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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Small business - 2011 profile

Small business accounts for the majority of businesses in Australia. In terms of economic output and employment, it also makes a significant contribution.Counts of small businessesThe latest count of businesses by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was for 30 June 2011. The statistics show:there were just over 2.1 million businesses in Australiaover 61 per cent were non-employing businesses andalmost 96 per cent were small businesses (defined as employing fewer than 20 persons, includes non-employing).Year on year the number of small businesses grew by 0.4 per cent in 2010-11. The fastest growth occurred in those businesses employing 15 to 19 persons, 0.9 per cent (See Table 1). Howev... Read more...

2011 Census release

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the first data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Australia’s population has risen to over 21.5 million, with more people born overseas. There has also been an increase in the proportion of Australians identifying as Indigenous, and fewer people now identify a religious affiliation.Australia’s migrant population is growing and changingIn the decade to 2011, the proportion of the population who were born overseas increased from 27.4% to 30.2%.Over the same period, the proportion of Australians with at least one parent born overseas increased from 42.7% to 46.3% There was a shift away from Europe and towards Asia. The number b... Read more...

Re-counting the homeless

  Counting the Homeless reports provide the most comprehensive picture of homelessness in Australia today. However, recently the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released a discussion paper that calls into question the methodology underpinning Counting the Homeless figures. In the paper, the ABS proposes a new methodology for estimating the number of homeless Australians which, if it were implemented, would result in a statistically significant reduction in the estimate of homeless Australians.For example, applying the ABS’s proposed methodology to 2006 census data reduces the number of homeless people by around 40 per cent, from 104 676 to 63 472 people. Using the methodology on 20... Read more...

Suicide in Australia

Suicide is a preventable death that has very complex issues underlying it. According to the World Health Organization, each year approximately one million individuals commit suicide worldwide—one death every 40 seconds. Many more attempt suicide (around 10–20 million) each year. Suicide is ranked as one of the three leading causes of death among people aged 15–44.In Australia, 2132 deaths were as a result of suicide in 2009—six deaths per day—higher than transport accident deaths (1479). Even though suicide deaths are relatively small (out of a total of 140 760 registered deaths), it is a leading cause of death, ranked 14th in 2009 (the same as in 2000) but, more significantly, ranked 10th a... Read more...

Disability Support Pension Customers: Statistical Summary

The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is a means tested payment for people with a disability. To be eligible for the DSP a person must be permanently blind or have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment. To qualify for the DSP, a person must be aged 16 years or over but have not reached pension age at the time of claiming (for more information on eligibility see the Centrelink website). As at June 2010, there were 792 581 DSP customers, this is an increase of 35 463 (4.7 per cent change) from the previous year. As a proportion of the total Australian working age population, DSP customers (aged 15 to 64) made up 5.2 per cent. Of the 792 581, only 20 per cent (158 714) did... Read more...

Recent statistics on aged care

The annual Report on Government Services (ROGS) produced by the Steering Committee for the Review on Government Service Provision (SCRGSP) provides an overview of expenditure and delivery of government services. The most recent report reflects the new terms of reference for the ROGS reporting framework agreed at COAG in December 2009. For aged care, this means that there is additional information such as: information about compliance with service standards for all community care packages (including National Respite for Carers Program), selected adverse events in aged care and the number of hospital patient days for patients waiting for residential aged care (these are indicators for aged car... Read more...

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