Family and community and social cohesion are important aspects of Australian life. However, there is no one summary measure that adequately captures the way that family and community contribute to progress, nor an agreed summary measure of social cohesion. This commentary therefore presents a number of supplementary indicators to illustrate aspects of family and community life in Australia, particularly measures that may contribute to social cohesion.
These indicators show that:
After rising to 18% in the late 1990s, the proportion of children living without an employed parent in their household subsequently declined to 13% by 2007-08
Since 1995 the proportion of the population aged 18 years and over who volunteered in the previous 12 months rose by about 50% to reach 34%
The suicide crude death rate for both males and females has fallen between 1998 and 2008, from 23 to 16 deaths per 100,000 males; and 5.7 to 4.5 deaths per 100,000 females.