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Newsletters - Statistics News Northern Territory - Issue No. 13, December 2001



The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) took its 5-yearly snapshot of Australia on Tuesday 7 August 2001 with the 14th National Census of Population and Housing.

This year's census form contained 50 questions and included some new topics. Questions on personal computer and Internet usage were asked for the first time. This will show how widespread use of computers and the Internet has become in Australia, enable planning by both government and private sectors and allow better service delivery, especially in regional and rural areas.

A question on ancestry will help to further the understanding of the ethnic origin of Australians. In answering this question, people were asked to count their ancestry back as far as three generations, if known, and to consider the ancestry with which they most closely identify. For example, descendants of South Sea Islanders brought to Australia as indentured labour around the turn of the 20th century might answer 'Australian South Sea Islander'.

Another feature of the 2001 Census is the Centenary of Federation Time Capsule Project. Everyone in Australia had the opportunity to have their name-identified information placed on microfilm and stored at the National Archives of Australia for 99 years before release, for the benefit of genealogists, historians and a wide variety of researchers in the 22nd century. Participation in the Time Capsule Project was optional.

Census profiles for all Statistical Local Areas (SLA’s) in Australia will be available free on the ABS web site. The first data release from the 2001 Census will be in July 2002.

For further information contact Jennifer Isaacs (08 8943 2177,


A considerable amount of statistical information is collected by a variety of government and other agencies, including the ABS. However, users may have a limited awareness of the existence or availability of these data. Consequently, in recent years the ABS has increased efforts to improve user awareness of, and access to, this statistical information.

A Directory of Statistical Sources is being developed and will provide a useful on-line tool for data users to identify and access reference information about both the ABS and non-ABS statistical collections. The Directory will enable users to access data through links to current outputs from these collections and will be available on the ABS web site and within ABS@.

The Directory will allow users access to collection information in three ways - by topic, by geographical level and by source organisation. It will provide users with a list of collections relevant to their area of interest according to the access method used. The list will link to documents which provide reference material about the collections, information such as purpose, scope and coverage, and summary information about the various data items.

The Directory of Statistical Sources is expected to be released on to the ABS web site in early 2002.

For further information contact Tom Joseph (08 9362 5132,


Is it possible to collect information about students' socioeconomic status, socioeconomic disadvantage and language background other than English on school enrolment forms? To find out, a study is being coordinated by the ABS for the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA). The aim of the study is to test the feasibility of collecting, capturing and coding such data on school enrolment forms, with feasibility defined in terms of accuracy and the burden on systems, schools and parents.

The National Centre for Education and Training Statistics is coordinating the feasibility study, with assistance from education departments in Victoria and the Northern Territory. School enrolment forms in both states have been updated by inserting standard ABS questions for Indigenous Status, occupation of father and mother, language background other than English of student, country of birth of student, father and mother and educational attainment of father and mother.

The expanded enrolment forms have been trialled in eleven schools in Victoria and in the Northern Territory. The sample included both government and non-government schools from metropolitan and rural/regional areas, representing a wide cultural diversity. In smaller schools, all students and their parents were asked to participate while in larger schools, only those from particular year groups were invited. In all, approximately 3000 parents across Victoria and the Northern Territory have participated in the study.

In the Northern Territory, all school enrolment forms have been collected and returned to the NT Department of Employment, Education, and Training for data capture and coding with duplicate coding also occurring in the ABS using standard ABS coding software. One school creatively invited all parents to a barbecue during which the school enrolment forms were completed.

For more information contact Caroline Daley, ABS Project Manager (02 6252 7198,, Patrick Burford, NT Project Officer (08 8999 5678,


Illicit Drug Use, Sources of Australian Data (ABS Cat. No 4808.0) was released on 28 November 2001.

Illicit drug use is of international concern and has become a major cause of concern within the Australian community as it affects so many facets of society. As the national statistical agency the ABS is interested in supporting the use of data on key social issues for research, policy development and decision making.

The publication, reports on a range of national data sources, covering prevalence and patterns of use, law and order, health, family and community issues and economics. A commentary is provided on each of the main data sources, along with contact details, for both non-ABS and ABS sources. Limitations and gaps in available data are also identified.

Researchers can confidently use this paper as a valuable reference as it provides a guide to material on illicit drug use across many fields of study and from different perspectives. The appendices and bibliography provide a wealth of information, as well as providing a base from which further material may be accessed.

Illicit Drug Use, Sources of Australian Data can be purchased from ABS bookshops for $32.00, or an electronic version is available free of charge from this web site.

For further information contact Lynne Peterson (07 3222 6207).


Measuring Wellbeing: Frameworks for Australian Social Statistics (ABS Cat. no. 4160.0) was released on 12 October 2001. It is a comprehensive explanation of the way social statistics are organised by the ABS to assist informed analysis of social issues.

This reference publication covers nine areas of concern; population, family and community, health, education and training, work, economic resources, housing, crime and justice, and culture and leisure. The publication aims to help users of statistics to improve their understanding of Australian social statistics, leading to better analysis and informed decision making from the broad array of ABS and other official social statistics that are available. It will also be a useful companion reference to the social issues reported in the ABS’s annual Australian Social Trends (ABS Cat. no. 4102.0) publication.

Measuring Wellbeing: Frameworks for Australian Social Statistics can be purchased from ABS bookshops for $56.00 or an electronic version is available free of charge from this web site.

For further information contact the Director, Social Analysis and Reporting Section (02 6252 7187).


Freight Movements, Australia, Summary (ABS Cat. no. 9220.0) will be released on 19 December 2001. The redeveloped road component of the Freight Movement Survey (FMS) was started in April 2000. The reference period is 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001.

The FMS collects information on goods transported by rail, sea, air and road within Australia. The main data items are tonnes, tonnes-kilometres by origin and destination by broad type of commodity carried and by method of transport (e.g. bulk).

For further information contact Ros Higgins (07 3222 6190) or the National Information and Referral Service (1300 135 070).

Cat. No. Title

3101.0Australian Demographic Statistics, Jun Qtr ($22.00), Release date 13 Dec 2001
3401.0Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, Oct 2001 ($18.50)
4102.0 Australian Social Trends, 2001 ($44.00)
4160.0 Measuring Wellbeing: Frameworks for Australian Social Statistics ($56.00)
4510.0Recorded Crime, Australia, 2000 ($21.00)
4512.0Corrective Services, Australia June Qtr 2001, ($21.00)
4613.0Australia’s Environment: Issues and Trends, 2001 ($38.00)
4704.0The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2001 ($43.00)
4808.0Illicit Drug Use, Sources of Data, Australia, 2000 ($26.00)
6202.0Labour Force, Australia, Preliminary, Oct 2001 ($20.00)
6248.0Wage and Salary Earners, Australia, June Qtr 2001 ($20.00)
6302.0Average Weekly Earnings, States and Australia, Aug Qtr 2001 ($20.00)
6401.0Consumer Price Index, Australia, Sep Qtr 2001 ($19.50)
6403.0Average Retail Prices of Selected Items, Eight Capital Cities, Sep Qtr 2001 ($17.00)
8501.0Retail Trade, Australia, Sep 2001 ($18.50)
8634.0Tourism Indicators, Australia June Qtr 2000 ($27.00)
8635.0Tourist Accommodation, Australia, June Qtr 2001 ($22.00)
8635.7.40.001Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Northern Territory, June Qtr 2001 ($43.00)
8731.7Building Approvals, Northern Territory, Sep Qtr 2001 ($18.00)
8752.7Building Activity, Northern Territory, June Qtr 2001 ($18.00)
9220.0Freight Movements, Australia, Summary ($20.00), Release date 19 Dec 2001
9301.0New Motor Vehicle Registrations, Australia: Preliminary, Sep 2001 ($17.00)

Millennium Pack - 2001 Australia Year Book plus 2000 issue for only $100.00 (save $57.00)
Discounts available for Census 96 products, including all Census publications (40%), CDATA96 (30%), Detailed Base Map, Add-On Datapaks and SEIFA (50%).


    Time Series Analysis - The session discusses/explains the components of a time series, which include trend, irregular and calendar related effects, and the relationships between these components. The trending procedure used in the ABS is discussed, the rationale for using Henderson moving averages is explained, and the causes of revision in the seasonally adjusted and trend are explained. Half day sessions are available on 5 & 6 March 2002 from 8.45am to 13.00pm. The cost is $275.00 per person.

    Understanding Demographic Data - The course will provide an understanding of the demographic data framework and the processes which shape the population and will include practical exercises in the analysis of demographic data. This course is available in Darwin (16 April 2002) and Alice Springs (18 April 2002).

    For information on these and other courses contact Megha Raut (08 8943 2122,

    For more information ...

    If you or your organisation would like to be placed on our mailing list, or you would like to receive future editions via email, please contact Ian McCutcheon (08 8943 2110,

    National Bookshop Sales & ABS National Phone: 1300 135 070
    Information and Referral Service (ABSNIRS) Fax: 1300 135 211
    Darwin Bookshop Sales Mail: GPO Box 3796, Darwin NT 0801
    Address: 7th floor, 81 Smith Street, Darwin
    Subscription Service Phone: 1300 366 323
    Fax: (03) 9615 7848
    Internet Web Site:
    NT web pages: Access via ABS web site Themes page/States

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