1001.0 - Annual Report - ABS Annual Report, 2000-01  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/09/2001   
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Contents >> Section 4 - ABS Outputs >> Chapter 7 - Population and Social Statistics Output - Review of Components

The remainder of this chapter reviews the activities and achievements of each component of the Population and Social Statistics program during 2000-01.

Chapter 5 presents an aggregated record of achievements of the Population and Social Statistics program against identified performance indicators of quality, effectiveness and efficiency during 2000-01.


The census component develops and conducts the five-yearly Census of Population and Housing. The results are used to revise population estimates for each of the States and Territories, and to provide detailed statistics on the population and its housing within small geographic areas and for small groups within the population. These statistics are used for electoral purposes, for the distribution of government funds, and for a variety of planning, administration and policy activities of government, business and other users. The 2001 Census of Population and Housing was conducted on 7 August 2001.

In December 1999, the Government decided that people will be able to choose to have their name-identified 2001 Census information stored under secure conditions by the National Archives of Australia. Information stored will be made publicly available after 99 years. An appropriate question for the Census form giving people the choice of having their name-identified information kept or not, and accompanying explanatory material, have been developed in association with the Privacy Commissioner. Methods for capturing and storing the information have been developed in consultation with the National Archives of Australia.

Achievements during the year included:

  • completion of user consultations on the 2001 Census output with the release of the publication 2001 Census of Population and Housing, Proposed Products and Services (Cat. no. 2011.0). This includes plans for significantly extending the range of census material available through the Internet, and significant enhancement of mechanisms for electronic communication with users of Census information;
  • completion of the detailed design of CD-ROM based output products, and the interactive table specification service for client specific Census tabulation requirements;
  • establishment of Regional Office Census Management Units to manage the 2001 Census field operations;
  • preparation of census field material completed, including census maps, and printing of Census forms;
  • implementation of infrastructure to support enumeration activities including procedures, training, recruitment and pay systems, field communications and transport of materials;
  • recruitment of approximately 3,000 staff for field management and collector supervisory roles, and 23,000 Census collectors;
  • preparation of advertising and other public relations material to support Census enumeration activities, including an award winning interactive CD-ROM for schools; and
  • successful application of the 2001 Census processing systems, using intelligent character recognition and automated coding, in the Census dress rehearsal.


The demography component produces estimates of the population by age, sex, country of birth, Indigenous status, registered marital status, geographical distribution and estimates of families and households. Projections of the population, families and households, according to specified demographic assumptions, are published on a regular basis and produced for individual clients. Statistics are also regularly produced on births, deaths, marriages, divorces, overseas arrivals and departures and internal migration.

Achievements during the year included:
  • publication of Population Projections, Australia 1999 to 2101 (Cat. no. 3222.0). For the first time ABS projections have been extended out for a century which enables the impact of current trends to be fully assessed. The publication also contains an enhanced analysis on the impact of alternative scenarios;
  • arrangements made for the ABS to publish statistical local area population projections for Tasmania and the Northern Territory. For statistical consultancy purposes, 1999-2019 population, family and household projections for statistical local areas and postal areas throughout Australia, consistent with Series II in Population Projections, Australia 1999 to 2101 (Cat. no. 3222.0), were completed. These small area projections take account of the latest demographic trends and land use indicators available to the ABS;
  • release of Australian Historical Population Statistics (Cat. no. 3105.0.65.001). This is an electronic product in AusStats which contains a wide range of time series demographic data going back, where possible, to the beginnings of European settlement of Australia;
  • an upgraded analysis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mortality data in Deaths, Australia (Cat. no. 3302.0);
  • support for a study of net overseas migration by the Australian National University for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and the ABS;
  • with the support of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, completion of a survey of passenger cards to enable estimation of net overseas migration in the August-December 2000 period, in the absence of full passenger card information which has been delayed in the department. The net overseas migration estimates were one input to the December 2000 State and Territory populations;
  • conduct of a dress rehearsal for the 2001 Census of Population and Housing post-enumeration survey;
  • continuing the redevelopment of the major demographic processing system which will facilitate the timely processing of registered birth,death, marriage and divorce data and provide the flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to changing client demand; and
  • increasing the extent of data available electronically to clients through AusStats. This includes population by age and sex at the statistical local area level, interstate migration and deaths.

Labour Statistics

The labour component provides information on the composition and characteristics of the labour force, operations of the labour market, labour costs, earnings and other conditions of employment, and issues relating to education and training.

A senior officer is outposted to the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA) and the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business (DEWRSB), in recognition of their needs for labour market and education statistics, and the importance of facilitating their access to, and understanding of, these statistics.

Labour market information

Labour force statistics are collected in a monthly survey of households. These statistics provide timely estimates of employment and unemployment, together with basic demographic data, and enable various characteristics of the employed and unemployed to be analysed. In addition, supplementary surveys are run in conjunction with the labour force survey to collect more detailed data on specific labour market issues.

Topics covered by supplementary surveys in 2000-01 included job search experience of unemployed persons, successful and unsuccessful job search experience, employee earnings, employee benefits, trade union membership, persons not in the labour force, underemployment, working arrangements, labour force experience, work-related injuries, and transition from education to work.

The component also conducts a range of employer surveys which provide quarterly data on wage and salary earners, average weekly earnings, and job vacancies. Price indexes of wage and salary costs for employee jobs are compiled quarterly. The component also produces biennial data on the distribution and composition of employee earnings and hours, periodic data on employers’ labour costs, and monthly statistics on industrial disputes.

Achievements during the year included:
  • release of a new publication Employment Arrangements and Superannuation (Cat. no. 6361.0), providing information about the diversity of employment arrangements in the Australian labour market, and about superannuation coverage in Australia;
  • release of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (Cat. no. 6102.0) on the ABS website. This publication provides a comprehensive description of the concepts underpinning ABS labour statistics, and the methods used in compiling these statistics from various sources;
  • publication of two Occasional Papers containing in-depth analyses of selected data from the longitudinal survey of employment and unemployment patterns (Cat. no. 6293.0 series);
  • implementation of a redesigned questionnaire for the labour force survey, including revisions to core labour force series, and publication of two Information Papers: Implementing the Redesigned Labour Force Survey Questionnaire (Cat. no. 6295.0), and Questionnaires Used in the Labour Force Survey (Cat. no. 6232.0);
  • publication of Employee Earnings and Hours, 2000 (Cat. no. 6306.0), including information for the first time on pay-setting mechanisms for employees; and
  • publication of experimental labour force estimates for Indigenous Australians in Labour Force Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (Cat. no. 6287.0).

Education and training information

Statistics on schools, students and staff are compiled by the ABS from collections conducted in cooperation with the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA). For government schools, the data are collected initially by State and Territory education departments; for non-government schools, the data are initially collected by DETYA.

Statistics on educational attainment, participation in education, and transition from education to work, are produced from regular household surveys and from the Census of Population and Housing.

Achievements during the year included:
  • establishment of the National Centre for Education and Training Statistics in the ABS, incorporating a unit which is jointly funded by the ABS, DETYA, the Australian National Training Authority, and all States and Territories. The main aim of this unit is to coordinate statistical developments across the various education and training sectors to improve data quality and comparability;
  • establishment of an Education and Training Statistics Advisory Group to provide the ABS with expert advice on matters such as user requirements and priorities for education and training statistics;
  • development and conduct of the Survey of Education, Training and Information Technology. This survey will provide detailed information about education and training in Australia, with results expected to be published in May 2002;
  • publication of Schools, Australia (Cat. no. 4221.0);
  • publication of Transition from Education to Work (Cat. no. 6227.0); and
  • at the request of MCEETYA, preparation of a report on the educational participation and attainment of 15-24 year olds.

Social Statistics

The social statistics component is responsible for social analysis and for providing information on health, welfare, housing, and household income and expenditure. It is also responsible for developing and promoting standard statistical concepts, definitions and classifications in these areas. The component produces reports describing social conditions in Australia, and the social wellbeing of the population and special population groups (such as women, children, youth, persons with disabilities, aged persons and families). The component produces statistics on the income, expenditure and other characteristics of households, and on the economic and social aspects of housing. It also produces statistics on health (including causes of death, health status and risk factors, use of health services by the population, and statistics about private health establishments), and welfare (including statistics about disability, ageing and carers, voluntary work, child care, time use, and population groups such as people with a disability, aged persons, families and children).

Achievements during the year included:
  • production of the eighth edition of Australian Social Trends (Cat. no. 4102.0);
  • development of a publication Measuring Social Wellbeing (Cat. no. 4160.0), which describes the conceptual frameworks underpinning ABS work in social statistics;
  • circulation of a discussion paper outlining possible directions for the measurement of the concept of social capital in ABS surveys;
  • release of the results of the 1999 Australian Housing Survey, Housing Characteristics, Costs and Conditions, 1999 (Cat. no. 4182.0), and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Results (Cat. no. 4712.0);
  • publication of Income Distribution, Australia (Cat. no. 6523.0);
  • release of detailed results from the 1998-99 Household Expenditure Survey;
  • contribution to the Final Report and Recommendations: Expert Group on Household Income Statistics (The Canberra Group). The final report of this international expert group established at the initiative of the ABS to develop standards and guidelines for the compilation of household income statistics was accepted by the United Nations Statistics Commission in March 2001;
  • development and implementation of the first of a three-yearly program of national health surveys under a funding partnership with the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care (DHAC);
  • development of a proposal, and establishment of a working party, between DHAC and the ABS, with input from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, to explore the feasibility of linking the 2004 national health survey with relevant administrative datasets;
  • publication of Causes of Death, Australia, 1999 (Cat. no. 3303.0) incorporating the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the first country to achieve this. Data for 1997 and 1998 have been coded to both ICD-9 and ICD-10 to provide a bridge with previous series;
  • publication of Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Disability and Long Term Health Conditions (Cat. no. 4433.0), and Caring in the Community, Australia (Cat. no. 4436.0);
  • publication of Voluntary Work, Australia (Cat. no. 4441.0) to coincide with the International Year of the Volunteer; and
  • release of a working paper on Social and Labour Statistics, Accounting for Change in Disability and Severe Restriction, 1981-1998 (Working paper No. 2001/1); and release of 1998 Synthetic Predictors of Disability to provide estimates of disability for small areas .


National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics

The National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics is responsible for producing national statistics about the crime and justice system. It coordinates data collection activities within the ABS, and across other public agencies relating to this field, and provides a statistical service which includes provision of statistical information, training of data providers, advice on statistical standards, and development of quality control procedures.

Achievements during the year included:
  • release of Recorded Crime, Australia, 2000 (Cat. no. 4510.0), Higher Criminal Courts, Australia 1999-2000 (Cat. no. 4513.0), and Prisoners in Australia, 2000 (Cat. no. 4517.0);
  • the addition of community based corrections statistics to the quarterly Corrective Services collection;
  • collection and analysis of offence information for the Higher Criminal Courts collection; and
  • outposting to the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, and the collection of a national minimum dataset on illicit drugs in accordance with the National Illicit Drugs Statistics Framework.

National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics

The National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics has responsibility for the coordination of national statistical activity in the fields of culture and recreation. It is a centre of expertise and statistical leadership, providing an information, coordination and analytical service for culture and recreation data. It also advises external organisations on statistical standards, the availability of relevant data, and collection and analysis methodologies.

Achievements during the year included:
  • development of industry, product and occupation classifications of the culture and leisure sectors as a basis for future data collection, dissemination and analysis;
  • development of a directory of ABS data sources of relevance to the culture and recreation sector, and commencing the development of a directory of non-ABS data sources;
  • release of results from Children’s Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (Cat. no. 4901.0), Participation in Sport and Physical Activities (Cat. no. 4177.0), and Cultural Funding (Cat. no. 4183.0);
  • updating the national database and directory on the sport and recreation industry; and
  • the conduct of a survey of book publishers, and development of a survey of book retailers, as part of the Book Industry Assistance Plan.

National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics

The National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics has responsibility for national leadership in the production and dissemination of statistics about Australia’s Indigenous population. The Centre works closely with other areas of the ABS, and with a wide range of external agencies, to provide expertise on these statistics and advice on related statistical issues. It coordinates initiatives to improve the quality, use and availability of Indigenous data from a range of sources, and assists Indigenous organisations to improve their capacity to use statistics effectively.

Achievements during the year included:
  • wide ranging consultation in relation to a new Indigenous Social Survey to be undertaken in 2002;
  • completion of data collection for the 2001 Community Housing and Infrastructure Needs Survey;
  • preparation of a report on Community Services Principles and Standards for Indigenous Client Data, endorsed by the Community Services Ministerial Advisory Council. This report contains separate reviews of recording and reporting of the Indigenous identifier in the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program and in Child Protection and Welfare collections, as well as a draft Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Services Information Plan. A similar review of Disability Services has been completed and is awaiting endorsement;
  • preparation for the Third Edition of The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Cat. no. 4704.0), due for release in August 2001; and
  • significant progress on improving the quality, availability and use of Indigenous administrative data on births, deaths, and hospital separations, as part of the plan for improving Indigenous statistics from administrative collections. Extension of this project into the areas of schools statistics, police records and prison census data.


The geography component is responsible for developing and maintaining geographic products and services for use by the ABS and its clients. Activities include the production of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) and associated products, provision of geographic information system, geocoding, and mapping services to the ABS, and continuing development of the annual regional statistics CD-ROM product, the Integrated Regional Data Base.

Achievements during the year included:
  • release of the 2001 Edition of the Integrated Regional Data Base (IRDB), Australia (Cat. no. 1353.0), providing clients with access to a broad range of information about Australia’s regions;
  • release of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (Cat. no. 1216.0), 2000 edition, and associated digital boundary files;
  • development of a classification of geographical remoteness for inclusion in the ASGC 2001 edition;
  • quarterly updates of the National Localities Index;
  • derivation of a variety of geographic output units for the 2001 Census of Population and Housing such as Postal Areas and Commonwealth and State Electoral Divisions;
  • development, for the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, of an index for coding people who are away from home on Census night to the Census Collection District where they usually live; and
  • production of 40,000 maps required for the management of the 2001 Census.

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