Measuring Australia’s Progress – ABS
Monday, 5th June 2006 at 1:06 pm
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the 2006 edition of Measures of Australian Progress (MAP) – a look at whether life in Australia is getting better or not!
MAP presents 14 aspects of Australian progress that cover many of the areas of life most important to Australia and Australians. The aim is to allow readers to make their own judgement about whether life in Australia is getting better.
MAP 2006 shows:
Health: During the past decade, Australian’s health improved – children born in 2004 were expected to live two to three years longer than those born in 1994. Indigenous Australians, however, have a life expectancy that is considerably lower than other Australians.
Education and Training: During the past 10 years, the Australian population became more educated – between 1995 and 2005 the proportion of people aged 25-64 years with a vocational or higher education qualification rose from 46% to 58%.
Work: Since the last recession in the early 1990s the unemployment rate has continued to decline, and the annual average unemployment rate in 2005 was 5.1%.
National income: Australia experienced significant real income growth during the past decade. Between 1994-95 and 2004-05, real net national disposable income per capita grew by around 3.0% a year.
Economic hardship: Between 1994-95 to 2003-04 the real income of ‘less well-off’ Australians grew by 22%, as did the incomes of Australians in the ‘middle’ income group.
National wealth: National wealth, as measured in Australia’s balance sheet, grew over the last decade. Real net worth per person increased by about 0.9% a year between 1995 and 2005.
Productivity: In recent years, Australia has experienced improved rates of productivity growth. During the decade 1994-95 to 2004-05, Australia’s multifactor productivity rose 1.3% per year on average.
The natural landscape: The available data suggests some decline in Australia’s biodiversity in the past decade, partly encapsulated in a rise in the numbers of threatened bird and mammal species. Land clearance, one influence thought to be reducing biodiversity, may have mitigated the decline as it decreased by 38% between 1993 and 2003.
In 2000, about 5.7 million hectares of land were affected by, or at high risk of developing, dryland salinity, a widespread form of land degradation.
The Air and atmosphere: Australia’s air remains relatively clean by the standards of other developed nations. The available indicators, such as the incidence of fine particle pollution in several cities, suggest that Australian air quality has improved during the past decade, despite increased motor vehicle use.
Australia’s total net greenhouse gas emissions in 2003 were about 1% higher than they were in 1990. Per capita, we have one of the world’s highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions, although our per capita emissions are decreasing, as are our emissions per $ of GDP.
Crime: Though small, the changes in the prevalence rates for personal crimes between 1998 and 2005 showed an increase from 4.8% to 5.3%, the same level as 2002. Most of these people reported that they were assaulted. Between 1993 and 2005, the proportion of households that were the victim of a household crime (an actual or attempted break-in or motor vehicle theft) fell from 8.3% to 6.2%.
The latest ABS MAP publication can be downloaded in PDF format at http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/47132EE72AC3581DCA25717F0004ACE8/$File/13700_2006.pdf