4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/06/2003   
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Australian Social Trends 2003 is the tenth edition of an annual series that presents information on contemporary social issues and areas of public policy concern. By drawing on a wide range of ABS statistics, and statistics from other official sources, Australian Social Trends describes aspects of Australian society, and how these are changing over time. It is designed to assist and encourage informed decision-making and to be of value to a wide audience, including all those engaged in research, journalism, marketing, teaching and social policy, as well as anyone interested in how we live today and how we've changed over recent decades.

The material presented in
Australian Social Trends 2003 is organised into eight chapters. As in previous editions, each of the first seven chapters represents a major area of social concern (i.e. population, family and community, health, education and training, work, economic resources, and housing). The 2003 edition also contains a new chapter of feature articles covering a broader range of issues than possible in previous editions. Through extensive referencing across articles, including those presented in previous editions of Australian Social Trends, connections between issues have also been highlighted. In some articles, the opportunity has been taken to revisit topics covered in previous editions, to provide an expanded and more contemporary picture, by using the most up-to-date data. This edition also includes a number of articles covering new areas such as population characteristics and remoteness, regional differences in education and outcomes, and geographic distribution of unemployment. However, as shown in the summary of topics below, there is a wealth of information on other topics of social concern.

As well as analytical articles,
Australian Social Trends 2003 includes a set of national and state summary tables which present key social indicators in each of the seven major areas of social concern. These show at a glance whether aspects of wellbeing have been changing over time and whether circumstances differ between states and territories. Also included is a set of tables comparing Australia with major OECD countries, our closest neighbours, and our trading partners. Finally, there is a Cumulative Topic List to the 324 articles published across all 10 editions.

Australian Social Trends has been produced on an annual basis since 1994. The 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 editions are available from this website. The current edition
Australian Social Trends 2003) is available for purchase in hardcopy from ABS Bookshops (as are several of the earlier editions). Individual articles can be accessed via the Cumulative Topic List.

Abbreviations and symbols used in this publication can be accessed at Abbreviations and symbols.