1300.1.55.001 - Statistics News NSW, Jun 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/06/2008   
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Measures of Australia's ProgressIS LIFE IN AUSTRALIA GETTING BETTER?

The ABS released the 2008 edition of Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators (cat. no. 1383.0.55.001) in April. This publication is designed to help Australians assess how our society, economy and environment are progressing. The release includes state/territory spreadsheets, to show the relative contribution of each state/territory to the national indicators.

The publication shows that:

  • We're living longer. A boy born in 2006 could expect to live to 79 (three years longer than a boy born in 1996) while a girl could expect to reach 83 (two years longer than a girl born in 1996).

  • We're wealthier. Australia's real net worth (i.e. adjusted to remove the effects of price change) per person rose at an average rate of 0.9% per year between June 1997 and June 2007.

  • Crime rates varied. There was a small increase in the rate of people who had experienced certain types of 'personal crime' (assault, sexual assault or robbery) between 1998 and 2005, from 4.8% to 5.3%. However, the rate of selected household crimes (break-ins and car theft) fell from 9.0% to 6.2% over the same period.

  • There's mixed news on the environment. The data suggests some decline in Australia's biodiversity, partly captured in a rise in the number of threatened bird and mammal species (up 14% between 2000 and 2007). On the other hand, air quality is generally good and the rate of land clearing has declined slightly.

    In New South Wales:

  • Life expectancy is similar to the figures for Australia as a whole.

  • About 61% of 25-64 year olds in NSW had a non-school qualification (e.g. a degree, diploma or certificate) in 2007, up from 47% in 1997.

  • The average net worth of households in NSW was about $632,000 in 2005-06, compared with $563,000 for Australian households.

    For further information regarding this publication, contact the National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070 or Josie Barac in Canberra on (02)6252 5414.