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In 1998, the ABS published the Directory of Agricultural Statistics (7217.0) to draw together a number of references to data relating to the field of agriculture. In keeping with its mission 'to assist and encourage informed decision-making, research and discussion', the ABS has extended this current directory to encompass the broader concept of ‘rural’.
Rural statistics relate to data describing or quantifying a physical, economic or social issue relating to rural Australia. In broad terms, 'rural' is taken to mean farmland (including horticultural land), and small communities consisting of less than 50,000 people predominantly servicing these farmlands, throughout Australia. Rural topics covered in this directory include rural output, economic, environmental or social conditions, use of resources and the state of supporting infrastructure. They must also have the potential to inform policy making, add to public discussion, and/or social practice.
Rural statistics also include statistics on a variety of other topics which allow comparison between rural and metropolitan situations. For example statistics on tourism, household expenditure, retail sales, income, housing, population, health and welfare all fall under the umbrella of rural statistics once a rural/non-rural perspective is available. Statistics relating to a rural topic, such as land degradation or farm output, are considered rural regardless of the geographic level of data available.
The ABS is not responsible for the accuracy of information supplied by non-ABS organisations and the inclusion of such information in the directory should not be taken as an endorsement by the ABS. The ABS has made every effort to contact all likely sources of rural statistics, but inevitably, some will have been missed. Please contact the ABS in Canberra on 02 6252 5830, facsimile 02 6252 8016 if you are aware of any omissions so that they may be included in future editions of the directory.
I would like to thank the many organisations that have contributed to this directory.
The purpose of this Directory is to provide researchers with a ready reference to sources of statistical information about rural Australia. The directory is arranged into 18 topics to reflect economic, social and environmental data sources that have the potential to inform policy making and add to public discussion. Each data source contains the following information:
The ABS has endeavoured to include data which are available to the public. Readers should refer to the contact details in each entry for more information regarding the availability and cost of data.
The full Directory of Agricultural and Rural Statistics can be downloaded from this site.
- Name of collection (or forecast);
- Contact details, including web site where available;
- Purpose of collection;
- Description of collection;
- Data items;
- Geographic coverage;
- Frequency of data availability;
- Historical data; and
- Products and services.