1001.0 - Australian Bureau of Statistics -- Annual Report, 2013-14  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/11/2014   
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The Social Conditions Program provides statistical leadership, standards development and information for a broad picture of the economic and social wellbeing of the Australian population. Statistics from the program cover topics including income, expenditure, wealth, housing, superannuation, families, gender, violence, time use, work and family balance, volunteering, homelessness and social capital.

The program provides design, development, collection management and processing services to support the Growing up in Australia Study (Longitudinal Study of Australian Children), in partnership with the Department of Social Services and the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

The program’s statistics are used to support policy development, program delivery and program evaluation of key government agencies involved in income support and other government assistance, taxation, housing, homelessness, community and family services,

and issues related to older people, children, youth, men and women.

Key achievements in 2013–14

  • Results from the 2011–12 Survey of Income and Housing were released in summary publications, detailed tables and confidentialised unit record files (CURF’s). The results support aggregate and distributional analysis of household income, wealth and housing occupancy and costs by a range of characteristics such as income levels and sources, household size and family composition, age, employment status, tenure type and geographic location.
  • The 2013–14 Survey of Income and Housing was conducted. This survey is conducted every two years to provide detailed information on household income, wealth and housing for a range of household types.
  • Results from the 2012 Household Energy Consumption Survey were released in summary publications, detailed tables and CURFs. The results support analysis of information needs relating to household energy use in Australia.
  • Housing Occupancy and Costs 2011–12 was released, with improvements to measures of income data including improved measures of low income rental affordability. An additional time series data cube focusing on housing affordability was included for the first time.
  • Results from the 2012 Personal Safety Survey were released in summary publications, detailed tables and CURFS. The results support analysis about the nature and extent of violence experienced by men and women since the age of 15, including their experience of violence in the 12 months prior to the survey. It also enables analysis of men’s and women’s experiences of current and previous partner violence, lifetime experiences of stalking, physical and sexual abuse before the age of 15, sexual harassment and general feelings of safety.
  • Development for the sixth wave of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children was successfully completed, with enumeration commencing in March 2014.
  • Data processing for the fifth wave of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children was successfully completed.
  • The fifth and sixth issues of , were released. A new feature was the ‘Latest highlights’ pages, providing brief commentaries and graphs on some of the latest data.


The Health and Disability program develops, compiles and disseminates information about the health of the Australian population. It does this through a range of health information collections including:
  • Causes of Death collection
  • Australian and National Health Surveys
  • Patient Experience Survey
  • Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers
  • Private Health Establishments Collection.

Information is extracted and analysed from these collections to understand patterns of health risk factors, health service usage, health outcomes, the experience of patients in using health services, and the pattern of disability in the community.

The information is used by Australian, state and territory governments to identify public health and disability issues, assess their magnitude and distribution, assess health system performance, develop health policies and undertake program evaluation. The information is also used by community groups, by academics to better understand the health outcomes of the population and their drivers, and by the general public and the media interested in health risks and issues.

Key achievements in 2013–14

  • The first ever ABS release of biomedical results for the Australian population was made.
  • Nutrition information was released from the Australian Health Survey. This represents the first nationally comparable set of nutrition information since 1995.
  • The first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survey results from the Australian Health Survey, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics were released.
  • New analysis, Young People with Disability, was released.
  • The results for the 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers CURF and nearly 200 state tables were released.
  • A sustainable release process for causes of death micro-data was finalised in collaboration with the Australian Coordinating Registry.
  • The ABS engaged with the World Health Organisation in the development and assessment of the next revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD–11).


The Labour Statistics Program provides evidence to support labour market, economic and social analysis through the provision of high quality labour statistics in a timely, efficient and effective manner. The program provides information about the structure and performance of the labour market, including statistics on labour supply (such as labour force participation, employment, hours worked, unemployment and labour underutilisation); labour demand (job vacancies); employment conditions and working arrangements; employee earnings and labour costs; and workplace relations.

Key achievements in 2013–14
  • Labour force estimates for the period July 1991 to December 2013 were revised to reflect the population benchmarks being updated to include information from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing, and were released in February 2014.
  • Labour force regional statistics classified to the Statistical Area 4 level of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard were released in February 2014, providing a longer time series on a consistent geographical basis.
  • The Monthly Population Survey sample designed on information from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing and geography based on the Australian Statistical Geography Standard was introduced from May to August 2013.
  • Online self-enumeration was implemented in many of the surveys in the Labour Statistics Program including the Labour Force Survey, the Job Vacancies Survey, Average Weekly Earnings Survey, and Survey of Employment and Earnings. The take-up rate for the business surveys has been high (above 90%), and for the Labour Force Survey has been at around 20%.
  • The first phase of a review of Industrial Disputes statistics was completed. Since the last comprehensive review in 1999, there have been a number of changes to industrial relations legislation and the nature of the labour market. An important element of the review was to understand the contemporary and future data requirements of users. With the first phase of the review complete, the ABS is investigating the operational implications of implementing the recommendations.


The Crime and Justice statistics program leads national statistical activity aimed at developing and improving available information. The program covers the activities of the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics, which includes three separate user-funded statistical units: the National Crime Statistics Unit; the National Criminal Courts Statistics Unit; and the National Corrective Services Statistics Unit. These units compile and publish national statistics on recorded crime, courts and corrections, and work with statistical practitioners in the jurisdictions to improve the quality of the source data.

The ABS also conducts a survey program in the field of crime and justice statistics. This includes both special purpose surveys aimed at producing rates of victimisation for personal and household crimes, and information on the experience and consequences of crime, as well as more general surveys aimed at understanding the experience of crime within a broader social context.

The main clients of this program include the Australian Attorney-General’s Department and the state and territory agencies responsible for police services, courts administration and corrective services. Agencies responsible for criminal justice research and policy are also significant users of program outputs.

Key achievements in 2013–14

  • Seven annual and four quarterly publications were produced. Included were major content changes—rationalisation and restructuring of tables—which met user requirements for greater focus on national data.
  • The evidence base for family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia was improved with the publication of (ABS cat. no. 4529.0.00.002).
  • Work was commenced with the Attorney-General’s Department to identify data gaps in the civil justice system and provide recommendations to improve the current evidence base.
  • The ABS contributed to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Taskforce developing and testing an International Classification of Crimes.
  • The ABS supported the Personal Safety Survey 2012 release and successfully assumed data custodianship responsibility, with high levels of interest for data consultancies from the user community.
  • The review of the Crime Victimisation survey commenced with confirmation of user needs and identification future survey directions.


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics Program provides information essential for monitoring the social and economic circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The program also provides statistical leadership in the collection and analysis of data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The program aims to improve the quality, timeliness and relevance of social, demographic and economic information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Key elements of the program include commitment to ongoing engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in ABS planning, collection and dissemination activities; assessing and improving the quality of statistics available from the Census of Population and Housing, surveys and administrative sources; analysis and reporting to explain and improve understanding of data; and development of strategies to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of data collection and reduce respondent burden on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Information is used by governments, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations, and the general community, to inform policy development and evaluation and provide an understanding of the overall wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Key achievements in 2013–14

  • Significant engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations in understanding concepts of home and homelessness resulted in the release of an Information paper to better inform homelessness measurement and analysis.
  • Key health and socio-economic data was released from the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey.
  • The six-yearly National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, scheduled to be undertaken in 2014–15, was developed and tested.
  • Commitment to local level facilitation and engagement, ensuring continued cooperation and high quality data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, was demonstrated. In particular:
    • Under the ABS Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy, Indigenous Engagement Managers are employed in ABS state offices to work closely with communities and organisations.
    • The Round Table for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics members has provided advice to ABS on various activities ensuring ongoing relevance and appropriateness of these activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • The consistency of Indigenous status across linked death registration and published 2011 Census records was analysed. This analysis is part of the Census Data Enhancement Indigenous Mortality project, which contributes to improving the quality of life expectancy and other mortality estimates for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
  • The Program contributed to the development and provision of indicators for relevant national reporting agreements.


The Education Statistics program produces statistics on early childhood education and care, schooling and further education. The program also provides statistical leadership in the education and training sectors.

Key elements of the program include management of the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection and the National Schools Statistics Collection; and the regular conduct of a number of surveys related to education, training and work. This information is used by Australian and state and territory governments for performance assessment and policymaking, by organisations involved in educational research and analysis, and by the community to inform decision making.

The program provides national leadership towards the Transforming Education and Training Information in Australia (TETIA) initiative which aims to provide an integrated, longitudinal and outcomes-focused view of education and training, and to provide the foundations for evidence based decision making, policy development, research and analysis, program management and evaluation and reporting.

Key achievements in 2013–14

  • Australian results from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies were published, and included in international reporting. This report assists governments in assessing, monitoring and analysing the level and distribution of skills among their adult populations as well as the utilisation of skills in different contexts.
  • Results from the fourth cycle of the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection including, for the first time, a Preschool Education microdata product in TableBuilder was published. These results support assessment of the Australian Government’s commitment to universal access to early childhood education for all children in the year before formal schooling under the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education and the National Indigenous Reform Agreement.
  • Results from the annual National Schools Statistics Collection were published, providing data on schools, students, and staff involved in the provision or administration of primary and secondary education, for all Australian states and territories. The Collection supports a range of national education reporting.
  • The results from the annual Survey of Education and Work were released in November 2013, providing information about the educational experience and associated characteristics of persons aged 15–74 years.
  • The results from the inaugural Work Related Training and Adult Learning Survey were released providing new information about the education and training activities undertaken by Australians aged 15–74 years, with a focus on work-related training and personal interest learning.
  • The program led the development of the TETIA strategic plan and three-year work program.
  • The range of administrative data available for analysis and data integration through formal agreements with the Australian Government and states and territories was expanded.


Statistical data integration involves combining information from different administrative and/or survey sources to provide new datasets to be used for statistical and research purposes. Combining high value data sources, previously used in isolation, to generate an expanded range of statistics provides the opportunity to support policy development, research and discussion more effectively in areas such as societal wellbeing, economic resources, education and health. For this reason, statistical data integration is an area of significant growth across the ABS.

The ABS Centre for Data Integration develops and undertakes data integration projects in consultation with data custodians and users. It supports best practice in conducting data integration projects across the ABS through the development of internal infrastructure, resources and tools. The Centre is also responsible for internal policy and governance arrangements to support the safe and effective conduct of ABS statistical data integration activities. This ensures the ABS meets its obligations as an accredited Integrating Authority, and is able to undertake high risk integration projects, including those involving the linkage of sensitive data.

Key achievements for 2013–14

  • During 2013–14, the ABS released a number of significant statistical data integration projects as part of the ABS’s Census Data Enhancement (CDE) program. These releases represent an enormously powerful enhancement to the evidence base available from the Census and a significant and enduring return on the investment that is made in each five-yearly Census.
  • In December 2013, the ABS released the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD), based on a sample of about 1 million records from the 2006 Census combined with records from the 2011 Census using a statistical matching process. The ACLD is providing governments and researchers with new insights into the dynamics that drive social and economic change, as well as providing insights into how pathways vary for diverse population groups.
  • In February 2014, the ABS released the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID), in partnership with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The release provides government agencies and researchers with an interest in the outcomes and experiences of migrants the opportunity, for the first time, to analyse migrant Census data by visa class.
  • As part of the COAG Closing the Gap initiative, the CDE Indigenous Mortality project linked 2011 Census records to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander death registrations. This linkage project improved the quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life tables at the Australia level, and resulted in high quality, relevant Indigenous Life Expectancy estimates, released in November 2013.



The Geography program is responsible for leading the development, implementation and promotion of the Statistical Spatial Framework (SSF) that provides guidance on the integration of statistical and geospatial information. The program publishes and maintains the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), which is a core part of the SSF and is used by the ABS, National Statistical Service (NSS) partners and data users to publish and compare statistics for small areas. It provides geographic analysis and infrastructure to both produce and support the production of statistics within the ABS. It also advises external stakeholders and the general public on statistical geography issues.

Key achievements in 2013–14

  • Further development and implementation of the SSF was undertaken, including engagement with other Australian Government agencies to gain input on and acceptance of the SSF. SSF guidance material on address geocoding, statistical geography and privacy risks was added to the NSS website www.nss.gov.au.
  • Significant international engagement, working towards establishing a global geospatial-statistical framework based on the SSF, was undertaken. This included co-chairing and presenting at the first meeting of the UN Expert Group on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information (EG–ISGI), New York, October 2013 and at the International Workshop on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information, Beijing, 9–12 June 2014.
  • A leading role in facilitating improvements to administrative boundaries in Australia was taken on by accepting the role of Sponsor of the Administrative Boundaries theme in the Foundation Spatial Data Framework (FSDF).
  • The latest versions of Local Government Areas, Commonwealth Electoral Divisions and Tourism Regions were published in (ABS cat. no. 1270.0.55.003).
  • A Land Account for Queensland was produced and published in (ABS cat. no. 4609.0.55.003).

The Demography Program provides estimates of the recent and projected future population, its structure and geographic distribution, and reports analysis of components of population growth and related demographic trends.

The program also produces population estimates and projections for household, family and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, as well as fertility, mortality and overseas and internal migration statistics.

These statistics are produced to meet legislative requirements that refer to population estimates such as GST distribution and determination of Parliamentary seat numbers. Demographic data assists in the formulation of government policies, and in the planning and administration of government programs. This information enables planning, analysis and research by all those interested in the causes and consequences of population change, including governments, businesses, community organisations and academic institutions.

Key achievements in 2013–14

  • Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101 (ABS cat. no. 3222.0) which take account of the 2011 Census population counts was released.
  • Regional Population Growth, 2012 (ABS cat. no. 3218.0), which includes a 20-year recast series of all sub-state population estimates, was released.
  • Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026
  • (ABS cat. no. 3238.0) based on the 2011 Census population counts was released.
  • Released Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2010–2012
  • (ABS cat. no. 3302.0.55.003)
  • Improvements to the Overseas Arrivals and Departures system were implemented, delivering better preliminary estimates of Net Overseas Migration and other related statistics.
  • The series of Labour Force population benchmarks back to 1991, taking account of the recast Estimated Resident Population data, was recast.
  • Quarterly revisions of Net Overseas Migration estimates to improve timeliness and accuracy of the series, and consequently improve Estimated Resident Population, were initiated.
  • The National Civil Registration and Statistics Improvement Committee with jurisdictional Registrars was formed to improve harmonisation of data, coordination between members and connectedness with stakeholders.
  • With partner agencies in the Brisbane Accord Group, worked to progress the Pacific Vital Statistics Action Plan.


The Regional Statistics Program aims to understand and support high priority emerging needs for regional statistics through providing relevant analyses, products and services. Regional data may include data relating to cities, urban, rural or remote areas. Activities undertaken under the program include improving access to, and dissemination of, ABS data and data from other sources, and developing new indicators.

Key achievements in 2013–14
  • An update of the (ABS cat. no. 1379.0.55.001), was released, with over 400 data items for over 3000 regions, and a new ‘Data by Region’ interface.
  • Eight articles for the Perspectives on Regions series (ABS cat. no: 1380.0.55.002 and subsequent), were completed, with a focus on population mobility, business owners, housing, and education qualifications in regions.
  • Research on regional economic data gaps and issues, including client consultation and literature review in five focus regions, was completed.
  • A new Regional chapter in Measures of Australia’s Progress (MAP) was completed.
  • Estimates of personal income for small areas, time series 2005-06 to 2010-11 (ABS cat. no. 6524.0.55.002) and Wage and Salary Earner Statistics for Small Areas, Time Series 2005-06 to 2010-11(ABC cat. no. 5673.0.55.003) were completed.

As a result of ABS budgetary pressures, the ABS Regional Statistics program will contract in 2014–15. The series will be discontinued.


The Social and Progress Reporting program provides information to government and the community about social conditions and progress in Australia. Drawing together data and analysis from within the ABS and a range of other sources, it produces reports covering many issues. Reports include analysis of current circumstances, how circumstances have changed over time, how different groups of people have been affected and how various factors may have accounted for observed trends. The reports also provide information on the wellbeing of the population, the extent of need and disadvantage in society, contemporary social issues, the interrelationships between economic, social and environmental aspects of life, and whether life in Australia is getting better.

Key achievements in 2013–14

A refreshed edition of (ABS cat. no. 1370.0) was released in November 2013 with a number of innovations driven by national consultation:

    – aspiration statements for each theme
    – refreshed set of indicators
    – introduction of a Governance domain
    – new web interface including a summary dashboard
    – a regional chapter highlighting regional level progress and the challenges of assessing regional progress
    – elements that give voice to the progress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    – rolling releases with the first updates in May 2014.

The Australian Social Trends series changed to a rolling release basis in 2014 following releases in July and November 2013.
Assistance was provided to the Australian Department of the Environment’s Measuring Sustainable Program with an ABS Outpost Officer and ex-officio membership of the National Sustainability Council.
The conceptual and statistical frameworks for Australian social statistics were reviewed and re-developed.
International statistical capability building was supported by contributions to:
    – the United Nations Statistical Commissions’ Post-2015 Development Agenda work
    – improving the framework Developing National Capacity in Population and Social Statistics in Asia and the Pacific.

As a result of ABS budgetary pressures, the ABS Social and Progress Reporting program will significantly contract from 2014–15. Measures of Australia’s Progress and the Australian Social Trends series will be discontinued.


The National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) leads and coordinates the national statistical program for culture, sport and leisure. The Centre is responsible for understanding current and emerging policy issues and debates, and determining in consultation with other agencies, what statistical solutions might be appropriate to inform their decision making. Expertise is maintained on collection, classification, standards and data analysis to inform governments and the community about culture, sport and leisure statistics.

The key cultural, recreation and sports clients include the Attorney General’s Department through the Ministry for the Arts, the Department of Health via the Office for Sport, the Cultural Ministers’ Statistics Working Group, the Committee of Australian Sport and Recreation Officials’ Research Group, the Australian Sports Commission and all state and territory arts and sports agencies.

Key achievements in 2013–14
  • The first Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts were released in early 2014.
    The results of this innovative project will support policy development for future
    investment in these sectors.
  • Findings of the 2011–12 and 2012–13 Cultural Funding by Government surveys were released, including state and local government level data.
  • The first issue of Arts and Culture: State and Territory profiles (ABS cat. no. 4920.0) was released.
  • The publications, Value of Sport, Australia, 2013 (ABS cat. no. 4156.0.55.002) and (ABS cat. no. 4156.0.55.001) were released.

The National Migrant Statistics Unit (NMSU) is responsible for the ABS’s Migrant Statistics Program and leads and coordinates the national statistical program for migrant settlement outcomes. The Unit is responsible for understanding current and emerging policy issues and debates, and determining, in consultation with other agencies, what statistical solutions might be appropriate to inform their decision making. Expertise is maintained on collection, classification, standards and data analysis to inform governments and the community about migrant characteristics and migrant settlement outcomes.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Social Services are the major clients for migrant statistics.

Key achievements in 2013–14
  • Migrant Data Matrices, (ABS cat. no. 3415.0) provides users with links to data on migrants from a range of ABS products.
  • Understanding Migrant Outcomes-Enhancing the value of census data, Australia 2011 (ABS cat. no. 3417.0) provides an overview of selected social and economic characteristics of migrants from the 2011 Census using data items that describe a migrant’s entry conditions including visa stream, primary/secondary applicant status, and whether migrants were offshore or onshore applicants.
  • The results of a data integration project linking the ABS’s 2011 Population Census with data from the Australian Government’s Settlement Database were released in (ABS cat. no. 3417.0.55.001) via the ABS’s TableBuilder. This information will increase the statistical and research value of both datasets.
  • Characteristics of recent migrants, Australia, Nov 2013 (ABS cat. no. 6250.0) provides detailed data about migrants who have come to Australia over the past 10 years and how they have fared after their arrival.