists of 42 tables. Provides data on where people were counted on Census night rather than where they 'usually' live or their 'usual address'.
Consists of 34 tables containing key Census characteristics of Indigenous persons and households with some comparison with the non-Indigenous population.
Time Series Profile
Consists of 25 tables. Data is based on place of enumeration (not place of usual residence). Compares data from the 1996, 2001 and 2006 Censuses and is based on 2006 Statistical Local Area boundaries.
Expanded Community Profile
Consists of 42 tables. Contains more detailed versions of the standard Basic Community Profile tables, plus additional tables relating to relationships within a family, living costs and dwelling structures.
Working Population Profile
Second release data due: 29 February 2008. Contains 22 tables providing a range of data on the working population including how many people work full or part-time, incomes, which occupations utilise the internet and how people travel to work.
Templates for each of these profiles are available on the ABS web site.
Using the Basic Community Profile
Here is an example of some of the data that are available from the 45 tables contained in the Basic Community Profile.
The Augusta-Margaret River Statistical Local Area (SLA) has been selected for the location through the 'Search' option. In the table below, information has been obtained on internal migration using the second release data, extracted from table 36.
Migration (internal) for the Augusta-Margaret River SLA
2011 Census - Your chance to have a say
While more new and exciting products and services continue to be delivered from the 2006 Census, the ABS is already turning its attention to the next Census to be conducted in 2011.
The Census is the largest statistical collection undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and one of the most important.
Following the release of the Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing: ABS Views on Content and procedures, 2011 (cat. no. 2007.0) released on 26 October 2007, the ABS intends to conduct user and public consultations on the procedures and content of the next Census.
Some of the areas that the ABS are inviting public comment on are:
The ABS also wishes to inform users of current developments and seeks further information on a number of topics under review, including: internal migration, Australian citizenship, income (including family and household income), second residence, second job, and journey (and mode of travel) to educational institutions.
Demand for additional topics (and the expansion of existing topics) on the Census form remains high, and decisions regarding which topics to include will be carefully considered and extensively tested to satisfy user demand while balancing respondent burden and maintaining data quality.
Making a submission
Users of Census data, small area data and interested members of the public are invited to make submissions on any aspect of the Census by 31 March 2008. Submissions can be lodged either on-line, by email or in hardcopy. Guidelines for making a submission and submission forms are available at www.abs.gov.au/2011censusviews.
For further information on the review process refer to the Information Paper, Census of Population and Housing: ABS Views on Content and Procedures, 2011 (cat. no. 2007.0).
Australian Standard Geographical Classification
The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) is in wide use both within and outside the ABS for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics. The introduction of mesh blocks has prompted a review of the ASGC. Mesh blocks are a spatial unit containing a relatively small number (between thirty and sixty) of households and can be used as a building block for, or to approximate, larger geographic areas.
The aim of this review is to create a new Australian statistical geography that better meets the contemporary needs of users and addresses some of the shortcomings of the ASGC. It is expected that data from the 2011 Census will be disseminated based on the new geography.
The major problems with the current ASGC include:
Scope of the Review
This review includes all units and structures of the ASGC with the exception of the Remoteness Structure and the structures defining Urban and Rural (Urban Centres and Localities, and Section of State). The definition of Rural and Urban will be the subject of a further review in 2008.
The ASGC review commenced in late 2006, when the ABS convened the ASGC Review Committee. After considerable consultations the information paper referred to below was produced. Further consultation, by way of a call for written submissions, closed in early October 2007. The ASGC Review Committee is currently in the process of considering and preparing a final proposal and report for consideration by the ABS.
For further information refer to the Information paper, Review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 1216.0.55.001) that was released in August 2007.
Patterns of Internet Access in Australia
The publication Patterns of Internet Access in Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 8146.0.55.001) was released on 29 November 2007. This publication is based on internet access data available from the 2006 Census.
The availability of these data enables a better understanding of the patterns of internet access across Australia and provides the most detailed information available on the profile of access in Australia by geographic spread.
Key findings in this publication include:
This publication also illustrates the patterns of internet access across each state and territory by Collection District, the smallest spatial unit in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification. This publication also includes selected analysis at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) level.
The following tables show the SLAs with the highest and lowest rates of persons having access to broadband in Australia. These tables show the highest and lowest rates for both SLAs in capital cities and also for SLAs in the rest of the state/territory.
Note: a small number of SLAs have been excluded from these tables where the population of these SLAs is too small to enable comparisons with the majority of SLAs in Australia. Refer to the publication for further details.
Regional Statistics: Highlighting the Northern Territory
The recently released publication titled Regional Statistics, Northern Territory, 2007 (cat. no. 1362.7) released on 31 October 2007, presents a statistical summary of key economic and social information for the Northern Territory (NT) as a whole and various selected regions within it. It contains both current and historical data which is drawn from both Australian Bureau of Statistics and non-ABS sources including: the Australian Tax Office, Territory Housing, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations' and the NT Department of Health and Community Services. All areas referred to below are Statistical Subdivisions (SSDs), except for Groote Eylandt which is an island in the East Arnhem SSD.
This latest edition forms a key part of the ABS' strategy to improve the availability and range of regional statistical information. Its purpose is to give users an overview of the social, economic and environmental characteristics of the NT and its regions. Following are a few highlights from the publication.
Children and Youth Statistical Portal
The Children and Youth Statistical Portal provides access to an electronic catalogue of children and youth statistical information resources and a discussion forum to provide a space where the community of children and youth statistics users can identify and discuss relevant issues. The forum is publicly available, and posts are moderated prior to being made public. Contributions to the forum are encouraged to help shape the forum into a valuable community tool.
The Information paper: Improving Statistics on Children and Youth - An Information Development Plan, 2006 (cat. no. 4907.0) released on December 2006, sets the framework for custodians to consider which information resources are most relevant to children and youth research, and hence guides initial contributions to the Portal.
Information in the portal is provided by the ABS as well as other government and private sector sources as well agencies such as: the Health Insurance Commission, the Australian Drug Foundation, Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Institute of Criminology, the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.
Seeking collaborative partners
The ABS is seeking collaborative partners to add to the information resources that can be located through the Portal. The ABS is also consulting with a range of agencies across jurisdictions that are active within the children and youth sphere so that the development of the Portal and the National Data Network generally will meet their statistical and data management needs.
Recent and Upcoming Releases
Planning for Business, 2007 (cat. no. 1391.0.55.001) was released 26 October 2007. Planning for Business is the first of a planned series of products which will provide case studies to demonstrate how statistics can be used to inform a range of decisions including: locating potential clients, targeting promotions, improving your marketing strategy.
Agricultural Commodities: Small Area Data, Australia (cat. no. 7125.0) is due for release 21 January 2008. This electronic product enables clients to compare agricultural commodities across small geographic areas within each state. It contains annual estimates for all commodities for Statistical Divisions and five-yearly Agricultural Census data for selected commodities for Statistical Local Areas.
Water Use on Australian Farms, 2005-06 Final (cat. no. 4618.0) is due for release March 2008. Included in this issue are data on the type and area of crops irrigated, volume of water applied, and the sources of water used in agriculture. Data are available for each state and Statistical Division.
The ABS is planning to host a conference, to be called NatStat Conference 08, tentatively scheduled for November 2008. NatStat Conference 08 will provide a unique opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss strategies for measuring the progress of Australian society and improving national statistics. The broad theme for the conference will be: 'NatStat Conference 08: Working together for a better informed and performed Australian Society.'
'What's new in Regional Statistics' is produced by the Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre in Adelaide. The newsletter has been prepared as part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Regional Statistics Program, to improve the availability of regional and small area data by leading the development of regional statistics and coordinating their dissemination. More information is available on the ABS Regional Statistics Theme Page.
If you would like further information, please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send your comments or queries regarding this newsletter to email@example.com.
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