1370.0.00.003 - Information Paper: Measures of Australia's Progress Proposed Statistical Indicators, 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2013  First Issue
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Brian Pink, Australian Statistician, image

    The challenge for statisticians is to ensure we measure what matters. This is why the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) strives to produce statistics that are reliable, informative and provide insight into the wellbeing of the nation. Whether it be accurate information about the character of our population, the development of our national economy, the resilience of our environmental assets or the health of specific social groups, the ABS is committed to ensuring our measurements are the best possible and that what we are measuring aligns with hopes and aspirations of Australians. In this effort, we are joined by a community of statisticians around the world who are advancing the cause of the measurement of societal progress.

    Measures of Australia’s Progress (MAP) is at the vanguard of this activity. MAP provides a snapshot of how Australia is progressing or regressing as a nation, presenting concise and coherent information to help Australians address the question, 'Is life in Australia getting better?' A decade on from the first release of Measuring Australia's Progress (ABS 2002), the ABS undertook a national consultation to review MAP, ensuring it remains relevant and continues to measure what matters to Australians for national progress. The ABS was guided in this process by an Expert Reference Group, to whom I would like to express my gratitude for their contribution.

    This review culminated in the release of Measures of Australia's Progress - Aspirations for our Nation: A Conversation with Australians about Progress (hereafter referred to as ‘Aspirations for our Nation’). Released in November 2012, the report articulates the nation’s aspirations for societal progress. The report also presents a conceptual framework that sets out themes and elements that support these aspirations. This work has formed the foundation of the current phase of the MAP redevelopment: the construction of the new indicators which form Measures of Australia’s Progress.

    This Information Paper presents the results of ABS work to translate ‘Aspirations for our Nation’ into a statistical reality. In developing these indicators, the ABS has sought to identify indicators that represent part or all of the aspirations expressed, and inform on progress.

    This Information Paper represents the collective effort of those who contributed to the initial articulation of aspirations for Australia’s progress and the experts who have assisted in the latter development of a refreshed set of measures. The publication provides an account of the process the ABS has gone through to align the consultation framework with the proposed indicators as articulated in this publication. It showcases the proposed indicators the ABS will use in the MAP publication, due for release late 2013. No data or associated commentary is presented in this paper as the purpose of this publication is to highlight the indicators the ABS intends to use in the upcoming release of the refreshed MAP 2013.

    MAP is an evolving product and I welcome comments and suggestions on the proposed indicators by the 12th of August. Please send any comments to the following address:

    Director of Social and Progress Reporting
    Australian Bureau of Statistics
    Locked Bag 10
    Belconnen ACT 2616
    Or mail to: measuringprogress@abs.gov.au

    Brian Pink
    Australian Statistician
    June 2013