Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate this page
ABS Home
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
Newsletters - Age Matters - Issue Number 15, November 2005



Queensland Baby Boomers: A Profile of Persons born 1946-1965
2006 Census - Proposed Products and Services
Did you know?
Where you can find us


Welcome to the final Age Matters newsletter for 2005. Next year we will be adopting a slightly different timetable for the newsletter, with the first 2006 issue due out at the end of January. Issues will continue to be released on a two monthly basis.

This year has been a busy one for the ABS and for NASU. Some key activities of the ABS this year have been the preparations for next year's Census on August 8th and the development of the National Statistical Service. The Queensland Office of the ABS recently moved to new premises at 639 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley. Most Queensland contact numbers have mainly remained unchanged although the NASU fax number is different. You will see that it now has an (02) prefix as it is now managed electronically.

NASU has focused this year on preparatory work for the development of an Information Development Plan and a consultation process will commence early in the New Year. Information Development Plans (IDPs) are living documents that map the broad issues and data needs for a given field to the available data sources in order to determine data gaps, deficiencies and overlaps. They provide a framework for the systematic improvement, integration and use of data resources by prioritising data development and data improvement through an agreed action plan. There will be opportunities to contribute to the consultation process by the completion of a questionnaire which will be placed on the web site at the same time as the January newsletter.

This issue includes excerpts from Profile on Queensland Baby Boomers prepared by the ABS and the Queensland Government's Office of Economic and Statistical Research (cat. no. 4149.3). and a preview of the proposed products and services of 2006 Census output. We welcome your feedback on the newsletter and the articles. Feedback can be provided via either of the two email addresses below.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a safe, happy and healthy Christmas and look forward to continuing to work with you in 2006.

Mae Mulheran

Back to top


The publication Queensland Baby Boomers: A Profile of Persons born 1946-1965 - (cat. no. 4149.3) analyses a range of issues relating to Queensland's baby boomers using both ABS and non-ABS data. A brief synopsis of each chapter is provided below.

Since the early 1960s, baby boomers have been a significant group in Queensland's population. They are expected to continue having a substantial impact on the composition of the state's population in the future, giving rise to new challenges for government, business and community services.

Chapter 2 examines the impact of the baby boomers on the profile and distribution of the Queensland population in the past, present and future. It examines the 2001 profile of baby boomers in the state's population and the cohort's geographical distribution throughout the state. This chapter compares Indigenous baby boomers with non-Indigenous baby boomers. Interstate and intrastate migration patterns are also examined.

Baby boomers are tracked from 1961 to 2001, showing the increase in the number of baby boomers and comparing them as a proportion of the population at specific points in time. Population projections to 2051 demonstrate how baby boomers will continue to impact on Queensland's population as they age. Population age by sex profiles graphically show the progression through the population distribution of the baby boomers from their early years in 1961 to 2001 and their projected profiles to 2051.

Cultural diversity
Overseas migration has had a major effect on Queensland's population size and composition from its earliest settlement. In 1901, 35% of Queenslanders were born overseas, predominantly in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe. By 2001, 17% of Queensland's population were born overseas, while 23% of total baby boomers were born overseas.

Chapter 3 examines the characteristics of overseas-born baby boomers. Characteristics examined include country of origin, age profile, year of arrival in Australia, languages spoken and proficiency in English. Overseas-born baby boomers are compared with their Australian-born counterparts in terms of household tenure, income and education. This chapter also looks at other aspects of cultural diversity for all baby boomers, including ancestry and religious affiliation.

Families and care
Families are the basic unit of home life for most people and provide supportive relationships, companionship and assistance and support, especially as people grow older. In 2003, over half (52%) of the 1,068 million families in Queensland were baby boomer families. The majority of the baby boomer families were couples with children (57%), while 30% were couples without children and 13% were lone-parent families. The proportions of baby boomer families as couples without children and lone-person households are expected to rise. These changes will affect the demand for family and community resources and will be important considerations in policy and program development.

Chapter 4 examines the living arrangements of baby boomers. It looks at the proportion of baby boomers that live in various types of family and non-family households and presents projections of their living arrangements in 2026. The chapter also looks at the registered and social marital status of baby boomers, and the role of carers of people who are frail, aged or have a disability.

People live in different types of houses according to their age and circumstances. In 2001, 87% of Queensland baby boomers were living in separate houses. Housing is an important issue for baby boomers as they are likely to make decisions over the next two decades about their retirement, based on factors such as their current housing arrangements and housing costs.

Chapter 5 examines the type of dwellings baby boomers live in, tenure type, dwelling size and condition, home value and equity, and propensity to move. It also compares the housing characteristics of baby boomers with other age groups and examines regional differences in baby boomers' housing.

Education and training
Education and training are recognised as giving people the skills and knowledge for entry into and advancement through the workforce. Baby boomers had greater access to formal education than preceding generations. In 2001, 40% of baby boomers held non-school education qualifications.

Chapter 6 examines the level of school and non-school education attained by Queensland baby boomers and compares these with other age groups. The education achievements of the baby boomer cohort are tracked from 1981 to 2001 to assess their contribution over time. Other characteristics examined include fields of study and future study intentions. This chapter also examines training undertaken by baby boomers, including numbers and areas of training, perceived effectiveness of training and barriers to study and training.

An individual's health status is determined by a complex interaction of social, economic, environmental, behavioural and genetic factors. The life expectancy of Queenslanders is among the highest in the world and this together with declining fertility rates has led to an ageing of the population. As the baby boomer cohort begins to move into the older age groups, there will be a greater number and proportion of the population living into old age with a range of support needs.

Chapter 7 examines baby boomers' health status (self-assessed and reported) and discusses a range of health risk factors that have been associated with preventable and chronic illnesses. These include cigarette smoking, consumption of alcohol at levels considered at risk for health, limited physical activity, poor nutrition and being overweight. This chapter also examines health related actions, health care costs and the coverage rates of private health insurance.

Community life
The level of a person's interaction with their community is an indicator of their social wellbeing. The average baby boomer spent nearly four hours a day on recreation and leisure in 1997. A large proportion of baby boomers also visited cinemas, libraries, botanic gardens and other venues. In 2000, 38% of baby boomers were involved in voluntary work through an organisation or group. The way baby boomers are involved in community life is expected to change as they grow older and retire.

Chapter 8 examines how baby boomers use their time, their involvement in voluntary work, and their level of family and community support. The chapter looks at what they do for recreation and leisure, what types of cultural venues they attend and how much they spend on recreation. It also looks at baby boomers' perceptions of crime in the community, whether they have been a victim of crime themselves, the availability of transport and how they travel to work, and the extent to which they use computers and the Internet.

Income and wealth
The amount of income earned largely influences the standard of living of individuals and households. Wealth and income are closely related as income not spent on current consumption allows the accumulation of wealth. Income levels vary across a person's life cycle and may be affected by a range of events and circumstances, e.g. illness, participation in the labour force and family situation. The amount of wealth, in particular superannuation, together with the capacity to access government benefits will be a major factor influencing the retirement decisions of baby boomers and their wellbeing in retirement.

Chapter 9 examines the level and distribution of income and wealth of Queensland's baby boomers and compares them with that of other age groups. This chapter also examines retirement intentions of baby boomers as well as looking at the amount of superannuation held by baby boomers who are yet to retire from the workforce.

The changing age structure of the population will have implications for the growth of the Queensland economy in the decades ahead. The future pace of economic growth depends on the rate at which the workforce grows and on the growth of output per worker. Almost half of Queensland's labour force are baby boomers. The older baby boomers are already approaching or have reached retirement age. As more baby boomers retire from the labour force, one of the challenges for government and business will be to maintain a viable labour market.

Chapter 10 examines the baby boomer cohort and its place in the Queensland labour force. The labour force characteristics of the baby boomers including their type of employment and working patterns are discussed. A section on job mobility analyses the length of time baby boomers have worked in their main job and the extent that employment factors influenced their moving house. An examination of the occupations and industries in which baby boomers are employed concludes the chapter.

Back to top


The Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing - Proposed Products and Services (cat. no. 2011.0 ) which was released on 6 September 2005, contains proposed 2006 Census products and services including details of internet, printed and CD-ROM products as well as the proposed range of customised data services available.

1. Internet Products and Services
a) Quickstats is a summary of key Census and non Census data relating to persons, families and dwellings. The data displayed covers a range of social, economic and demographic statistics, and includes a benchmark feature and top responses for a selection of variables.

b) Quickmaps provides a quick and easy access to thematically mapped Census statistics for larger geographies and will depict selected population and dwelling characteristics. The maps will contain minimal area features but will include main roads, airports and selected name labels to assist with identification of an area.

c) Census Topics provides data in the form of a single table, on a particular subject. Each of the available tables contain key Census characteristics of persons, families and dwellings to assist in researching, planning and analysing topical issues. Tables will be sourced from the 2006 Community Profile tables and the Census Classification Counts.

d) Census Tables contain key Census characteristics of persons, families and dwellings, covering most topics on the Census form. These tables are designed to assist in researching, planning and analysing geographic areas, enabling comparisons to be made between different areas on a number of social, economic and demographic variables.

e) Community Profile Series contains six separate profiles aimed at providing key Census characteristics relating to persons, families and dwellings and covering most topics on the Census form. They enable comparisons to be made between different geographic areas on a number of social, economic and demographic variables.

The profiles which will be available for the 2006 Census are:

    Basic Usual Residence Profile (URP)
    Basic Place of Enumeration Profile (PEP)
    Indigenous Profile (IP)
    Time Series Profile (TSP)
    Expanded Community Profile (XCP)
    Working Population Profile (WPP).

Full details of the profiles can be found in the Information Paper.

f) Detailed Area Data
All Census geographies will be available to clients. Clients will have the use of a sophisticated mapping tool to allow them to identify and select geographical areas of interest. The size of the spatial units selected will dictate the level of detail available for tables across the range of topics, with more detail available for more populous geographies and will provide a moderate level of flexibility by allowing the choice of a selected number of cross-classified variables for each topic chosen.

Detailed Area Data provides instant access to the latest figures on Australian society - age, education, housing, income, transport, religion, ethnicity, occupation and more, from a single Collection District (CD) to an entire state/territory or for Australia.

g) Table Builder is a product aimed at experienced Census data users. It will allow clients to design and populate their own tables of Census data via an interactive web interface, using a database containing the Census 2006 unit record file. Table Builder will be available via the ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) portal. Training and support will be provided for this product by the ABS.

2. CD-ROM Products
a) Census Basics is a CD-ROM product containing 2006 Census community profile data down to CD level, and digital boundaries in generic formats.
b) Census Profiles and Maps, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 4706.0.30.001) will contain Indigenous Census profiles for Australia, states and territories, Indigenous Regions and Indigenous Areas as defined in the Australian Indigenous Geographic Classification.

3. Socio-economic Indexes for Areas 2006 (SEIFA 2006) is a product for those interested in measuring the social and economic conditions of Australian communities. The ABS has developed indexes to allow ranking and comparison of areas, based on their relative social and economic wellbeing.

4. Household Sample File (HSF) contains a sample of unidentifiable records for private dwellings and associated persons, and for persons in non-private dwellings. The release of the 2006 HSF will allow researchers to undertake detailed analyses and use them in conjunction with the Community Profiles to explore the statistical relationships of the issue under investigation.

5. Publications
The following publications will also be produced
    Thematic Publications which will present data on a particular theme with a substantial amount of analysis and commentary on the data presented.
    The Statistician's Report will be re-introduced for the 2006 Census and is a national compendium publication containing key Census information relating to persons, families and households.
    The Social Atlas series (cat. no. 2030.1-8) will consist of one publication for each state and territory. For 2006 the publications will be expanded to include key social, demographic and economic information on each state and territory as well as each capital city in Australia.
    The Census of Population and Housing: Population Growth and Distribution, Australia (cat. no. 2036.0) publication will examine the demographic changes that have taken place in Australia from 2001 to 2006. It will focus on the growth, location and mobility of the population at the national, state and regional levels.
    Estimated Resident Population publications (two) will be released providing the official ABS estimate of the Australian population.
    Australian Demographic Statistics - 2006 Census Edition, December Quarter 2006 will provide preliminary state and territory ERP at 31 December 2006 and preliminary state and territory ERP by five year age groups and sex at 30 June 2006 based on the 2006 Census.
    Regional Population Growth - 2006 Census Edition, June 2001 and June 2006 will provide the preliminary ERP person totals at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) and Local Government Area (LGA) levels for all of Australia at 30 June 2006 based on the 2006 Census.
    Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 4705.0) will contain 2006 Census counts of the Indigenous Australian population for small areas and regions, and at the state, territory and Australia level.
    Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 4713.0) will be published for Australia, and will contain data on Indigenous people on a variety of topics including: population growth and distribution; families and housing; education; employment; income and language.

6) Customised Data Services
Where users' specialised information needs cannot be met by standard publications or products, customised data services are available through the ABS' Information Consultancy Service. For detailed census statistics or other ABS information (ph: 1300 135 070) or e-mail

Information Consultancy operates on a fee for service basis. Customised tables, geographic data (profiles) and mapping services will be available using 2006 Census data. .

The Advance Ordering Service provides an opportunity for users to specify tables before the processing of the Census commences, reducing the delay between data release and access to specialised cross-classifications. Some clients may prefer Table Builder (see Internet Products and Services section) as a means of generating their own customised tables.

Back to top


1351.0.55.006 Research Paper: Small Area Estimation of Disability in Australia
In Australia, as in many countries, there has been a rapidly growing demand from policy makers for social and economic small area data to satisfy expanding decision-making requirements. In response, the ABS has produced a series of manuals on the theory, application and processes for producing small area statistics in the Australian context. The main purpose of this paper is to discuss a range of methodological approaches undertaken in the application of existing small area methods to the topic of disability. A set of diagnostic measures are used to assess the relative quality of the small area estimates produced by a selection of models. The results presented in this paper are still preliminary and for this reason includes a discussion on the priorities for future work to improve on these models.

1351.0.55.007 Research Paper: Beyond GDP: Measures of Economic, Social and Environmental Progress
This paper was presented at the December 2004 ANZSEE/CofFEE conference (A Future that Works - Economics, Employment and the Environment) held in Newcastle, Australia. The paper describes how the demand for measures of national progress culminated in the development of a new ABS major publication in 2002 Measuring Australia's Progress (MAP). MAP is built around 15 headline indicators that span Australia's economy, society and environment, and is designed to allow readers to make their own assessment about whether life in Australia is getting better. A second issue,now called Measures of Australia's Progress was released in 2004 and updated summary indicators were released to the ABS web site in April 2005.

1351.0.55.008 Research Paper: Collaborating with Civil Society: Reflections from Australia
This paper was presented at the 2004 OECD World Forum on Key Indicators in Palermo, Italy. The paper discusses the role civil society has played in developing three significant, but rather different, indicator initiatives in Australia: Measures of Australia's Progress; the Victorian State Government's Growing Victoria Together; and the Tasmanian State Government's Tasmania Together. The paper reflects on the style of collaboration that works best between governments and civil societies. The paper also discusses indicators of progress in the areas of social cohesion and governance, democracy and citizenship: areas, which are intimately related to the health of our civil society.

1351.0.55.009 Research Paper: Comparison of Methods for Measuring the Age of Withdrawal from the Labour Force
Over one-third of the Australian population is currently aged 45-84 years and this proportion is expected to rise over time. This has created concern about the age at which people are withdrawing from the labour force and starting their retirement. Despite the importance of this issue, there is a lack of consensus in the literature about which method should be used to measure the age of withdrawal from the labour force. This paper explores the use of three summary methods for calculating the age of withdrawal from the labour force. Two of these methods estimate the 'expected' age of withdrawal, while the third method estimates the 'average' age of withdrawal. Each method has it's own advantages and disadvantages which need to be considered in the context of the specific research question and available data sources.

1382.0 Informing a Nation: the Evolution of the Australian Bureau of Statistics
Informing a Nation: the Evolution of the Australian Bureau of Statistics is a history of the Australian Bureau of Statistics and its predecessor the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. It covers the period from 1905 to the present day. The publication is organised thematically and includes chapters on subject areas such as economic statistics, the census, social statistics, prices statistics, methodology and technology in the Bureau, international relations, the Bureau's clients and dissemination, and the culture of the Bureau. As well as the written history, the publication presents a pictorial history of the work of the Bureau and its staff over the last century.

3101.0 Australian Demographic Statistics
Quarterly estimates of total population for states, territories and Australia. Includes the most recent estimates of the population in five-year age groups; numbers (and some rates) of births, deaths, infant deaths, interstate and overseas movements. Quarterly and/or annual time series tables throughout. Also includes population projections and estimated resident households for states, territories and Australia.

4149.3 Queensland's Baby Boomers: A Profile of Persons Born 1946-1965
Presents a range of information on Queensland's Baby Boomers, persons born 1946-1965. Topics covered include demographics, cultural diversity, family, housing, education and work, health and community life.

5609.0 Housing Finance, Australia
Contains time series data for secured and unsecured housing finance commitments for owner occupation, commitments for the construction or puchase of dwellings for rent or resale, and loan outstandings to individuals/households for housing. This publication also contains information on the value of monthly commitments for unsecured housing finance for owner occupation and the construction or purchase of dwellings for rent or resale, as well as a table on home loan outstandings classified by lender.

Data are provided at state and national levels, with more detailed estimates available through AusStats time series spreadsheets. Small area estimates are not available.

6105.0 Australian Labour Market Statistics
This publication draws together data from a range of sources, mostly ABS household and business surveys, to provide an overall picture of the labour market.

It contains tables for core data items, presenting the most recent data available at a particular date (rather than relating to a particular reference period).

The publication is also used to release annual data on Indigenous labour force status, and annual supplementary measures of labour underutilisation. It includes a range of feature articles, both analytical and technical, which will assist users in understanding and interpreting the data and announcements of any changes to labour series or releases.

Back to top


Australia's population increased to 20.3 million in March 2005.

In the year ended March 2005, Australia's population increased by 230,300 people, representing an annual growth rate of 1.1%. This increase is consistent with levels recorded in recent years.

The sex ratio for those aged 95-99 years was 0.32 with 4,613 males to 14,493 females however for those aged 100 years and over this ratio was 0.5 with 1,411 males to 2,872 females.

Natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) in the year ended March 2005 was 120,300 people, and comprised 52% of total population growth over this period. Net overseas migration (110,000 people) contributed the remaining 48%.

All states and territories gained population in the year ended March 2005, with Queensland experiencing the largest increase (76,900 people) and the Australian Capital Territory the smallest (1,200 people).

Western Australia's population passed 2 million people during the March quarter 2005. This milestone was achieved with the population increasing by 9,800 (0.5%) since 31 December 2004. Net overseas migration was the main contributor to WA's growth (57.9%), followed by natural increase and net interstate migration.

For further details, refer to Australian Demographic Statistics, March Quarter 2005 (cat. no. 3101.0) which was released on 22 September 2005

Back to top

An Ageing theme page containing ageing-relevant information from the ABS and other Commonwealth Government agencies has been added to the ABS web site. The Ageing theme page highlights the type and range of data available for ageing analyses and will be updated to highlight new data releases as they become available.

Tara Pritchard
Telephone: (07) 3222 6312

Assistant Director
Mae Mulheran
Telephone: (07) 3222 6206

Mailing address
National Ageing Statistics Unit (NASU)
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 9817, BRISBANE QLD 4001
Fax: (02) 6252 8107

Back to top

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.