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Articles on Australian Bureau of Statistics

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Queensland’s debt: is it sky high, or under control? An economist shows what you need to know to judge for yourself. AAP/Dan Peled

The true state of Queensland debt

How much debt is Queensland really in? How much of that debt can past Labor governments bear responsibility for, and has the current Liberal National government cut or added to it? And how does Queensland’s…
If we want to know whether screening saves lives, we need to show a reduction in the cancer death rate rather than an increase in the survival rate. Steven Depolo/Flickr

When talking about cancer screening, survival rates mislead

Cancer screening is beneficial when it’s able to prevent people dying from cancer. And it should clearly be adopted where there’s evidence showing this. But using cancer survival rates to promote screening…
Finding a job can be hard work – luckily, knowing which unemployment figures to pay attention to is much easier. AAP Image/Joel Carrett

What unemployment figures really say about Queensland

Queensland unemployment recently plummeted – or did it? Whether you’re a Queenslander getting ready to vote in the January 31 state election, or simply someone interested in employment trends in Australia…
Alternatives to GDP are already in use, but are yet to gain widespread acceptance. Image sourced from

Beyond GDP: are there better ways to measure well-being?

“At present, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP.” — Paul Hawken Imagine if a corporation used Gross Domestic Product (GDP) accounting to do its books: it would be…
The case for the ABS to receive extra funding is being linked to problems with labour market statistics, but it doesn’t stack up. Anssi Koskinen/Flickr

Joe Hockey’s user pays plan for the ABS doesn’t add up

The ABS faced considerable unwelcome attention this week after it announced substantial revisions to the seasonally adjusted labour force figures for July and August. Reacting to the announcement, Treasurer…
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has become a political football. Alan Porritt/AAP

Hockey plays the ABS blame game, while unemployment hovers

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has come under attack for the perceived lack of reliability of its labour force statistics, particularly the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is one of…
Good news: rap and Ravel are not mutually exclusive. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

High art isn’t dying, even if the ABS stats are

High art isn’t dying. How do we know? Well, we’ll get to that. It’s again the time of year when major performing arts companies launch their wares for the next year. Opera Australia prologued its 2015…
To understand Australian culture in all its diversity, we need data. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

We need ABS arts and sports data to understand our culture

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week released its 2014-2018 forward work plan. The work plan confirms the June media release that arts and sport data will disappear from the ABS-funded component…
The proportion of renters is now roughly equal to the numbers of outright home owners. Image from

Home equity: Australia’s growing wealth divide

For all our talk about housing affordability, few people want house prices to drop. That’s because most Australians are home owners, and much of our wealth is stored in housing. But recent figures released…

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