Australian Social Trends 2004 is the 11th edition of an annual series that presents information on contemporary social issues and areas of public policy concern. By drawing on a wide range of ABS statistics, and statistics from other official sources, Australian Social Trends describes aspects of Australian society, and how these are changing over time. It is designed to assist and
encourage informed decision-making, and to be of value to a wide audience including those engaged in research, journalism, marketing, teaching and social policy, as well as anyone interested in how we live today and how we've changed over recent decades.
The material presented in Australian Social Trends 2004 is organised into eight chapters. As in previous editions, each of the first seven chapters represents a major area of social concern (i.e. population, family and community, health, education and training, work, economic resources, and housing), with an eighth chapter covering other areas of social concern (e.g. crime and justice, culture and leisure, and the environment). This edition also contains, for the first time, an introduction that expands on the rationale behind the publication and describes its main aims and features.
The opportunity has been taken to present some articles which expand and update analysis of topics examined in previous editions using the most recently available data. For example, in this edition, such articles cover population projections, child care, home ownership, and religious affiliation. There are also articles, including several that utilise data from the ABS 2002 General
Social Survey, which cover new topics of interest, such as social interactions outside home, families with no employed parent, and paying for university education. The national and state summary tables which present key social indicators in each of the seven major areas of social concern have been updated, as have the tables comparing Australia with major OECD countries, our closest neighbours, and our trading partners. The number of articles listed in the cumulative index comes to over 300, published across all 11 editions.
Australian Social Trends has been produced on an annual basis since 1994. The 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 editions are available from this website. Australian Social Trends 2004 is available for purchase in hardcopy (as are several of the earlier editions). Individual articles can be accessed via the Cumulative Topic List.
Abbreviations and symbols used in this publication can be accessed at Abbreviations and symbols.