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1344.8.55.002 - ABStract, Statistics News, Australian Capital Territory, Mar 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/03/2007   
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A message from the Regional Director
Beat the queue for Census Data
Developing our set of national statistics in consultation with the ACT community
ABS Outposting to ACT Courts
Canberrans live longer than the rest of Australia
Customised Census Tables Advance Order Service
Births, deaths and life expectancy: an ACT perspective
Sharing data acroos government agencies
Proposed Census Products and Services
Statistical Training Courses Available in Canberra 2007
Expected Major Annual & Irregular Releases
Upcoming newsletter to provide national converage with a regional focus

A message from the Regional Director

Welcome to the first issue of ABStract for 2007. We look forward to another successful year assisting in the development and provision of the best set of statistics for the ACT community.

Beat the queue for Census data

The countdown towards the first release of Census data in June/July 2007 continues, and I encourage you to consider now what data you need. A range of new and exciting products will be available free of charge on the ABS web site at <>. Demonstrations of some new products are now available using Census 2001 data to highlight the new functionality coming with Census 2006 products.

If you will need customised Census data, you are able pre-order it through our Advance Order Service and beat the expected rush of requests following the release date - first in, first served! You can also pre-pay to meet your financial year budgetary requirements.

Developing our set of national statistics in consultation with the ACT community

State Statistical Forum

On 20 February, Pam Davoren, Acting Chief Executive, Chief Minister's Department and I attended the annual State Statistical Forum. This meeting between senior representatives from each state and territory government and the ABS discusses current and emerging statistical priorities for the states and territories. Current and planned statistical developments in eighteen key subject areas were discussed. Some areas of particular interest to the ACT were small business information, emergency services, environmental data, housing affordability, non-participation in the labour force, water, waste management and energy supply and consumption.

Information Development Plans

The ABS consults with a wide range of Australian, state and territory agencies, peak bodies and other non-government agencies to develop plans to improve statistics in a variety of subject areas. These plans are based on a shared understanding of the key policy imperatives and agreement on areas of priority for statistical data development.

Information Development Plans recently released include the Information Paper: Improving Statistics for Children and Youth - an Information Development Plan (cat. no. 4907.0) - released 8 December, 2006 and the Information Paper: Emergency Management Information Development Plan, Australia 2006 (cat. no. 1385.0) - released 31 October, 2006. The contribution of the ACT Government, business and community to the development of these plans is gratefully acknowledged.

Over the coming months the ABS will be seeking comments and advice from the ACT Government on our Household Survey program, the development of a Children's and Youth Portal within the National Data Network, and data requirements for the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS).

ABS Outposting to ACT Courts

The need for statistical data and expertise across government continues to grow. Tim Power is the ABS officer outposted to ACT Courts. He has a wide range of experience across the ABS and is working with Courts to assist with a set of indicators for management information from the Courts database and to provide advice on the timely production of quality indicators and statistics.

Canberrans live longer than the rest of Australia

This issue of ABStract contains a copy of the February 2007 ACT Stats article as it generated a lot of interest in the ACT community. Births, deaths and life expectancy in the ACT shows that Canberrans live longer, but continue to have less babies than the national average.

Karen Macdonald (formerly Vitullo)
Regional Director
Australian Bureau of Statistics

Order in advance and beat the queue

Customised Census Tables Advance Order Service

On the 8th of August 2006, the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted the 15th National Census of Population and Housing. In only a few months, the first release of 2006 Census data will become available. Demand for customised tables is high in the months following release. To avoid possible delays in receiving your Census tables, the ABS encourages you to consider your data requirements and place your order early.

The Advance Order Service allows you to pre-order Census data, tailored to your specific needs. This service is perfect for those requiring large and/or complex tables.

While there will be a wide range of free Census data available on the ABS web site, this charged customised consultancy service caters to more advanced users of unpublished data.

You may place your order for either first or second release data (or both), from February 2007.

Clients taking advantage of this service will have their orders processed on a 'first in, first served' basis. Data will be delivered as soon as possible following the official releases of the 2006 Census data. First release is scheduled for July 2007 and second release is expected from October 2007. Data purchases may be pre-paid to meet your financial year budgetary requirements.

For more information on how to take advantage of the Advance Order Service phone 1300 135 070 or email An online brochure is also available on the ABS web site. Visit and click on the Advance Order icon.

Please note that the content of the data released will not be certain until a few weeks before the scheduled release date. Whilst we endeavour to meet your data requirements, this may have implications for the range or quality of variables you specify in your tables. Information Consultants will work closely with you to keep you informed of issues that may affect your information needs, and offer alternatives if available.

Births, deaths and life expectancy: an ACT perspective


The recently released publication Births, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 3301.0), shows that in 2005 the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) had the lowest total fertility rate of the states and territories, with 1.65 births per woman. This means that a woman living in the ACT, if she were to experience the current age-specific fertility rates, could expect to have 1.65 children over the course of her reproductive life, compared with a rate of 1.81 births per woman nationally.

The 2005 ACT fertility rate was the highest recorded since 1995, although it has been below replacement fertility (2.1 births per woman) since 1975.
Graph: Total fertility rate, ACT and Australia

Age-specific fertility rates in the ACT were highest for women aged 30–34 years (122.6 births per 1,000 women in this age group), followed by those aged 25–29 years (85.0) and those aged 35–39 (67.4).

During 2005, a total of 4,200 births were registered to mothers who usually resided in the ACT, an increase of 0.8% on the previous year. Of these, 78 were registered outside of the ACT. Nationally, the number of registered births increased 2.2% to 259,800 in 2005.


Between 1995 and 2005, the standardised death rate (SDR) for the ACT decreased from 6.5 deaths per 1,000 people to 5.6 deaths per 1,000 people, the lowest of the states and territories. In comparison, the national standardised death rate was 7.8 deaths per 1,000 people in 1995 and 6.0 deaths per 1,000 people in 2005, which is the lowest national SDR on record.

The total number of deaths registered in the ACT rose in the decade to 2005, from 1,100 in 1995 to 1,500. During this time, the median age at death increased by 5.2 years, from 73.3 years to 78.5 years.

Graph: Median age at death, ACT

According to Causes of Death, Australia, 2004 (cat. no. 3303.0) the four main underlying causes of death for ACT residents in 2004 were: Diseases of the circulatory system; Neoplasms; Diseases of the respiratory system; and External causes. These are also the four main causes of death at the national level.

Diseases of the circulatory system – for example, heart disease and cerebrovascular disease (stroke) – accounted for 464 deaths in 2004 (32.6% of all deaths).

Neoplasms (cancers) accounted for 428 deaths or 30.1% of all deaths of ACT residents in 2004. Diseases of the respiratory system – for example, influenza and pneumonia – accounted for 107 deaths (7.5%).

External causes of morbidity and mortality – for example, accidents, poisonings and violence – accounted for 86 deaths (6%) in 2004.

Graph: Percentage of total deaths, Selected underlying causes–ACT

Life Expectancy

According to the 2003-05 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Life Tables, ACT residents have higher life expectancy at birth than residents of other states and territories. A boy born in the ACT in 2005 could expect to live to 79.9 years, compared to 78.5 years nationally. A girl born in the ACT in 2005 could expect to live to 84.0 years, 0.7 years more than the national average (83.3). Nationally, in the decade to 2005, life expectancy rose by 3.5 years to 78.5 for males and by 2.5 years to 83.3 for females.
Graph: Life expectancy at birth, ACT and Australia

The 2003-05 life tables also show that a male aged 21 years could expect to live another 59.7 years. In comparison, a female aged 21 years in 2005 could expect to live for another 63.8 years . ACT residents aged 55 years in 2005 could expect to live for another 27.5 years if male, or 30.9 years if female.

Further Information

Further information about births and fertility rates can be obtained from Births, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 3301.0). More information about death rates and underlying causes of death can be obtained from Deaths, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 3302.0), Causes of Death, Australia, 1994 (cat. no. 3303.0) and Causes of Death, Australia, 2004 (cat. no. 3303.0). Further information regarding life expectancy can be found in Life Tables, Australia, 2003-2005 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.001), Life Tables, Australian Capital Territory, 2003-2005 (cat. no. 3302.8.55.001) and Deaths, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 3302.0).

Replacement level fertilityThe number of babies a woman would need to have over her reproductive lifetime to replace herself and her partner. Given the current mortality of females up to age 49 years, replacement fertility is estimated at around 2.1 babies per female.
Total fertility rateThe sum of age-specific fertility rates (live births at each age of mother per female population of that age). It represents the number of children a female would bear during her lifetime if she experienced current age-specific fertility rates at each age of her reproductive life.
Age-specific fertility rateAge-specific fertility rates (ASFR) are the number of live births (occurred or registered) during the calendar year, according to the age of the mother, per 1,000 of the female estimated resident population of the same age at 30 June. For calculating these rates, births to mothers under 15 years are included in the 15–19 years age group, and births to mothers aged 50 years and over are included in the 45–49 years age group. Pro rata adjustment is made for births for which the age of the mother is not given.
Standardised death rateAllows the comparison of death rates of populations with different age structures by relating them to a standardised population. The current standardised population is all persons in the 2001 Australian population.

Sharing data across government agencies

Sharing data across government agencies

The National Data Network (NDN) is being developed by ABS on behalf of a consortium of agencies to provide trusted infrastructure for sharing data and associated tools and services, relevant to policy and research across sectors and jurisdictions. The NDN is a federated system of data access which does not involve any change of custodianship of data holdings and is currently in demonstration phase with a small number of participating agencies.

Children and Youth Portal

As part of NDN development, a number of pilot projects are being initiated to demonstrate network functionality. The Children and Youth Portal is the first pilot project underway as it complemented areas of policy interest identified at the June 2006 Population Wellbeing Data Gaps workshop, jointly convened by FaCSIA, Treasury and the ABS – see <>. Children, child care and the impacts of early interventions on health, education and later employment opportunities were all identified at the workshop as areas of policy interest that required improved data.

The portal will provide:
pathways to statistical data and reports;
facilities to search for other information resources; and
discussion forums.

Both the ABS and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) plan to contribute data to the portal, the development of which will occur in three phases. Phase 1 will establish the infrastructure, phase 2 will focus on acquiring a range of data relevant to Children and Youth, and phase 3 will release the portal for custodian and user communities. Further details on project phases will be released regularly through the NDN newsletter and web site <>.

The Information Development Plan for Children and Youth Statistics provides an overarching framework for the data sets that should be added to the portal and can be accessed electronically from the ABS website at <>.

Agencies interested in participating can contact Lorraine Cornehls on Canberra (02) 6252 6079 or email <>. For further information about NDN please contact the NDN Business Office at <>.

Image: A taste of what's to come, Census 2006

Proposed Census Products and Services
ProductProposed Release date(s)
QuickstatsFirst Release: June/July 2007
Second Release: October 2007
Census TablesFirst Release: June/July 2007
Second Release: October 2007
Community Profiles:
BasicFirst Release: August 2007
Second Release: October 2007
IndigenousFirst Release: August 2007
Second Release: October 2007
Place of EnumerationFirst Release: September 2007
Second Release: November 2007
ExpandedFirst Release: September 2007
Second Release: November 2007
Time SeriesFirst Release: August 2007
Second Release: November 2007
Working Populationexpected December 2007
QuickmapsFirst Release: June/July 2007
Second Release: October 2007
CDATA onlineFirst Release: TBA
Second Release: TBA
Table BuilderTBA
Census Dictionary Released
2006 DatapacksFirst Release: August 2007
Second Release: from October 2007
Census GuideReleased
Fact SheetsReleased progressively
Picture of a NationMay 2008
Social Atlas SeriesLate 2007
Census Sample FileMarch 2008
SEIFA 2006March 2008

For more information:Bookmark and follow the Census link to check out our new Census developments as they happen, call 1300 135 070 or email and type "add to Census email" in the subject line to subscribe to our Census email news group. You can opt out at any time.


Each ABS office offers practical, informative and relevant training to help you develop your statistical skills. These courses can also be tailored to suit your needs or additional programs can be developed as required. The ABS is pleased to offer the following courses in Canberra in 2007:

Basic Statistical Analysis

OverviewThis two-day computer-based course develops practical skills in basic statistical and graphical data analysis techniques using Excel pivot tables. It aims to equip participants with the skills to:
        • identify the steps involved in data analysis;
        • summarise and display survey data in graphical and tabular form;
        • find simple relationships in survey data; and
        • test for statistically significant differences between survey results.
Is this course for me ?This course is designed for people with limited training and exposure to statistical analysis who need to learn how to analyse and describe data that has been collected in surveys. A mathematical background is beneficial but not essential. Previous experience using spreadsheets is recommended.
Dates8-9 March 2007
21-22 June 2007
29-30 August 2007
29-30 October 2007
Cost$750 (inc. GST) per person

Basic Survey Design

OverviewThis two-day course aims to provide a grounding in all facets of sample survey development. Topics include developing survey objectives, advantages and disadvantages of various collection methodologies, questionnaire design, data processing and reporting of results. Participants will learn how to:
        • formulate survey objectives and prepare project briefs;
        • identify issues associated with survey management and design;
        • identify appropriate survey techniques for data collection; and
        • understand the overall survey process.
* Note that this course does not cover questionnaire design in any depth.
Please see Principles of Questionnaire Design instead.
Is this course for me?This course would be useful for anyone who conducts their own surveys, or who needs a broad understanding of the issues associated with the survey process.
Dates2-3 May 2007
16-17 October 2007
Cost$750 (inc. GST) per person

Making Quality Informed Decisions

OverviewNeed to introduce some quality into your statistical decision making? This one-day course introduces the concept of 'holistic quality' through the use of a data quality framework. The framework ensures that users of statistics are able to assess whether the statistics are fit for their intended use. This course will provide participants with an increased understanding of:
        • how to set up a quality framework;
        • risk management in making statistical decisions;
        • how to assess datasets in the context of data need; and
        • using information on data quality to make better informed decisions.
Is this course for me ?This course would be useful for anyone who uses statistics in decision making, or is involved in producing statistics and wants to ensure that statistics are used appropriately.
Dates20 April 2007
24 July 2007
20 September 2007
Cost$450 (inc. GST) per person

Principles of Questionnaire Design

OverviewThis two-day course aims to enable participants to understand and apply the basic techniques used in developing a survey questionnaire. The course will include facilitated exercises to give participants an understanding of how to design and evaluate a questionnaire. The course content covers:
        • defining survey objectives;
        • developing content based on survey objectives;
        • developing survey questions;
        • developing instructions to accompany questions;
        • arranging questions in a logical and orderly way;
        • testing the questionnaire; and
        • questionnaire layout.
Is this course for me?This course would be useful for anyone who needs to design a questionnaire that will collect information accurately and concisely.
Dates23-24 May 2007
12-13 November 2007
Cost$705 (inc. GST) per person

Turning Data Into Information

OverviewThis two-day classroom course is intended to provide skills in interpreting, communicating and displaying data clearly and effectively. Participants will gain skills in transforming data into meaningful written information, particularly in respect to social policy issues. At the completion of this course participants will:
        • understand how the collection and compilation of data affects its usefulness, quality and relevance;
        • communicate results and prepare written reports;
        • construct good tables and graphs; and
        • recognise possible pitfalls in analysis
Is this course for me?This course will be most beneficial to people who need to use data to produce reports or social commentary, or people who are involved with monitoring and evaluation in a social context.
Dates7-8 June 2007
26-27 September 2007
27-28 November 2007
Cost$750 (inc. GST) per person

Further Information

For more information about course content, available dates for these courses in other capital cities around Australia, or details of how we may be able to tailor or offer a course to meet your specific needs:


Or visit under ‘Services we provide’ then ‘ABS Training’, for further information about external training with ABS.


Please tick below the course(s) you wish to attend.

Basic Statistical AnalysisTurning Data Into Information
8 – 9 March 20077 – 8 June 2007
21 – 22 June 200726 – 27 September 2007
29 – 30 August 200727 – 28 November 2007
29 – 30 October 2007
Basic Survey DesignPrinciples of Questionnaire Design
2 – 3 May 200723 – 24 May 2007
16 – 17 October 200712 – 13 November 2007
Making Quality Informed Decisions
20 April 2007
24 July 2007
20 September 2007

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Payment Details
All course attendance will be invoiced upon completion of the nominated course. Costs include all course materials, a light lunch as well as morning and afternoon tea.

1 day courseFull fee $450 (inc. GST)
2 day courseFull fee $750 (inc. GST)

Cancellations, in writing, will be accepted 5 working days prior to the course. After this a cancellation fee of 50% of the course fee will be charged. Non-attendance without written notification of cancellation will result in the full fee being charged. Substitutions are allowed at any time.

REGISTER TODAY by returning this completed form to:

Post:External Training Coordinator
Australian Bureau of Statistics
ACT Regional Office
Locked Bag 10
Belconnen ACT 2616
Fax:(02) 6247 2389
Phone:(02) 6252 8903 for further information

Expected Major Annual & Irregular Releases


Measures of Australia’s Progress: Summary Indicators, 2007 (April)

Measures of Australia’s Progress: At a Glance, 2007 ( April)


Migration, Australia, 2005-06 (March)


Australian Social Trends, 2007 ( July)

General Social Survey, Australia Capital Territory, 2006 (March)

Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2007 (June)

Private Hospitals, Australia, 2005-06 (May)

Private Health Establishments: Acute and Psychiatric Hospitals Data Report,
2005-06 (May)

Private Health Establishments: Free Standing Day Hospital Facilities Data Report,
2005-06 ( June)

Voluntary Work, Australia, 2006 (April)

Recorded Crime – Victims, Australia, 2006 (May)

Criminal Courts, Australia, 2005-06 (March)

Housing and Infrastructure in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, 2006 (March)

Community Housing and Infrastructure Needs Survey, Australia, Data Dictionary,
2006 (May)


Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 2005-06 (April)

International Trade in Services by Country, by State and by detailed Services Category, Calendar Year, 2006 (May)

Taxation Revenue, Australia, 2005-06 (April)

Government Finance Statistics, Australia, 2005-06 (April)

Government Finance Statistics, Education, Australia, 2005-06 (April)


Labour Statistics in Brief, Australia, 2007 (May)

Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, September 2006 (March)

Working Time Arrangements, Australia, November 2006 (May)

Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2006 (April)

Australian Consumer Price Index: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2006 (March)

Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia, 2005-06 (June)

Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia – Detailed Tables, 2005-06 (June)

Government Benefits, Taxes and Household Income, Australia, 2003-04 (May)


Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2005-06 (April)


Innovation and Technology Update, 2007 (June)

Characteristics of Small Business, Australia, 2005 (April)

The above listing shows a selection of ABS publications expected to be released over the coming quarter. The expected month of release is shown in brackets. Release dates may vary from those shown. Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed on the ABS web site <>. The web site also provides daily release information.

Upcoming newsletter to provide national coverage with a regional focus

The Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the Rural and Regional Newsletter. This biannual release will deliver information on ABS statistics and developments relevant to users of rural and regional statistics around Australia. It will also showcase the breadth of statistics available for decision-makers at a local level. The first release of this newsletter is planned for April 2007. To subscribe to this newsletter, please e-mail with "Subscribe - Rural and Regional Newsletter" in the subject line.

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