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Welcome to the July issue of ABStract, my first, working in our ACT office. The last few months have been busy ones for the Bureau, with May’s Federal Budget promising some extra money for the ABS. The Treasurer announced that we will be receiving an additional:
• $57.2m over the next 4 years to upgrade official statistics and for enhancements to the Census – with money committed to various projects including improving the house price index and other key economic statistics; running a natural resource management survey; improving Census population estimates; and improving the use and quality of data on Indigenous Australians.
• A further $19m will be provided so that name-identified Census information can be retained by the National Archives of Australia.
You may have already heard that some of the money is being used to provide ABS publications free on our website. From 1 July all ABS pdf and html publications are free on the web, along with some of our key data sets. After 1 January 2006 we intend to make more data available free of charge. We hope this change will lead to a considerable increase in our audience, and a greater use of official statistics to inform decision making and debate in ACT government and industry, media and wider community. The people in this office will be working hard over the coming months to try to make sure that happens. So – as always – you should feel very free to get in touch with me, or anyone else here, to discuss your data needs.
Because ABS publications will be free on the web, we expect the demand for hard copy publications – which will still be charged – will dry up. And so we have closed our bookshop as at the end of June. We will, however, provide access here to the ABS Website for people who want to visit this office to view the range of ABS publications and discuss where or how to purchase them (and some publications will still be available to people happy to use a credit card to purchase them). If the information you need isn’t on our Website or in a publication we will continue to provide a more specialist information consultancy service for those of you who want to use unpublished ABS data.
I joined this office at the end of April, replacing Tracy Stewart (who has returned to ABS central office) and more recently Alan Masters, who remains in this office but who has moved to run the ACT component of the Census. I’ve spent the past 5 years at the ABS working on a variety of socio-economic research projects, including trying to measure Australia’s progress. One project that I was particularly sad to leave behind was the work on measuring the stock of human capital, and
that work is featured as the first article in this newsletter.
I’m also particularly pleased that we have included a short article here from Patrick Stakelum in the ACT Government’s Chief Minister’s Department. Patrick is working with the ACT’s Community Inclusion Board and I was very interested to hear about the way he, and the government, are using ABS data to examine patterns of financial stress and household debt in Canberra.
Finally, the annual release of this office’s flagship publication – ACT in Focus – is scheduled for early September 2005. We plan to combine the launch of that publication with a celebration of the ABS centenary, and will host an event in mid-September. I look forward to seeing some of you there.
Regional Director, ACT
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Human capital is an important concept in modern economics and in economic policy discourse. Human capital can be simply viewed as productive capacity embodied in working-age individuals. The dynamics of this capacity critically depends on investment in education and training. Human capital growth is a key driver for productivity growth and in sustaining higher standards of living for Australians. Given that the Australian population is ageing, there are significant implications for Government expenditures on health and social welfare payments: human capital is particularly pertinent to policy makers and economic/social analysts.
This article shows some results from this study, highlighting the impact of changes in the population’s age structure on human capital stocks over the past twenty years.
A research paper, Measuring the Stock of Human Capital (cat. no. 1351.0.55.001) was re-issued in March 2005 to provide experimental measures of the stock of human capital for Australia. Although human capital is an important concept in modern economics and in economic policy discourse, direct measures of human capital stocks are available for very few countries. In order to fill this gap, the ABS has recently produced experimental measures of the stock of human capital for Australia.
The method chosen to measure the stock of human capital is the lifetime labour income method, pioneered by two American national account economists Dale Jorgenson and Barbara Fraumeni. The method measures someone’s human capital as the total income they are expected to generate in the labour market over their lifetime. In order to use this method, inferences about future income streams are made using cross-sectional information on current earnings. These projections are made separately according to people’s sex, age and educational attainment. This approach is able to account for the effect on human capital formation of current schooling activities – that is, it can account for additional human capital embodied in those individuals who are still participating in formal schooling and who anticipate improved employment and income prospects as a result.
The data used for this analysis is from the Australian Censuses of Population and Housing in 1981–2001. Age-earnings profiles are constructed for four categories of educational attainment for both men and women over this twenty year period. Based on these age-earnings profiles, per capita measures of lifetime labour market incomes are derived for each age/sex/education cohort using appropriate growth and discount rates, and they are then applied to the number of people in the corresponding group. We then aggregate across all groups to estimate the human capital stock for Australia, which is presented as – (see table 1).
The two fastest growing categories for human capital stock are women with higher and bachelor degrees. The fastest growing groups, for both men and women, were the higher degree holders, with the stock growing faster for women than men over the twenty year period. The growth in human capital stock in the 1980’s was mainly due to an increase in the total population rather than an increased rate of growth in a particular area. The growth in the human capital stock in the 1990’s however, was driven by an increased rate of growth among a specific group – higher and bachelor degree holders. The growth rate for skilled labour and unqualified people has been slowing over the past twenty years, where both men and women have slowed at the same rate. This suggests that while the Australian population has been ageing, we are also becoming more educated.
The average age of educational attainment by Australians increased between 1981 and 2001 – (see table 2).
Population Based Measures of Human Capital Stock in Australia (billions of 2001 dollars)
Average ages by educational attainment, years
Growth in human capital stock has been driven by increases in the human capital embodied in the skilled labour and bachelor degree groups.
As people age, their human capital changes. All other things being equal, someone’s remaining lifetime labour income will tend to decrease (because their time left in the labour force has shortened). However, as people spend longer in the work force they gain skills and experience, which increases their productive capacity and, therefore, their income. The rate at which they gain skills and experience can change over time. The decrease or decomposition shows that any reduction in human capital from a ‘reduction in working life’ effect, has been more than outweighed by the ‘increasing skills and experience’ effect combined with an increase in the number of people classed as ‘skilled labour’ or with higher educational attainment.
The ABS research indicates Australian human capital has increased significantly over the past 20 years, despite an ageing population. Human capital among the most educated people has increased most rapidly, especially among women, while the average ages of people with tertiary qualifications has also increased, in particular for higher degree and bachelor degree holders. Any reduction in human capital from an ageing work force effect, has been offset by increases in the quality of human capital in the workforce.
In the future, the ABS hopes to use these estimates of human capital stock alongside physical capital to establish a more complete understanding of national ‘capital’.
For more information please contact Sarah Dexter, firstname.lastname@example.org or Hui Wei, email@example.com.
In response to the growing user interest in the older population, ABS has been reviewing its selection practices for enumerating supplementary topics in its Monthly Population Survey. While there are no upper age limits for the core labour force topics, there are such limits for some supplementary topics. The review assessed the impact of removing these cut-offs, taking into account data quality, respondent load and costs. As a result of the review the age scope for Labour Force Experience, Labour Mobility, Persons Not in the Labour Force and Education and Work have been increased to include all people aged 15 years and over.
For most topics, the numbers of people in the older age groups are expected to be small and, given the high sampling errors associated with estimates for age groups over 70 years, such estimates would probably only be published at an aggregate level. However, consideration is being given to publishing information for 10 or 15 year age groupings for the older age groups (either 65-80 and then 80 and over, or if there is sufficient sample, 65–75 and then 75 and over). Even though more detailed data may not be published because of quality concerns, it could be made available on request to those who might find it still useful.
ABS recognises the increasing importance of issues around ageing and recognises the need to improve the availability and accessibility of reliable information about people in older age groups. We will continue to consider these issues as we further develop the ABS survey program and put in place strategies for disseminating survey results.
For more information, contact Maryann Wood on (07) 3222 6206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over recent years the issues associated with the structural ageing of the population have received increased attention by governments and researchers. Broad issues affecting the ageing population include ensuring adequate retirement incomes, labour force participation, healthy ageing, and provision of community support, health services and aged care. Challenges in relation to population ageing include improving the capacity of older people for work, through better education and health; identifying better incentives for people to remain in the labour force, and improved flexibility in the workplace.
Mature age persons (those aged 45–64 years) have been identified as a key population group in terms of policy development to address these challenges. A series of Mature Age Statistical Profiles (cat. no. 4905.0.55.001) have been produced to provide an insight into the characteristics of mature age persons.
Population and Cultural Diversity
This profile focuses on the demographic characteristics, geographic distribution and cultural diversity of the mature age population.
This profile focuses on the labour force characteristics of mature age people. It describes current labour force participation compared to twenty years ago and for those employed, looks at hours of work, type of employment and the industries and occupations where they are employed. It also describes the extent to which their labour may be underutilised.
This profile provides a picture of the health status of the mature age population. It provides a measure of those who are experiencing illness or disability; have recorded risk factors; and are using health services.
This profile draws data from the 2002–03 Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) and examines the housing characteristics, household income and housing costs of the mature age population.
Education and Training
This profile presents information about the education and training experience of mature age persons. Information is drawn from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Education and Work, 2004 and the Survey of Education and Training, 2001.
This profile focuses on the community life aspects of the mature age population, focusing on factors that impact on social and community participation.
It draws on data from the General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the ABS in 2002.
This profile presents information on the family and household structure of mature age persons. Detailed examination of the dwelling and structures, people and relationships and the quality aspects of living arrangements are discussed. It draws primarily on data from the Census of Population and Housing.
For more information, contact Maryann Wood on (07) 3222 6206 or email email@example.com.
The Information Paper: Determining Seats in the House of Representatives – Legislative Requirements for Provision of ABS Statistics (cat. no. 3107.0.55.002) was released in May 2005.
This information paper sets out the current requirements under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 in respect of ABS population statistics to be used for determining representation of the states and territories in the House of Representatives. The paper also summarises the actions that will be taken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics when responding to the Electoral Commissioner’s formal request for data to be used for the next electoral determination due to be made in late 2005.
This information paper will be republished in Australian Demographic Statistics, March Quarter 2005 (cat. no. 3101.0) scheduled for released on 22 September 2005. This release will also contain the population estimates that will be provided to the Electoral Commissioner. Please note that the release will also include routine annual revisions to the components of population growth (being for 2003–2004) and hence ERPs for the quarters from September 2003 onwards.
The information paper has been released as a Main Features on the ABS website, and as a PDF file more appropriate for printing.
Inquiries should be directed to Patrick Corr (02) 6252 6411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, by Patrick Stakelum from the ACT Chief Minister’s Department, talks about the way ABS data is being used to help understand more about the links between household debt and social exclusion in Canberra.
The ACT Community Inclusion Board was established in February 2004 as a key initiative of the Canberra Social Plan. The Board is tasked with providing high-level advice to the government on community inclusion issues.
Household Debt in Canberra
Current studies have demonstrated that the ACT has the most indebted households in Australia. The Board was interested to find out whether there was a relationship between financial stress and social exclusion. Chief Minister’s Department was tasked with preparing a report that explored the level and extent of financial stress being experienced by ACT households. The level of household debt, which includes mortgage and personal or consumer debt, was identified as a primary indicator of financial wellbeing.
ABS General Social Survey 2002
Data from the ABS General Social Survey 2002 were used to create a profile of household debt in Canberra. Households were divided into four categories based on income and debt levels. Adopting the ABS definition of financial stress as the inability to raise short-term funds, the report identified financial stress within the context of household debt as the “inability to meet debt repayments, either by the inability to access additional credit or by taking a dissaving action”.
The report indicated that there was a strong correlation between income level and financial stress. This means that high-income households were less likely to experience difficulty in meeting debt repayments, even if they also have the highest levels of debt. Conversely, low-income households were more likely to experience difficulty in servicing their debt, regardless of the proportion of debt to household income.
The report was able to identify a relationship between household income and financial stress based on the data provided in the General Social Survey. The report also relied on the General Social Survey to assist in formulating the premise for the Household Debt Pilot Project, which is to determine whether for low-income households, the greater the extent of financial stress, the higher the risk of social exclusion.
For further information ring Patrick Stakelum on (02) 6205 0677 or email email@example.com.
Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2004 (cat. no. 6281.0)
The results from the survey were released in December 2004, it collected information on paid and unpaid involvement in 35 different culture and leisure activities. During the 12 months prior to April 2004, there were 789,900 persons involved in visual art activities in Australia. These included photography, drawing, computer art and painting. Involvement in other culture activities included writing (556,500 persons), craft activities (542,700), performing arts (423,900), design (370,200), fete organising (336,500) and music (305,200). Males and females had different levels of involvement in
particular culture and leisure activities. The publication contains 3 tables with state level data.
Contact Chris Giddings on Adelaide (08) 8237 7326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity, Australia, April 2004 (cat. no. 6285.0) In the 12 months prior to April 2004, an estimated 4.3 million persons aged 15 years and over reported involvement in organised sport and physical activity, representing 27% of persons 15 years and over. Persons involved in organised sport and physical activity included 3.7 million players (23%), as well as 1.5 million (10%) who were involved in a non-playing role such as a coach, umpire or committee member. A higher percentage of males (31%) than females (23%) were involved in organised sport and the 15 to 24 year age group had the highest rate of involvement (39% participating in organised sport or physical activity). The publication, released in Februray 2005, contains four tables with state level data.
Contact Mike Stratton on Adelaide (08) 8237 7399 or email email@example.com.
Released in February 2005, this publication contains 26 tables presented in Excel spreadsheet format, mainly at the Australia level, with four tables providing capital city data. For example in Australia in 2002–03, there were approximately 19.3 million people or 7.6 million households living in private dwellings, up 8% on the number of people in private dwellings in 1995–96. There was a larger increase in the number of households over this period (up 15%), reflecting a decrease in the average household size from 2.68 to 2.53 persons. The average dwelling size remained the same at 3.0 bedrooms per dwelling.
The proportion of separate houses decreased from 80% to 78%, while the proportion of dwellings that were either semi-detached houses or town houses rose (from 8% to 10%).
Contact Alan Wong on Canberra (02) 6252 5508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest version of the National Regional Profile (NRP) was released on the ABS website on 29 March 2005.
People and organisations who need a snapshot of their local region now have access to more information at the click of a button. Information is available for Local Government Areas, Statistical Local Areas, Statistical Subdivisions, States/Territories and Australia.
First released in 2004, the NRP is an easy to use self-help facility that allows users to find their selected region from a map or pick-list and then download a spreadsheet of information for that region. The NRP was developed in response to requests for more accessible information about regions.
The most significant change in the latest NRP release is that it has a five year time series (1999–2003), which will allow users to see changes in economic and social characteristics of their region over time. Other changes include the addition of new data on sources of income, and data on the value of agricultural production.
It is intended that more indicators will be added in the future, to make the profiles even more comprehensive. The NRP can be accessed free of charge via the ‘Regional Statistics’ icon on the right hand side of the ABS Website home page.
For further information please contact Treva Richards by phone on (08) 8237 7338 or by email to email@example.com.
The ABS has recently released new data at the regional level (including Local Government Area (LGA) and Statistical Local Area (SLA)), about the types and total amount of income people receive. The estimates have been compiled for the first time using a combination of aggregated individual income tax data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and aggregated income support customer data from the Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS).
Further details about the estimates are in a free Information Paper : Experimental Estimates of Personal Income for Small Areas, Taxation and Income Support Data, 1995–96 to 2000–01 (cat. no. 6524.0).
The Information Paper :
• provides some of the results for Local Government Areas (in Appendix 1 on page 32)
• includes an overview of the administrative data sources used
• outlines how the estimates were compiled
• explains some of the data limitations.
The compilation of these data is part of the ABS’ program to increase the availability of regional statistics, particularly through the use of administrative data collected by other government agencies. This should assist users of regional statistics, researchers, analysts and service providers to better understand regional populations and economies.
In addition to the data presented in the Information Paper, two sets of tables with data for Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) are available as spreadsheets (cat. no. 6254.0.55.001). A charge may apply for these spreadsheets.
The first set (Table 1), containing data for each of the years 1995–96 to 2000–01, provides a breakdown of total personal income by the following sources:
• wage and salary
• own unincorporated business
• superannuation and annuity
• government cash benefit
• other income.
The second set (Table 2) contain data for each of the years 1995–96 to 2001–02, provides a further breakdown of government cash benefits by five main payment types:
• age pension
• disability support pension
• newstart allowance
• parenting payment
• youth allowance.
As the economic wellbeing of most individuals across Australia is largely determined by the amount of income they receive, these data provide valuable information about relative advantage and disadvantage in regions and indicate the level of financial resources available for the population in a region. The source of income, such as from government cash benefits, also provides information about the contribution of such payments to total income in regions.
For further information please contact Mark Nowosilskyj by phone on (08) 8237 7358 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Final Release of CLIB 2001, the product from the Census designed for use in libraries, is now available – giving the community access to the full range of 2001 Census data free of charge. This final release of CLIB 2001 includes revisions to data contained in previous releases and improvements to its installation procedures. It replaces all previous versions of CLIB 2001. The data contained in CLIB 2001 – Final Release, is formatted into dozens of easy to use tables from the Basic Community Profile, Indigenous Profile, Time Series Profile, Expanded Community Profile and Working Population Profile. It also contains the complete range of Classification Counts from the 2001 Census, which contain detailed data for each variable for Capital Cities and States and Territories.
The data is available to either view on the screen or print. CLIB 2001 has an intuitive interface that allows you to easily find and select the data you want. Area selections are made easy with a simple drill-down map interface, allowing you to make your selection from an area as large as Australia to as small as a Collection District. Once an area is selected, you can conveniently browse the available data by topic or by profile. An extensive range of Census reference material is included with CLIB 2001, including the Census Dictionary, the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), and a replica of the household Census form.
CLIB 2001 is available free of charge to eligible libraries through the Library Extension Program (LEP). Eligible libraries include public libraries, university libraries, Parliamentary libraries and the National and State libraries. All LEP member libraries and those libraries who received previous releases will be sent a copy of CLIB 2001 Final Release. Other libraries may request a copy by emailing email@example.com.
The information paper Enhancing the Population Census: Developing a Longitudinal View (cat. no. 2060.0) was released on 26 April 2005. The paper describes a proposal to enhance the value of 2006 Census of Population and Housing data by combining it over time with data from future censuses, and other ABS data.
The information paper includes specific information on key issues on which submissions are sought, as well as providing examples of possible cases where the enhanced data provide potential statistical value.
For further information contact Rosalie Butler on (02) 6252 6294, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have ever needed to find out anything about the state of New South Wales, an extensive array of statistical information is now available in NSW In Focus, 2005 (cat.no. 1338.1) a new publication released on 10 June 2005.
Drawing on data from a range of ABS and non ABS sources it contains nine chapters in all, presenting an overview of current social, economic and environmental indicators. NSW in Focus presents data in easy to read tables for a wide range of state issues such as health, education and training, crime and justice and transport. Features also include a summary of findings for each chapter detailing the change in headline indicators over the last five years. This publication also includes some selected data for regional NSW. Essentially this is a useful easy to use reference for government agencies, universities, other education facilities, research organisations and the general community.
For further information contact Allan McLean on (02) 9268 4795, email email@example.com.
The second issue of ACT and Region ... A Statistical Atlas (cat. no. 1381.8) was released on 12 April 2005.
This publication, the second in the annual series, provided a view of characteristics of the Australian Capital Territory and region, through a series of 24 colour maps around several themes. The themes for this issue are Welfare, Health and Transport.
Topics such as ‘SEIFA - Index of Economic Resource’, ‘SEIFA - Index of Education and Occupation’, ‘Hospital Separations’, ‘Registered Passenger Motor Vehicles’, ‘Age Pension’ and ‘Indirect Standardised Death Rate’ are included in this issue.
Each topic has two maps, one for the ACT and one for the ACR, for comparison between ACT suburbs and between the ACT and surrounding areas. Some highlights from the publication:
• In the ACR, Yarrowlumla (Part B) was the most affluent area both in terms of economic resources and education and occupation in 2001
• There were 17,160 ACT residents receiving the age pension and 6,885 residents receiving the disability support pension as at June 2003
• Eurobodalla had the highest proportion of people in the ACR receiving the age pension in 2003, followed by Harden and Young. Eurobodalla also recorded the highest number of hospital separations (11,522) in 2002–03
• At 30 June 2003, there were 164,952 passenger motor vehicles registered for private use in the ACT. Eurobodalla had the highest rate of passenger motor vehicle ownership in the ACR followed by Tallaganda and Queanbeyan.
1249.0 Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG), 2005–06 (July)
1266.0 Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups, 2005–06 (August)
1267.0 Australian Standard Classification of Languages, 2005–06 (July)
1307.8 Australian Capital Territory in Focus, 2005 (September)
1314.8 Australian Capital Territory at a Glance, 2005 (September)
1363.0 Book Publishers, 2003–04 (July)
1371.0 Book Retailers, Australia, 2003–04 (August)
1382.0 Informing a Nation: the Evolution of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2005 (September)
1382.0.30.001 Informing a Nation: the Evolution of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2005 (September)
2011.0 Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing - Proposed Products and Services, 2006 (August)
3222.0 Population Projections, Australia, 2004 to 2101 (September)
3412.0 Migration, Australia, 2003–04 (September)
4183.0 Cultural Funding by Government, Australia, 2003–04 (July)
4307.0.55.001 Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2003–04 (September)
4390.0 Private Hospitals, Australia, 2003–04 (July)
4390.0.15.001Private Health Establishments: Acute and Psychiatric Hospital Facilities, Data Report on Floppy Disk, 2003–04 (September)
4390.0.15.002Private Health Establishments: Free Standing Day Hospital Facilities, Data Report on Floppy Disk, 2003–04 (September)
4390.0.40.001 Private Health Establishments: Acute and Psychiatric Hospital Facilities Data Report on Hardcopy, 2003–04 (September)
4390.0.40.002 Private Health Establishments: Free Standing Day Hospital Facilities, Data Report on Hardcopy, 2003–04 (September)
4611.0 Environment Expenditure, Local Government, Australia, 2003–04 (August)
4704.0 The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2005 (August)
NATIONAL ACCOUNTS, INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND FINANCE
5338.0 Balance of Payments, Australia: Supplementary Country Statistics, 2004 (July)
5352.0 International Investment Position, Australia: Supplementary Country Statistics, 2004 (July)
LABOUR STATISTICS AND PRICES
6523.0 Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia, 2003–04 (July)
6530.0 Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2003–04 (July)
7113.0 Agriculture, Australia, 2002–03 (July)
7503.0 Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, 2003–04 (September)
8104.0 Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2003–04 (September)
8155.0.55.001 Australian Industry: Industry Concentration Statistics, Data Report, 2002–03 (September)
This listing shows a selection of ABS publications expected to be released over the coming quarter. The expected month of release is shown in brackets. Release dates may vary from those shown. Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0) which is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <https://www.abs.gov.au>. The web site also provides daily release information.
OFFICE HOURS: 9am to 4.30pm Mon to Fri Level 5
33–35 Ainslie Avenue
Ph. (02) 6207 0326
Fax (02) 6207 0282
POSTAL ADDRESS: ACT ABS Office
Locked Bag 10
BELCONNEN ACT 2616
CPI INFORMATION LINE 1902 981 074 (75c per minute)
WEB SITE: www.abs.gov.au
NATIONAL INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICE
Telephone 1300 135 070
Fax 1300 135 211
ABS ACT REGIONAL CONTACTS:
Regional Director: Jon Hall (02) 6207 0283
Assistant Director: Brent Perkins (02) 6207 0244
Project and Information Manager: Gordon Knox (02) 6207 0484
ACT Census Management Unit: Alan Masters (02) 6207 0286
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