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ABS releases latest social trends in Australia
The annual snapshot of Australian society released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics presents a complex and revealing picture of the way we are and how we are set for on-going social change into the next century.
Australian Social Trends 1999 reports that:
Baby-boomers projected to have strong impact on ageing trend: As the youngest of the baby-boom generation turn 65 in 2031, the proportion of the population aged 65 and over is projected to reach between 21% and 22%, up from 12% in 1997.
Our standard working week is disappearing: The proportion of employed people working 35-44 hours a week fell from 42% to 36% between 1988 and 1998. At the same time, the proportions who worked longer hours and shorter hours both increased.
Men and women in the job market: In September 1998, among people aged 15-64 years not fully employed, there were more women than men wanting work - 1.2 million women compared to 909,000 men. However, among those wanting work, a lower proportion of women were actively looking for work. With many in part-time jobs underemployment is an issue.
Older jobseekers find it harder in the marketplace: Older jobseekers (aged 45-59) are less successful in obtaining work than younger jobseekers. Jobs they do find are more likely to be part-time or casual, and low-paid.
Older people spend a lot of time alone: In 1997, 32% of people aged 65 years and over lived alone. On average, these people spent nearly 12 and a half hours per day (79% of their waking time) alone.
Mum still looks after the children when both parents work: In families where both parents worked full-time, mothers spent about twice as much time as fathers on child care in 1997 (about 4 hours for mothers and 2 hours for fathers). Women also did more of the domestic work, even when they were working similar hours to their partners.
Almost half of Australians gamble: Of adults (18 years and over) surveyed in 1996/97 almost half (46%) had participated in some form of legalised gambling in the previous week.
Information technology comes home: The use of information technology in the home is rapidly increasing. Between 1994 and 1998 the proportion of all households with a computer rose from 29% to 47%. Between 1996 and 1998 the proportion with access to the internet rose from 4% to 19%.
We love to watch television in our free time: In 1997, Australians enjoyed an average of over five hours of free time per day. The most popular free-time activities were watching TV and videos; socialising and talking; listening to the radio and reading.
Our inner cities are home to more people: Inner cities are becoming more popular places to live and have appeal for relatively young, financially advantaged adults seeking to live close to work and entertainment.
Further details are in Australian Social Trends 1999 (cat. no. 4102.0) available from ABS bookshops in capital cities. More information about this publication is available from this site.
ATTENTION: Feature Editors, Program Producers
SOCIAL TRENDS HAS A LOT OF GOOD STORIES
Australian Social Trends contains a wealth of excellent feature material that draws on the latest sources of social, labour and demographic data from the ABS and other official sources and is a good ongoing source of stories. This year's edition presents fresh analysis on current social issues including:
Our ageing population - discusses past and projected population trends (in particular, the post-war baby-boom generation), and possible implications for Australian society.
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