1338.1 - NSW State and Regional Indicators, Jun 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/07/2010   
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1. NatStats 2010 Conference: Registrations now open

2. Update on Census 2011

3. Year Book Australia 200910

4. New Edition of Australian Social Trends

5. Upcoming Release of Measures of Australia's Progress: Regional Data

6. NSW Planning releases detailed population projections

7. Statistical Training

8. Community of Statisticians event: Indigenous Life Expectancy

9. COAG Reporting and Data Quality Online Tool

10. National Information and Referral Service celebrates 10 years

11. National Health Survey

12. New look National Regional Profiles

13. New portals for the ABS website

14. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heath and Welfare

15. Understanding Statistics

16. ABS releases Forward Work Program for 201011 to 201314

17. Researching Indigenous identification in mortality data via data linkage

18. Research paper on data linkage


The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is pleased to announce that registrations are now open for the NatStats 2010 Conference.

FULL REGISTRATION entitles the delegate to:

  • All conference sessions on Thursday 16 September to Friday 17 September 2010
  • Welcome Reception on Wednesday 15 September 2010
  • Gala Dinner on Thursday 16 September 2010
  • Lunch, morning and afternoon teas on Thursday 16 September to Friday 17 September 2010
  • Conference program handbook and delegate satchel

To register please go to the Registration Page of the NatStats 2010 website.

NatStats 2010 is an initiative of the National Statistical Service and will be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, from 15–17 September 2010.

NatStats 2010 will bring together an array of leaders and high profile commentators, researchers and policy makers from all levels of government, academia, community and business. The conference was initiated to assist in the development of a collaborative approach to national statistics. It focuses on various issues surrounding quantitative and qualitative research, which have been highlighted by key government initiatives.

The overall theme of this year's conference is "Measuring what counts: economic development, wellbeing and progress in 21st century Australia". Delegates will discuss issues surrounding various topics including:

1. Challenges facing Australian society: issues, policy and information.
2. Australia in the global economy. Do we measure up?
3. Improving Australian's wellbeing.
4. Measuring progress: from theory to practice.

An exciting program is being developed and will address a range of issues regarding national statistics. If you would like any further information, please email natstats@nss.gov.au.

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Preparations for the 2011 Census are well underway, with a "dress rehearsal" occurring in selected parts of the country. In NSW, Marrickville, Blacktown, Kingsford and Dubbo will participate in the test Census. The test Census will test not only the traditional 'pen and paper' form of submission, but will also test the eCensus which was offered for the first time in 2006 and will be offered again in 2011.

Keep up to date with the latest Census news and information by emailing census.users@abs.gov.au and typing in "add to Census email" in the subject field. This free email notification service is the best way to be informed of the latest Census developments as they happen.

For more information, see Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, 2011 (cat. no. 2008.0).

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The 2009–10 Year Book Australia was launched by the Governor–General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC at a ceremony at ABS House in Canberra on Friday 4 June.

The Australian Statistician, Brian Pink said, “At every issue, Year Book Australia illustrates Australia’s position at that given point in time.”

The 2009–10 Year Book Australia reflects on the International Years of Biodiversity and Cultural Rapprochement and also pays tribute to the Australian Year of the Girl Guide. There are also Feature Articles on Personal Fraud, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages and Characteristics of the Population.

Some interesting facts from the Year Book include:
  • Eight in ten people over the age of 18 years used a private motor vehicle to get to work or full–time study in 2009.
  • Since Federation in 1901, Australia's population has grown by 17.6 million people.
  • Australia has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 11.3% per capita over the period 1990 to 2007.

For more information, see Year Book Australia 2009–10 (cat. no. 1301.0) or to purchase a hard copy ($50 including GST) contact the National Information and Referral Services on 1300 135 070.

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The ABS released the latest edition of Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) on 30 June 2010. The publication draws together a wide range of statistics from the ABS and other official sources to provide a picture of Australian society and how it is changing over time. The publication is available for free download from www.abs.gov.au/socialtrends.

The latest edition features six articles:
  • Population growth: past, present and future
  • Men's health
  • Child care
  • Underemployment
  • Who's afraid? Feelings of personal safety
  • Environmental awareness and action

The publication shows that:
  • In 2008–09, just under one–third (30%) of Australia's increase in net overseas migration was to New South Wales (89,500 people).
  • In the five years to June 2009, Sydney had the second largest increase to its population with an extra 290,000 people, coming in behind Melbourne which had the highest increase to its population with a gain of 370,000 people. Inner Sydney gained 33,000 people and remained the most densely populated inner city with 4,641 people per km2.
  • The proportion of adults who felt unsafe when alone in certain situations was lower in New South Wales (24%) than the national average (26%) and considerably lower than the proportion in the Northern Territory (35%) or Western Australia (31%).

The release also includes indicator spreadsheets presenting national and state summary data on population, education and other areas. For more information see Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0).

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Measures of Australia's Progress (cat. no. 1370.0) tries to answer the question: 'Is life in Australia getting better?' The next edition is due for release on 15 September, 2010 as a web based publication. It will contain spreadsheet data and State and Territory headline indicator data (where applicable). For the first time the publication will also include a slim–line brochure which will highlight key information.

For more information see Measures of Australia's Progress (cat. no. 1370.0).

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The NSW Department of Planning has released detailed population and housing projections for all NSW Local Government Areas for the next 25 years. The projections are calculated based on current rates of birth, deaths and net migration as well as taking into account housing statistics, land availability and consultation with other government departments. The projections are broken down by age or sex in 5 yearly projections up to 2036 and contain population graphs and pyramids.

The Projections can be accessed from the NSW Planning Website.

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The ABS offers a suite of training courses from introductory topics to more in–depth analysis. As well as offering 'off the shelf' training courses, we can also customise courses to meet your needs on a fee–for–service basis. These courses can be delivered here in our offices or on–site at a location suitable to you.

Dates for training courses in the second half of 2010 are as follows:
  • Turning Data Into Information (2 days) 25 August 2010
  • Analysing Survey Data Made Simple (2 days) 22 September 2010
  • Understanding Demographic Data (1 day) 13 October 2010
  • Making Quality Informed Decisions (1 day) 14 October 2010

We also now offer short training courses on navigating the ABS website and some of our statistical collections, see the training calendar (link below) for details.

For more information, see the Training Calendar, or to discuss a customised training course, please ring our External Training Coordinator on (02) 9268 4302 or email nsw.statistics@abs.gov.au.

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In March 2010 ABS NSW hosted a Community of Statisticians Event on Indigenous Life Expectancy. There were 4 presentations, and then a panel style discussion. The four presenters were:
  • Patrick Corr, ABS: Experimental Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
  • Paul Roper, ABS: New Approaches and Strategies for Counting Indigenous Populations.
  • Helen Moore, NSW Health: Enhanced Reporting of deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples on ABS mortality data through record linkage.
  • Peter Ryan, NSW Aboriginal Affairs: Indigenous Life Expectancy in NSW.

For more information please e–mail nsw.statistics@abs.gov.au.

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The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia. Its role is to initiate, develop and monitor the implementation of policy reforms that are of national significance. In Dec 2008, COAG signed 5 new historic agreements to provide an overarching framework between Commonwealth and State financial reporting relations and a new national reform agenda across the 5 broad areas of policy: Health and Ageing; Disability; Productivity–Education, Skills and Workplace Development; Affordable Housing; and Indigenous.

Recently, the COAG Reform Council released the last of the initial baseline reports on these reform areas. The reports released were:
  • National Healthcare Agreement: Report on Performance 200809
  • National Affordable Housing Agreement: Report on Performance 200809
  • National Disability Agreement: Report on Performance 200809
  • National Indigenous Reform Agreement: Report on Performance 200809

These reports are in addition to the Performance reports released earlier relating to Education and Skills and Workplace Development. Work has now begun on reporting on changes since the baseline reports.

The ABS has been a key player in the COAG process, not just as a data provider but more importantly via the adoption of the ABS Data Quality Framework in the preparation and validation of performance reporting data, as the basis for evidence based decision making for each of these policy reforms. This process has now been made easier with the creation of the Data Quality Online Tool (DQOT). DQOT provides an easier way for providers of COAG Indicator data to create Data Quality Statements based on the Data Quality Framework. The functionality to create Data Quality Statements is expected to be extended beyond COAG uses in the near future for all providers of data.

For more information, please see the DQOT Website or the COAG Reform Council Website.

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The National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) celebrated its 10th Anniversary in March. NIRS consultants are trained in the range of statistical data and information that is produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). For straightforward enquiries, they are able to provide limited free data, web guidance and information to you over the phone. For complex or wide–ranging enquiries about ABS data, they can assist you to find what you need, using resources available through the ABS website and/or many public libraries. In some instances, data may need to be compiled for you on a fee–for–service basis.

Last financial year NIRS received approximately 56,000 phone calls (or almost 1,100 per week), and resolved these enquiries in under 5 minutes on average.

Clients calling the NIRS number can also select to be diverted to a recorded message advising of the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures, this service is utilised by an additional 250 callers per week on average.

The NIRS operates from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays and can be reached on 1300 135 070. For more information please see the ABS Website.

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Around 50,000 people will participate in the next National Health Survey from April 2011, making it the largest Health Survey ever undertaken by the ABS. The survey is being planned in close consultation with the Department of Health and Ageing and the National Heart Foundation of Australia, who have provided supporting funding for new components of the collection. The survey will collect information on what Australians are eating, their physical activity and whether they have previously been diagnosed with health conditions such as arthritis and heart disease. For the first time, information will also be collected on cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and participants will be asked to provide blood and urine samples, on a voluntary basis.

For further information on the survey please contact Corporate Communications on 1300 175 070.

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New look National Regional Profiles were launched in April. The Profiles now use a Google Maps interface to make it easier to find out information about a region, with detailed information available down to the Local Government Area or Statistical Local Area. The profiles contain information on social and economic indicators from ABS Surveys as well as information from other government departments such as the Australian Tax Office and Centrelink.

The National Regional Profile can be accessed from the National Regional Profile Entry Page.

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Four new portals have been launched on the ABS website which make it easier to access information on Media or Geography.

The Media Centre offers a central point for media and others to access information on ABS statistics. It provides a quick way to access: Media Releases, Release Schedules, Resources and Information on publications. In addition, it has one click access to the latest releases of some of the most reported on Main Economic Indicators such as Gross Domestic Product, CPI and Retail Trade figures.

The Geography Portal is a central point in which to access information on ABS Geography such as: information on the current Australian Standard Geographical Classification, and the new Australian Statistical Geographical Standard which is due to be released in 2011 for use at the next Census. The portal also provides an easy access point for Correspondences (formerly called Concordances) as well as a Frequently Asked Questions Section.

Local Government and Small Business are some of the biggest users of Statistics on the ABS website. Now it is even easier for these two sectors to find the information they are looking for with the release of the Local Government Portal and the Small Business Portal. These portals provide a central point for: finding out information on your sector, services provided by the ABS, Helpful links and Statistical Literacy information.

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Information from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, held in 2008, has been released. For the first time the survey also collected information about children. Some of the findings include:

  • Almost 3 out of 4 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4 to 14 years old were engaged in some form of physical activity daily.
  • Nearly one–third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults had experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress which is more than twice the rate for non–Indigenous adults.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and older who have completed Year 12 has risen to 22.1%, from 17.9% in 2002.

For more information, see The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2010 (cat. no. 4704.0).

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The ABS has recently updated its Understanding Statistics web page. The web page contains a variety of tools and resources to help with understanding, interpreting and evaluating statistics. Such resources include: video tutorials, a statistical dictionary, information on statistical training and a statistics blog. There is also a section with tailored information based on the section of the community you are coming from (e.g. school, university, government). The newest edition to the page is A Guide For Using Statistics for Evidence Based Policy.

For more information, see the Understanding Statistics web page.

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The ABS Forward Work Program (FWP) is produced annually and is one of the suite of ABS corporate publications.

The FWP provides background information about statistical and non–statistical programs across the ABS, their objectives and the outputs they produce. It includes details of past and current resource usage, and details developments in the work program for each of the statistical and non–statistical programs over the next four years. The FWP covers all programs in the ABS, across Central Office (Canberra) and all eight state and territory regional offices.

For more information, see the Forward Work Program, 2010–11 to 2013–14 (cat. no. 1006.0).

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In order to gain a better understanding of the extent of Indigenous identification in mortality data, the ABS linked 2006 Census data to death registrations to compare the reported Indigenous status from each dataset. Data linking was conducted by authorised ABS officers during the Census processing period when name and address were available to be used as linking variables. After Census processing, all Census names and addresses held by the ABS were destroyed. This data linking project is referred to as the Indigenous Mortality Quality Study, which forms part of the broader Census Data Enhancement project.

The Research Paper: Linking Census Records to Death Registrations, Mar 2010 (cat. no. 1351.0.55.030) builds on other papers already released about the Indigenous Mortality Quality Study, by elaborating on the probabilistic data linking methodology used to link the Census and death records. An evaluation of the linkage is also provided.

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As part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Census Data Enhancement project, the Migrants Quality Study was conducted to assess the feasibility of linking the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Settlement Database (SDB) to the Statistical Longitudinal Census Dataset (SLCD), without the use of name and address as linking variables. The results of this study have been released in Research Paper: Assessing the Quality of Linking Migrant Settlement Records to Census Data, August 2009 (cat. no. 1351.0.55.027).

The paper provides some background to the Migrants Quality Study, a brief description of the linking process, a thorough evaluation of the quality of the linked data, and associated discussion about the usefulness of the linked data. The results from the quality study indicate that linking the SDB to the SLCD is feasible and can produce useful information that no other data source currently provides. However, some quality issues have been identified that need to be thoroughly understood to ensure the linked data is correctly interpreted and appropriately used.

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