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4441.0.55.002 - A Comparison of Volunteering Rates from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing and the 2006 General Social Survey, Jun 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/06/2012  First Issue
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6. USING CENSUS FOR SMALL AREA ANALYSIS

Although the GSS is the best source for data on volunteering, the sample size prevents analysis of voluntary work for small geographic areas below capital city / balance of state (see Table 4.3 for rates). Differences in socio-demographics between communities may also result in differences in voluntary work rates between communities and using the Census can be useful to understand volunteering at small areas. Even though the Census cannot be used to estimate absolute levels of volunteering in different areas, it could be used to identify where there are differences between areas.

Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) within Sydney were chosen for comparison of characteristics. Table 6.1 compares volunteer rates for people in Sydney across selected characteristics.

6.1 VOLUNTEER RATES FOR SYDNEY, SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS(a) – 2006 GSS AND 2006 CENSUS
Characteristics of persons
Volunteer Rate (%)
2006 GSS(b)
2006 Census
Rate ratio

Sex
Male
28.6
(24.2–33.0)
14.8
1.9
Female
31.6
(27.5–35.7)
18.7
1.7
Age group
18–29 years
24.5
(17.8–31.2)
13.5
1.8
30–39 years
30.1
(23.9–36.2)
15.0
2.0
40–59 years
36.4
(32.3–40.4)
19.6
1.9
60 years and over
26.0
(19.2–32.8)
17.2
1.5
Family composition
Family with children aged under 15 years
39.6
(34.1–45.0)
19.3
2.1
Family with dependent children aged 15–24 years
35.5
(22.5–48.5)
19.3
1.8
Family with no dependent children
24.7
(20.4–29.1)
15.0
1.6
Social marital status (c)
Married
34.2
(30.3–38.1)
17.9
1.9
Not Married
23.4
(18.9–27.9)
15.0
1.6
Proficiency in spoken English at home
Speaks English only
32.6
(28.3–36.9)
19.7
1.7
Speaks English well or very well
26.6
(21.1–32.1)
11.9
2.2
Speaks English not well or not at all
16.2
(7.5–25.0)
4.9
3.3
Highest level of educational attainment
Advanced Diploma/Diploma or above
39.5
(33.5–45.5)
23.9
1.6
Year 12 or Certificate III/IV
27.1
(22.3–31.8)
14.5
1.9
Year 11 or below
23.4
(18.0–28.8)
10.8
2.2
Labour force status
Employed full-time
27.6
(22.7–32.5)
15.2
1.8
Employed part-time
44.1
(37.0–51.3)
22.0
2.0
Unemployed
13.9
(4.3–23.5)
17.7
0.8
Not in the Labour force
29.0
(23.0–34.9)
16.1
1.8

(a) GSS and Census estimates presented in this table are for people aged 18 years and over living in private dwellings, in non-very remote areas, with a stated voluntary work status and no missing values.
(b) Includes the 95% confidence interval in brackets. There is a 95% chance that the true population lies within this range.
(c) For social marital status, married includes registered marriages and defacto relationships where the couples live together, and not married includes all other situations.


Due to the sampling error for GSS estimates for Sydney, rate ratios were not found to be significantly different from each other, therefore differences in volunteering between different demographic groups cannot be identified at this level of geographic area. The exception is for the unemployed, which was significantly lower than those employed or not in the labour force (the rate for GSS and Census for unemployed was not significantly different).

Although differences within groups cannot be identified, the estimates for the rate ratios tend to lie within the bounds described in Section 4 (i.e. the GSS volunteer rate is 1.5 to 2.0 times larger than the Census volunteer rate). This suggests the Census can be used to compare differences in the propensity to volunteer at lower geographic regions.

Differences in rates between SLAs were consistent with differences in the predictors of volunteering that were previously discussed in Section 5. Therefore, differences between SLAs in volunteering rates can be compared with reasonable confidence, even though the absolute level of volunteering will be understated within SLAs.

Table 6.2 presents the volunteering rates for the eight SLAs within Sydney – those with the four lowest and four highest volunteering rates. All SLAs are presented in Appendix E.

6.2 VOLUNTEER RATE, SYDNEY SLAs(a) – 2006 CENSUS

Volunteer Rate (%)

Fairfield (C) – East
7.9
Bankstown (C) – North–East
9.0
Fairfield (C) – West
9.1
Parramatta (C) – South
9.3
Hornsby (A) – South
24.9
Hunter's Hill (A)
25.2
Blue Mountains (C)
27.1
Ku-ring-gai (A)
29.2

(a) To keep the analyses consistent, Census estimates presented in this table are for people aged 18 years and over living in private dwellings, in non-very remote areas, with a stated voluntary work status and no missing values.

Fairfield East has the lowest volunteer rate at 7.9% followed by Bankstown North-East (9.0%). Ku-ring-gai has the highest rate (29.2%), followed by the Blue Mountains (27.1%). This compared to 16.8% for all of Sydney.

Table 6.3 presents the population profiles for selected SLAs to allow for comparison to groups of interest.

The most notable difference for these SLAs can be seen in proficiency in spoken English. The Blue Mountains had the highest percentage of people who spoke English only (95.0%), with Ku-ring-gai (80.8%) being close to the total adult Australian population (82.3%). In contrast, Bankstown North-East (23.0%) and Fairfield East (25.4%) had much lower percentages of people who spoke English only.

Another large difference between SLAs can be seen across highest level of educational attainment. The largest percentage of people who had completed an Advanced Diploma/Diploma or above could be seen in Ku-ring-gai (60.6%), followed by the Blue Mountains (38.3%). These two SLAs were above the average for Australia (28.2%). Conversely, Bankstown North-East and Fairfield East had below average percentages of people who had completed an Advanced Diploma/Diploma qualifications or above (21.3% and 14.7%).

Both proficiency in spoken English and highest level of educational attainment were found to be strong predictors of volunteering in Section 5. Family composition was another strong predictor; however the variations between the selected SLAs for family type were much smaller than those for proficiency in spoken English and highest level of educational attainment.

Bankstown North East and Fairfield East had greater percentages of people in family compositions (such as those with dependent children under 15 years) that are more likely to volunteer compared with the Blue Mountains and Ku-ring-gai.

Differences were also found in other demographic characteristics that predict volunteering, namely age, social marital status and part-time employment status. However, while these differences were smaller than for proficiency in spoken English and highest level of educational attainment, they were in the direction that would be expected. For example, being employed part-time was a positive predictor of volunteering and a greater percentage of people were found to be employed part-time in the selected SLAs with higher volunteer rates compared with the Australian average and the selected SLAs with lower volunteer rates.

Tables 6.4 and 6.5 show that for SLA comparison the Census can be used to compare differences in the propensity to volunteer between SLAs where there are large differences in volunteer rates. These results suggest that the propensity to volunteer involves interactions between a number of the demographic and socio-economic characteristics identified as strong predictors of volunteering.

6.3 PROFILE OF POPULATION, SELECTED SYDNEY SLAs(a) – 2006 CENSUS

Characteristics of persons
Bankstown (C) – North–East
Fairfield (C) – East
Blue Mountains (C)
Ku-ring-gai (A)
Australia

%
%
%
%
%
Sex
Male
48.6
48.8
48.2
47.7
48.8
Female
51.4
51.2
51.8
52.3
51.2
Age group
18–29 years
26.6
22.9
17.0
16.7
21.2
30–39 years
20.4
20.2
18.0
13.3
20.0
40–59 years
33.8
35.9
43.2
43.0
37.8
60 years and over
19.3
21.0
21.8
26.9
20.9
Family composition
Family with children aged under 15 years
38.5
35.0
31.4
32.2
30.1
Family with dependent children aged 15–24 years
10.7
10.0
9.4
18.2
8.4
Family with no dependent children
50.7
55.1
59.2
49.6
61.6
Social marital status (b)
Married
59.0
55.1
65.4
69.9
63.2
Not Married
41.0
44.9
34.6
30.1
36.8
Proficiency in spoken English at home
Speaks English only
23.0
25.4
95.0
80.8
82.3
Speaks English well or very well
58.6
46.6
4.7
17.1
14.7
Speaks English not well or not at all
18.4
28.0
0.3
2.1
3.1
Highest level of educational attainment
Advanced Diploma/Diploma or above
21.3
14.7
38.3
60.6
28.2
Year 12 or Certificate III/IV
39.4
36.5
35.5
27.1
36.4
Year 11 or below
39.3
48.8
26.2
12.2
35.4
Labour force status
Employed full-time
38.0
36.8
45.3
44.2
46.9
Employed part-time
13.4
11.4
21.8
21.9
18.5
Unemployed
5.6
6.7
3.1
1.9
3.3
Not in the Labour force
42.9
45.1
29.8
32.0
31.3

(a) To keep the analyses consistent, Census estimates presented in this table are for people aged 18 years and over living in private dwellings, in non-very remote areas, with a stated voluntary work status and no missing values.
(b) For social marital status, married includes registered marriages and defacto relationships where the couples live together, and not married includes all other situations.

6.4 PROFILE OF VOLUNTEERS, SELECTED SYDNEY SLAs(a) – 2006 CENSUS
Characteristics of persons
Bankstown (C) – North–East
Fairfield (C) – East
Blue Mountains (C)
Ku-ring-gai (A)
Australia

%
%
%
%
%
Sex
Male
43.3
43.4
43.6
42.7
42.8
Female
56.7
56.5
56.4
57.3
57.2
Age group
18–29 years
25.9
23.2
12.4
12.7
15.8
30–39 years
19.9
18.2
16.0
11.1
18.5
40–59 years
36.4
38.7
48.1
49.6
43.9
60 years and over
17.8
20.0
23.5
26.6
21.9
Family composition
Family with children aged under 15 years
38.7
34.7
35.6
38.3
34.8
Family with dependent children aged 15–24 years
13.9
11.7
9.6
18.4
9.2
Family with no dependent children
47.4
53.6
54.8
43.3
56.0
Social marital status (b)
Married
57.5
53.5
69.7
75.9
68.4
Not Married
42.6
46.5
30.3
24.1
31.6
Proficiency in spoken English at home
Speaks English only
33.7
37.5
96.0
86.7
89.8
Speaks English well or very well
58.5
47.2
3.9
12.4
9.5
Speaks English not well or not at all
7.7
15.4
0.1
0.9
0.8
Highest level of educational attainment
Advanced Diploma/Diploma or above
37.4
26.6
51.1
70.4
40.7
Year 12 or Certificate III/IV
38.9
38.9
30.8
21.2
32.4
Year 11 or below
23.8
34.5
18.1
8.5
26.8
Labour force status
Employed full-time
39.7
34.9
39.1
38.5
42.5
Employed part-time
17.6
16.3
26.2
25.2
23.3
Unemployed
6.9
9.2
3.3
2.0
3.6
Not in the Labour force
35.9
39.6
31.5
34.3
30.6

(a) To keep the analyses consistent, Census estimates presented in this table are for people aged 18 years and over living in private dwellings, in non-very remote areas, with a stated voluntary work status and no missing values.
(b) For social marital status, married includes registered marriages and defacto relationships where the couples live together, and not married includes all other situations.

6.5 VOLUNTEER RATES, SELECTED SYDNEY SLAs(a) – 2006 CENSUS
Characteristics of persons
Bankstown (C) – North–East
Fairfield (C) – East
Blue Mountains (C)
Ku-ring-gai (A)
Australia

%
%
%
%
%
Sex
Male
8.0
7.1
24.6
26.1
17.7
Female
9.9
8.8
29.5
32.0
22.5
Age group
18–29 years
8.8
8.1
19.8
22.3
14.9
30–39 years
8.8
7.2
23.9
24.0
18.5
40–59 years
9.7
8.5
30.1
33.4
23.2
60 years and over
8.3
7.6
29.8
29.1
21.4
Family composition
Family with children aged under 15 years
9.1
7.9
30.7
34.5
23.2
Family with dependent children aged 15–24 years
11.7
9.2
27.8
29.4
22.1
Family with no dependent children
8.4
7.7
25.1
25.6
18.3
Social marital status (b)
Married
8.8
7.7
28.8
31.6
21.7
Not Married
9.4
8.2
23.9
23.5
17.4
Proficiency in spoken English at home
Speaks English only
13.3
11.7
27.4
31.3
21.9
Speaks English well or very well
9.0
8.1
22.5
21.3
13.1
Speaks English not well or not at all
3.8
4.4
8.9
11.9
5.1
Highest level of educational attainment
Advanced Diploma/Diploma or above
15.6
14.2
35.9
33.7
28.7
Year 12 or Certificate III/IV
8.9
8.5
23.6
22.9
17.9
Year 11 or below
5.5
5.6
18.9
20.3
15.4
Labour force status
Employed full-time
9.4
7.5
23.3
25.3
18.1
Employed part-time
11.6
11.2
32.3
33.3
25.1
Unemployed
10.9
10.7
29.1
29.9
22.1
Not in the Labour force
7.6
7.0
29.0
31.6
20.0

(a) To keep the analyses consistent, Census estimates presented in this table are for people aged 18 years and over living in private dwellings, in non-very remote areas, with a stated voluntary work status and no missing values.
(b) For social marital status, married includes registered marriages and defacto relationships where the couples live together, and not married includes all other situations.


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