1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Sep 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/09/2008   
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Sizzling Statistics
From the recently released Australian Social Trends (ABS Cat no. 4102.0)

Risky Drinking
For 18 to 24 year olds, WA recorded the highest state rate of risky drinkers (20%) of all the states, with the national figure at 15% (2004-05). Risky drinking is defined as seven or more standard drinks in one day for males and five or more for females.

Public Transport
The proportion of Perth adults using public transport for their usual trip to work or study rose only marginally (2%) between 1996 and 2006 Transport Use surveys. In 2006 11% of adults in Perth used public transport. This figure was lower than the national figure of 13%.

In 2006, 60% of people in WA were recorded with an adequate or better prose literacy skills. This was marginally above the national figure (59%) but behind the ACT (71%).

Labour Force
WA males aged 55 to 64 had the nation’s highest labour force participation rate (73%) in 2006, well above the national figure of 68%. By comparison, 61% of Tasmanian males aged 55-64 participated in the labour force. While older WA men were active in the labour force similarly aged WA women had a participation rate of 51%, slightly above the Australian figure of 48%.

Weekly Income
Women’s share of total gross personal weekly income for Western Australia in 2005-06 was 35%, the lowest of any state or territory. This may be due to the high wages being paid in traditionally male dominated industries such as mining and construction.

First Home Buyers
The average mortgage of WA first home buyers in 2005-06 was $176,900, roughly 30% less than New South Wales first home buyers ($248,800).