4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/06/2004   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All


June 15, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australian Social Trends - Australian Capital Territory Snapshot

The evolution of Australian lifestyles over the decades was examined in today's release of Australian Social Trends 2004 from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The points below include some national and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) highlights.

... Australia's children

The effect of the 1950s baby boom on births and fertility was barely discernible in 2002, due to four decades of declining fertility. There has been no discernible peak in births of grandchildren to baby boomers, unlike the distinct peak which occurred in 1971 with births of children to baby boomers.

In 2002, the total fertility rate for the ACT (1.59) was well below the national rate (1.75), and 19% of all births were to women aged 35 years and over.

In the ACT, six in ten women with children under five years are now in the labour force, and in 2002, 40% of children under three years, and 80% of children aged 3-4 years, spent some time in formal child care. This included long day care, family day care, occasional care or preschool.

In 2001, Australia-wide, over 350,000 families with children aged under 15 years had no employed parent living with them. Almost two-thirds of these were one-parent families.

... Australia's youth

Over the 1980s and most of the 1990s, Year 7/8 to Year 12 apparent school retention rates increased, as did participation in non-school education, mostly at university or TAFE. In 2003, Year 7/8 to Year 12 apparent school retention rates in the ACT were 87% for males and 93% for females, by far the highest rates in Australia.

Nationally, the proportion of employed young people (15-24 years) working part-time has more than doubled over the twenty years to 2003 (from 18% to 47%). Across the nation, of part-time workers aged 15-19 years, 79% were studying full-time. Over half (55%) of part-time workers aged 20-24 years were studying full-time.

In 2002, almost four out of five HECS-liable university students in Australia deferred their payment. The remainder paid up-front, receiving a discount.

The proportion of young Australians who stated that they were concerned about environmental problems declined over the 1990s. In 2001, after retirement-aged people, 18-24 year olds were the age group least likely to state that they had such concerns.

... families and older Australians

In 2003, about one-third of the labour force was aged 45-64 years; up from one-quarter twenty years earlier. This reflected the ageing of the population, as well as the increased proportion of women in the labour force. In the ACT, 49% of women in the ‘pre-retirement’ age group (55-64 years) were in the labour force in 2002-03; 37% were employed part-time.

In addition to the support provided by family members they live with, four out of five people (80%) with disabilities, nationally in 2002, nominated family members living elsewhere as a source of support in time of crisis. As people get older the likelihood of having a disability, or being a primary carer of someone with a disability, increases.

Coinciding with the trend for greater home-based care, the number of people employed in non-residential care services (e.g. emergency housekeeping) increased by about 18,000 to 80,600 nationally over the five years to 2001. This industry also relied on a large number of volunteers - 211,700 in June 2000.

By 2051, the population of the ACT is projected to reach 390,000, assuming medium level fertility and migration. People aged 65 years and over are projected to make up almost one-quarter of the population (24%) in 2051, compared with 9% in 2002.

... our homes and where we live

Contrary to stereotypes of city people retiring to the coast, Australia-wide almost four out of five new residents of fast growing coastal areas were aged under 50 years, and two-thirds had moved from country areas or large population centres rather than from capital cities.

The overall rate of home ownership in Australia has been steady since the 1960s, with about 70% of occupied private dwellings being owned outright or being purchased. However, the age profile of home owners and purchasers has shifted over the last twenty years with a decline in home ownership among younger adults. In 2001-01, three-quarters of ACT households either owned or were purchasing their home.

There were an estimated 99,900 homeless people on census night 2001 - 1,200 of whom were in the ACT, which had the lowest homelessness rate in Australia. Over 2002-03, about 97,600 people nation-wide were assisted by the refuges, shelters and other agencies in the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program.

More analysis, including national and state summary data appear in Australian Social Trends, 2004 (cat. no. 4102.0) available in the "Australia Now" section on the home page of the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>.

See Also:
Australian Social Snapshot Against a Backdrop of Change
New South Wales Snapshot
Victorian Snapshot
Queensland Snapshot
South Australian Snapshot
Western Australian Snapshot
Tasmanian Snapshop
Northern Territory Snapshot