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Newsletters - Statistics News New South Wales - Issue Number 34, March 2006

Statistics News NSW provides the latest information about ABS statistics including new developments, seminars and reviews.


Allan McLean
Statistical Coordination Branch

Phone: (02) 9268 4795

ABS Information Service: 1300 135 070




Jon Hall from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) presented an information session on the OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy at the ABS NSW office in February. Jon is currently working to coordinate world wide efforts on improving the ways in which statistics are translated into knowledge, and hence into policy. The focus at the moment is on developing key indicator systems to support the measurement of societal progress.

Jon was particularly keen to raise awareness of the project and hear about local experiences. Information was presented on national indicator frameworks from Ireland, the UK, the USA and Australia, where the ABS's Measures of Australia's Progress was showcased. In addition to frameworks at a national level, Jon also spoke about the leading Australian examples at the regional level; the Victorian government initiative "Growing Victoria Together" and Tasmania's "Tasmania Together" program. Both initiatives focus on a whole of government approach with the aim of improving the well-being of their citizens.

The ABS is contributing to this initiative and is planning further workshops elsewhere in Australia.

For further information on the OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy see <>
For further information on local ABS contributions, contact Peter Damcevski, email
From Data to Decisions

Learn how to apply statistical techniques to data in order to make more effective, evidence-based decisions.

ABS NSW is offering a wide range of statistical training in 2006. Our courses show that the statistical process is more than just numbers. It involves selecting the right data sources, assessing data quality, analysing and interpreting data, communicating results, and making quality informed decisions.

Courses include:
  • Introduction to Statistics, 15-17 May
  • Turning Data into Information, 7-8 June & 18-19 October
  • Introduction to Sampling, 19-20 July
  • Analysing Survey Data Made Simple, 30-31 August
  • Basic Survey Design, 5-6 September
  • Principles of Questionnaire Design, 21-22 September
  • Understanding Labour Market Statistics, to be scheduled for July 2006.
  • Understanding Demographic Data, to be scheduled for 2006
  • Making Quality Informed Decisions, to be scheduled for 2006

For further information contact Mazen Kassis on (02) 9268 4183, email
How healthy are we?

Results from the National Health Survey 2004-05 were released in February. The survey collected information on health status, risk factors, health related actions and associated demographics from approximately 26,000 people throughout Australia. In conjunction with this survey, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) collected similar information from approximately 11,000 Indigenous Australians. Both surveys aim to inform policy development in population health, monitor changes across a range of key health issues (at both the national and state/territory level) and supply indicators for National Health Priority Areas and important subgroups of the population.

Key findings from the survey include:
  • more Australian adults were overweight or obese
  • more drank alcohol at risky or high risk levels in 2004-05 than in 2001.

The findings are summarised in the publication National Health Survey: Summary of Results, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4364.0) and associated tables for states and the ACT can be found in National Health Survey: Summary of Results; State tables 2004-05 (cat. no. 4362.0), both available free of charge from the ABS web site.

For further information contact Jane Griffin-Warwicke on
(02) 6252 6535, email

Latest Fertility rates for NSW regions

The ABS recently released a special article on fertility trends and patterns in NSW. Some of the trends are described below.

During the baby boom (1946–1965) the NSW total fertility rate (TFR) varied from 2.94 births per woman in 1947 to 3.31 in 1961. After 1961 it declined to the 1979 level of 1.91 births per woman. Since then it has been slowly declining to around the current level of 1.8 births per woman. However, the decline appears to have halted, with the preliminary 2004–05 TFR for NSW of 1.84 being the highest since 1995.

The trend towards postponement of births is reflected in an increasing median age of mother at confinement. In NSW, the median age of mother in 2004 was 30.6 years, an increase of 4.6 years from the median age in 1975.

Fertility is not consistent across all parts of NSW. In 2004, the Sydney region was characterised by low overall fertility in comparison to the higher fertility Non-Urban Remainder. However, while fertility in Sydney is lower than in other regions, inner city Statistical Local Areas tend to have the lowest fertility while those with higher fertility are generally on the suburban fringe. For more detailed information you can find this article in the ABS publication Demography NSW, 2004 (cat. no. 3311.1.55.001) which can be accessed from the ABS web site.

For further information contact Alan Jenner on (02) 9268 4113, email Care and Work

Managing Care and Work, NSW, October 2005 (cat. no. 4912.1) is due to be released on 5 April. The publication will contain results from the Managing Care and Work survey which was conducted throughout NSW during October 2005.

The survey collected information on the relationship between respondents' unpaid caring responsibilities and their paid work situation for the six months prior to the survey. Information was collected on the frequency of care provided and selected characteristics of the recipients of care; carers' sector of employment; the type of work arrangements carers used (or wanted to use) to facilitate caring for someone; and the reasons carers could not use desired work arrangements.

The survey also asked what, if any, changes had been made to work arrangements in order to care for someone; whether the main reason for self employment was to make caring easier; and the main source of income for carers not looking for paid work due to caring responsibilities.

For further information contact the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email
Changes to ABS pricing- what do the changes mean for you?

Open access to official statistics on the economic, social and environmental condition of a country and its population is an essential element of a democracy. The ABS attaches considerable importance to easy and widespread access by all levels of government, and the community generally, to the statistics it compiles.

A discussion paper on the outcomes of the ABS Pricing Policy Review was released on 8 February . The purpose of the paper is to provide the findings of the ABS assessment of the ABS pricing policy against Australian Government Guidelines.

A revision of the ABS Pricing Policy has been prompted by the requirement for alignment with new Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines. The draft revision also reflects the recent move by ABS to make the content of its web site accessible free of charge via the Internet. The ABS’s proposed changes to the pricing policy can be viewed in Discussion paper: ABS Pricing Policy Review Outcomes - Public Consultation, 2006 (cat. no.1399.0 )

For further information contact the Director of Client Services, email
New - The Centre of Environment and Energy Statistics (CEES)

The ABS formed the Centre of Environment and Energy Statistics (CEES) in 2005. CEES seeks to complement and add value to existing environmental statistical activity through an active partnership with key agencies, including the states and territories.

An advisory board has been established to guide the activities of CEES. The inaugural meeting of the board was held on 24 August 2005 with the next meeting planned for 30 March 2006.

CEES in collaboration with others will:
  • Provide leadership in the development of environment and energy statistics in Australia.
  • Coordinate statistical activities across various sectors to develop frameworks and standards and improve data quality, comparability and coverage.
  • Improve the understanding of trends and current issues, particularly across sectors, through its own analysis, and by supporting analysis by others.
  • Compile environmental accounts – water, energy and greenhouse gases (and perhaps other accounts in future years).
  • Maintain and update elements of an Environment Information Development Plan (IDP).
  • Continue the popular time series publication on household data, which covers people's concerns, attitudes and behaviour on water, energy, transport and waste issues.
  • Continue to produce a ‘thematic’ publication.
  • Research, develop and test new environment and energy surveys.
  • Examine proposals for client-funded extensions to the ABS core work program

For further information contact Michael Vardon, CEES Director on (02) 6252 7348, email

ABS publications are available to download free from the ABS web site (
To enquire about release dates, please contact the National Information & Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

ABS Catalogue No.
1301.0Year Book Australia, 2006
1309.0Australia at a Glance, 2006
1351.0.55.011Research Paper: Testing the Reliability of a Measure of Aboriginal Children's Mental Health, March 2006
1352.0.55.072Research Paper: A Review of Confidentiality Protections for Statistical Tables (Methodology Advisory Committee), June 2005
1362.0Information Paper: Regional Research in Australia - the Statistical Dimension: an Information Development Plan for Rural and Regional Statistics, 2005
2903.0How Australia Takes a Census, 2006
3107.0.55.003Information Paper: Improved Methods for Estimating Net Overseas Migration, 2006
3218.0Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2004-05
3303.0Causes of Death, Australia, 2004
3309.0Suicides, Australia, 1994- 2004
3311.1.55.001Demography, New South Wales, 2004 Final
4221.0Schools, Australia, 2005
4362.0National Health Survey: Summary of Results; State Tables, 2004-05
4363.0.55.002National Health Survey and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2004/5: Data Reference Package, 2004-05
4364.0National Health Survey: Summary of Results, Australia, 2004-05
4513.0Criminal Courts, Australia, 2004-05
6238.0Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, August 2004 to June 2005
6239.0Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Australia, August 2004 to June 2005
6261.0.55.001Characteristics of Wage and Salary Earners in Regions of Australia, 2002-03
6287.0Labour Force Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Experimental Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2002-04
6535.0.55.001Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Detailed Expenditure Items, 2003-04 (Reissue)
8158.0Innovation in Australian Business, 2003 (Reissue)


ABS Catalogue No.
1370.0Measures of Australia's Progress, 2006
2902.0Census Update, 2006
4324.0.30.001National Health Survey: Confidentialised Unit Record File, Australia on CD ROM, 2004-05
4363.0.55.001National Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2004-05
4402.0Child Care, Australia, June 2005
4509.0Crime and Safety, Australia, April 2005
4704.0.55.002The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: Summary Booklet, 2005
4715.0National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Summary of Results, Australia, 2004-05
4911.0Measures of Community Connection, Australia, 2005
4912.1Managing Care and Work, NSW, October 2005
8111.0Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2004
8127.0Characteristics of Small Business, Australia, 2005

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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