1367.0 - State and Territory Statistical Indicators, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/02/2012  Final
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When will the 2011 Population Census results be released?

ABS Betaworks - be a part of the future ABS

New data visualisations now appearing on the ABS website

Essential Statistical Assets for Australia

Australian Community Indicators Network

Feature Article: Population by Age and Sex for Australian States and Territories

Confidentiality Information Series: a new resource from the National Statistical Service

Running your own sample survey and need to calculate sample size?

Create your own tables and graphs from ABS data using the Survey Tablebuilder Tool

Want to understand ABS Labour statistics?


The first results of the 2011 Population Census will be released in June 2012.

Processing activity, including collection, capture, coding and validation, began in August 2011, with the total processing phase expected to last approximately 11 months.

Following the initial June 2012 release, the second round of data will be released in October 2012, and a third phase, which involves dissemination of highly specialised products, will take place in 2013.

Data release program
    • First release - Core demographic data items (for persons and dwellings) will be available (21 June 2012)

    • Second release - Others that require more detailed processing (family & household composition, industry and occupation) (30 October 2012)

    • Third release, or supplementary data release - highly specialised products (such as SEIFA and the Census Sample Files), beginning on 28 March 2013, with products released progressively until the end of 2013.

    • Find more information on products by release dates in Appendix 12

2011 Census product changes

In response to your feedback, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has made substantial changes to the way you can access 2011 Census data on the ABS website. An expanded range of Census information will be available, and new products developed that take advantage of new internet functionality. There will be some new products, whilst others will no longer be produced. The full range of Census products are detailed in Chapter 5: The 2011 Census Data Product Range.

New Products

TableBuilder Basic (free product)
Create your own tables of Census data and view graphs and maps for a range of areas. Replaces CDATA Online.

TableBuilder Pro (priced product)
Build and customise your own tables with the full 2011 Census dataset. The ultimate Census analysis tool for the advanced user. Replaces Census TableBuilder.

The ABS released an Information Paper in December 2011 to announce plans for the release of results from the 2011 Population Census. The Paper provides information on changes to 2011 Census data concepts and classifications, outlines the output product range and associated pricing policies, and confirms key release dates for the full range of 2011 Census output products.

For more information see the Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Products and Services (cat. no. 2011.0.55.001).


Be a part of the future ABS

The ABS' ingenious use of ABS βetaWorksTM continues to go from strength to strength, having been named a finalist in the 2011 “Excellence in eGovernment” Awards for its leading-edge Government 2.0 work.

A team of dedicated forward thinking web designers launched ABS βetaWorksTM in 2009, creating an open invitation to the Australian community to assist the ABS with identifying, prioritising and developing fresh web design concepts and enhancements for the ABS website.

It generates keen discussion and offers opportunities for input into potential innovations for the ABS website, providing the ABS with vital intelligence on customer requirements for the online communication of statistics. Integration with Twitter and Facebook makes sharing concepts with others a simple button click away.

Examples include a CPI Kaleidoscope, data visualisation trends, ABS product level search (to be released in February), animated Gifs and a statistical snapshot dashboard.

With community input, we'll be releasing an iPhone app in the first quarter of 2012, creating easy access to key statistics.

Head over to ABS βetaWorksTM and help us shape your experience with the ABS.

ABS βetaWorksTM can be viewed at http://betaworks.abs.gov.au/ twitter.com/yourabs


The ABS Customer Insights team has been working on exciting new data visualisations which have recently begun appearing on the ABS website. These illustrate and present data in a visually appealing and interactive way.

This form of presentation can make it simpler for web users to digest statistical information, rather than relying on traditional formats like tables, graphs and text. Statistical information can be made more understandable and accessible to a wider range of readers if presented in a multi-layered way, such as including colour and movement.

Examples of the new data visualisations include:
  • 100 People portraits - these are interactive graphics which display statistical information based on the scenario "If Australia were only 100 People, x number would be ......"
Image: 100 people visualisation
View this live on the Health topics page on the ABS website.

  • Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Maps allow you to click on the maps to find your region of interest and display statistical headline information for each Australian state.

Image: map of Australia

View this live on the Regional Statistics - Capital Cities topics page.

The tools used to create these data visualisations are now available for state government clients who may wish to use them to present their own data. For more information please contact Linda Bencic (03) 9615 7075 or Jarryd Guilfoyle (03) 9615 7084.


Over the last 18 months the ABS, through its role in the National Statistical Service (NSS), has commenced work towards developing a list of the essential statistics required for critical informed decision making for the nation. Essential statistics are defined as those that meet a set of criteria; statistics that are required to meet domestic or legislative requirements, international reporting obligations, those that are of importance to key national progress measurement or critical for public policy or service delivery.

The identification of a list of agreed essential statistics and their underlying statistical assets (i.e. datasets) will enable the Australian Government, in partnership with state and territory governments, to pursue the following objectives:
  • identification of critical information gaps, so that these can be addressed
  • ensuring that the critically important information (statistics/data) are of sufficient quality
  • the efficient use of government resources by identifying areas of duplication and underutilisation.

The Essential Statistical Assets for Australia (ESA) initiative will produce a high level list that separates the essential statistics from the multitude of other official statistics generated by governments. This includes the identification of statistics considered essential that do not currently exist. This will be followed by a comprehensive quality assessment of the essential statistics and datasets that will aid in understanding their fitness for purpose in meeting the needs of users.

The following organising framework, based on the framework applied in Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators (cat. no. 1370.0.55.001), will be used to organise essential statistics into three pillars; societal progress, economic development, environment sustainability and their specific sub-dimensions:

Essential Statistical Assets for Australia Framework

Image: Essential Statistical Assets for Australia Framework

The ABS is currently finalising a preliminary list, based on intelligence gathered from consultation with the Australian Statistical Advisory Council (ASAC), peak state and territory statistical fora and other existing engagement networks, to support discussions with stakeholders. The next stage to be undertaken (following finalisation of the preliminary list) is for the ABS to engage in a wide external consultative process with the aim of developing a list of essential statistics that is supported across Governments and by the community.

A public information paper is being developed for future release on the NSS website, <http://www.nss.gov.au> in 2012, inviting comment and feedback from the broader ABS user community, input will be sought from relevant existing ABS User Groups, as well as a range of other key stakeholders (Government and non-Government) and the community. An update on the initiative was presented to ASAC on 15 November 2011, where the consultation plans for 2012 were discussed.

For more information on ESA please contact Marie Apostolou (03) 9615 7500 or Paul Romanis (03) 9615 7362 or email inquiries@nss.gov.au


In the past decade there has been strong and growing interest in community indicators across governments and communities at all levels. Given this growing interest in community indicators, the Australian Community Indicators Network (ACIN) has been established by a group of professionals working in this field. The ACIN aims to assist people using or developing community indicators to share ideas and information, and to foster collaboration. The Network aspires to build a national dialogue and knowledge base across community indicator policy, research and practice. Further details, including how to become a member, can be found on the ACIN website at <http://mc2.vicnet.net.au/home/acin/web/Frontpage.html>.

In 2011 the ACIN held two events, the first was a video seminar with guest speaker Associate Professor Meg Holden presenting on 'Best Practice and Emerging Principles in the Community Indicators Movement'. The second was a video seminar featuring three presentations on current 'Key Australian Community Indicator Initiatives'. The seminar recordings can be found on the National Statistical Service website at < http://www.nss.gov.au/nss/home.nsf/NSS/E590D5E7221C7C4ECA2578A2000704E9?opendocument>.


In December 2011, the ABS released a feature article in Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0), titled Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories. This article discusses features of Australia's ageing population, including:
  • differences in population structure between the states and territories
  • features of different population age groups including those aged between 15 and 64 years (working age population) and of the population aged 65 years and over, 85 years and over and 100 years and over
  • median age
  • sex ratios.

An international comparison is also given for the population structure of selected countries.

The ABS releases data about the size and distribution by state and territory of the population in Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0) each quarter. Each year, single year of age data is released in spreadsheets and datacubes accompanying this publication. These spreadsheets and datacubes contain estimates of the resident population (ERP) of Australian states and territories by single year of age and by sex, as at 30 June of each reference year. The spreadsheets include median ages, mean ages and sex ratios. Estimates up to June 2006 are final, those for 2007, 2008 and 2009 are revised and 2010 and 2011 are preliminary.


Keeping it Confidential

The National Statistical Service (NSS) has released a series of information sheets which deal with the important issue of confidentiality. The Confidentiality Information Series explains and provides advice about key aspects of confidentiality.

Agencies that collect information about people or organisations have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect the privacy and identity of those who provided the information. This is essential in maintaining the trust of both data providers and users, and results in better quality data. Agencies can do this by implementing policies and procedures to ensure that no-one can be identified in the information that they disseminate. This needs to be done in a way that maximises the usefulness of the data for statistical and research purposes.

Simply removing obvious identifying information from a dataset may not be enough to prevent identification of the individuals or organisations who provided the information. Additional details, like a rare characteristic or a recognisable combination of unique features, might allow other parties to deduce a person or organisation's identity. For example, a person with very rare disease may be recognisable even in aggregated data. In order to avoid this sort of indirect identification of individuals or organisations, extra steps must be taken. This requires removing or altering information, or collapsing the level of detail, and there are various techniques that are used to do this. Additional measure are needed for unit record data where each record represents observations for a person or organisation.

The Confidentiality Information Series sheets outline legislative obligations and government policies and principles relating to confidentiality, and a process for mitigating the risk of accidental disclosure. They explain methods used to confidentialise data, and a discussion of how to manage confidentiality when dealing with microdata.

The Confidentiality Information Series is an excellent resource for anyone collecting or using statistics, and can be accessed or downloaded from the NSS website at <http://www.nss.gov.au/nss/home.NSF/pages/Confidentiality+Information+Sheets>. The series will be expanded in future to include additional information about aspects of data confidentiality.


The National Statistical Service (NSS) has recently released an updated version of the sample size calculator on the NSS website <www.nss.gov.au>. The calculator now includes easy to follow hover-over definitions. The sample size calculator is a useful resource for survey managers, market researchers and students wanting to calculate the number of responding units required for a survey using simple random sample methodology.

All components required to calculate sample size are clearly explained:

  • Confidence level
  • Population size
  • Proportion
  • Confidence interval
  • Standard error
  • Relative standard error
Image: Screenshot of sample size calculator

    The sample size calculator allows calculation of the size for the responding sample, standard error and/or relative standard error at the desired confidence interval (95% or 99%) using one or more of the above components as input.

    For example, if you input the standard error or relative standard error of an estimate, the calculator will tell you the required responding sample size. Conversely, if you know the responding sample size, you can calculate the standard error or relative standard error of an estimate.

    The Sample Size Calculator is only recommended for use in simple random sample survey scenarios. It should not be used when calculating sample sizes for surveys using complex sampling methods.

    While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the calculator, users are encouraged to seek assistance from statistical experts to ensure results produced by the calculator meet survey objectives.

    The sample size calculator can be accessed at the following address:


    If you have any questions, or would like further information about the calculator please contact inquiries@nss.gov.au.


    The ABS is pleased to announce the release of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2009 dataset in Survey TableBuilder to a limited number of users for evaluation purposes. Over the next 2-3 months we will be seeking feedback from this evaluation group to improve functionality before making the product available to all clients.

    Like the very popular Census TableBuilder released in 2009, Survey TableBuilder is an online tool for creating confidentialised tables and graphs from ABS data. Starting with an empty table, data variables can be selected for cross-tabulation to produce small or large tables. Tables can be exported in CSV, Excel or SDMX format and graphs in PDF format.

    The User Manual: Survey TableBuilder (cat. no. 1406.0.55.005) provides information about how to build and customise tables in Survey TableBuilder. More information in relation to Survey TableBuilder is available on the Microdata Entry Page via the ABS website at <http://abs.gov.au/websitedbs/D3310114.nsf/Home/Microdata+Entry+Page>.


    The feature article: Understanding the Australian Labour Force using ABS statistics, published in the recent release of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), unveils some of the mysteries of labour force concepts, and discusses the labour force framework and some of the changes in the structure of the Australian labour force over the last 50 years. For a novice user of ABS labour statistics, or as a refresher, this article provides an ideal introduction to the subject.

    For more information regarding the Labour Force Survey estimates, contact Labour Force on Canberra (02) 6252 6525, or via email at labourforce@abs.gov.au.