Year Book Australia is the principal reference work produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It provides a comprehensive and detailed statistical overview of various aspects of the economy and social conditions in Australia. In addition, it contains descriptive matter dealing with Australia’s government, international relations, defence, social security, geography and climate.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and its predecessor, the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics (CBCS), have been providing a statistical service to the Australian, state and territory governments and to the Australian community for 100 years.
The first Official Year Book of the Commonwealth was published in 1908, although individual Australian states and colonies had been producing year books for several decades previously.
In recent years, Year Books have had an underlying theme for the articles contained within. This 87th edition of Year Book Australia has a number of articles which mark the centenary of the national statistical service, including a feature article which traces the development of the CBCS and the ABS over the past 100 years. Other articles look at the history of some of the agency's major collections, including the population census and retail/consumer price indexes, and at some of the important uses made of ABS statistics in public administration. The opportunity is also taken in this edition of Year Book Australia to provide, where available, lengthy time series of key economic and demographic statistics, often stretching back 100 years.
The statistics contained in this edition are the most recent available at the time of its preparation. In many cases, the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au> and the web sites of other organisations provide access to more recent statistics. The ABS Catalogue of Publications and Products (1101.0) lists all current publications of the ABS.
Further information on the operations of government and non-government organisations referred to in this edition of the Year Book, including their administrative and legislative background, may be obtained from their individual web sites, the addresses of which are provided throughout and at the end of chapters of the Year Book.
ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated.
Particular thanks and appreciation are extended to those Australian Government and other organisations which have kindly supplied material for inclusion in this edition of Year Book Australia.
I also take the opportunity to extend my thanks to the many ABS staff who contributed to the preparation and production of Year Book Australia 2005.
Australian Bureau of Statistics