Australian National Accounts: Non-Profit Institutions Satellite Accounts

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Estimates of the direct contribution that NPIs make to the Australian economy, including to gross value added and gross domestic product

Reference period
2012-13 financial year

Analysis of results

Key results

Non-profit institutions (NPIs) have the following characteristics: they are organisations, they are not-for-profit and non-profit-distributing, they are institutionally separate from government, they are self-governing, and are non-compulsory. For further information about identification of NPIs, refer to Appendix 5. There were 56,894 NPI organisations in Australia registered with the ATO at June 2013 and in scope of the NPI Satellite Account.

The direct value that NPIs add to the economy is measured in NPI gross value added (GVA). NPI output that is sold in the market is valued by sales, whilst the non-market output is valued at cost. In 2012-13, NPIs accounted for $54,796m or 3.8% of total GVA. This is an increase on the revised 2006-07 NPI contribution to GVA (3.2%).

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the value of production inclusive of product taxes. NPI GDP in 2012-13 is $57,710m. The revised NPI GDP for 2006-07 is $34,662m.

NPIs received income of $107,480m in 2012-13, and held $176b worth of assets.

NPIs contribute significantly to employment, accounting for 1,081,900 employed persons and almost 3.9 million volunteers. Volunteers contributed 521 million hours to NPIs, equating to an equivalent of 265,600 full time employed persons. The economic value of these hours was estimated at $17.3b.

Key results

Number of NPI organisations(a)56 894
NPI value added - national accounts basis$54.8 billion
NPI value added - NPI satellite account basis$79.2 billion
NPI income$107.5 billion
NPI assets$176.0 billion
NPI employment1,081,900 persons
NPI volunteers3,882,300 persons
NPI volunteering hours520.5 million hours

a. Registered with ATO and in scope of the NPI Satellite Account


NPI gross value added

NPI gross value added measures the value of goods and services produced by NPIs (or output), less the cost of goods and services used up in their processes of production. While it is not separately identified in the core national accounts, this value added is already included in the national accounts and is termed NPI gross value added on a national accounts basis. In 2012-13, NPI gross value added on a national accounts basis was $54,796m, an increase of $22,240m (68%) in original terms on 2006-07. In real terms, that is, adjusted for inflation, NPI gross value added increased 42%.

When additions are made to NPI value added on a national accounts basis to include the non market-output of market producers and the imputed value of volunteer services, this is termed NPI value added on NPI satellite account basis. NPI value added was $79,193m in 2012-13 on this basis.

On a national accounts basis, education and research NPIs were the largest contributors to gross value added (30.9%), followed by social service NPIs (19.5%). These NPIs were also the largest contributors to gross value added in 2006-07.

  1. See Appendix 1 for the International Classiffication of Non-Profit Organisations (ICNPO)


NPI income

NPIs received $107,480m worth of income in 2012-13. Market NPIs generated most of their income from service provision ($57,870m), while the main type of income for non-market NPIs was transfers and donations ($15,093m). Most of the income received by market and non-market NPIs was from government, $27,571m and $13,359m respectively, in 2012-13. In 2006-07, most market and non-market NPI income was received from households. For further information about the market/non-market distinction, refer to the glossary.

Education and research NPIs generated the largest share of income in both 2012-13 ($26,561m) and 2006-07 ($16,016m). Social service NPIs were the second largest contributor to total NPI income in 2012-13, generating $19,194m.

  1. See Appendix 1 for the International Classification of Non-Profit Organisations (ICNPO)


NPI use of income

The main way in which market NPIs used their income was to pay for labour costs ($37,388m). This was also the main expense for non-market NPIs ($14,301m). The second largest expense for both market and non-market NPIs was purchases of goods and services, $23,974m and $12,842m respectively.

NPI employment

NPIs employed 1,081,900 persons in 2012-13. The majority of these employees were full time employees (413,100 persons). Market NPIs employed 742,500 persons, whilst non-market NPIs employed 339,400 persons. Social services NPIs employed the most people (296,900), followed by education and research NPIs (276,300).

  1. See Appendix 1 for the International Classification of Non-Profit Organisations (ICNPO)


NPI volunteering

A volunteer is someone who willingly gives unpaid help in the form of time, service or skills, through an organisation or group. Almost 3.9 million Australians aged 18 and over volunteered for NPIs in 2012-13. The most people volunteered for culture and recreation NPIs (2 million), followed by social services NPIs (1.4 million).

In 2012-13, 521 million hours were volunteered to NPIs, equating to 265,600 full time equivalents. The majority of hours were volunteered for culture and recreation NPIs (163 million hours), and social services NPIs (159 million hours). Females volunteered 274.3 million hours or 140,500 full-time equivalent persons compared to 246.1 million hours or 125,000 full-time equivalent persons for males.

The number of hours volunteered in NPIs and average hourly ordinary time earnings in selected occupations have been used to impute the value of volunteer services in NPIs. Further information about the calculation of volunteer services is detailed in Appendix 6. In 2012-13, the imputed value of volunteer services was $17,323m.

  1. See Appendix 1 for the International Classifications of Non-Profit Organisations (ICNPO)


Non-profit institutions (NPIs) play an important role in the provision of welfare, social and other services in Australia. In response to demand for information on the size, structure and economic contribution of NPIs, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has compiled a third NPI satellite account for Australia. The 2012-13 NPI satellite account is on a comparable basis to the 2006-07 satellite account and as a result the first 3 tables include data for both years. Data from the first NPI satellite account for 1999-2000 is not included in this publication as there were significant differences in the compilation methods and classifications used to compile that account.

An NPI satellite account involves the identification and measurement of non-profit activities within the national accounting framework so that a cohesive set of economic data on NPIs can be compiled.

The concepts and methods used in the Australian NPI satellite account are based on international standards described in the United Nations Handbook on Non-Profit Institutions in the System of National Accounts (the Handbook). The Handbook is intended to facilitate international comparison of information on NPIs. The Handbook is consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA), whilst extending that framework to enable measurement of further areas of analytical interest.

This publication presents estimates of the direct contribution that NPIs make to the Australian economy, and in particular the contribution of NPIs to key macroeconomic variables such as gross value added and gross domestic product. As this satellite account is an integrated set of statistics on NPIs within the internationally recognised SNA, it provides a valuable policy and research resource with a wide range of applications.

The results of this study are based, in part, on tax data supplied by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to the ABS under the Taxation Administration Act 1953, which requires that such data is only used for statistical purposes. No individual information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 is provided back to the ATO for administrative or regulatory purposes. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the ATO's core requirements.

Legislative requirements to ensure privacy and secrecy of this data have been followed. Only people authorised under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 have been allowed to view data about any particular organisation in conducting these analyses. In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, results have been confidentialised to ensure that they are not likely to enable identification of a particular person or organisation.

The 2012-13 NPI satellite account was jointly funded by the Australian government departments the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health.

Data downloads

Non-profit institutions satellite account, 2012-13

Updates have been made to tables 1-3, and 12 and the addition of tables 15-17 that include volunteering services data for 2012-13.

Non-profit institutions satellite account, 2006-07

Changes in this issue

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History of changes

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Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5256.0.

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