Future Directions in Regional Statistics
Australia is a vast continent with many diverse cities, suburbs, towns, rural and remote areas. The ABS provides regional information from statistical products like the Census of Population and Housing, as well as other sources for over 3000 regions across Australia. This data is important for all levels of government in planning and delivery of services, as well as for businesses and for communities themselves.
Data needs rarely stay still and over time there has been shifts in the socio-economic profile of regions as cities and towns develop and people move. With increasing population mobility, past assumptions about where people live, work, play or access services no longer hold in modern Australia. Many social and economic policies and programs require location based decisions, such as where to locate services or infrastructure, or where to provide local employment or community development programs. Understanding the demographic, social and economic circumstances of regions across such a varied nation allows policy makers to better target their programs.
What is happening?
ABS are in the midst of a major transformation in the way we use and provide statistical information, and other agencies of government are also using their administrative data to provide regional information where they can. There are many more data sources becoming available that can tell us what is happening in Australia's regions. The challenge for the ABS and other government agencies who contribute to official statistics is:
● What are the information needs of regional data users?
● How can we make best use of all our data sources to provide the best possible regional statistics for Australia? And,
● How can we do this efficiently?
The ABS is in the process of developing a plan for "Future Directions for Regional Statistics" which will help us to shape our statistical program, and the priorities of government, in delivery of regional information over the longer term.
● What are the high priority regional information needs that producers of official statistics should be focussed on? See Your Priorities for more information.
● What potential data opportunities are there? - see New Data - to find out more.
● Developing and creating data is just half the story, how do we make the data accessible? What challenges do we face in disseminating data? See Data Access for more information.
The ABS is engaging with many users and producers of regional statistics. In mid 2015 a series of workshops were held around Australia seeking the views of key Australian, State, Territory and Local Government stakeholders. We will continue to engage with users and producers of regional information so if you want to be involved - see Contact Us.