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Newsletters - Age Matters - Issue Number 14, August 2005


Housing for older Australians
Information Development Plan (IDP) update
Statistical standards and classifications
Did you know?
New data releases
Where can you find us?


Welcome to the fourteenth edition of Age Matters, the regular newsletter from the National Ageing Statistics Unit (NASU). The release of this edition coincides with two significant events in the life of NASU.

Firstly, it is now just over three years since the unit was established within the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and in that time, it has established an identity both within and outside the ABS amongst those with an interest in ageing issues within Australia.

The second major event for the unit is the arrival of Mae Mulheran who has been appointed as the unit's new Manager. Mae is new to the ABS but brings a wealth of experience which will help consolidate the next stage of the role of NASU. Mae replaces Maryann Wood who has been instrumental in the development of NASU's IDP and associated papers. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Mae and to thank Maryann for her contribution over the last two years.

Apart from these internal milestones, this edition of Ageing Matters features an article on the why, how and what of statistical standards which coincides firstly, with the reiteration of NASU's role in the promotion of standards in the IDP and Consultation paper,and secondly, with the recent release of a number of ABS classifications listed in New data releases. This section also announces the release of an information paper on the 2006 Census topics which I'm sure will be interest to readers.

Readers are also invited to visit the updated and re-formatted Ageing theme page on the ABS website for links to ageing-relevant ABS datasets and other web sites (see Where can you find us for details).

Tara Pritchard
National Ageing Statistics Unit

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This article is taken from Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) which was released on 12 July 2005.

1. Introduction

In Australia in 2002-03, 83% of older person households lived in their own home, and 13% lived in rented accommodation.

As people age, they experience various life transitions associated with changes in levels of physical and economic independence, and personal circumstance, which may lead to changes in their living arrangements and accommodation needs. Population ageing will have considerable impact on the type of housing stock needed to house the population in future. The Productivity Commission report, Economic Implications of an Ageing Australia, states that the ageing of the population is likely to lead to an increase in the level of housing assistance to older people who do not own their homes.

The Australian government and state and territory governments provide accommodation assistance through a range of housing and other programs. These include assistance for people with low incomes (provided through public housing, home purchase assistance and rent assistance schemes), and aged care and crisis accommodation programs. This article examines the housing characteristics of older person households, including assistance provided by governments to support housing for older Australians.
Households tenure by age of reference person - 2002-03
Graph: Households tenure by age of reference person - 2002-03

2. Housing tenure patterns

Tenure refers to the nature of a household's legal right to occupy the premises in which household members live. A household's tenure tends to be related to the current life-cycle stage of household members. Generally, this cycle follows a pattern of renting in early adulthood, moving to home purchase and mortgages as relationships are formed and families raised, through to outright home-ownership (without a mortgage) in older age.

Home ownership is an aspiration for many Australians, an aspiration that has been referred to as 'the great Australian dream'. This is reflected nationally in high levels of home ownership. As expected, older person households have higher levels of home ownership than other households.

In 2002-03, there were approximately 1.5 million older person households. Of these, approximately 80% lived in a dwelling that they owned outright, compared with 25% of younger households. These proportions have remained largely stable since 1995-96 when 80% of older households owned outright compared with 33% of younger households.

The proportion of owner households with a mortgage is highest for households with a reference person aged 35-44 years and declines steadily with age. Only 3% of older person households were purchaser households paying off a mortgage.

After owning their home outright, the next most common tenure for older person households was renting. In 2002-03, approximately 13% of older person households were living in rental accommodation compared with 32% of younger households. Almost half (45%) of the 204,000 older person households that were renting, rented their home from a state or territory housing authority.

A further 44% rented from a private landlord, and most of the remaining 11% rented from community and church groups, housing cooperatives or caravan parks. Older person households that were renting, except for those renting from a state or territory housing authority, were very likely to be receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) to subsidise their housing costs. At 30 June 2003 there were about 160,000 income units (mostly single person income units) receiving both the age pension and rent assistance.

Households by tenure and age of reference person - 2002-03

Age of reference person
Less than 65 years
65 years and over


Owner without a mortgage
Owner with a mortgage

Source: ABS 2002-03 Survey of Income and Housing.

3. Household characteristics

In 2002-03, the proportion of lone person and couple only households was much higher among older person households than among younger households. Some 44% of older person households were lone person households compared with 20% of younger households. Similarly, 40% of older person households were couple only households, compared with 22% of the younger group.

Almost three quarters (72%) of older lone person households comprised women living alone. The higher proportion of women than men living in older lone person households in part reflects that women live longer than men. According to the 2001 Census, for people aged 65 and over, 45% of women were widowed compared with 14% of men.

Compared with younger households, a much smaller proportion of older person households were lone parents or couples with dependent children (1% of older person and 37% of younger households). Many of the older couple only households would be 'empty nest' households, that is, couples with older children who have left home.

Composition of households - 2002-03
Graph: Composition of households - 2002-03

4. Housing characteristics

Like most Australian households, older person households tend to live in dwellings with more bedrooms than they might need according to the number of people who live in the household (see Australian Social Trends 1998, Smaller households, larger dwellings). In 2002-03, older couple only households had an average of 3.0 bedrooms in their dwelling and older lone person households had an average of 2.4 bedrooms. Many older person households still occupy houses selected decades earlier when they needed to accommodate larger numbers of family members at home and the household was at a different life-cycle stage.

5. Housing costs

For owner households, by the traditional retirement age of 65 years, both household incomes and housing costs are likely to have been greatly reduced. In 2002-03, 89% of older couple only households were owners without a mortgage, with average weekly housing costs of $21. Older couple only households that still had a mortgage spent on average $98 a week on housing. These costs were considerably lower than the average $270 per week paid by younger couple only households with a mortgage. This reflects in part the fact that most older couple only households would, on average, have purchased their home some years earlier when house prices and mortgages were lower, and would have repaid much of their mortgage by the age of 65.

Of older lone person households, 72% owned their house outright and had average housing costs of $18 a week. Those still paying a mortgage had average housing costs of $52 a week.

Analysis of housing costs for older Australians who are not home owners is complicated by a number of factors, including: the 7% of older Australians who live in non-private dwellings; the 7% of older Australians who live in private dwellings where the reference person is not an older Australian; and the provision of accommodation support (through both supply of public housing and rent assistance). In June 2003, there were 158,000 income units (representing about 180,000 people) receiving both the age pension and rent assistance (CRA), and their average CRA payment was $69 per fortnight. Other older Australians receiving other government income support benefits may also have received CRA. The primary data source for the analysis in this article (the Survey of Income and Housing) cannot distinguish the receipt of CRA from other government cash benefits.

The 13,000 older couple only households that were renting from state or territory housing authorities paid an average of $83 per week on housing costs in 2002–03, or 23% of their households' gross weekly income. The 19,000 older couple only households that were renting from private landlords were spending an average of $185 per week on housing costs before deducting CRA from those costs. While the average rents paid by these private renters were higher than for those renting from housing authorities, their incomes were also higher on average, and so their income after housing costs and tax had been deducted was likely to be higher, on average, than public renters.

The 69,000 older lone person households renting publicly paid, on average, $53 per week in housing costs, or 23% of their households' gross weekly income. This is the same proportion as spent by older couple only households renting publicly. The 54,000 older lone person households in the private rental market paid, on average, $125 per week in housing costs before deducting CRA from those costs. As with couple only households, the incomes of older lone person households renting from private landlords were higher than those renting from housing authorities. However, their income after housing costs and tax was deducted was likely to be a little lower, on average, than for those renting publicly.


Couple only households, reference person aged 65 and over
Lone person households, person aged 65 and over
Mean housing costs per week
Housing costs as a proportion of gross income
Number of households
Mean housing costs per week
Housing costs as a proportion of gross income
Number of households


Without a mortgage
With a mortgage
State/territory housing authority
Private landlord
Total renters(a)

(a) Includes other landlord type.
(b) Includes other tenure type.
(c) Data not included in this table because the different methods of providing housing to older Australians (through public housing and through rent assistance) cannot be made comparable from the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH). Respondents to the SIH cannot report for CRA separately from other government income support payments.

Source: ABS 2002–03 Survey of Income and Housing.

6. Home ownership and wealth

Experimental estimates of average household wealth show that wealth increases with age. Wealth also appears to be depleted to some degree after the traditional retirement age.

Average household wealth rose between 1994 and 2000 for all age groups, but the rise was most marked for older person households. The estimated average wealth for older person households increased from $267,000 in 1994 to $390,000 in 2000. The greater increase in the wealth of older person households is partly due to substantial rises in the value of real estate. In 2002-03, the average value of dwellings owned by lone person older households was similar to the average value of dwellings owned by older couple only households ($280,000 and $285,000 respectively).

Average household wealth - 1994-2000
Graph: Average household wealth - 1994-2000

7. Dwelling values by state and territory

The average value of dwellings owned by older person households differs across states and territories. In 2002-03, New South Wales had the highest average value ($395,000), followed by the Australian Capital Territory ($312,000) and Victoria ($280,000), while Tasmania had the lowest average of $141,000.

8. References
  1. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute 2004, Housing futures in an ageing Australia, AHURI Research & Policy Bulletin, Issue 43, AHURI, Melbourne.
  2. Productivity Commission 2004, Economic Implications of an Ageing Australia, Draft Research Report, Productivity Commission, Canberra.
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Housing Survey, 1999, cat. no. 4182.0, ABS, Canberra.
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Measuring Wellbeing: Frameworks for Australian Social Statistics, 2001, cat. no. 4160.0, ABS, Canberra.
  5. Olsberg, D, Perry J, Encel, S, Adorjany, L 2004, Ageing-in-Place? Intergenerational and Intra-familial Housing Transfers and Shifts in Later Life, AHURI, Melbourne.
  6. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census of Population and Housing: Ageing in Australia, cat. no. 2048.0, ABS, Canberra.

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The ABS has a continuing commitment to develop the quality of official statistical information and working together with a range of government agencies to deliver the statistics required by Australians. A major activity for the coming year is the compilation of the Ageing Information Development Plan (IDP).

In June 2005, several papers were reviewed at the National Ageing Statistics Unit Advisory Group meeting. As a result of these discussions, an Ageing IDP Consultation Paper has being developed outlining the key issues in ageing and identifying broad information priorities. This document will be used to drive discussion during the consultation phase on priorities for information development. The document will outline strategies and programs currently underway in Australia and the existing data sources available to meet those strategies. The consultation process will assist the ABS in consolidating the information requirements for ageing in the future, including the identification of data gaps. The draft set of priorities identified in this paper will be added to or be refined during the consultation phase.

In late 2005/early 2006, a series of workshops in all states and territories is planned. The purpose of each of the consultation sessions is to gather information so that a set of priorities and actions can be developed.

It is acknowledged that not all stakeholders will be able to attend the consultation sessions. Stakeholders will be encouraged to provide feedback through direct submissions to the ABS.

For further information on the consultation process please contact Mae Mulheran.

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1. Introduction

The cornerstone of statistics are the definitions and units used to define and describe items which are required for measurement. Without the accurate and systematic arrangement of data according to common properties, statistical output cannot be comparable.

This article provides an overview of ABS standards and classifications to assist users wishing to gain a broad understanding of standards and classifications, which, in turn, aids the interpretation and analysis of ABS statistics. It also aims to encourage the wider application of the ABS standards and classification systems by other producers of statistics. This would extend the volume of statistics that could be used in conjunction with the statistical output of the ABS and other bodies. Greater use of a common statistical framework throughout Australia not only increases efficiency, but also enriches the data that can be drawn upon by the community in decision-making.

This article provides an introduction to the concepts of statistical standards and classification used by the ABS. It outlines their purpose and importance and the ABS's legislative requirement, it describes the complex procedures and process used in their development and it outlines their location, structure and purpose of each of the main, currently used, ABS major classifications and the statistical units to which the classifications apply. Finally, NASU's interest in the promotion of ABS standards and classifications is restated.

2. The "Why" of standards and classifications

Statistical units, in general, are the units of observation in a statistical series, i.e. the basic entities about which data are recorded and which are then classified and aggregated to provide the official statistics.

As legislated in the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975,the ABS is Australia’s official statistical agency. The Act in Part II, 6 describes the Functions of the Bureau and states that in addition to providing statistics on a wide range of economic and social matters it also has an important coordination function with respect to the statistical activities of other official bodies.

In particular the ABS is required:

" (c) to ensure co­ordination of the operations of official bodies in the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics and related information, with particular regard to:
(i) ........;
(ii) the attainment of compatibility between, and the integration of, statistics compiled by official bodies; and
(iii) .......;"

This legislative requirement is incorporated in the ABS's Corporate Plan and is recognised in the following a value statement:

"We contribute to the development of international standards, and use them to produce conceptual frameworks and standards for Australian statistics. We follow sound methodologies and adopt the highest statistical standards and practices. We are also open about the quality of our statistics, so that users can better understand and interpret them."

- and as various objectives and strategies eg "publishing concepts, sources and methods publications so that users can understand the basis of our statistics " is a documented strategy in achieving the Corporate Plan objective 3, of " Informed and increased use of statistics."

3. The "How" of standards and classifications

The following describes the procedures and processes used in developing standards.

Procedures In Developing Standards

The development and use of statistical standards underpin statistical work in the ABS. The use of a comprehensive set of robust statistical standards is essential to provide an integrated and meaningful statistical picture of society. It makes it possible to draw all the data about a particular topic, variable or population together in a meaningful way from the full range of statistical data sources.

Statistical standards must:
  • facilitate collection and dissemination of high quality data in terms of accuracy, reliability, relevance and timeliness;
  • promote comparability internationally, across collections, across time, across agencies, within a given subject matter and where appropriate between subject matters;
  • be comprehensible to users and respondents to surveys;
  • provide clear, unambiguous definitions and a logical and coherent structure modelling aspects of the real world;
  • be practical to use in a range of data collection activities - including interviewer and self-enumerated surveys, and in administrative by-product data context;
  • be consistent, where appropriate, with other relevant endorsed economic or social standards and with other national or international standards such as the International Standard Classification of Occupations, the National Health Data Dictionary and the System of National Accounts (SNA).

The ABS is committed to the development, maintenance and use of standards for a range of concepts, units, variables and classifications in all its own population statistics work and to the active promotion of these standards in administrative and statistical data collection activities conducted outside the ABS. Standards are to be developed for all variables, classifications and underlying concepts (such as 'Usual residence' and statistical units), which are collected regularly in a range of different collections and/or are applicable to a range of subjects. Variables, classifications and concepts of this type are referred to as core items and the standard is referred to as a core standard.

Processes in the Development of Standards

The development of standards involves a wide range of stakeholders both within and outside the ABS including international agencies.

Population Statistics Standards section (PSS) of the ABS in Canberra has prime responsibility for Population and Social standards while the Economic Standards Section (ESS) and the Geography Section have prime responsibility for the development and documentation of Economic standards and Geography standards respectively. Responsibility for the development and review of standards is shared with the ABS's subject matter areas particularly where a high level of subject matter expertise is required (e.g. Income, Labour Force, etc). There are also occasions where it is appropriate to consult with other agencies beyond the ABS e.g. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in the preparation of standards.

To ensure that standards are used effectively in the full range of ABS collections, they must address all foreseeable operational considerations as well as be conceptually sound. The process of development is iterative and attempts to reconcile the requirements of the users of data with what is feasible and can actually be supplied by data providers within a national and international framework of comparability. Appropriate testing opportunities are identified and testing undertaken prior to wider implementation. The development of standards, therefore, is time consuming, and involves considerable resources.

Standards for entities other than variables are documented in a manner consistent with the standard format. These may include standards for statistical units (e.g. person, income unit), concepts underpinning a range of variables (e.g. dependency, usual residence, etc.), standards of an essentially technical or methodological nature (e.g. relative standard errors, the proposed address standard etc.), and standard classifications which may relate to several variables. Wherever this is appropriate, the ABS will aim to develop standards which are compatible with existing national and international standards and to influence the development and review of relevant international and national standards.

Implementation of Standards

Changes in standards, by their nature, have implications on data with respect to time series and other comparability issues. These changes are called "breaks in series" and their impact is considered as part of the initial development proposal. Therefore once a revised standard has been endorsed they are implemented as soon as is practicable in statistical collections and output and applied at the commencement of the next reference period.

Newly endorsed standards are widely circulated within the ABS staff and databases and to the ABS website as soon as is practicable. Any significant changes made to standards as part of routine maintenance are also be circulated.

4. The "Where and What" of standards and classifications

The standards and definitions that are used can be found in the various "Explanatory Notes" and in some case "Glossaries" that are either published with ABS data releases or in the case of electronic data cubes or spreadsheet releases are clearly referred to in the major data release.

Additionally, the ABS publishes various classifications and these can be found in Part 12 of Group 1 - General, in the Catalogue of Publications and Products ( ).

This edition of Age Matters features, in New data releases, descriptions of ABS standards and classifications that have recently been released.

5. NASU's stake in standards and classifications

NASU's particular interest in standards and classifications is focussed on improving the level of information available for persons aged over 65 in ABS collections and ensuring that this age group are not considered to be an homogenous group. For example, people aged 65 to 74 have different housing arrangements, health and care issues and ability to participate in the community to those of people aged 85 and over.

There are a number of issues impacting on the capture of data from the population aged 65 and over including:
  • non enumeration of special dwellings;
  • age limits applied to the scope of collections;
  • collection instruments appropriate to the aged; and
  • output standards for delivering survey results based on international standard criteria for classifying age: group size, group boundaries and age ranges.

In order to further investigate the issues outlined above, in 2006 NASU will undertake a review of the Household Survey program with respect to its ability to meet the priority area of increasing data availability on older people.

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In 2003-04,
  • for persons aged 65 years and over, who lived as a couple only, mean income of $399 per week each was higher than those in same age group who lived as lone persons ($350 per week). The respective mean income per week for total population aged 15 years and over persons living as couple only was $598 per week and $604 per week for lone persons.
  • for the population aged 65 years and over, 43% lived as a couple only and 47% as lone persons compared with 26% and 25% respectively for the total population aged 15 years and over.
  • 69% of all persons aged 65 years and over have government pensions and allowances as their principal source of income.
  • lone persons aged 65 years and over were more likely to have government pensions and allowances as their principal source of income than couples aged 65 years and over (77% compared to 68%).
  • 79% of persons aged 65 years and over owned their own home without a mortgage compared with 35% of the total population aged 15 years and over.
  • lone persons aged 65 years and over were less likely to own their home outright than couples aged 65 years and over (74% compared to 85%).
  • persons aged 65 years and over had the lowest mean incomes of $396 per week compared with $549 per week for the total population aged 15 years and over.
For further details, refer to Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia ( 6523.0) which was released on 4 August.

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Development of an Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)

A new standard classification of occupations, the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is being developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) and the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

ANZSCO will replace the existing Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Second Edition and the New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (NZSCO) 1999 used in Australia and New Zealand, respectively.

The structure of ANZSCO has recently been finalised and will be available on the ABS website following the release of the information paper ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (cat. no. 1221.0) in late September 2005.

The complete classification, which will be published as Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) (cat. no. 1220.0), is expected to be released in July 2006. It will be available on the ABS and SNZ websites free of charge and as a priced hardcover publication.

This publication will include details of the conceptual basis of ANZSCO; definitions for the 8 major groups, 43 sub-major groups, 97 minor groups, 358 unit groups and 998 occupations which comprise ANZSCO; and correspondence tables (concordances) between ANZSCO and ASCO Second Edition, and ANZSCO and NZSCO 1999.

ANZSCO will be implemented in relevant ABS and SNZ statistical collections from 2006 onwards.

1209.0.55.001 Information Paper: Draft Mesh Blocks, Australia

Mesh Blocks are a new micro level of statistical geography for Australia. They will in future replace Census Collection Districts (CDs) as the smallest unit of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). This first release of Mesh Block digital boundaries is a draft version on which comments will be sought from expert users and key stakeholders.

1216.0.15.002 Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Concordances

Four concordances for the current edition of the ASGC. These are: a previous Census Collection District to current SLA concordance; a LGA to SLA concordance; a concordance between all levels of the current ASGC edition and a previous edition SLA to current edition SLA concordance. They are available as a single free zipped download from the ABS web site. These concordances do not concord between the ASGC and non-ASGC Geographies such as Postcodes.

1249.0 Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG)

A national standard for use by the ABS and other government and non-government agencies for the collection, aggregation and dissemination of data relating to ancestry, ethnicity and cultural diversity. Comprises an explanation of the conceptual basis of the classification, the classification structure, and coding indexes in alphabetical and numerical order.

1267.0 Australian Standard Classification of Languages

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) developed the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) for use in the collection, storage and dissemination of all Australian statistical and administrative data relating to the languages spoken in Australia. The classification was a response to wide community interest in the language usage of the Australian population and the consequent need to provide quality and consistent statistical and administrative data on this topic. It was first published in 1997.

The ABS has used, and will continue to use, the ASCL in its own statistical work, for example, in classifying language data from the Censuses of Population and Housing. The ABS urges the use of the ASCL by other government agencies, community groups, and academic and private sector organisations collecting, analysing, or using information relating to language usage in Australia. This will improve the quality and comparability of data from all sources.

This Second Edition (2005 revision) of the classification is part of a periodical review process that aims to reflect changes to Australia's language profile. The review also enabled improvements to the classification in terms of language coverage (particularly for Australian Indigenous Languages) and the grouping of certain languages.

Development of the classification and its review involved extensive consultation with users and producers of language data, academics and experts, and ethnic and community groups. The assistance and efforts of the numerous organisations and individuals who provided information and advice, and otherwise contributed to the consultation process, is gratefully acknowledged.

2011.0 Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing – Proposed Products and Services

Informs Census users of the results of consultations on the 2006 Census output program. Provides information on the proposed products and services for the 2006 Census, and seeks user views on the proposals.

3235.0.55.001 Population Estimates by Age and Sex, Australia and States, 2004

Contains the estimated resident population by age (in five-year age groups up to 85 and over) and sex for each Statistical Local Area, Statistical Subdivision and Statistical Division in Australia at 30 June of the reference year. Estimates for Local Government and other areas using Statistical Local Areas as a base can be derived from these estimates. Estimates for Postal Areas and for Population Census Collection Districts are available on request.

4102.0 Australian Social Trends

Presents statistical analysis and commentary on a wide range of current social issues. The articles are organised into eight chapters, representing the following broad areas of interest: population; family and community; health; education and training; work; economic resources; and housing, as well as a chapter of articles covering other areas of social concern. Each chapter is supported by a set of summary tables including key social indicators which provide an overview of social change over the past decade, as well as how social conditions differ across Australian states and territories. A set of international tables also compares Australia with 17 other nations.

The style of the report is clear, focused and easy to read. Effective use is made of summary tables and graphics to highlight key information. The annual series, as it builds up over time, will provide an invaluable historical perspective of social change in Australia.

4390.0 Private Hospitals, Australia

Provides details about the operation of private acute and psychiatric hospitals, and free-standing day hospital facilities in Australia. Information is included about facilities (beds available, special units, etc.), activities (patient throughput, days of hospitalisation provided, bed occupancy rates), patients (types of admitted patients, outpatients and operations performed), staffing and finances.

4409.3 Ageing Well, Persons Aged Fifty Years And Over, Queensland

This product will provide data about persons aged 50 years and over in Queensland. Topics will include demographics, income, housing tenure, labour force status, labour mobility, people not in the labour force, family type, carers, childcare (grandparents), volunteers, social contact and participation.

4704.0 The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Provides a comprehensive statistical overview, largely at the national level, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and welfare. In addition to a wide range of administrative data sources, this issue will feature results from the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey. Among the topics included are: maternal and child health; risk factors; ill health; disability and ageing; mortality; and access to, and use of, services.

This publication is a joint venture between the ABS and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

6105.0 Australian Labour Market Statistics

This publication is the flagship release for all ABS labour statistics. It draws together data from a range of sources, mostly ABS household and business surveys, to provide an overall picture of the labour market. The key purpose of this publication is to raise awareness of the data available, so that users will be able to use it more effectively.

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). It is also able to be used to announce the release of supplementary surveys and infrequent surveys. Note that, in addition to a brief article in this publication, these would also have separate releases, which would not be delayed by the release in this publication.

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. It will be used to announce any changes to labour series or releases.

The publication contains brief explanatory notes, outlining each data source, but referring to the relevant releases, and to Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods 6102.0, for more detail.

6224.0.55.001 Labour Force, Australia: Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families - Electronic Delivery

This product replaces the family data cubes previously delivered through the release of 6291.0.55.001. The annual datacubes contain detailed information about labour force status and other characteristics of families using original data collected in the Labour Force Survey.

6523.0 Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia

Details are presented on the distribution of income in Australia, data on the various characteristics of households (married couple, one parent and one-person units), their composition, and the principal source of income, age and employment status of reference person.

6535.0 Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Detailed Expenditure Items

Contains tables of household expenditure on over 600 items, cross-classified by gross income quintile, state/territory and capital city.

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Second Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey Research Conference (29-30 September 2005), Melbourne, Victoria .

This conference will provide a forum for the discussion of research based on the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. Submissions of papers are now being sought on any topic that makes use of the HILDA Survey data. Priority will be given to papers that exploit the longitudinal nature of the data. Papers on methods and cross-national comparisons are also welcomed.

Further information:

Diversity in Health Conference 2005: It's Everybody's Business (17-19 October 2005), Melbourne Victoria.

This conference is for those people working to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians. The theme is "it's everybody's provide new perspective on old issues and valuable information on new challenges of health and wellbeing for the diverse community of Australia". The latest physical and mental health priorities will be described: innovative research, practices, programs and partnerships will be highlighted; and prevention and intervention strategies relevant to diverse cultures will be emphasised. The main topic areas are:
  • Capacity development and diverse communities;
  • Clinical innovation, research and policy;
  • Culture, music, dance, art and health;
  • Health and the role of philanthropy;
  • Intergenerational health issues - youth and ageing;
  • Medicine/alternative health solutions;
  • Migration and health;
  • Models of excellence in health promotion for a diverse community;
  • Organisational cultural competence; and
  • Providing a supportive environment.

Further information: Diversity in Health 2005 Secretariat, Australian Multicultural Foundation, PO Box 538, Carlton South, Victoria, 3053. Phone (03) 9457 7130. Email:

National Housing Conference: Building for Diversity (26-28 October 2005), Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, Western Australia.

Organised by the Western Australian Department of Housing and Works in conjunction with the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), this Conference will bring together social housing practitioners, policy makers, housing advocates, planners, architects, developers, real estate managers and housing researchers for lively debate on a broad range of issues facing Australia's housing system.

Further information: Conference Secretariat - Phone (08) 9386 3282; Email:; Web:

Exploring the Meaning of Ageing Through Research, Policy and Practice - 38th National Conference of Australian Association of Gerontology (9-11 November 2005), Surfers Paradise, Queensland.

The AAG is a multidisciplinary association of professionals involved in the area of gerontology. This Conference is its annual meeting aimed at furthering the mission of the AAG which is 'to expand knowledge on ageing', through the presentation of research and discussion papers.

The theme provides an opportunity for presenters to expand knowledge on the meaning of ageing today. Particular areas of interest this year are:
  • Dementia;
  • Indigenous ageing;
  • End of life issues;
  • Economics of ageing;
  • Social and community participation;
  • Living environments;
  • Legal and ethical issues;
  • Experience of ageing;
  • Biology of ageing; and
  • Health and age care.

Further information: Email:; Web:

Active Ageing: Seniors on the Move (22-25 November 2005), Hervey Bay, Queensland.

Queensland Health, Sport and Recreation Queensland and the Hervey Bay City Council are jointly hosting this Conference for policy makers, aged care and recreation providers, designers and planners to explore innovative ideas to help older residents age in their local community in a productive, healthy and active way.
Conference themes include:
  • Active ageing, recreation and preventative health programs for older people;
  • Planning and design for active communities;
  • Community well-being and sustainability in rapid growth centre;
  • Holistic local responses to local challenges; and
  • Successful partnerships.

Further information:

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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

© Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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