Year Book Australia is the principal reference work produced by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It provides a comprehensive and detailed statistical overview of various aspects of the economy and social conditions in Australia, together with their administrative and legislative background. In addition, it contains descriptive matter dealing with Australia’s government, international relations, defence, geography and climate.
The first Official Year Book of the Commonwealth was published in 1908, although individual Australian states and colonies had been producing year books for several decades previously.
This 85th edition of Year Book Australia has environmental issues, and particularly sustainable development, as a major theme. A number of articles throughout this edition address aspects of Australia's environment (see prologue).
The statistics contained in this edition are the most recent available at the time of its preparation. In many cases, the ABS web site and the web sites of other organisations provide access to more recent statistics. The sources of information are shown throughout and at the end of chapters of the Year Book, while the ABS Catalogue of Publications and Products (1101.0) lists all current publications of the ABS.
ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated.
Particular thanks and appreciation are extended to those organisations which have kindly supplied material for inclusion in this 2003 edition of Year Book Australia.
I also take the opportunity to extend my thanks to the many ABS staff who contribute each year to the preparation and production of the Year Book.
Australian Bureau of Statistics