1344.8.55.002 - ABStract, Statistics News, Australian Capital Territory, December 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/12/2010   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



Measures of Australia's Progress (MAP), 2010 tries to answer the question: 'Is life in Australia getting better?'. MAP presents a set of indicators that measure key aspects of progress in Australia. While it does not claim to measure every possible aspect of progress, it does provide a national summary of many of the most important areas of progress. MAP also looks at whether all Australians are sharing in progress. MAP is designed to inform and stimulate public debate and encourage all Australians to assess a broader view of progress.

The latest results show:

Education and training

Since 1999, the ACT has had the highest proportion of people (aged 25-64 years) with a higher education qualification. Increasing from one-third (33%) in 1999 to almost one-half (47%) in 2009.

Since 1999, the ACT has also had the highest Year 7/8 to Year 12 apparent retention rate compared with all other states and territories, remaining relatively stable between 93% in 1999 and 87% in 2009.


Over the previous decade the ACT has had a lower unemployment rate than all other states and territories (except the Northern Territory in 1999). The unemployment rate in the ACT decreased from 5.5% in 1999 to 3.3% in 2009, although this was the highest it had been since 3.7% in 2004.

Culture and leisure

In 2005-06, the ACT had the highest participation rate of people aged 18 years and over in sport and physical recreation (80%) and the highest attendance rate of people aged 15 years and over at cultural venues and events (90%) compared with other states and territories.

However, the ACT had more comparable rates of attendance at sporting events. In 2005-06, 48% of people living in the ACT (aged 15 years and over) had attended at least one sporting event in the year prior to the survey date, compared with one-half of people living in the Northern Territory and 49% living in South Australia.


In 2008-09, people living in the ACT, along with News South Wales and South Australia, were the least likely to be victims of physical assault (2.8% each) compared with other states and territories. The ACT also had the lowest offender rate of all states and territories (1,096 per 100,000 people aged 10 years and over). However, comparisons between states and territories may be affected by differences in legislation, and in administrative or organisational arrangements.

Democracy, governance and citizenship

In 2007-08, people living in the ACT (aged 18 years and over) were more likely to be concerned about climate change (81%) than any other state or territory. This was seven percentage points above the national average (74%).


Since 2005-06, the proportion of people living in the ACT (aged 15 years and over) using the Internet has been higher than any other state or territory. Rising from 81% in 2005-06 to 86% in 2008-09. This is related to the ACT's predominantly urban population, making the provision of services cheaper. Furthermore, Internet use is significantly higher for young people, highly qualified people and employed people - in 2009 the ACT had the highest proportion of people (25-64 years) with a higher education qualification (47%) and the lowest unemployment rate (3.3%) compared with all states and territories.


In 2009, the ACT had the lowest rate of road fatalities per capita (3.4 per 100,000 people) than any other state or territory. However, the ACT, with the exception of Tasmania, was the only state or territory to record an increase in road fatalities per capita since 2004 (2.7 deaths per 100,000 people).

National income

Between 1998-99 and 2008-09, real gross state income per capita grew by 2.3% in the ACT. This was faster than NSW (1.9%) and Victoria (2.2%) but slower than the national average (2.8%).

Household economic wellbeing

In 2007-08, the ACT had the highest average real weekly disposable household income than any other state or territory ($1,026), increasing from $611 in 1997-98. This most likely reflects the younger age profile of the ACT and the greater number of employed people per household.


Between 2002-03 and 2008-09, the price of established houses in Canberra rose at an average of 6.9% per year. This was lower than all other capital cities except Sydney, where house prices fluctuated, but rose by an average of 1.6% per year.


Over half (51%) of the ACT is native forest, making up 0.1% of Australia's total native forest area.

For more details see Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010 (cat. no. 1370.0).