1003.0 - ABS News for Libraries, Feb 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/03/2008  Ceased
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How do Australians Use Their Time?

How much time do Australians spend reading? How much time do young people spend watching television? Are men spending more or less time on child care activities than in 1997? Which people feel time pressured?

All these questions can be answered with the latest release of How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0), published on 21 February 2008. The 2006 Time Use Survey was the third conducted in Australia, with previous surveys in 1997 and 1992. The survey measures the daily activity patterns of people, providing information about time spent on:

  • paid and unpaid work
  • fitness and health activities
  • transport
  • education
  • radio and television listening/watching
  • outsourcing of domestic tasks
  • leisure
  • use of other technology
  • interactions with others

Here are a few statistics highlighting some of the areas of study in this publication:
  • For men, the average time per day spent on total domestic activities, at 1 hour 37 minutes in 2006, has not changed since 1992. For women, the average time spent on domestic activities has declined over time, from 3 hours and 2 minutes in 1992 to 2 hours 52 minutes a day in 2006 (12% of the day).
  • In 2006, the time spent on recreation and leisure was 4 hours 13 minutes per day, down 15 minutes from 1997, with the largest falls being in time spent on: 'sport and outdoor activities' (down 8 minutes on average); and 'games, hobbies, arts and crafts' (down 7 minutes).
  • For young people (aged 15 to 24 years), the amount of time spent sleeping (9 hours and 2 minutes) is more than half an hour per day longer than for all persons (8 hours 31 minutes), with young females sleeping significantly longer than young males.
  • In 2006, women undertook more than 60% of the goods and services purchasing, spending 58 minutes a day compared with men spending 38 minutes a day. In 1992 women spent 55 minutes a day compared with men's 34 minutes.


Australia's population reached a milestone 21 million during the June quarter 2007 fuelled by the highest population growth rate since 1989.

The increase of 315,700 people resulted in an estimated 1.5% growth rate. Net overseas migration contributed to over half (56% or 177,600 people) of Australia's growth, while natural increase contributed 44% (272,900 births minus 134,800 deaths). See Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2007 (cat. no. 3101.0).

The next annual issue of Migration, Australia 2006-07 (cat. no. 3412.0) is due to be released 26 March 2008. It contains information on international and internal migration by state and territory. This issue has two feature articles:
  • Traveller characteristics of recent net overseas migration; and
  • Permanent departures overseas - where are they going?

Population Concepts

A new Information Paper on Population Concepts (cat. no. 3107.0.55.006) is due to be released on 12 March 2008. This paper will discuss the difference between various concepts such as:
  • Population present
  • Usually resident population
  • Legal population
  • Economic population
  • Working population
  • Service population

Regional Population Growth

For the latest population figures for your Local Government Area check the next issue of the annual Regional Population Growth, Australia (cat. no. 3218.0). Due to be released 31 March 2008, this issue will include preliminary estimates for sub state/territory levels for June 2007.

Defining Sport and Exercise

A Discussion Paper: Defining Sport and Exercise, a Conceptual Model, 2008 was released on 22 February. This paper presents a draft conceptual model defining key concepts commonly used in survey research on sport and exercise. The ABS would be particularly keen to hear feedback from specialists working in the field of sport and physical activity policy, research or measurement.

Finding Sports and Physical Recreation Data

The latest issue of Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2008 (Edition 1), released 1 February, provides a comprehensive guide to finding data about sports and physical recreation.