1316.3 - Statistical Update Queensland (Newsletter), Oct 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/10/2001   
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Statistical Developments
Business Register Small Area Data Available by Postcode
State of the Art Bookshop for ABSQ
New Producer Price Indexes Publications
Measuring Wellbeing in Australia
Queensland’s Progress and Wellbeing
Retail Trade Series Reflects the Introduction of The New Tax System
Neighbourhood Income Inequality in Australian Cities
Agricultural Census Now Done
Freight Movements Survey
Directory of Agricultural and Rural Statistics on the ABS Web Site
Increase in Household Internet Subscribers
Manufacturing: Small Area Estimates
Changes to Mining, Utilities and Manufacturing Statistics
Motor Vehicles on GSP: Develop Your Own Regions
Development of an Internet-Based Directory of Statistical Sources
Review of the Survey of Tourist Accommodation

Statistical Corner
Trend, Seasonally Adjusted or Original? Which should I Use?

Australia Has the Numbers: 2001 Census
Census Post-enumeration Survey
2001 Census Community Profile Templates Now on the ABS Web Site
Limited Time Census Advance Order Service - Get Your Order in Now

Indigenous Statistics

Indigenous Identification

Statistical Consultancy Services

Data Analysis and Modelling

From Andrea McIntyre, Director Client and Statistical Services Branch

My name is Andrea McIntyre and I recently moved into the position of Director of Client and Statistical Services. I will be building on current relationships to ensure the Australian Bureau of Statistics has a good understanding of statistical needs and priorities of key agencies and the whole of government.

I started my career in the Northern Territory Office and from 1985 until 1995 worked in a variety of Economic and Social collections and have been associated with the Census of Population and Housing since 1986.

During my time in the Client and Statistical Services, I developed relationships with a number of Northern Territory Government departments and worked closely with them to address their statistical needs.

My specialty ended up being in Indigenous statistics and I managed the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics for just over 2 years. I travelled extensively throughout the Northern Territory in urban and remote areas and grew to relish the joys of four wheel driving in the outback and flying in light planes to get to work.

After moving to Sydney in late 1995 I was the State Indigenous Manager for the 1996 Census to enumerate regions across NSW and ACT, subsequently moving to the Information Inquiries area. As Assistant Director of Dissemination Services I managed Information Consultancy, the Bookshop, the Telephone Enquiry Service and the Library and Publishing area. Before leaving Sydney I developed and implemented the new centralised National Information and Referral Service for the ABS.

On my arrival in Queensland in April 2000, I looked after the Population Surveys program including the Monthly Population Survey, the National Health Survey and the Survey of Education, Training and Information Technology.

My new position as Director offers me some exciting new challenges in Client and Statistical Services. I will be ensuring we deliver high quality research, analytical and publication services to support State Government priority needs. If there are any issues you would like to discuss, please feel free to give me a call on my direct line 07 3222 6311 or email me on andrea.mcintyre

- Andrea McIntyre
Business Register Small Area Data Available by Postcode

Information from the Occasional Paper - Australian Business Register, A Snapshot (Cat. no. 1369.0) is available free on the Australian Bureau of Statistics web site. More detailed tables have been produced to service specific client requests and for which normal charging procedures apply. The first of these sets of tables is now available and contains counts of Australian Business Numbers that are single location businesses active for GST by ANZSIC industry division by turnover for postcodes.

In the future, local government areas may be estimated on the basis of ‘best fitting’ postcodes. More investigation is required regarding confidentialisation issues before this possibility can be confirmed.

Further tables, of single-State employing entities by State for finer levels of industry classification by turnover size ranges, are expected to be available shortly.

For further information contact Steve Murdoch on 03 9615 7536 or steve.murdoch
State of the Art Bookshop for ABSQ

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Queensland Bookshop is proud to announce the opening of its new ‘e-kiosk’. The e-kiosk replaces the traditional bookshop, with electronic access to ABS publications. Clients browse and search for publications on-line, with access to all publications released since 1998. Assistance from helpful staff is on hand for those clients who are less familiar with computers or who require assistance locating specific data. Once the publication has been selected by the client it can then purchased and e-mailed to their nominated e-mail address. If a client requires a printed copy of a publication, this can provided by the ABS print on demand facility.

For further information on e-kiosk or any publication issues please contact Geri Van Gorp on 07 3222 6205 or geri.vangorp
New Producer Price Indexes Publications

Publication of the range of Producer Price Indexes (PPIs) of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) were consolidated in two new quarterly titles commencing with the release of the June quarter 2001 publications on the 20 and 23 July. The final issues of the existing 10 quarterly PPI publications for the March quarter 2001 were released in April.

The new format allows for PPI data to be integrated, giving a better picture of the wider economy. This provides users with a better understanding of price pressures as they impact on the producing sectors of the economy. All information previously published will continue to be available.

Producer Price Indexes, Australia (Cat. no. 6427.0)

This new publication contains the overarching, economy-wide Stage of Production indexes and new integrated analysis drawn from data previously published in eight separate publications. Industry indexes are grouped according to broad sectors of the economy.

International Trade Price Indexes, Australia (Cat. no. 6457.0)

This new publication contains data previously published in the Import Price Index and Export Price Index publications. Classifications have been standardised to allow easier comparison on a terms of trade basis. Both indexes are now published using ABS Balance of Payments classifications.

For further information contact Richard McKenzie 02 6252 6170 or richard.mckenzie
Measuring Wellbeing in Australia

Measuring Wellbeing: Frameworks for Australian Social Statistics (Cat. no. 4160.0) was released on 12 October 2001. This 300 page volume describes the conceptual organisation of social statistics in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and presents both a broad framework and various conceptual models used in each of the nine main areas of social concern that make up ABS social statistics: population, family and community, health, education and training, work, economic resources, housing, crime and justice, and culture and leisure.

By bringing this information together in one place, the publication provides a reference point for anyone wishing to understand ABS social statistics generally, or the range of issues associated with areas of analysis of social statistics.

The publication contains an introductory chapter followed by a chapter for each area of concern. It presents a method for approaching the measurement of wellbeing based on six steps: defining the area, identifying its importance to individual wellbeing and then the wellbeing of society, identifying key social issues, identifying population groups, developing conceptual/statistical frameworks, and identifying data sources to address the key issues. Each chapter is structured along these lines.

The publication provides an ideal reference point for understanding the concepts that underpin the rich array of statistical information regularly published by the ABS. In particular, it makes an excellent companion to Australian Social Trends (Cat. no. 4102.0), which presents a large array of contemporary social statistics and analytical commentary organised by the same areas of social concern.

The printed publication is priced at $56.00 but is available on-line, free of charge, from the ABS web site.

For further information contact Imogen Wall on 02 6252 7506 or imogen.wall
Queensland’s Progress and Wellbeing

How are we going? How is Queensland progressing and what do we mean by progress?

Progress can no longer be measured solely by the strength of the economy: it is widely acknowledged that the economy, the environment and society are interrelated and all impact on our wellbeing. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has already taken up the challenge of measuring Australia’s progress in these three inseparable domains of life in the forthcoming publication, Measuring Australia’s Progress (MAP), mentioned in the July 2001 issue of Statistical Update.

The Queensland office of the ABS is planning a project called Queensland’s Progress and Wellbeing (QPAW), similar to MAP, to culminate in a publication summarising the state of Queensland in a range of economic, environmental and social dimensions.

Statistics on economic, environmental and social trends have usually been presented by the ABS in isolation from each other and generally treated as mutually exclusive areas. However, like MAP, QPAW will present a suite of indicators of progress side by side and will discuss the interrelationships between economic, environmental and social aspects of life, so allowing readers to form their own view of Queensland’s progress. QPAW will use the same indicators of progress as MAP where possible, in order to compare Queensland’s progress with Australia’s. However, QPAW will also tailor its indicators to represent progress in the particular areas important to Queensland.

The ABS cannot hope to produce a useful resource for measuring progress if we do not find out what the community considers to be progress. For this reason, we will be consulting with community representatives over the coming months and asking for comments.

If you would like to be part of the QPAW consultation, or would like more information on this project, please contact Robyn MacDonald on 07 3222 6232 or robyn.macdonald
Retail Trade Series Reflects the Introduction of The New Tax System

The introduction of The New Tax System (TNTS) had a significant effect on a number of data series published by the ABS.

The impact on the retail trade series was so significant that the current price trend series was suspended from July to November 2000 so that the impact of TNTS could be assessed. This was complicated by the timing of the Sydney Olympics. The trend series was reintroduced in the December 2000 publication. The following chart shows the trend series with the trend break included and what the series would have recorded without a trend break. It is clear that, without the trend break, the underlying trend series for retail turnover would have been distorted, particularly in the months before the introduction of the GST.

The graph below shows the Queensland level retail trade current price series both with and without corrections for impacts of TNTS and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

graph - Queensland level current price to Nov 2000

It is important to note that it is not appropriate to use the size of the trend break to measure the price effect of TNTS on the retail sector of the economy, as the break in this series is a combination of both price and volume effects.

More information on the impact of The New Tax System on the retail trade trend series can be found in the Appendix of the December 2000 issue of Retail Trade, Australia (Cat. no. 8501.0).

For further information contact Graham Phillips on 02 6252 5625 or graham.phillips
Neighbourhood Income Inequality in Australian Cities

This project is tackling two questions about the distribution of income in Australian cities:
  • Are neighbourhoods within cities becoming more income-homogeneous?
  • How are changes in income inequality within and between neighbourhoods related to changes in city-wide inequality?

Typically, studies of income inequality describe changes in population income inequality; they examine particular population sub-groups that characterise (or dominate) segments of the income distribution, but the
spatial distribution of income is rarely examined. Describing changes in income inequality in Australian cities will provide information about how cities are developing and whether there are emerging geographical patterns of disadvantage.

The project will use data from the Census of Population and Housing covering the period 1981 to 1996.

Before any analysis can be done, we need to consider what defines a ‘neighbourhood’. The most disaggregated level of geography available in Australian Census data is Collection Districts (CDs). In most cities, CDs contain on average 200 households and 600 people. In addition to CDs, this study will also use Field Group Areas (FGAs) to characterise neighbourhoods. FGAs typically comprise 6 to 8 CDs and are similar to the often used neighbourhood definition in Canada and the USA known as Census Tracts.

A number of other issues need to be addressed such as:
  • how to estimate income inequality indices when using grouped rather than continuous income data;
  • how to take account of differences in household size and composition when measuring individual income and
  • how to describe the relation between distribution of income and the distribution of education and employment.

Statistics Canada recently completed a project that analysed changes in income inequality in Canadian cities. Once the ABS has completed its analysis, the ABS and Statistics Canada plan to compare results. Given the many similarities in institutional arrangements and urban and economic development between Australia and Canada, these comparisons will help identify explanations for changes in income inequality.

For further information contact Steven Kennedy on 02 6252 5462 or steven.kennedy
Agricultural Census Now Done

In recent months there has been intense activity concerning the Census of Population and Housing, but the second biggest collection of the ABS, the Agricultural Census has also been in the field and is now being processed in the Agriculture NPC in Tasmania.

The ‘Ag Census’ as it is fondly known by Australia’s 160,000 farmers, has been conducted in one form or another for over 140 years, and is one of the oldest collections done by the ABS.

The census has seen many changes over the years, but basic information such as the number of livestock and volume of crops has continued to be collected on a consistent basis.

The major change in recent years has been the change in frequency of the collection from a census every year to one every fifth year, with surveys in the intervening years. The 2001 census, originally planned for 2002, was brought forward a year, to coincide with the Census of Population and Housing from 2001 and onwards. This will facilitate analysis using data from the two collections at an aggregated level.

Another very significant change is in relation to the reference period, changed this year from 1 April - 31 March, to 1 July - 30 June.

Early indications are that the mail back collection had gone very well and although some follow-up is still outstanding, the outlook for the collection is good.

Early results from the Agricultural Census became available on 30 October 2001.

For further information contact Allan Nicholls on 02 6252 5339 or allan.nicholls
Freight Movements Survey

The redeveloped road component of the Freight Movement Survey (FMS) was started in April 2000. The reference period is from 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001. The FMS collects information on goods transported by rail, sea, air and road within Australia. The main data items are tonnes, tonne-kilometres by origin and destination by broad type of commodity carried and by method of transport (e.g. bulk).

Results of the FMS will released on 20 November 2001.

For further information contact Ros Higgins on 07 3222 6190 or ros.higgins
Directory of Agricultural and Rural Statistics on the ABS Web Site

The Directory of Agricultural and Rural Statistics (Cat no. 1142.0) replaces the Directory of Agricultural Statistics. The name change reflects a broadening of the scope of the publication. Information is given on sources of agricultural and rural statistics in the public and private sectors. For each data source there is information on the method of collection, geographic coverage and frequency of publication of the data.

Rural statistics relate to data describing or quantifying a physical, economic or social issue relating to rural Australia. In broad terms, ‘rural’ is taken to mean farmland (including horticultural land) and small communities throughout Australia, consisting of less than 50,000 people, predominantly servicing these farmlands. Rural topics covered in the directory include rural output, economic, environmental or social conditions, use of resources and the state of supporting infrastructure. To have been included they must also have the potential to inform policy making, add to public discussion and/or social practice.

Rural statistics also include statistics on a variety of other topics which allow comparison between rural and metropolitan situations. For example statistics on tourism, household expenditure, retail sales, income, housing, population, health and welfare all fall under the umbrella of rural statistics once a rural/non-rural perspective is available.

Statistics relating to a rural topic, such as land degradation or farm output, are considered rural regardless of the geographic level of data available.

The Directory is available free of charge on the ABS web site.

For further information contact Jim Williamson on 02 6252 5830 or jim.williamson
Increase in Household Internet Subscribers

There were 4.2 million Internet subscribers registered in Australia at the end of the June quarter 2001, up from 4 million in the previous quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported in its fourth quarterly survey of Internet service providers, released on 27 September 2001.

Of these subscribers, 508,000 were registered as business or government subscribers, an increase of 26,000 from the March 2001 quarter. There were 187,000 more household Internet accounts and a rise in free Internet accounts of 23,000.

During June quarter 2001, each subscriber downloaded an average of 288 megabytes of data with household subscribers averaging 176 megabytes each and business and government organisations downloading an average of 1,096 megabytes.

At the end of June 2001, there were 628 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) supplying Internet access services across Australia, down 6% from the previous quarter. The five largest ISPs (each having more than 100,000 subscribers) provided Internet access to 2.4 million or 57% of Australian Internet subscribers.

ISPs were widely distributed across Australia with the highest concentration and greatest activity in capital cities. Australian capital cities accounted for 74% of Internet subscribers, and 82% of data downloaded during the June quarter 2001. Only 1% (50,000) of Internet subscribers accessed points of presence located in very remote or remote regions of Australia.

Details, including information for States/Territories and smaller regions, are in Internet Activity, Australia, June Quarter 2001 (Cat. no. 8153.0), available from ABS bookshops.

For further information contact Dean Bloom 07 3222 6404 or dean.bloom
Manufacturing: Small Area Estimates

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has been developing a methodology to provide small area (sub-State) level core data at the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification sub-division level for non-census years. The original study provided estimates for 1997-98 for Capital City Statistical District / Balance of State and all statistical divisions in all States, using existing weights. The results were successful and this methodology has now also been applied to 1998-99 and 1999-2000 data.

These estimates are now available as a special data service. Data for 1997-98 and 1998-99 were released in December 2000. Similar results for 1999-2000 became available in August 2001. However, changes to the strategy for the 2000-01 collection (which will be management unit based) mean that 1999-2000 will be the last year for which this method will be used to produce small area estimates.

The next census year (for which more traditional small area data will be available, down to SLA level) will be for the 2001-02 collection year.

For further information contact John Ridley on 02 9268 4541 or john.ridley
Changes to Mining, Utilities and Manufacturing Statistics

A new strategy has been proposed to streamline annual the Mining, Utilities and Manufacturing collections to meet the recent cutbacks in resources. The proposed changes will affect the range and level of data that will be available for release, as well as the methods of disseminating this information.

The main changes to the outputs from these collections are:
  • Establishment data for these industries will cease to be collected from the reference year 2000-01.
  • Direct commodity data collection will be replaced with administrative sources for mining. In the case of manufacturing, commodity data will be collected from management units.
  • The basis of producing State estimates will change from 2000-01.
  • The preliminary publication for mining and utilities industries will no longer be published from reference year 2000-01 onwards. The last release is for reference year 1999-2000.
  • Data previously included in the compendium publications (including non-ABS sourced data) will be presented on the ABS web site. However, core data from the annual surveys of these industries will continue to be presented in printed publications as well.

Manufacturing data will continue to be available at 4-digit ANZSIC for national structural and commodity totals, although State estimates will be limited to structural data at the 2-digit level in the transition year, i.e. for reference year 2000-01.

Mining and utilities data will continue to be available at the previous levels for this reference year, except for ANZSIC Subdivision 14. Preliminary data for these two collections will be included in the broader publication Business Operations and Industry Performance, Australia (Cat. no. 8142.0).

The scope of activities collected has been changed from particular activities previously defined as ‘inscope’ to the various collections, to all activities in a State of a management unit with operations in more than one State. This will have a small effect on the totals.

Dissemination methods will change for 2000-01, in that no State manufacturing publications will be produced and all of the State estimates will be included in the national publication. State and sub-State estimates for manufacturing industries will be produced for the reference year 2001-02. Individual State publications will be produced for that year. Longer term strategies, including dissemination on the ABS web site, will be developed for States estimates in coordination with the Economic Activity Survey.

For further information contact Allan Nicholls on 02 6252 5339 or allan.nicholls
Motor Vehicles on GSP: Develop Your Own Regions

Motor Vehicles on GSP (Cat. no. 9312.0.30.001) is a CD-ROM product using the latest Geographic Statistics Platform (GSP) software to provide a complete picture of the motor vehicle fleet in Australia. The product provides counts of vehicles as captured by the 1999 Motor Vehicle Census. Monthly updates from the Information Consultancy service can also be imported into the product.

Data items include type of vehicle, make, model and year of manufacture as a four-level hierarchy. For trucks only, data also include: gross vehicle mass, gross combination mass and tare weight.

Registrations are classified by postcode. Estimates for areas other than postcodes - Statistical Division (SD), Statistical Sub-division (SSD) and Statistical Local Area (SLA) - are produced using the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) concordance which produces estimates of the number of vehicles in these geographic areas.

Mapping is available, and clients can develop their own set of regions using groupings of geographic areas.

For further information contact Mark Chalmers on 07 3222 6307 or mark.chalmers
Development of an Internet-Based Directory of Statistical Sources

A considerable amount of statistical information is collected and held by a variety of government and other agencies, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics. However, users may have a limited awareness of the existence or availability of these data. Consequently, in recent years the ABS has increased efforts to improve user awareness of, and access to, this statistical information.

A Directory of Statistical Sources is being developed and will provide a useful on-line tool for data users to identify and access reference information about both ABS and non-ABS statistical collections. The Directory will enable users to access data through links to current outputs from these collections and will be available on the ABS web site and within ABS@.

The Directory will allow users access to collection information in three ways - by topic, by geographic level and by source organisation. It will provide users with a list of collections relevant to their area of interest according to the access method used. The list will link to documents which provide reference material about the collections, information such as purpose, scope and coverage, and summary information about the various data items.

Delivery of the Directory of Statistical Sources on to the ABS web site is expected in early 2002.

For further information contact Tom Joseph on 08 9362 5123 or tom.joseph
Review of the Survey of Tourist Accommodation

The ABS has been conducting the Survey of Tourist Accommodation (STA) since 1975. In the last 25 years, the STA has undergone changes in the scope and range of statistics it provides, mainly to reflect changing user requirements. More recent changes introduced in 1998, however, were in response to government requirements to reduce burden on small businesses and improve overall efficiency of government operations.

Over the next 6 months a review of the STA will be conducted:
  • to ensure that it continues to be relevant to a wide range of users;
  • to ensure that it collects accurate and consistent information across all providers;
  • to minimise the burden placed on providers (the STA is currently the third highest ABS survey in terms of the load placed on businesses) and
  • to make effective use of limited resources.

A questionnaire and review paper were despatched to users of STA data during August. Round table discussions with users took place in each State during September/October 2001.

For further information contact Michelle Williams on 02 6252 6348 or michelle.williams
Trend, Seasonally Adjusted or Original? Which Should I Use?

The time series collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics are statistical records of various activities measured at more or less regular intervals of time, over relatively long periods. This gives the current situation a meaningful historic perspective and permits analysts to discern whether it is improving, deteriorating or staying much the same as before.

Any observation in an original time series is the combined impact of three distinct, separate influences:
  • ‘seasonal’ influences, which represents the combined effect of systematic calendar related seasonal cycles, trading or working day patterns and the systematic impact of moving holidays (such as Easter),
  • irregular factors, which give rise to the volatility in series because they represent transient activities and
  • the trend, which represents the fundamental direction of the series. It captures the long term direction of the series as well as medium term business cycles. The trend represents the underlying direction of the series, excluding ‘seasonal’ and irregular effects.

Looking at the original data, trend behaviour may be difficult to discern because ‘seasonal’ effects mask relatively subtle changes of the trend. Consequently, ‘seasonal’ effects are removed from many time series, producing the seasonally adjusted series. The seasonally adjusted series is the combination of the other two influences - the trend and the irregular effects. Because they are the combination of these two factors, many seasonally adjusted series exhibit a high degree of irregularity in their movements. Consequently movements in seasonally adjusted series are not in their own right useful indicators of trend behaviour.

The ABS produces explicit trend estimates by smoothing the seasonally adjusted series using a statistical procedure designed to minimise distortion of trend level, turning point shape and timing of turning points, based on Henderson weighted moving averages. These moving averages are centred on the point of time at which the trend is being estimated, so there is no distortion of the turning points. For monthly seasonally adjusted series, a symmetric centred 13 term Henderson moving average is used to produce a trend, and for quarterly series a symmetric centred 7 term Henderson moving average is used. The reason Henderson weighted moving averages are used as opposed to simple averages is tracking potential. Henderson weighting enables the moving average to accurately track straight lines, quadratic and cubic functions and most trend series can be accurately represented by combinations of these.

For recent data points, however, insufficient data exists to use symmetric Henderson moving averages to calculate the trend values. At the end of the series, trend estimates are consequently derived by using surrogates that approximate the smoothing properties of the Henderson moving average. Revision to the trend estimate as subsequent data becomes available is therefore unavoidable, with the last three trend estimates being most prone to revision.

However, the original, seasonally adjusted and trend series are all published because some users are not solely interested in trends. Other concerns may be:
  • the relative magnitude of seasonal peaks and troughs in the series or between series,
  • how the peaks and troughs are spread through the year or
  • how the seasonal peaks and troughs have changed over time.

Some users may be interested in which months are the most irregular, or by how much and how the irregularity is changing over time. Another use of seasonally adjusted series is to explain history and make forecasts. Users may, for example, relate the substantive movements in the trend and irregular components to economic events and changes in government policy.

To summarise, if you wish to access statistical information relating to the calendar variation in a time series, it would be appropriate to use the original time series. If your interest is in short term variation, discounting the ‘seasonal’ variation only, then you should use the seasonally adjusted time series. If you are looking for an indication of the underlying direction in the data then use the trend. The period to period movements in the trend estimates provide the best guide to the correct timing of turning points in the data.

For further information contact Kate Bradbury on 02 6252 6345 or kate.bradbury
Australia Has the Numbers: 2001 Census

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) took its 5-yearly snapshot of Australia on Tuesday 7 August 2001 with the 14th national Census of Population and Housing.

The census is the largest statistical collection undertaken by the ABS and one of the most important. Everyone in Australia was counted on census night, except foreign diplomats and their families.

This year’s census form contained 50 questions and included some new topics. Questions on personal computer and Internet usage were asked for the first time. This will show how widespread use of computers and the Internet has become in Australia, enable planning by both government and private sectors and allow better service delivery, especially in regional and rural areas.

A question on ancestry will help to further the understanding of the ethnic origin of Australians. In answering this question, people were asked to count their ancestry back as far as three generations, if known, and to consider the ancestry with which they most closely identify. For example, descendants of South Sea Islanders brought to Australia as indentured labour around the turn of the 20th century might answer ‘Australian South Sea Islander’.

Another feature of the 2001 Census is the Centenary of Federation Time Capsule Project. Everyone in Australia had the opportunity to have their name-identified information placed on microfilm and stored at the National Archives of Australia for 99 years before release, for the benefit of genealogists, historians and a wide variety of researchers in the 22nd century. Participation in the Time Capsule Project was optional.

Previous topics not included in the 2001 Census are: number of children ever born and whether a dwelling is rented as furnished or unfurnished.

A new aspect of the 2001 Census will be the technology used to process the census - intelligent character recognition (ICR). After collection there will be over 1,163 million answers to scan into the processing system. A total of 8.6 million forms (or 69 million sheets) will be processed in 300 days using ICR and automatic coding. About 800 processing staff will be temporarily employed to help handle the processing of the census.

The census is an enormous task and planning for the 2006 Census is already under way.

For further information contact Alex McNaughton on 3222 6122 or alex.mcnaughton
Census Post-enumeration Survey

The census post-enumeration survey was conducted from Monday 27 August until Saturday 8 September, to assess how successful the 2001 Census has been. A small sample of the more than 7 million households in Australia were selected at random to participate in what is essentially a quality assurance exercise.

The questions asked in the survey were straightforward and included asking where each household member could have been counted in the census. The post enumeration survey questions normally take just a few minutes to answer and usually can be answered by one adult member of the household, for the whole household.

For further information contact Andrew Taylor on 07 3222 6089 or andrew.j.taylor
2001 Census Community Profile Templates Now on the ABS Web Site

After considerable user consultation and analysis of user requirements, the complete set of the 2001 Census Community Profile Series templates (for the Basic Community Profile, Indigenous Profile, Time Series Profile, Usual Residents Profile, Expanded Community Profile and Working Population Profile) is now available on the ABS web site.

Community Profiles are sets of standard tables which contain key social, demographic and economic characteristics of people, families and dwellings. The Profiles are available for Australian Standard Geographic Classification areas and other standard census geographic areas. A Basic Community profile contains 33 tables, covering age, sex, marital status, ancestry, birthplace, language, religion, education, income, computer and Internet usage, dwelling, tenure, rent, labour force status, industry, occupation, travel to work, motor vehicles, etc. Other Profiles take a specialised look at particular features of the community, specific populations within the community and time series comparisons.

The templates, used in a number of standard products, are provided as a guide for users to what items will be in the standard tables when the data are released. Clients are advised to take maximum advantage of this early release of the templates to prepare for the release of 2001 Census data (from mid-2002).

From the templates clients will be able to determine, well in advance, which data will be available for free (i.e. Basic Community Profile data down to Statistical Local Area level), which data will be available as a standard output and their requirements for customised tables.

The full set of the 2001 Census Community Profile Series templates can be accessed via the ABS web site, by selecting the ‘Census’ button on the ABS Home Page.

For further information contact Peta Wilcox on 02 6252 6734 or peta.wilcox
Limited Time Census Advance Order Service - Get Your Order in Now!

Orders will be taken through to 30 November 2001.

The AOS allows clients to determine their table requirements while Census data are being processed and ensures the earliest possible delivery of customised tables. The service operates on a ‘first-in, first-served’ basis and reduces the time taken to receive data after the official release date.

To register for the AOS information pack, phone 1800 813 939 or email census.users
Indigenous Identification

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has developed a standard Indigenous identification question to be used in administrative systems. This is in line with other community initiatives to improve measurement and delivery of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

There is recognition by many parties that significant improvement is required in the way in which data about Indigenous students is collected in the National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC). In an effort to improve the collection of reliable information, the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs endorsed the use of the ABS standard question for Indigenous status when reporting key performance measures in schooling.

The Ministerial Council for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs also endorsed the standard for general use. Implementation of a standard identifier in the NSSC will provide a model which could be later applied to the Vocational Education & Training and Higher Education collections.

The ABS is working towards developing a partnership between schools, governments, communities and the ABS to progress this work.

As part of the move to improve Indigenous identification, the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics of the ABS is also working to improve the quality of Indigenous data in its collections.

ABS representatives from all States and Territories maintain regular communication and meet biannually to review and promote work on Indigenous identification in a broad range of administrative collections. Collections involved include registered births and deaths, hospital admissions, school enrolments and data from crime and justice organisations.

For further information contact Norm Burke on 07 3222 6320 or norm.burke
Statistical Consultancy Services
ABS Queensland Contact Points

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics maintains a high quality Statistical Consultancy service to clients on a fee-for-service basis. The ABS is ideally positioned to provide professional advice and assistance on many statistical methods issues.

    One of the services available:

    Data Analysis and Modelling

    We can apply complex statistical techniques to either your data or ABS data. Methods include:
  • organising, summarising and describing data
  • exploring the characteristics of data
  • providing measures of accuracy
  • testing hypotheses and statistically significant differences
  • Providing complex statistical analysis (multivariate modelling techniques, time series analysis, etc.)
  • providing results of analysis on geographical maps

    Only Statistical Consultancy can analyse confidential ABS unit record data.

    For further information contact Adrian Seabrook on 07 3222 6218 or adrian.seabrook

    National Information and Referral Service
    Telephone 1300 135 070
    TTY 07 3222 6325
    Consultants will assist with your statistical inquiries.


    Electronic copies of ABS publications as far back as 1998 are available for sale. Hard copy will be produced for those who require it. Visit us on the 18th floor at 313 Adelaide St and browse. We are open 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.

    The library is situated alongside our e-kiosk and provides a complete range of current and historical ABS publications.
Contacts for Queensland State Government Departments

    Sally Barrett Telephone: 07 3222 6083
    Email: sally.barrett


    Glen Dunn Telephone: 07 3222 6155
    Email: glen.dunn