1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
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Year Book Australia provides a comprehensive overview of the economic, social and environmental conditions of contemporary Australia. It is a statistically-oriented publication with sufficient background information to establish a context for the statistics and to assist in understanding and interpreting them.

The source of many of the statistics are surveys and other collections conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the national statistical agency that produces the Year Book. However, a great deal of information is contributed by other, predominantly Australian Government, organisations. The official nature of the contributors to the Year Book ensures a high degree of objectivity and reliability in the picture presented of contemporary Australia.

This edition, the 92nd, is the latest in a long series of editions extending back to the first in 1908. They provide a valuable source of information on the state of Australia at any point during this period.

Statistics contained in this edition are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. On the ABS website, readers can browse tables, time series spreadsheets, data cubes, information papers, associated products and media releases that relate to topics covered in the Year Book, and download the information at no cost.

Finding information

The contents pages at the beginning of the Year Book provide a guide to the broad subjects contained in each chapter. The index assists in locating information on more specific subjects. A list of articles from the previous ten editions is located at the end of this edition.

Tables, graphs and other figures are numbered and text is cross-referenced, as necessary, to the table, graph or other figure to which it relates.

Further information

While the statistics and descriptive information contained in the Year Book provide a comprehensive overview of Australia, they represent only a small part of the statistics and other information available. The Year Book is aimed primarily at providing a ready and convenient source of reference, both to those familiar and unfamiliar with a particular subject. In other words, because of the range of subjects, and limitations on the size of the Year Book, it aims at breadth rather than depth of information.

For those requiring information in greater depth, the Year Book serves as a directory to more detailed sources, with the source shown for each statistical table, graph and other figure. Where the ABS is the source, the title and catalogue number of the relevant product are quoted. For other sources, the name of the organisation is shown, and the product title where appropriate. Relevant ABS and other products, together with a selection of websites, are listed at the end of each chapter.

As well as the information included in this Year Book and available on the ABS website, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Charges are generally made for such information. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

Annual reports of government departments and agencies also provide a valuable source of more detailed information on subjects covered in the Year Book.

For a variety of reasons, it is not possible for all statistics in the Year Book to relate to the latest or same year. Readers wishing to obtain or clarify the latest available statistics should contact the relevant source or website.

Reference to the national government

Australia has a federal system of government comprising a national government, and the governments of the six states and two territories. In Year Book Australia 2012, the national government is generally referred to as either ‘the Australian Government’ or ‘the Commonwealth Government’. On occasions, the shortened term ‘the Commonwealth’ or ‘the Government’ is used when referring to the national government.

Reference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

In Year Book Australia 2012, the term ‘Indigenous’ is now only used where it is part of an organisation name or a title. The preferred term, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, has been used in other situations.

Reference to countries

The appropriate edition of the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) (1269.0) has generally been used to describe countries where it is clear that the country so described is equivalent to that shown in the original data source. In some cases, contributing organisations prefer to use other nomenclature, in which case their usage has been preserved.

Symbols and abbreviations

The following symbols and abbreviations are shown in tables, graphs and diagrams:

$’000thousand dollars
$mmillion dollars
$bbillion dollars
nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
. .not applicable
^estimate has a relative standard error of between 10% and 25% and should be used with caution
*estimate has a relative standard error of between 25% and 50% and should be used with caution
**estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
Cdegrees Celsius
ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ANZSCOAustralian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification
ANZSOCAustralian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification
ATOAustralian Tax Office
COAGCouncil of Australian Governments
CO2–ecarbon dioxide equivalent
COFCconsumption of fixed capital
EDReconomic demonstrated resources
e.g.for example
ERPestimated resident population
EVAOestimated value of agricultural operations
FTEfull-time equivalent
GDPgross domestic product
GFSgovernment finance statistics
GOSgross operating surplus
GSTgoods and services tax
GVAgross value added
i.e.that is
IPDimplicit price deflators
IVAindustry value added
kbpskilobits per second
m2square metre
m3cubic metre
Mbpsmegabits per second
Mc million carats
MFPmultifactor productivity
Mm3million cubic metres
nanot available
n.e.c.not elsewhere classified
n.e.s.not elsewhere specified
n.f.d.not further defined
NDPnet domestic product
n.i.e.not included elsewhere
NIPINDNational Income and Production Industry Classification
NOSnet operating surplus
npnot available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
nyanot yet available
OPBToperating profit before tax
ppreliminary figure or series subject to revision
p.a. per annum
PAYGPay As You Go
PJ petajoule
R&Dresearch and experimental development
SARspecial administrative region
SDRstandardised death rate
SITCStandard International Trade Classification
SLAstatistical local area
sq kmsquare kilometre

Abbreviations may be used for the following Australian states and territories:

NSWNew South Wales
SASouth Australia
WAWestern Australia
NTNorthern Territory
ACTAustralian Capital Territory

Yearly periods shown, for example, as 2011, generally refer to the year ended 31 December 2011. Those shown, for example, as 2010–11, generally refer to the year ended 30 June 2011. Other yearly periods are specifically indicated. The range of years shown in the table headings, for example, 1901 to 2004, indicates the period covered, but does not necessarily imply that each intervening year is included or that the yearly period has remained the same throughout the series.

Values are shown in Australian currency unless another currency is specified.

Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

Comments from readers
The ABS endeavours to keep the balance of the contents of the Year Book in line with the ever-changing nature of the nation. For this reason, comments on the adequacy and balance of the contents of the Year Book are welcomed and should be directed to the attention of the Editor of the Year Book, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Locked Bag 10, Belconnen ACT 2616.


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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.