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In 2006, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducted the second General Social Survey (GSS), a multidimensional social survey which asked Australian adults (persons aged 18 years and over) a wide range of questions about their personal characteristics and the characteristics of their households. The aspects covered include:
It should be noted that the data from the 2006 GSS may not be consistent with 2006 Census data released 27 June 2007 available on the ABS Website. Besides sampling error, which is inherent in survey data, discrepancies may also arise due to the differences in timing, instruments and methodologies between these two ABS data collections.
GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEY: SELECTED COMPARISONS
The table below makes selected comparisons for a range of Queensland characteristics between the 2002 GSS, the 2006 GSS, and the national 2006 GSS results. Caution should be exercised when making comparisons between the 2002 GSS and the 2006 GSS as some of the other data items may not be comparable due to changes between the two surveys, such as question wording or data breakdowns.
GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEY: Selected Characteristics
The remainder of this article focuses on the Queensland results from the 2006 GSS for the dimensions of Family and Community Support and Crime and Safety. More articles based on the results from the 2006 GSS will be released in future issues of Qld Stats (cat. no. 1318.3).
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Relationships and networks are at the core of society and are essential to individual wellbeing. People are linked with family and friends, and in wider communities by shared interests, sympathies or living circumstances. Individuals may also form looser networks with people encountered through various activities and life situations.
ASKING FOR SMALL FAVOURS OR HELP IN A CRISIS, Queensland – 2006
Source: General Social Survey, Queensland, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001).
The 2006 GSS found 94% of Queensland adults born in Australia could ask for small favours from persons living outside the household, while those born in main English speaking countries, excluding Australia, recorded a higher proportion (97%). The proportion was lower (88%) for Queensland adults born in countries where English wasn't the main language but who could speak English proficiently, and lower again (81%) for those who weren't proficient in spoken English. When surveyed about being able to get support in a time of crisis from persons living outside the household, the pattern was similar with the respective proportions for these four groups at 94%, 94%, 89% and 78%.
In 2006, 96% of Queensland adults who reported their health status as excellent were able to get help from persons outside the household in a time of crisis, whereas only 80% of those who reported their health status as poor were able to get help.
The 2006 GSS recorded 87% of Queensland adults with a disability or long-term health condition, and a core activity restriction, reported they could get help from persons outside the household in a time of crisis, and 89% could ask for small favours from them. However, 96% of Queensland adults with no disability or long-term health condition reported they could ask for help from persons outside the household in a time of crisis, which was the same proportion that reported they could ask small favours from them.
HAD UNDERTAKEN VOLUNTARY WORK(a), Queensland – 2002 and 2006
Source: General Social Survey, Queensland, 2002 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001);
General Social Survey, Queensland, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001).
In 2006, 38% of Queensland adults had undertaken voluntary work 12 months prior to being surveyed, up 2% on 2002. Across age groups, Queenslanders aged 35–44 years had the highest proportion who had undertaken voluntary work in both 2002 (44%) and 2006 (47%), while those aged 65 years and over had the lowest (27% respectively). Those aged 25–34 years had the largest increase, rising from 30% in 2002 to 39% in 2006.
CRIME AND SAFETY
The level of crime is an indicator of community wellbeing that is of interest both to governments looking for solutions and to people trying to manage the daily circumstances of their lives. Readers should note, however, that the reported level of crime victimisation can differ depending on the way the information is collected. In particular, the results from the GSS differ from the results from the ABS's National Crime and Safety Survey. Further, details comparing GSS findings with other crime victimisation data sources can be found in Appendix 3 of the publication General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0) and in the Information Paper: Measuring Crime Victimisation, Australia: The Impact of Different Collection Methodologies, 2002 (cat. no. 4522.0.55.001).
FELT SAFE/VERY SAFE WALKING ALONE IN LOCAL AREA AFTER DARK, Queensland – 2006
Source: General Social Survey, Queensland, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001).
When surveyed for the 2006 GSS about feelings of safety while walking alone in their local area after dark, the differences between Queensland men and women who felt safe or very safe were marked across all age groups. The oldest age group, 65 years and over, had the lowest proportions for both men (37%) and women (13%), and the smallest difference (24%) between genders. The highest proportion for women (38%) was recorded for those aged 35–44 years, which was less than half the highest for men at 78% for those aged 18–24 years. This age group recorded the second lowest proportion for women (21%) and the largest difference (56%) between genders.
VICTIM OF PHYSICAL OR THREATENED VIOLENCE(a), Queensland – 2006
Source: General Social Survey, Queensland, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.3.55.001)
In contrast to the results about feelings of safety for Queensland men aged 18–24 years, the 2006 GSS also found this group had the highest proportion (43%) of any gender and age group who reported being a victim of physical or threatened violence in the twelve months prior to being surveyed. This was more than double the second highest proportion (20%) for women aged 18–24 years. The second youngest age group, 25–34 years, recorded the next highest proportions who were victims of physical or threatened violence for both women and men (18% respectively). All other age groups for women recorded proportions no greater than 10%, and only men aged 65 years and over recorded a proportion less than 10%.
The 2006 GSS found 12% of Queensland adults reported they'd been the victim of an actual or attempted break-in in the 12 months prior to being surveyed. Those living in inner regional areas recorded the lowest proportion (9%), followed by those living in major cities (12%), with Queensland adults living in other areas, excluding sparsely settled areas, recording the highest proportion (16%) who'd been the victim of an actual or attempted break-in.
When surveyed in 2006 about aspects of community trust, just over half (54%) of Queensland adults agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that most people could be trusted, while almost one third (32%) disagreed or strongly disagreed with it. When asked about trust in the police, more than three-quarters (77%) agreed or strongly agreed they could trust their local police, while less than one in ten (9%) disagreed or strongly disagreed. The GSS found trust in other police (i.e. not local police) was not as prominent with about two-thirds (66%) of Queensland adults agreeing or strongly agreeing they could be trusted.
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