Monday, March 31, 2008

Indigenous Australians

A new report presents a range of statistics for the Indigenous population of Australia using results of the 2006 Census. Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 (cat. no. 4713.0) covers:
  • Indigenous population structure and distribution; mobility; household composition; language and religious affiliation; education; work; income; and housing and transport.

  • It also includes the new topics of need for assistance, unpaid work and dwelling Internet connection.

  • Estimates of the resident Indigenous population of Australia, and a discussion of issues affecting Indigenous population data are also included.

Also available: the Indigenous Community Profile contains 34 tables showing Census data on Indigenous people and households, and includes some comparisons with non-Indigenous people. Profile tables are available for a range of geographies.

Media Watch: Crime stats

The ABC's Media Watch program recently highlighted how mistakes can be made with crime statistics in a segment on a media story about immigrants and crime.

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas

The latest Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) have now been released. With information available at the Local Government Area (LGA) and Census Collection District (CD) level, SEIFA is a popular and unique source of information on relative socio-economic disadvantage.

SEIFA is a suite of four summary measures that have been created from 2006 Census information. For each index, every geographic area in Australia is given a SEIFA score which shows how disadvantaged that area is compared with other areas in Australia.

SEIFA is calculated on a range of variables from the 2006 Census. Each index summarises a different aspect of the socio-economic conditions of people living in an area. The indexes broadly compare areas and therefore areas ranked at the top and bottom are likely to show similar levels of advantage or disadvantage.
  • The Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage is a general socio-economic index that summarises a range of information about the economic and social resources of people and households within an area. Unlike the other indexes, this index includes only measures of relative disadvantage;

  • The Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage also summarises information about the economic and social resources of people and households within an area. It includes both relative advantage and disadvantage measures;

  • The Index of Economic Resources focuses on the general level of access to economic resources of people and households within an area;

  • The Index of Education and Occupation focuses on the general level of education and occupation-related skills of people within an area.

To help you understand the SEIFA indexes, the ABS has released two papers:

For a brief summary selection of the most advantaged and disadvantaged areas around Australia see the ABS SEIFA media release.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Alcohol Consumption, binge drinking

Looking for statistics on Australians and alcohol?

Data about Australians' alcohol consumption can be found in the health risk sections of both the National Health Survey, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4364.0) and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4715.0).

Alcohol Consumption in Australia: a Snapshot, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4832.0.55.001) summarises results from these and other surveys. It includes statistics relating to people drinking at a high risk level, and short term risk (binge drinking) data.

Estimates of the apparent per person consumption of beer, wine and spirits can be found in the annual publication: Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia (cat. no. 4307.0.55.001).

Causes of death, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 3303.0) includes data for mental and behavioural disorders due to the use of alcohol as the underlying cause of death .

Additional information is available from Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW) publications, including the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2004). The Australian Secondary Students' Use of Alcohol in 2005 Report (Jun 2006) is available via the National Drug Strategy website.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Social Atlas Series

Social Atlases are now available for each Australian capital city, including some regional centres.
They allow you to obtain a bird's eye view of your city and its make-up.

  • Researching a new business opportunity?
  • Buying a house in an area you are not familiar with?
  • Needing to visually identify where new growth areas are?
  • Working for a community-based organisation that requires information on where the older population live?

The 2006 Social Atlas Series is a great way to kick-start your research. Each Atlas provides colour thematic maps of 2006 Census data, as well as commentary describing the 2006 Census results. Social Atlases can help you find out:

  • Where do people with broadband Internet access live?
  • Where do people who travel to work by public transport live?
  • Which areas had the greatest population change since 2001?
  • Where are most of the home rental properties located?

New: Major regional centres for most states and territories are now included. For example the Sydney Social Atlas now includes Wollongong, Newcastle and the Central Coast.

The Social Atlas Series is available online or available for purchase in print.

Online user tip: to change the orientation of maps presented 'sideways' in Social Atlas pdfs: right click on a map and select 'rotate clockwise' option.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Accessing ABS Information - free seminars

Seminars on Accessing ABS Information are being held at ABS Offices on the following dates:

  • Canberra: 2 April 2008, 10.30am - 12.00pm
  • Perth: 16 April 2008, 9.30 - 11.00am
  • Adelaide: 8 May 2008, 9.30 - 11.00am

Check the ABS Training pages for further information, contact details or other upcoming sessions.

Free ABS Information Sessions will also be held in Melbourne:

  • 18 March 2008, 2.00 - 4.00 pm
  • 22 April 2008, 2.00 - 4.00 pm
  • 22 May 2008, 2.00 - 4.00 pm
    To book a Melbourne Information Session email:

IMF Data Mapper

The IMF Data Mapper is an interactive data visualisation tool now available on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) website. It allows users to select and compare data across countries, regions, and groups, using the world map or a pull-down menu.

The Data Mapper displays the selected data in chart form, and the map and charts are interactive. For example, changing the time period by sliding along the time axis on a line chart causes the annual data displayed on the map and the map colors to change. The data can also be printed or exported to other applications in the form of chart or map images.

This initial version of the Mapper contains selected data from the latest World Economic Outlook and the Balance of Payments Yearbook.

Crime myths

The Australian Insitute of Criminology website looks at a number of crime myths: including 'If you're going to be murdered, it will be by a stranger' or 'Property crime is skyrocketing' and then compares these with data from ABS surveys.

Also available from the AIC is the latest issue of Australian crime: facts and figures 2007, a ready reference compendium of current trends and patterns in crime and criminal justice in Australia.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

ABS News for Libraries

The latest issue of ABS News for Libraries is now available.
This edition includes information on Quality Declarations, new Census releases, How Australians Use Their Time, and a Water Statistics quiz.

Monday, March 3, 2008

New UN Data Portal

UN Data is a newly launched internet-based data service providing global statistical data to users.

Established by the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), this service provides greater accessibility to the UN's statistical databases including those of affiliated organisations (e.g. ILO, FAO, UNICEF, World Bank, etc) through a single portal.

Users can search and download a variety of statistical resources including key global social and economic indicators or specific information about a particular country of interest. Topics available include agriculture, education, employment, energy, environment, industry, national accounts, population, trade and tourism.

The site can be found at