Wednesday, July 30, 2008

National Data Network (NDN) closed

The National Data Network (NDN) has recently undergone a review process. Most of the development to date has been done in demonstration/pilot mode. As a result of the reviews the ABS has decided to bring the pilot phase to a close and cease further development on the network. This includes the Children and Youth Statistical Portal.

The vision of accessing and sharing of data is still very alive and the ABS will be focusing on expansion of the National Statistical Service (NSS). There are now other initiatives being pursued that have some similar objectives to those of the NDN.

The ABS will continue to develop strategies for 'whole of government' information sharing. For further information, see the NDN webpage.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Child Care

Data from the 2006 Australian Government Census of Child Care Services is now available from the Office of Early Childhood Education.

Conducted regularly since 1986, the Child Care Census examines information about child care users, staff and carers and operational details of child care services.

Data on unpaid childcare is available from the ABS 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Access via the Census Tables (select topic 'Childcare'). Further statistics relating to child care can be found in the ABS publication Child Care, Australia 2005 (cat. no. 4402.0).

Risk Taking by Young People

Data on a range of risky behaviours by young people aged 15-24 years can be found in the latest edition of Australian Social Trends, 2008 (cat. no. 4102.0), including:
  • drinking at risky levels
  • illicit drug use
  • dangerous driving
  • violence

The latest data on youth suicide, mental health, road accidents and other areas are also covered in the article: Risk Taking by Young People.

Outcome of Review of ASGC

The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) is used for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics. The ASGC has formed the foundation of the statistical geography used by the ABS since 1984.

The ABS intends to replace the current ASGC with the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) through an implementation strategy commencing in 2011.

The ASGS will be based upon mesh blocks creating more stable and consistent units than the ASGC. It will be the new basis for the publication of the complete range of ABS spatial statistics.

The ASGS will become the essential reference for understanding and interpreting the geographical context of ABS statistics. The ABS anticipates that it will be widely adopted outside the ABS to facilitate the cross comparison of spatial statistics.

A second Information Paper is now available outlining the new Australian Statistical Geography. It addresses the main concerns of stakeholders regarding the ASGS and summarises the strategy for its introduction. Information Paper: Outcome of the Review of the Standard Geographical Classification, 2008 (cat. no. 1216.0.55.002).

Structure of the ASGS

Health of Mature Age Workers

A snapshot released today presents data on the health of older workers in Australia.

Analysing data from the 2004-05 National Health Survey, the report found that mature age workers (between 45-74 years) were slightly healthier than their non-working counterparts, with 8 in 10 workers having a chronic health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or obesity, compared with 9 in 10 of the non-working population.

See Health of Mature Age Workers in Australia: a Snapshot, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4837.0.55.001).

Monday, July 28, 2008

National Regional Profile Updated

The National Regional profile (NRP) has now been updated with a new look, extra Help, and more data. This release contains data spanning the years 2002 to 2006.

New features in this release include the introduction of an NRP Welcome Page which is the 'springboard' for finding regions and data of interest. The Welcome Page includes 'Help' information, such as 'How to's' and 'Frequently Asked Questions' to help users navigate and use the NRP.

A series of four videos have been created to provide a brief overview of the new NRP:
NRP Video Demonstration

In this release, NRP users are also able to access a range of data not available elsewhere on the ABS website including:
  • Estimated Resident Population by detailed age and sex ranges for Statistical Local Areas,

  • counts of Australian businesses, including entries and exits data,

  • time series Taxation Statistics data

  • and a range of state specific data
We are interested in obtaining your feedback on the latest NRP and its new features. This feedback will be used to improve future products and services. Please take a few minutes to complete the feedback form in the NRP.

Australian Social Trends

Australian Social Trends, 2008 (cat. no. 4102.0) describes aspects of Australian society and how these are changing over time. It covers such topics as population, family and community, health, education and training, work, economic resources, housing and other areas of interest including internet access and public transport use for work and study.

Also included are a set of international tables that compare Australian trends with those of 17 other nations.
The current 2008 edition shows:
  • Australians are more likely to have broadband over dial-up

  • the number of people working as complementary health professionals has nearly doubled in the ten years to 2006

  • women were more likely to volunteer than men

  • three quarters of adults in capital cities used cars as their main form of public transport - Sydney had the highest level of public transport use while Canberra had the lowest.

Monday, July 7, 2008

OECD Factbook and Trendalyzer

Data from the OECD Factbook 2008: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics can be viewed as animated bubble charts using Trendalyzer software from Gapminder.

Track how Australia has changed over time in comparison with other countries. Just click "View Factbook data using Trendalyzer" from the Factbook entry page.

Hans Rosling's Gapminder website includes a range of resources aiming to 'convert boring numbers into enjoyable, animated and interactive graphics':

Create your own bubble chart
Google acquired the software behind Trendalyzer in 2007 and their first output is now up and running as a free Google Gadget called Motion Chart. It allows everyone to make a gapminder-like bubble graph that you can publish on your web-page or blog, using google spreadsheets.

Changes to ABS website

Some changes have been made to the design of the ABS website. This is the first in a series of planned enhancements to the ABS website.

Changes include:
  • lightening of colours in the top banner
  • 'Details' tab now 'Downloads' tab
  • addThis 'Bookmark and Share' buttons
  • more efficient print functionality, and more

Check the ABS website changes page for information on all the changes.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Spotlight on Maternity Leave

The latest Australian Labour Market Statistics release (cat. no. 6105.0) contains four new 'spotlight' articles - which bring together data on key topics relating to labour statistics.

Spotlight - Maternity Leave:
The issue of paid maternity leave has achieved increasing prominence in Australia over the past few years, particularly within the context of an ageing population and initiatives to increase the fertility rate in Australia; the ability of Australian families to balance their work and family responsibilities; and concerns over the costs and availability of child care. There has been ongoing debate about whether there should be a paid maternity leave scheme, and if so, who would fund such a scheme.

This article highlights changes in paid maternity leave coverage over the past five years, and explores some of the characteristics of female employees who have paid maternity leave entitlements.

Labour Underutilisation

A new series, the Quarterly Labour Force Underutilisation Rate is introduced in the July issue of Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0) released today.

Labour underutilisation is the extent to which available labour is underutilised - either through unemployment or underemployment.

This quarterly time series replaces the existing annual rate which was first published in 2002 in Information Paper: Measures of Labour Underutilisation (cat. no. 6296.0). The new quarterly series has a more conceptually correct basis than the annual rate, and has provided the opportunity to produce more frequent and timely measures of changes in underemployment, and in turn, the underutilisation rate.

For more information see the Quarterly labour force underutilisation rate article in Australian Labour Market Statistics, Jul 2008.

Robbery on the rise in 2007

A snapshot of robbery in 2007 summarises data from the latest Recorded Crime - Victims release.

Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 4510.0) presents national crime statistics relating to victims of a selected range of offences that have been recorded by police.
Offences include murder, blackmail/extortion, motor vehicle theft, unlawful entry with intent, and other theft. Information is included on the age and sex of victims, the location where the offence occurred, and outcome of police investigations at 30 days.

Bizlinks seminars for small business in WA

Western Australia: the ABS has been involved in the organisation and conducting of Bizlinks, a seminar designed to assist small businesses during the initial stages of their start-up and development.

Bizlinks seminars incorporate presentations delivered by a collection of Government agencies. These include the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC), the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF), the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection (DOCEP) and the State Library of WA.

The first Bizlinks seminar is being held at 5.30pm - 8pm on Wednesday July 30 2008 at the State Library of WA. Check the latest issue of Stats Talk WA (cat. no. 1304.5) for information on how to register.

Identity theft, email scams and more

The results from the first National Personal Fraud Survey have now been released in Personal Fraud, 2007 (cat. no. 4528.0).

The survey measured three key elements of personal fraud:
  • people's exposure to a range of selected scams;
  • whether a person was a victim of either identity fraud or a range of selected scams
  • any financial losses incurred by victims of personal fraud

Identity fraud included: credit or bank card fraud, and identity theft.
Selected scams included: lotteries, pyramid schemes, phishing and related scams, financial advice, chain letters, advance fee fraud and other scams.

Detailed demographic characteristics about victims, as well as characteristics of the most recent incident for each type of personal fraud were also collected.

Riding the Boom: housing statistics

The ABS has a large range of housing related information that can be used to keep track of the fluctuations in Australia’s housing market.

This mini article: Riding the Boom in the June issue of Stats Talk WA (cat. no. 1304.5) provides a simple overview of housing market data available from the ABS website.