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Newsletters - Age Matters - Issue Number 19, July 2006
 
 

WELCOME

Welcome to the 19th edition of Age Matters. This issue contains:

LATEST NEWS FROM NASU

Australia’s 15th national Census (and the twelfth since the end of World War 2) will be held on the 8 August 2006. Much has changed in the 95 years since Australia conducted its first national Census in 1911. Those Australians aged 95 years or over who may have been included in that Census would still have to wait another four years before they could access their details, if the Time Capsule provision of 2006 had been in existence at the time.

As explained below in the review of Standards for Social, Labour and Demographic Variables, the 2006 Census will now capture the number of centenarians in Australia by their actual age. Another big change is the option to collect Census information electronically via the e-Census.

While much of the attention of the ABS has been focussed on the Census, NASU have been progressing the Information Development Plan (IDP) for Ageing following the completion of Phase 1 consultation in May. The main themes of the Plan are Housing and Built Environment, Community and Social Participation, Retirement, Labour Force Participation, Health, Care and Population Sub-groups.

The IDP will be provided to a wide range of government, academic and community organisations prior to final publication of the plan. This broader community engagement is expected to occur in October 2006. If you would like to have the opportunity to receive a copy, please email henry.zuk@abs.gov.au with IDP in the subject line.

Finally, I would like to announce that David Martyn who helped established NASU in 2002 and is well known to many readers of Age Matters will be returning to the ABS in October following his involvement with Statistics NZ. David will be the new Director of the Queensland Statistical Services and Household Surveys Branch which includes the National Ageing Statistics Unit. In the interim, I will be looking after NASU and my contact details can be found on the Where You Can Find Us page below. A second unrelated change is our Assistant Director’s move to Canberra to continue her career in the ABS. Mae Mulheran has been active in NASU activities, including the progression of the IDP, in the last 12 months. We wish her well in her new role. The remainder of the team remains unchanged.

We would welcome any comments, suggestions or feedback that you may have on this newsletter or the Ageing theme page. Please email henry.zuk@abs.gov.au and let us know what you think.

Andrea McIntyre
Director
National Ageing Statistics Unit
REVIEWS

1. As part of the policy of making ABS publications freely available from its website, the ABS has recently issued the document Standards for Social, Labour and Demographic Variables (cat. no. 1200.0). This release is a window document that provides links to detailed ABS standards. These standards contain all the necessary information in relation to key variables used in social, labour and demographic statistics, e.g. definitions and explanations of concepts, as well as actual questions and classification structures. Of particular interest to readers of Age Matters are the documents on the definition and concepts that underpin the variable ‘age’.

The following extract illustrates the first principles nature and tone of the documents:

'Age' is one of the basic demographic variables used in population statistics. It is widely used in cross-classification with other variables such as sex, marital status, occupation, etc. It is most commonly used to differentiate populations in terms of the time elapsed (usually in complete years), generally from date of live birth to a point in time (e.g. date of a particular survey). Depending on the population, or topic of study, age may be measured in different “time units”.

The meaning and description of the concept are generally standard in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and other organisations. However, there is considerable and legitimate variation in output categories, directly linked to particular survey populations or topics.

In addition to providing various age definitions, the document explains various concepts and includes international guidelines (UN) on the demographic variable of age.

These standards are published and revised on an ongoing basis. The age standard was first published in 1992 and has been revised and upgraded several times since then. The question module on age for the 2006 Census will enable the capture of the actual ages of centenarians and the upper age limits in some labour force survey output have also been extended. The age standard will be revised to reflect the availability of this extra data. The underlying principles detailed in this reference publication remain current.

This release, therefore, should be a useful reference document, for anyone with an interest in ABS standards, and more particularly to those involved in the design and development of data capture that includes an age variable.


2. Australia’s Health 2006 is the tenth biennial health report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) which, according to AIHW’s Director Dr. Penny Allbon, concludes that overall the picture that emerges is of a high quality health system serving the bulk of the population well, but under pressure to deliver even more. The report explores many aspects of Australia’s complex health system, bringing statistics together in a way designed to inform policy makers, service providers, consumers and interested citizens alike.

Highlights from Chapter 2, Health of Australians, include:
  • Australians continue to live longer. Babies born today can expect to live for over 80 years on average. For females, life expectancy at birth in 2002-2004 was 83 years and for males it was 78 years.
  • Death rates for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, continue to decline.
  • Australia’s overall cancer death rates declined by about 14% between 1986 and 2004.
  • Despite improvements, cancer is now Australia’s leading cause of death among 45-64 year olds and causes more premature deaths and overall disease burden than cardiovascular disease.
  • The prevalence of self-reported diabetes more than doubled between 1989-90 and 2004-05. However, between 1997 and 2004, death rates from diabetes were stable for males and fell slightly for females.
  • Mental ill health is the leading cause of the non-fatal burden of disease and injury in Australia. It is estimated to have caused about one-eighth of the total Australian disease burden in 2003, exceeded only by cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Chapter 2 also explores the incidence of injury in some detail with some interesting revelations on fall related injuries in older ages e.g. during the acute care of a fractured femur, the in-patient death rate for those aged 50 years and younger was 2 per 1,000, increasing to 25 per 1,000 for those aged 50-79 years and 63 per 1,000 for those aged 80 years and over indicating that older people are less able to survive and recover from an injury than younger people.

Chapter 4 examines the Health of various population groups with a section dedicated to older people ie those aged 65 years and older.
With respect to hospital use, there were 2.38 million separations from hospitals for people aged 65 years and over, representing 35% of all separations. The proportion of the population aged 65 years and over is 13%.

This section examines Dementia in some detail and concludes that Dementia is the greatest single contributor to the burden of disease due to disability at older ages, as well as the greatest single contributor to the cost of care in residential aged care. It was estimated that in 2004 about 171,000 people aged 65 years or over had dementia.

Vision problems, arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions for older people are considered, specifically, the number and rate of the population with these diagnoses and conditions.

Chapter 7 looks at Health Services, discusses international comparisons and concludes:
  • According to OECD figures, Australia had higher numbers of general practitioners and nurses relative to population in 2003 than did New Zealand, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Health service use has increased by almost any measure: medical services up by 4.4% in just 1 year; hospital stays up almost 9% in the public sector over the last 5 years and 30% in the private sector; and pharmaceutical prescriptions up 41% over the latest decade.
  • Around 85% of Australians visit a doctor at least once a year, at an average of five GP visits per Australian. However, this includes 4% of people having more than 50 medical services in a year.

The publication also includes 56 detailed statistical tables, many with age breakdowns, from which the discussions, selected tables and diagrams presented in the preceding chapters were based.

Australia’s Health 2006 is designed to inform policy makers, service providers, consumers and interested citizens alike, and will be the most up-to-date compendium on Australia’s health until the 11th edition is released in 2008.
SELECTED ABS RELEASES

The following listing is a selection of ABS releases published since May 2006 which may be of particular interest to the readers of Age Matters.
A complete listing of all ABS releases is available on the ABS Website.

General
Standards for Social, Labour and Demographic Variables, 1999 (cat. no. 1200.0)
Statistical Standards for Social, Labour and Demographic Variables have been developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to provide a means of standardising the way the ABS and other agencies collect and disseminate information relating to social and labour issues in Australia. The statistical variables to which these standards relate include the labour force, demographic, family, household, income, education, cultural diversity and language variables. Other statistical variables may be included in the future.

Research Paper: Analysis of the Regional Distribution of Relatively Disadvantaged Areas using 2001 SEIFA, June 2006 (cat. no. 1351.0.55.013)
This paper investigates the geographical distribution of disadvantaged areas across Australia. It uses the Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), in particular the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage, to identify areas with relatively high proportions of people with characteristics associated with low socio-economic status. Relatively disadvantaged areas such as those Census Collection Districts (CDs) in the bottom 5% of index scores are defined.

If disadvantage were equally distributed across Australia, we would expect each geographical region to have similar proportions of people living in disadvantaged CDs. However this is not the case. The majority of people living in disadvantaged CDs are in urban areas and there is a proportional over-representation of disadvantaged CDs in remote areas. Only 2.7% of Australians live in remote or very remote areas but 13.7% of these are in disadvantaged CDs compared with 5.1% of people in major cities.

The distribution of people living in disadvantaged CDs is not equally distributed across states and territories. Over 15% of people in the Northern Territory live in disadvantaged CDs. At the other end of the scale, less than 1% of people in the Australian Capital Territory are in disadvantaged CDs.


Measures of Australia’s Progress: At A Glance, 2006 (cat. no. 1383.0.55.002)
A brief summary of the 15 headline dimensions of Australia’s progress. It provides a national summary of the most important areas of progress, presenting them in a way which can be quickly understood by all Australians. It informs and stimulates public debate and encourages all Australians to assess the bigger picture when contemplating progress.

Census of Population and Housing
Census Data Enhancement Project: An Update, June 2006 (cat. no. 2062.0)
On 18 August 2005, the Australian Statistician announced the intention of the ABS to proceed with the Census data enhancement project to create the Statistical Longitudinal Census Dataset (SLCD) based on a 5% random sample. The modified proposal followed extensive consultations on the original proposal outlined in the Discussion Paper: Enhancing the Population Census: Developing a Longitudinal View (cat. no. 2060.0) and the commissioning of an independent Privacy Impact Assessment.

This release provides an
update of the Census data enhancement project.

Demography
Population Projections, Australia, 2004 to 2101 (Reissue) (cat. no. 3222.0)
This release corrects the projected proportion of the population aged 65 years and over in 2051 (Series C) as shown in the Population Ageing section of the Main Features and reissues the publication. The correct proportion is 28%.

This publication contains projections of Australia’s population by age and sex for the period 2004 - 2101, and projections of the states, territories and capital cities/balances of state for the period 2004 - 2051. Three main series of projections are presented in this publication. The 30 June 2004 figures are revised estimated resident population.

Social Statistics
Sport and Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2006 Edition 1 (cat. no. 4156.0)
This release was originally released in hard copy and as a PDF file in November 2003. It was subsequently released in an on-line format on 29 March 2006 with a view to it being progressively updated as more recent data became available. In this edition (2006 Edition 1), the data presented in Chapter 3 has been updated for:
  • Children’s participation in sports and physical recreation
  • Participation in sports and physical recreation by persons with a disability
  • Participation in exercise.

All other data appearing in 2006 Edition 1 is the same as for the original release.

Recent Developments in the Collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Welfare Statistics, 2005 (cat. no. 4704.0.55.001)
Discusses recent developments in the collection and reporting of statistics relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and provides information on the quality of data collected on Indigenous peoples from the Census, surveys and administrative records.

Labour Statistics and Prices
Australian Labour Market Statistics, July 2006 (cat. no. 6105.0)
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 of the most recent data available for regular data items.

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 will also promote the range of data available from the ABS labour statistics program.


The latest edition of Labour Market Statistics includes a feature article on the Job search experience of unemployed people and interesting article on Labour Force transitions.

Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing: User Guide, 2003-04 (cat. no. 6503.0)
Describes the definitions, concepts, methodology and estimation procedures used in the Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing. It also contains questionnaires, lists of output data items and the Household Expenditure Classification.

Other Agencies’ Products
Australia’s Health, 2006 (cat. no. 8903.0)
The tenth biennial health report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. It is the nation’s authoritative source of information on patterns of health and illness, determinants of health, the supply and use of health services, and health service costs and performance. It is an essential reference and information resource for all Australians with an interest in health.

This publication is produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, with an agreement to sell copies through the ABS Bookshop.



DID YOU KNOW?

The following tables are derived from a feature article on Labour force transitions and show the changes that occurred in labour force status of those in full-time employment, part-time employment and those not in the labour force for selected age groups in 2005.

TABLE 1 - TRANSITION FROM FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT, 2005

Males

Females

45-64 years
15-64 years
45-64 years
15-64 years

Entered(a)
Part-time employment
%
2.5
2.6
8.8
7.9
Unemployment
%
0.4
0.7
0.3
0.5
Not in the labour force
%
0.9
0.9
1.2
1.4
Stayed in full-time employment(a)
%
96.2
95.8
89.7
90.2
Total
%
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total annual average employed full-time
'000
1,678.5
4,620.8
822.7
2,412.8

(a) Proportion of people who were in full-time employment in month 1 and had the specified labour force status in month 2, averaged across the year.
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed Electronic Delivery, GM1 (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001)

TABLE 2 - TRANSITION FROM PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT, 2005

Males

Females

45-64 years
15-64 years
45-64 years
15-64 years

Entered(a)
Full-time employment
%
21.0
17.2
10.5
9.8
Unemployment
%
1.7
2.9
0.8
1.3
Not in the labour force
%
6.3
6.9
4.9
5.4
Stayed in part-time employment(a)
%
71.0
73.0
83.9
83.6
Total
%
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total annual average employed part-time
'000
206.2
748.6
677.9
2,005.7

(a) Proportion of people who were in part-time employment in month 1 and had the specified labour force status in month 2, averaged across the year.
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed Electronic Delivery, GM1 (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001)

TABLE 3 -TRANSITION FROM NOT IN THE LABOUR FORCE, 2005

Males
Females


45-64 years
15-64 years
45-64 years
15-64 years

Entered(a)
Full-time employment
%
2.5
3.4
0.8
1.3
Part-time employment
%
2.5
4.5
3.4
5.0
Unemployment
%
2.7
5.8
1.7
3.7
Stayed not in the labour force(a)
%
92.2
86.3
94.0
90.0
Total
%
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total annual average not in the labour force
'000
536.5
1,185.5
945.1
2,159.9

(a) Proportion of people who were not in the labour force in month 1 and had the specified labour force status in month 2, averaged across the year.
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed Electronic Delivery, GM1 (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001)


The median age of males not in the labour force in May 2006 was 63 years and for males in the labour force it was 39 years.

In May 2006, the labour force participation rate for males was 27% for those aged 65-69 years and 6% for those aged 70 years and over, representing 106,000 and 48,000 males, respectively. Of the males in the labour force aged 65-79 years, 84% (89,000) were married compared with 75% (36,000) of those aged 70 years and over.

The median age of females not in the labour force in May 2006 was 59 years and for females in the labour force it was 38 years.

In May 2006, the labour force participation rate for females aged 65-69 years was 11% and for females aged 70 years and over it was 1.5%, representing 43,000 and 16,000 females, respectively. Married females constituted 64% (28,000) of the female labour force aged 65-69 years and 54% (9,000) of the female labour force aged 70 years and over.

The 2.5 million persons aged 65 years and over who were not in the labour force in May 2006, comprised 43% males (1,077,000) and 57% females (1,438,000).

From Australian Labour Market Statistics July 2006 (cat.no. 6105.0)

UPCOMING CONFERENCES

26-27 September 2006
Australian Financial Reviews: Australia’s Ageing Population Summit 2006
Melbourne, Vic.

Features Commonwealth and State government ministers, senior governments officers, senior industry representatives and leading Australian and International researchers. Topics for the 2006 summit include - The Big Picture, Finances and Ageing, Health and Ageing, Australia’s Ageing Workforce, Social Influence and Opportunities for Ageing Population.

For further information see www.informa.com.au/AFR-Ageing06

13-15 October 2006
3rd International Conference on Healthy Ageing and Longevity

Melbourne, Vic
.

The best of international and Australian researchers, practitioners and policy makers working in the field of ageing will come together to share ideas and exchange knowledge on ways to best manage the health of the rapidly ageing population. The conference will explore the full spectrum of proven interventions including pharmaceutical, nutritional, clinical, educative, policy, complementary, preventive and restorative means and the scientific underpinnings supporting them. At the same time there will be recognition of the diversity of ageing individuals, cultures and methodologies within all communities and across the globe with the object of promoting healthier, happier and more active lives for all.

For further information see www.longevity-international.com.

21 November 2006
Emerging Researchers in Ageing 5th National Conference: Research informing positive outcomes in older persons.
Sydney, NSW

The ERA 2006 Conference aims to showcase the latest ageing-related Doctoral research from a range of disciplines. Previous ERA Conferences have been organised by the Australasian Centre on Ageing at the University of Queensland and held in Brisbane annually since 2002. This year it will be conducted in Sydney and organised by The University of Sydney, in association with the University of Queensland. ERA 2006 is part of the emerging researchers initiative of the ARC/NHMRC Research Network in Ageing Well.

22-24 November 2006
AAG 2006 National Conference - Diversity in Ageing

Sydney, NSW


This is the 39th National Conference of The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG). Under the theme ‘Diversity in Ageing’, areas to be explored through the conference are:
  • Cultural diversity: attitudes to ageing; indigenous ageing; crossing linguistic and ethnic divides to culturally appropriate care; health differences between groups; spiritual needs.
  • Gender diversity: men’s ageing; women’s ageing; ageing amongst the gay and lesbian community.
  • Health diversity: healthy ageing; ageing well; chronic conditions; acute care; residential care; community care; mental health.
  • Social diversity: social inequality and poverty; economic impact of ageing; globalisation; mature age employment; financial planning; urban/regional planning.

This conference will be of interest to people from a variety of aged care backgrounds such as health care, social workers, policy makers, service providers, education and research professionals, social scientists.

For further information see the Conference website - www.aagconference2006.com

5-8 December 2006
Australian Population Association 13th Biennial Conference - Population, Policy and Australia’s Destiny

Adelaide, SA


Main themes for the conference are:
  • Population and Policy in Australia’s Future;
  • Population Change and Policy at the Local and Regional Levels;
  • Transnationalism: Australia and Region.

The W.D. Borrie Lecture will be presented by Professor Ian Pool on ‘The Baby Boom in New Zealand and Other Western Developed Countries’ on 5 December.


For further information see the Conference website - www.arts.adelaide.edu.au/socialsciences/APAConference2006

14-16 December 2006 (tentative)
The International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) Panel on Ageing in Developing Countries, the Latin American Demography Centre (CELADE), Network for Research on Ageing in Latin America and the Caribbean (REALCE), and the Network of Researchers on Ageing in Developing Countries (University of Michigan) - Seminar on Aging in Developing Countries: Building Bridges for Integrated Research Agendas.
Santiago, Chile

The scientific program seeks to promote discussion on cross-cutting issues of ageing processes, compare alternative study designs for data collection, share information and approaches to key problems, disseminate and encourage the use of existing data sources, and foster the development of new sources capitalising on past research findings in the developed and developing world.

Deadline for submission of completed unpublished papers is 8 September 2006. See the IUSSP website at: www.iussp.org/Activities/ageing/submissions/login.html

For further information see the Conference website: www.iussp.org/Activities/ageing/call06.php

WHERE YOU CAN FIND US

An Ageing theme page containing ageing-relevant information from the ABS and other Commonwealth Government agencies can be found on 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.

NASU CONTACT DETAILS

Director
Andrea McIntyre
Telephone: (07) 3222 6311
Email: andrea.mcintyre@abs.gov.au



Mailing address
National Ageing Statistics Unit (NASU)
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 9817,
BRISBANE QLD 4001

Fax: (02) 6252 8107



Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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