1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
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February 27, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Showcasing our country - 2004 Year Book Australia launched today

The 2004 Year Book Australia, the flagship publication of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), was launched today by the Chair of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council, Professor Sandra Harding.

"The Year Book is unrivalled as a single source of information on Australia," said Professor Harding. "It is a wonderful showcase of official statistics available to assist the community in informed decision making, research and discussion".

"The Year Book records many aspects of our population, our economy and our way of life", said Professor Harding.

The 2004 Year Book has a special theme around Indigenous Australia and brings together a wealth of statistical information on Indigenous Australians.

Professor Michael Dodson, Chair of Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander was a special guest at today's launched and was presented with a leather bound copy of the Year Book by Professor Harding.

Professor Dodson said many people rely on the high quality data from the ABS to make informed decision about matters affecting the Indigenous community.

This 86th edition of Year Book Australia is part of a long held tradition of recording the economic and social conditions in Australia that dates back to 1908.
At today's launch the Australian Statistician, Dennis Trewin said, "The Year Book is one of the principal reference works published by the ABS".

"It's the continued support of individuals, business, government and other organisations, who provide data, that allows the ABS to publish a vast range of valuable information for decision makers.

"I would like to put on the record our thanks to all those who have helped us collect statistics in the past year. Your continued support and cooperation is appreciated".

More detail from the Year Book Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) is available by subject in the "Australia Now" section of the this website.

2004 Year Book Australia Story-lines

Year Book Australia is the principal reference work produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It provides a comprehensive and detailed statistical overview of the various aspects of the economy and social conditions in contemporary Australia.

This edition of the Year Book has an underlying Indigenous theme. It has a number of articles that address aspects of Australia’s Indigenous population.

Following are the 2004 Year Book Australia story-lines for use by the media. These story-lines are written to bring out the key points from chapters in the 2004 Year Book Australia.

Information contained in these story-lines and the 2004 Year Book Australia is under embargo until 11:30am (AEDT) 27 February 2004 and cannot be distributed until after this time.

A key media spokesperson will be available on the day of the release to speak generally about the 2004 Year Book Australia.

Due to the expansive nature of information available in the Year Book, the media spokesperson will only be commenting on information contained in the following story-lines.

If journalists are interested in a specific topic, addition spokespeople may be available to comment.

Special theme: Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians (Population Chapter)

Indigenous Australians are younger on average than the non-Indigenous population. Thirty-nine per cent were under 15 years, compared to 20% of non-Indigenous people in 2001.

Only 3% of Indigenous Australians were aged over 65 years in 2001, compared to 13% of non-Indigenous Australians. The median age of Indigenous Australians in 2001 was 20 years, while for the non-Indigenous population it was 36 years.

This age structure is largely due to relatively high fertility and high mortality in the Indigenous population. Indigenous fertility is estimated at 2.1 babies per woman, compared to 1.7 babies for all women in 2002.

Indigenous workers (Labour Chapter)

Indigenous Australians have higher unemployment and lower levels of workforce participation than Australians overall.

Of those Indigenous Australians who reported their labour force status in the 2001 Census, 42% were employed, 10% unemployed and 48% not in the labour force. For non-Indigenous Australians, 59% of the population was employed, 4% unemployed and 37% not in the labour force.

The unemployment rate for Indigenous Australians was 20% (the number unemployed as a proportion of the total labour force). This is compared to 7% for non-Indigenous Australians.

The main industry in which Indigenous people were employed was government administration and defence (20%), followed by health and community services (12%) and retail trade (9%).

Indigenous incomes (Income and Welfare Chapter)

Indigenous Australians had a mean gross equivalised household income of $364 per week, compared to $585 for non-Indigenous Australians.

Equivalised household income is an estimate of income that has been standardised for the size and composition of the household. It is the amount of income a one-person household would need to maintain a similar standard of living to the household in question.

Indigenous people living in major cities had equivalised income of $435.00 per week, 20% higher than the overall rate for Indigenous Australians.

A greater proportion of Indigenous Australians have incomes at the lower end of income distribution, and their proportion at this level is approximately twice as high as that of non-Indigenous people.

Indigenous health (Health Chapter)

In 2001, after adjusting for age differences, Indigenous adults were more than twice as likely as non-Indigenous adults to smoke (49% compared to 22%).

However age-standardised rates for risky or high risk alcohol consumption are similar for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The Indigenous rates for diabetes were nearly four times higher than the non-Indigenous rates.

Indigenous education (Education and Training Chapter)

The number of Indigenous students attending government schools declines gradually through the compulsory schooling years of Year 1 to Year 9, and the decline accelerates during Years 10 to 12.

However, there has been notable growth in retention of Indigenous students throughout secondary schooling over the five years to 2002. The Indigenous retention rate has risen 5.9 percentage points, compared to 3.6 percentage points for non-Indigenous students in the same period.

Indigenous enrolments in higher education in 2002 (8,871 students) were up 2.4% over 2001 figures.

Indigenous prisoners (Crime and Justice Chapter)

Indigenous people made up 20% (4,494 prisoners) of Australia’s prisoner population on 30 June 2002.

Western Australia recorded the highest imprisonment rate at 2,400 Indigenous prisoners per 100,000 of the adult Indigenous population.

This figure was significantly lower than a year earlier, when it was 3,000 per 100,000 population.

Nationally, the rate of imprisonment of Indigenous Australians was about 15 times that of the non-Indigenous population.

General Year Book Information

Australia’s population (Population Chapter)
Australia’s population growth rate increased slightly to 1.3% for the 12 months to 30 June 2002, slightly above the overall world rate of 1.2%.

Australia’s growth rate is well ahead of Germany (0.1%), Japan (0.1%), the UK (0.3%) and China (0.6%), but behind that of Singapore (3.5%), Papua New Guinea (2.4%), Indonesia (1.6%) and India (1.5%).

Natural increase, rather than net overseas migration, has been the main source of growth since the beginning of the 20th century, accounting for two-thirds of the total increase between 1901 and 2002.

Population change (Population Chapter)

Queensland grew the fastest from June 2001 to June 2002, with a growth rate of 2.16%. Victoria (1.41%) and Western Australia (1.38%) were next highest. The Northern Territory experienced the lowest growth over this period, increasing by 0.12%.

Many of Australia's inner city areas, especially in the larger cities, have experienced rapid growth.

The fastest population declines have occurred in rural areas, mostly through net migration loss - the number of people leaving an area being higher than the number settling there.

Births continue to decline (Population Chapter)

Australia’s fertility rate has reached the lowest point on record at 1.73 babies per woman in 2001. It was 3.5 babies per woman in 1961.

Australia’s fertility rate is well below the world average, but is comparable to that of other developed countries.

The proportion of women remaining childless has increased to 59% of women aged
25-29 years in 2001, compared to 35% in 1981.

One in 20 births registered in Australia in 2001 was an Indigenous baby, i.e., has at least one Indigenous parent. Indigenous women had a higher fertility rate than the general population at 2.14 babies per woman in 2001.

Migration (Population Chapter)

More than 86,000 Australian residents are estimated to have gone overseas on a long-term basis last financial year, up from 47,000 two decades ago.

Permanent settler arrivals totalled nearly 93,000 during the financial year. Of these, 13% were born in New Zealand and a similar number in the United Kingdom. The next largest group (7.1%) was born in mainland China.

Marriage and divorce (Population Chapter)

Fewer Australians are getting married. The crude marriage rate of 5.3 marriages per 1,000 population in 2001 was the lowest on record, down from 5.8 in 1997 and 12.0 in 1942.

The number of people aged 15 years and over in de facto marriages rose by 28% between 1996 and 2001, to 951,000.

De facto partners represent 12% of all people living as socially married, up from 10% in 1996.

There were 12 divorces per 1,000 married men or women in 2000 in Australia. Since 1976 the crude divorce rate has fluctuated between 2.4 and 2.9 divorces per 1,000 population.

Households and families (Population Chapter)

Australian households are getting smaller. In 2002 there was an average of 2.6 people per household, compared to 4.5 people in 1911.

Much of the decline can be attributed to reductions in family size and the increase in one- and two-person households over the years.

The number of one-person households has grown as the population ages, while a combination of ageing, increased numbers of couples without children, and more one-parent families has contributed to the increase in the number of two-person households.

On some projections, couples without children are projected to surpass couples with children as the most common family type by 2016. One-person households are projected to grow to between a quarter and a third of households by 2021 (page 115).

Women and work (Labour Chapter)

Women continue to participate in the workforce at an increasing rate. The female participation rate was 56% in 2002-03, up from 45% in 1982-83.

In contrast, the male participation rate fell from 77% to 72% over the same period.

More women are remaining in the labour force during the child-bearing years.

The 1982-83 female participation rate dropped 17.0 percentage points between the 20-24 year age group and the 25-34 year age group (71.0% and 54.0% respectively).

In 2002-03, the difference between these two age groups was only 6.7 percentage points (77.5% and 70.8% respectively).

Participation and unemployment (Labour Chapter)

The Northern Territory and the ACT had the highest labour force participation rates, both at 73%, and the lowest unemployment rates of 6% and 4% respectively.

Tasmania had the lowest participation rate (58%) and highest unemployment rate (9%).

In New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania, unemployment was higher, and participation in the workforce lower, outside the capital city. However, in South Australia and Western Australia the capital city had a higher unemployment rate.

Employed persons (Labour Chapter)

There has been growth in recent years in the proportion of people employed. Australia’s overall employment/population ratio rose from 58.1% in 1997-98 to 60.0% in 2002-03.

The ratio is a lot higher for men (67.6%) than for women (52.7%).

Full-time vs. part-time (Labour Chapter)
Part-time employment has been growing at a greater rate than full-time for about two decades.

The proportion of part-time workers has almost doubled from 15.7% of the workforce in 1979-80 to 28.5% in 2002-03.

Men are far more likely than women to work full-time (85.2% against 54.3%).

Younger and older people are more likely to work part-time: 67% of employed people aged 15-19 years and 52.5% of people over 65 years worked part-time.
Workplace agreements (Labour Chapter)

Individual agreements are the most common method of setting pay (41%), followed by collective agreements (38%) and awards (20%).

Half of all private sector employees had their pay set by individual agreements, compared to 6% in the public sector.

In the public sector, 90% of employees were covered by collective agreements.

Industrial disputes (Labour Chapter)

There were 259,000 working days lost through disputes in 2002, down 52% from 1997.

The number of employees involved in disputes fell by 49% to 159,700 in the same period.

There has been a significant reduction in working days lost in industrial disputes, and in the numbers of workers involved in disputes, over the last two decades.

Household incomes (Income and Welfare Chapter)

Between 1994-95 and 2000-01 the average income of low income people increased by 8% in real terms, while the average real income of high income people increased by 14%.

Government pensions and allowances were the principal source of income for 76% of low-income people, and wages and salaries for 15%. In contrast wages and salaries were the principal source of income for 88% of high-income people.

However, 52% of low-income people fully owned their own home, compared to 30% for high income people, reflecting the high proportion of elderly people in the low-income category.

Housing (Housing Chapter)

Seven out of ten Australian households live in their own home, and 26% rent their home from a landlord or housing authority.

In 2000-01, 38% of households owned their homes outright. Those paying off a mortgage or loan secured against their home totalled 32%.

Almost 90% of owners live in separate houses, while 52% of renters live in houses and 28% in flats, units or apartments.

House prices (Housing Chapter)

Brisbane recorded the greatest rise in established house prices, up by 24.7% last financial year.

Next came Adelaide (21.7%), Sydney (21.2%), Canberra (19.7%), Perth (13.0%) and Hobart (12.1%). Melbourne’s house prices rose 11.7% and Darwin’s, 6.9%.

Prices of new project homes, excluding land, rose in all capital cities. Hobart recorded the largest increase at 9.2%, followed by Brisbane (7.0%), Canberra (6.3%), Darwin (5.5%), Adelaide (5.2%), Melbourne (3.6%), Perth (3.2%) and Sydney (2.8%).

Home borrowing (Housing Chapter)

The average home loan increased to $169,340 in 2002-03, up from $152,960 in 2001-02.

The strongest growth in housing finance was for established homes, with the number of commitments rising to 547,801, up 2.8% on 2001-02. Commitments for new dwellings fell 13.5%, to 17,526.

Bank loan commitments fell by 2.1% and those with permanent building societies by 5.2%. Other lenders, including credit unions and wholesale lenders, experienced increased commitments (up 8.5%) to capture 21.6% of the market.

Health (Health Chapter)

Most Australians aged 15 years and over consider themselves to be in good health - 82% report their health status as good, very good or excellent.

Almost 78% of Australians reported having experienced one or more long-term health problems. Eyesight and back problems were the most likely conditions.

After adjusting for age differences in the two populations, the rate of diabetes was nearly four times higher for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians.

Australia’s healthy life expectancy is among the highest in the world. Expected years of life without reduced functioning is estimated at 70.1 years for men and 73.2 years for women.

HIV and AIDS (Health Chapter)

The number of HIV infections appears to have increased by around 4% per year since 1999, the year that marked the end of a long decline in HIV infections.

In Australia as at December 2002, AIDS has been diagnosed in 9,083 cases since 1981, and 6,272 deaths have been attributed to the disease.

Smoking (Health Chapter)

In Australia in 2001, some 24% of adults smoked, with the rate highest among 25-34 year olds at 32% (37% of men and 28% of women in that age group).

Men are more likely to smoke than women (28% overall against 21%), and are more likely to smoke over all age groups 18 years and over.

Watching our weight (Health Chapter)

In 2001, more than 6.5 million Australian adults were overweight or obese.

Men were more likely to be overweight or obese than women (55% against 38%). The proportion of adults who were overweight or obese tended to increase with age, peaking among those aged 55-64 years (59%).

Staying on at school (Education and Training Chapter)

The apparent rate of Year 10 students staying on at school to complete Year 12 increased by 2.5% between 1997 and 2002.

In 2002 the apparent rate of retention of full-time students from the commencement of secondary schooling to Year 12 was 75%. Girls were more likely than boys to stay on to Year 12.

Higher education (Education and Training Chapter)

More people are enrolling for higher education.

In 2002 the number of higher education students was 896,621, a rise of 6.5% over 2001. Women made up 54% of the total.

Full-time study was the choice of 64% of higher education students.

Crime (Crime and Justice Chapter)
Nearly one in 20 Australians (4.7%) over 15 years of age reported that they were victims of assault in the 12 months to April 2002, up from 4.3% in 1998.

Break-ins affected 4.7% of households in the 12 months ending April 2002, down from 5.0% in 1998.

Attempted break-ins affected a further 3.4% of households in 2002.

Some 10% of people felt unsafe or very unsafe when at home alone after dark, compared to 4% during the day. More men felt safe than women when alone at home at night - 78% compared to 61%.

Crime involving drugs (Crime and Justice Chapter)

Cannabis is involved in 75% of drug arrests in Australia (55,494 arrests in 2001-02). Queensland recorded almost a third of those arrests.

Amphetamines are the subject of the next largest category of arrests, 11% of the national total drug arrests.

Performing arts (Culture and Recreation Chapter)

In 2002, some 3.8 million Australian adults (26.4%) attended at least one popular music concert.

The number attending at least one opera or musical was 2.7 million (18.7%), and 2.6 million (18%) attended at least one theatre performance.

The figures were similar to, or slightly higher than, those of a 1999 survey.

Sport and physical recreation (Culture and Recreation Chapter)

An estimated 9.1 million Australian adults (62.4%) participated in physical activities for sport, recreation or exercise in the 12 months prior to interview in 2002.

Walking for exercise was the most popular activity for both men and women. Golf and swimming were the next most popular activities for men, while aerobics/fitness and swimming were the next most popular for women.

An estimated 4.1 million Australians aged 15 years and over (27.1%) were involved in organised sport and physical activity in the 12 months to April 2001. This included 1.4 million people who were coaches, referees, sport administrators, scorers or in other non-playing roles.

The agricultural workforce (Agriculture Chapter)

The number of people employed in agriculture decreased to 376,000 in 2002, down from 404,000 in 1997. Men predominated this industry, at 68% of people employed.

The figures included people who worked without pay in a family business or farm.

Forestry (Forestry and Fishing Chapter)

There has been a big increase in softwood woodchip exports from Australia in the last decade. Until 1990-91, at least 95% of woodchips had been from eucalypts.

Since then, greater quantities have become available from pine plantations, and in 2001-02, some 19% of the total value of woodchips exported were from these sources.

Removal of broadleaved wood (primarily from native forests) in 2001-02 fell 8.6%, while 7.5% more coniferous wood (mainly from plantations) was removed.

Fishing (Forestry and Fishing Chapter)

China has become an increasingly bigger destination for Australian fish products, with a 43% rise in exports in 2001-02.

This places China fifth in the list of export destinations, displacing Singapore. The top importers from Australia are Japan, Hong Kong, the United States and Taiwan.

Aquaculture production is growing. In 2001-02, the production of salmon showed a 13% increase on that of the previous year. This accounted for the largest share of aquaculture production, followed by edible oysters and tuna.

Mining (Mining Chapter)
The mining industry’s contribution to Australia’s economy has continued to grow. Its contribution to GDP rose from 3.9% in 1982-83 to 5.3% in 2001-02.

Plastic bags (Energy Chapter)

Australians use around 6.9 billion plastic bags each year.

Studies showed that the manufacture of plastic bags uses less energy that paper bags.

However, research has shown that energy use and greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by over 60%, by switching to larger, reusable bags, by expanding the Australian Retailers Association’s national code of practice on plastic bag management, and by introducing a levy.
Tourism (from page 584)

New South Wales was the most popular destination for domestic and international tourists in 2002.

New South Wales accounted for almost a third of all domestic visitor nights (31%). Queensland was next with more than a quarter of all domestic visitor nights (26%).

New Zealand was Australia’s largest source of international visitors (16%), followed by Japan (15%) and the United Kingdom (13%).

Road deaths (Transport Chapter)

The number of people killed in road traffic accidents in 2002 (1,723) was the lowest since 1950.

The number of accidents involving fatalities in 2002 was 3% down on the previous year, although the number of people killed was down only 1%.

Aircraft accidents (Transport Chapter)

Aircraft accidents have declined since 1991.

In 2002 there were 164 air transport accidents and 34 fatalities, compared to 310 accidents and 66 fatalities in 1992.

The Internet (Communications and Information Technology Chapter)

There were almost 5.1 million subscribers to Internet services at March 2003, compared to 4.2 million a year earlier.

Increasing numbers of subscribers are accessing the Internet using permanent connections, including broadband. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) subscribers increased from 60,000 to 209,000 during the year.

Energy conservation (Environment Chapter)

Australians are doing more to conserve energy. Use of insulation in homes in 2002 was 58%, up from 52% in 1994.

Use of cold water for washing clothes rose to 68% in 2002, up from 61% in 1994.

Solar energy was used by 4% of households.

Research and Development (Science and Innovation Chapter)

Australian businesses spent $5.5 billion on research and development (R&D) in 2001-02, a 13% increase over that spent in 2000-01.

Australia ranks seventeenth of 29 OECD countries in its R&D expenditure as a proportion of GDP (1.53%); behind the US, the UK and Canada, but ahead of Ireland and New Zealand.

Australia is even lower on the list for business expenditure on R&D (19th), but ranks fifth in government expenditure on R&D.

Balance of payments (International Accounts and Trade Chapter)

Australia’s trade balance on goods and services recorded a deficit of $19.7 billion in 2002-03, a large increase on the $1.6 billion deficit in 2001-02.

Between the two years goods and services credits fell $5.0 billion (3.3%) while debits rose by $13.0 billion (8.5%).

International investment and foreign debt (International Accounts and Trade Chapter)

We had a net foreign financial liability of $441.5 billion at 30 June 2003, up 11.3% on the position a year earlier.

The level of net foreign debt at the same point in time was $359.0 billion, up 9% on the previous year.