1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/11/2013   
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Measures of Australia's Progress

Further info for healthy natural environment

Need some more info on the healthy natural environment theme? Hopefully this page can point you in the right direction
This page contains the following further information for healthy natural environment:

Air quality index (AQI)

An air quality index can be calculated by dividing pollutant concentrations by standards for maximum allowable concentrations set in the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure (the ‘NEPM’; available at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2004H03935) and multiplying by 100. An index score of 66 or less is considered good, while a score greater than 100 is considered poor. The figures used in Measures of Australia's Progress are averaged AQIs of median concentrations for all measured pollutants (carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particle matter).

Measures of Australia's Progress provides an average air quality index for capital cities, weighted by population. This means that each city's AQI contributes to the overall average proportionally relating to its population. For example in 2010, Sydney's population represented 31% of the overall capital city population, and therefore its AQI contributed to almost a third of the overall indicator.


The variety of all life forms on earth – the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystems which they form part of.

Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2010, 'State of the Air in Australia: 1999-2008', Canberra, DSEWPaC <http://www.environment.gov.au/>

National Sustainability Council, 2013, 'Sustainable Australia Report 2013, Conversations with the future', Canberra, DSEWPaC <http://www.environment.gov.au/>

State of the Environment 2011 Committee, 2011, 'Australia: State of the environment, 2011', Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra, DSEWPaC <http://www.environment.gov.au/>

Below is the only graph from the healthy natural environment theme, taken from the air and atmosphere tab:

Average air quality index(a) of capital cities
Progress Indicator
Image: Graph - Average air quality index of capital cities
(a) An average air quality index (AQI) of 100 or greater means that on average air quality standards have been exceeded. An AQI of 33 or less is considered very good.
(b)This indicator takes the average AQI for all measured pollutants within each city, based on median concentrations, and brings them together as an overall average that is weighted by the cities' relative populations.
National Sustainability Council, 'Sustainable Australia Report 2013, Conversations with the future', Canberra, DSEWPaC, 2013.
ABS Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 3235.0)