Glossary

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander:
A person of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. See also Indigenous.

absolute income poverty:
A state of poverty where a person does not have enough income to cover the cost of a given basket of goods that provides an agreed minimal level of decency.

accommodation support:
Services that provide accommodation to people with disability, and services that provide support to enable a person with disability to remain in their existing accommodation or to move to more suitable or appropriate accommodation.

administrative data collection:
A data set that results from the information collected for the purposes of delivering a service or paying the provider of the service. This type of collection is usually complete (that is, all in-scope events are collected), but it may not be fully suitable for population-level analysis because the data are collected primarily for an administrative purpose.

adoption:
The process by which a person legally becomes a child of the adoptive parent(s) and legally ceases to be a child of his/her existing parent(s). Intercountry adoptions are of children from countries other than Australia who are legally able to be placed for adoption, but who generally have had no previous contact or relationship with the adoptive parents.

age pension age:
The age at which a person becomes eligible to receive the age pension (subject to income, asset and residency requirements). The age pension age has changed over time and depends on a person’s date of birth. Between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2017 the age pension age was 65 years. From 1 July 2017, the qualifying age increased to 65 years and six months, and will increase by 6 months every 2 years to reach 67 years by 1 July 2023.

The age pension age is also used to determine eligibility for other payments, such as the Disability Support Pension, for which recipients must be aged between 16 and the age pension age.

age structure:
The relative number of people in each age group in a population.

aged care services:
Regulated care delivered in either residential or community settings, including the person's own home. Most formal care is funded through government programs, but may also be purchased privately.

age-specific rate:
A rate for a specific age group. The numerator and denominator relate to the same age group.

age-standardisation:
A method of removing the influence of age when comparing populations with different age structures. This is usually necessary because the rates of many diseases vary strongly (usually increasing) with age. The age structures of the different populations are converted to the same ‘standard’ structure, and then the disease rates that would have occurred with that structure are calculated and compared.

age-standardised rate: 
A rate for which the influence of age is removed by converting the age structures of the different populations to the same ‘standard’ structure. This provides a more valid way to compare rates from populations with different age structures.

apparent retention rate:
The percentage of full-time students who remain in secondary education from the start of secondary school (Year 7 or 8 depending on the state or territory) to a specified year (usually Year 10 or Year 12).

apprentice:
A person aged 15 to 64 who enters into a legal contract (training agreement or contract of training) with an employer to serve a period of training to attain tradesperson status in a recognised trade.

attendance rate (school):
The number of actual full-time equivalent student-days attended by full-time students in Years 1 to 10 as a percentage of the total number of possible student‑days attended over the period.

Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC):
Common framework defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for collecting and disseminating geographically classified statistics. The ASGC was implemented in 1984 and the final release was in 2011. It has been replaced by the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS):
Common framework defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for collecting and disseminating geographically classified statistics. The ASGS replaced the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) in July 2011.  

average day:
A measure that reflects the number of people within a service on a typical day during the year. It takes into account the number of people, the number of contacts, and the duration of each contact.

Bachelor degree or higher:
An undergraduate or post-graduate qualification at a university.

big data:
There is no single, agreed definition, but the term is commonly used to describe the relatively recent global growth in the number of very large data sets, and the growing volume of unstructured data emerging from the increasing digital transfer of information. 

Canadian National Occupancy Standard:
A standard used to assess overcrowding in households, based on the number, sex, age, and relationships of household members.

capital expenditure:
Expenditure incurred for goods and services with a life equal to or longer than a year. Compare with recurrent expenditure.

care and protection order:
Legal order or arrangement that gives child protection departments some responsibility for a child’s welfare. The level of responsibility varies with the type of order or arrangement. These orders include guardianship and custody orders, third-party parental responsibility orders, supervisory orders, interim and temporary orders, and other administrative arrangements.

casual worker:
Employed person who generally works irregular hours, usually fewer than a full-time worker, and is not entitled to paid leave.

Centrelink:
A program of the Department of Human Services. Centrelink delivers a range of government payments and services for retirees, the unemployed, families, carers, parents, people with disability, Indigenous Australians, and people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds at times of major change.

children receiving child protection services:
Children who are the subjects of an investigation of a notification; on a care and protection order; and/or in out-of-home care.

civilian population:
All usual residents of Australia aged 15 and over, except members of the permanent defence force, certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments customarily excluded from Census and estimated population counts, overseas residents in Australia, and members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia.

clients exiting custodial arrangements (specialist homelessness services):
Specialist homelessness service clients are counted as leaving a custodial setting if, in their first support period during the reporting period, either in the week before or at presentation:

  • their dwelling type was: adult correctional facility, youth or juvenile justice detention centre or immigration detention centre, or
  • their reason for seeking assistance was: transition from custodial arrangements, or
  • their source of formal referral to the agency was: youth or juvenile justice detention centre, or adult correctional facility.

Some of these clients were still in custody when they began receiving support.

Children aged under 10 identified as exiting from adult correction facilities or youth/juvenile justice detention centres have been excluded because of concerns about the quality of the data; children aged under 10 cannot be charged with a criminal offence in any jurisdiction in Australia.

clients with a current mental health issue (specialist homelessness services):
A specialist homelessness service client was identified as having a current mental health issue if they provided any of the following information:

  • at the start of a support period, they were receiving services or assistance for their mental health issues, or had in the past 12 months
  • their formal referral source to the specialist homelessness agency was a mental health service
  • ‘mental health issues’ was a reason for their seeking assistance
  • their dwelling type either a week before presenting to an agency, or when presenting to an agency, was a psychiatric hospital or unit
  • they had been in a psychiatric hospital or unit in the last 12 months
  • at some stage during their support period, a need was identified for psychological services, psychiatric services or mental health services.

This analysis does not include clients aged under 10.

community access:
Services designed to provide opportunities for people with disability to gain and use their abilities to enjoy their full potential for social independence.

community-based supervision:
Supervision of a young person in the community by a juvenile justice agency while that person is waiting either for an initial court appearance for an alleged offence or for a court hearing or outcome, or completing an order after the finalisation of a court case. It includes supervised bail, probation, community service orders, suspended detention and parole.

community living:
A living arrangement where the place of usual residence is a private or non-private dwelling, as distinct from residential aged care, a hospital or other type of institutional accommodation. Community settings include private dwellings (a person’s own home or a home owned by a relative or friend) and certain types of non-private dwellings; for example, retirement village accommodation. 

community support:
Services that provide the support needed for a person with disability to live in a non-institutional setting.

constant prices:
Estimates that indicate what expenditure would have been if prices for a given year had applied in all years (that is, removing the inflation effect). Changes in expenditure in constant prices reflect changes in volume only. An alternative term is ‘real expenditure’. Compare with current prices.

core activity:
Term used in discussions of disability, referring to the basic activities of daily living; namely, self-care, mobility and communication.

core activity limitation:
A limitation where someone needs help with—or is having difficulty in using aids and equipment for—self-care, mobility and/or communication.  See also disability, severe or profound core activity limitation and moderate or mild core activity limitation.

couch surfer:
A person who is homeless and who typically moves from household to household intermittently, who is not regarded as being part of those households, and who does not have any form of leased tenure over any accommodation.

couple family:
A family comprising two people in a registered or de facto marriage and who are usually living in the same household. A couple family may be with or without children, and may or may not include other related individuals.

current prices:
Expenditures reported for a particular year, unadjusted for inflation. Changes in current price expenditures reflect changes in both price and volume.

custody orders:
Orders that place children in the custody of the state or territory department responsible for child protection, or a non-government agency. These orders usually involve the child protection department being responsible for the daily care and requirements of the child, while the parent retains legal guardianship. Custody alone does not bestow any responsibility regarding the long-term welfare of the child.

data linkage:
The bringing together (linking) of information from two or more different data sources that are believed to relate to the same entity; for example, the same individual or the same institution. This linkage can provide more information about the entity and, in certain cases, provide a time sequence, helping to ‘tell a story’, show ‘pathways’ and perhaps unravel cause and effect. The term is used synonymously with ‘record linkage’ and ‘data integration’.

dementia:
A general term for disorders characterised by worsening mental processes (such as Alzheimer disease or vascular dementia). Symptoms include impaired memory, understanding, reasoning and physical functioning.

dependency ratio:
The number of people likely to be ‘dependent’ on others due to not being in the labour force, compared with the number in the labour force and therefore potentially able to provide support.

dependent child:
A person who is either a child aged under 15, or a dependent student. Note, this definition applies to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing and may differ somewhat the definitions in other collections. See also non-dependent child.

dependent student:
A natural, adopted, step or foster child who is aged 15 to 24 and who attends a secondary or tertiary educational institution as a full-time student and for whom there is no identified partner or child of his/her own usually resident in the same household. Note, this definition applies to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing and may differ somewhat from the definitions in other collections. See also dependent child.

detention:
Supervision of a young person in a remand or detention centre by a juvenile justice agency while he/she is waiting for either an initial court appearance for an alleged offence or for a court hearing or outcome, or completing an order after the finalisation of a court case. It includes remand and sentenced detention.

disability:
An umbrella term for any or all of: an impairment of body structure or function, a limitation in activities, or a restriction in participation. Disability is a multidimensional concept, and is considered as an interaction between health conditions and personal and environmental factors. See also core activity limitation and severe or profound core activity limitation.

disability-free life expectancy:
An indication of how long a person can expect to live without disability. Usually See also life expectancy.

Disability Support Pension (DSP):
A pension that provides financial support for people aged between 16 and age pension age, with a physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition, who:

  • are unable to work for at least 15 hours per week at or above the relevant minimum wage, or
  • be re-skilled for such work, for more than 2 years because of their disability, and have participated in a program to help prepare for, find or maintain work, or
  • are permanently blind.

domestic violence:
A set of violent behaviours between current or former intimate partners, where one partner aims to exert power and control over the other through fear. Domestic violence can include physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse and psychological abuse.

dwelling:
A structure or a discrete space within a structure intended for people to live in, or where a person or group of people live. Thus, a structure that people live in is a dwelling regardless of its intended purpose, but a vacant structure is only a dwelling if intended for human residence. A dwelling may include one or more rooms used as an office or workshop, provided the dwelling is in residential use.

early childhood education and care worker:
A category of workers that includes child carers, child care centre managers and early childhood (pre-primary school) teachers.

early intervention:
In the childhood development sector, this describes programs used to improve health and developmental outcomes among children aged 0 to 6 who have, or are at risk of, developmental delay or disability. Programs may include physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and special education. The term ‘early childhood intervention’ is sometimes used to distinguish these from other forms of early intervention.

elder abuse:  
A single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.

emotional abuse (children):
Any act by a person having the care of a child that results in the child suffering any kind of significant emotional deprivation or trauma. Children affected by exposure to family violence would also be included in this category.

emotional abuse from a partner:
Abuse between current or former cohabiting partners that occurs when a person is subjected to behaviours or actions (often repeatedly) aimed at preventing or controlling their behaviour, with the intent to cause them emotional harm or fear through manipulation, isolation or intimidation.

employed:
Describes people aged 15 and over who, during the reference week of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey, worked for 1 hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm, or worked for 1 hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (that is, contributing family workers). This includes employees who had a job but were not at work and were away from work for less than 4 weeks up to the end of the reference week, or away from work for more than 4 weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all those 4 weeks. It also includes those who were away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement, on strike or locked out, on workers’ compensation and expected to return to their job, or were employers or own account workers, who had a job, business or farm, but were not at work. Note, this definition applies to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey and may differ somewhat from the definitions in other collections. Compare with unemployed. See also labour force.

employment restriction:
A restriction determined for persons aged 15 to 64 with one or more disabilities if, because of their disability, they: were permanently unable to work; were restricted in the type of work they can or could do; needed or would need at least 1 day a week off work on average; were restricted in the number of hours they can or could work; required or would require an employer to provide special equipment, modify the work environment or make special arrangements; required assistance from a disability job placement program or agency; needed or would need to be given ongoing assistance or supervision; or would find it difficult to change jobs or get a better job. Note, this definition applies to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers and may differ somewhat from other collections’ definitions. See also schooling restriction.

employment-to-population ratio:
The number of employed people in a specified group expressed as a percentage of the civilian population in the same group.

enrolled:
Describes a person’s status who is registered for a course of study at an educational institution.

episode of care:
The period during which a child remains in out-of-home care. During this period, a child may have one or more different out-of-home care placements, including placements lasting fewer than 7 days. If a child has a return home or a break of less than 60 days before returning to the same or different placement, he or she is considered to be continuously in care during this period.

equivalised household income (disposable or gross):
An indicator of the economic resources available to a standardised household. For a lone-person household, it is equal to income received. For a household comprising more than one person, equivalised income is an indicator of the household income that a lone-person household would require to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing as the household in question. Equivalised disposable household income is based on income after essential costs are deducted, as opposed to gross (that is, total) income, or net (that is, after-tax) income.

estimated resident population (ERP):
The official Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate of the Australian population. The ERP is derived from the 5-yearly Census counts, and is updated quarterly between Censuses, based on births, deaths and net migration. It is based on the usual residence of the person. Rates are calculated per 1,000 or 100,000 mid-year (30 June) ERP.

family:
Two or more persons, one of whom is aged at least 15, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually living in the same household. Each separately identified couple relationship, lone parent to child relationship or other blood relationship forms the basis of a family. Some households contain more than one family.

family day care:
Comprises services provided in the carer’s home. The care is largely aimed at children aged 0 to 5, but primary school children may also receive care before and after school, and during school vacations. Central coordination units in all states and territories organise and support a network of carers, often with the help of local governments.

family group home:
A home for children provided by a department or community-sector agency that has live-in, non-salaried carers who are reimbursed and/or subsidised for providing care.

family violence:
Includes violence between family members as well as current or former intimate partners. For example, family violence can include acts of violence between a parent and a child. Family violence is the preferred term used to identify experiences of violence for Indigenous people as it encompasses the broad range of extended family and kinship relationships in which violence may occur.

finalised guardianship orders:
Orders involving the transfer of legal guardianship to the relevant state or territory department or non-government agency responsible for child protection. These orders involve considerable intervention in the child’s life and that of their family, and are sought only as a last resort. Guardianship orders convey responsibility for the welfare of the child to the guardian (for example, regarding the child’s education, health, religion, accommodation and financial matters). They do not necessarily grant the right to the daily care and control of the child, or the right to make decisions about the daily care and control of the child, which are granted under custody orders

formal child care:
Regulated care away from the child’s home. The main types of formal care are before and/or after school care, long day care, family day care and occasional care.

foster care:
A form of out-of-home care where the caregiver is authorised and reimbursed (or was offered but declined reimbursement) by the state/territory for the care of the child. (This category excludes relatives/kin who are reimbursed.) There are varying degrees of reimbursement made to foster carers.

full-time employees:
Permanent, temporary and casual employees who normally work the agreed or award hours for a full-time employee in their occupation and received pay for any part of the reference period. If agreed or award hours do not apply, employees are regarded as full time if they ordinarily work 35 hours or more a week. Note this definition applies to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours and may differ somewhat from the definitions in other collections.

full-time workers:
Employed
people who usually worked 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and those who, although usually working fewer than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week of the ABS Labour Force Survey. Note, this definition applies to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey and may differ somewhat from the definitions in other collections. Compare with part-time workers.

greatest need (pertaining to housing):
Households that, at the time of allocation, are either homeless or at risk of homelessness, in housing inappropriate to their needs, in housing placing them at risk or in housing with very high rental costs.

gross domestic product:
A statistic commonly used to indicate national income. It is the total market value of goods and services produced within a given period after deducting the cost of goods and services used up in the process of production, but before deducting allowances for the consumption of fixed capital.

home-based out-of-home care:
Care provided for a child who is placed in the home of a carer, who is reimbursed (or who has been offered but declined reimbursement) for the cost of care of that child. Home-based out-of-home care includes care provided by relatives/kin who are reimbursed, foster care, third-party parental care and other home-based out-of-home care.

homeless:
As defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, people who do not have suitable accommodation alternatives and their current living arrangement:

  • is in a dwelling that is inadequate (is unfit for human habitation and lacks basic facilities such as kitchen and bathroom facilities)
  • has no tenure, or if their initial tenure, is short and not extendable
  • does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations (including personal or household living space, ability to maintain privacy and exclusive access to kitchen and bathroom facilities).

hospitalisation:
Synonymous with admission and separation; that is, an episode of hospital care that starts with the formal admission process and ends with the formal separation process. An episode of care can be completed by patients being discharged, transferred to another hospital or care facility, or dying, or by a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

household:
A group of two or more related or unrelated people who usually reside in the same dwelling, and who make common provision for food or other essentials for living. Can also be a single person living in a dwelling who makes provision for his or her own food and other essentials for living, without combining with any other person.

household composition:
The grouping of people living in a dwelling. Household composition is based on couple and parent–child relationships. A household is a single-family type if it contains a main tenant, and if that main tenant lives with a partner and/or the main tenant’s children. Group households consist of two or more tenants aged 16 or over, who are not in a couple or parent–child relationship. Mixed households are households not described by the other two types; for example, multiple single-family households.

housing affordability:
The cost of housing compared with the financial situation of households. This term is generally used to refer to housing across major cities, states or nationally, as opposed to individual households. Housing affordability is often measured using the proportion of households in a given area in housing stress.

housing stress:
A measure of housing affordability where the proportion of household income spent on basic housing costs (that is, rent or mortgage) is calculated. Low-income households spending 30% or more of their income on housing are considered to be in housing stress.

impairment:
Any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function.

improvised dwelling:
A dwelling that was not designed for human habitation or is considered unfit for human habitation. This may include shacks, sheds, cabins, boats or tents.

income support payments:
A range of pensions and benefits paid by Australian Government to support people who have little or no private income, or to help with particular costs such as those associated with raising children or caring for a person with severe disability or illness. This comprises a range of income support payments and supplementary payments.

income unit:
An income unit may consist of:

  • a single person with no dependent children

  • a sole parent with one or more dependent children

  • a couple (married, registered or defacto) with no dependent children

  • a couple (married, registered or defacto) with one or more dependent children.

A non-dependent child living at home, including one who is receiving an income support payment in his or her own right, is regarded as a separate income unit. Similarly, a group of non-related adults sharing accommodation are counted as separate income units.

Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage:
One of the set of Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas for ranking the average socioeconomic conditions of the population in an area. It summarises attributes of the population such as low income, low educational attainment, high unemployment and jobs in relatively unskilled occupations.

Indigenous:
A person of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. See also Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Indigenous household:
A household that contains one or more Indigenous people.

Indigenous status:
Whether a person identifies as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

informal carer:
A person of any age who provides any informal assistance, in terms of help or supervision, to people with disability or long-term conditions, to children, or to people aged 65 and over. This assistance must be ongoing, or likely to be ongoing, for at least 6 months. See also primary carer.

informal child care:
Non-regulated care, arranged by a child’s parent or guardian, either in the child’s home or elsewhere. It comprises care by (step) brothers or sisters, care by grandparents, care by other relatives (including a parent living elsewhere) and care by other (unrelated) people, such as friends, neighbours, nannies or babysitters. In the context of the ABS Childhood Education and Care Survey, it may be paid or unpaid.

International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health:
The World Health Organization’s internationally accepted classification of functioning, disability and health. The classification was endorsed by the World Health Organization in May 2001. 

investigation:
The process whereby the relevant child protection department obtains more detailed information about a child who is the subject of a notification received. Departmental staff assess the harm or degree of harm to the child and their protective needs. An investigation includes sighting or interviewing the child where it is practical to do so.

labour force:
People who were employed or unemployed (not employed but actively looking for work) during the reference week of the ABS Labour Force Survey. Note, this definition applies to the ABS Labour Force Survey and may differ somewhat from the definitions in other collections. See also not in the labour force.

labour force participation rate:
For any group, the labour force expressed as a percentage of the civilian population aged 15 and over in the same group.

lateral violence:
Violence that is directed at one’s peers or community members. It may include bullying behaviours such as gossip, intimidation, shaming, backstabbing and attempts to cause social isolation, as well as physical violence. It is a learned behaviour where an oppressed or powerless person or group directs their anger at those around them, instead of at their oppressors. It is believed to occur worldwide in minorities, and particularly Aboriginal peoples.

life expectancy:
An indication of how long a person can expect to live, depending on the age they have already reached. Technically it is the average number of years of life remaining to a person at a particular age if age-specific death rates do not change. The most commonly used measure is life expectancy at birth.

lone parent:
A person who has no spouse or partner usually living in the household but who forms a parent-child relationship with at least one child usually resident in the household.

long day care:
Comprises services aimed primarily at children aged 0 to 5, which are provided in a centre usually by a mix of qualified and other staff. Educational, care and recreational programs are provided based on the developmental needs, interests and experience of each child. In some jurisdictions, primary school children may also receive care before and after school, and during school vacations. Centres typically operate for at least 8 hours per day on normal working days.

long-term unemployed:
People aged 15 and over who have been unemployed for 52 weeks or more.

long-term unemployment ratio:
The number of long-term unemployed people, expressed as a percentage of the total unemployed population.

Longitudinal data:
A data source that collects data from the same sample of subjects multiple times over a given time.

main tenant:
The tenant who is party to the residential tenancy agreement. Where this is not clear, it is the person who is responsible for rental payments.

median:
The midpoint of a list of observations that have been ranked from smallest to largest.

median age:
For a given measure, the age at which half the population is older and half is younger.

mild or moderate core activity limitation:
A person who needs no help but has difficulty with core activities (moderate) or has no difficulty (mild) with core activities, but uses aids or equipment, or has one or more of the following limitations:

  • cannot easily walk 200 metres
  • cannot walk up and down stairs without a handrail
  • cannot easily bend to pick up an object from the floor
  • cannot use public transport
  • can use public transport but needs help or supervision
  • needs no help or supervision but has difficulty using public transport.

See also disability, core activity limitation, and severe or profound core activity limitation.

mortality rate:
The number of deaths in a given period, adjusted to take account of population age structure, expressed per 1,000 population.

neglect:
Any serious acts or omissions by a person having the care of a child that, within the bounds of cultural tradition, constitute a failure to provide conditions essential for the healthy physical and emotional development of a child.

net overseas migration:
The number of incoming international travellers minus the number of outgoing international travellers, where the movement to or from Australia is for 12 months or more.

non-dependent child:
A natural, adopted, step or foster child of a couple or lone parent usually resident in the household, who is aged 15 or over and is not a full-time student aged 15 to 24, and who has no identified partner or child of his/her own usually resident in the household. Note, this definition applies to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing and may differ somewhat from definitions in other collections. See also dependent child.

non-Indigenous:
People who have indicated that they are not of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.

non-school qualification:
Educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary and secondary education. They include qualifications at the following levels: Post-graduate degree, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate, Bachelor degree, Advanced Diploma and Diploma, and Certificates I, II, III and IV. Non-school qualifications may be attained concurrently with school qualifications. See post-school qualification.

Notification (child protection):
Contact made to an authorised department by people or other bodies alleging child abuse or neglect, child maltreatment or harm to a child.

not in the labour force:
People who are not employed and not unemployed. See also labour force.

occasional care:
A type of formal care (see formal child care) provided mainly for children who have not started school. These services cater mainly for the needs of families who require short-term care for their children. Compare with out-of-school hours care.

older household:
A household with a reference person aged 65 and over.

older person:
For the purposes of this report (unless noted otherwise), a person aged 65 or over.

one-parent family:
A family consisting of a lone parent with at least one dependent or non-dependent child (regardless of age) who is also usually living in the household. Examples of one-parent families include a parent aged 25 with dependent children, and a parent aged 80 living with a child aged 50.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):
An organisation of 35 countries (including Australia) that are mostly developed but some are emerging (such as Mexico, Chile and Turkey); the organisation’s aim is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social wellbeing of people around the world.

other family:
A family of other related individuals living in the same household. These individuals do not form a couple or parent-child relationship with any other person in the household and are not attached to a couple or a one-parent family in the household.

out-of-home care:
Overnight care for children aged 0–17, where the state makes a financial payment or where a financial payment has been offered but has been declined by the carer. See also residential care, family group homes, foster care, relative/kinship care, independent living, other out-of-home care.

out-of-school-hours care:
Services provided for school-aged children (that is, aged 5 to 12) outside school hours during term and vacations. Care may be provided on student-free days and when school finishes early. Compare with occasional care.

outside-school-hours care:
See out-of-school-hours care.

overcrowding:
Describes a situation in a dwelling where one or more additional bedrooms are required to adequately house its inhabitants, according to the Canadian National Occupancy Standard.  Compare with underutilisation (housing).

over-representation:
The likelihood of occurrence for one population compared with another population. This may be expressed as a rate-ratio and may be calculated as population A rate divided by population B rate. See also rate ratio.

owner (of dwelling):
A household in which at least one member owns the dwelling in which the household members usually live. Owners are divided into two categories:

  • owner without a mortgage—if there is no mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling
  • owner with a mortgage—if there is any outstanding mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling.

participation:
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health defines participation in terms of involvement in life situations, from basic learning and applying knowledge, through general tasks and demands, to domestic life, relationships, education and employment, and community life.

participation rate:
See labour force participation rate.

partner violence:
A set of violent behaviours a respondent experienced from a person they currently live with, or lived with at some point; does not include violence by a boyfriend/girlfriend or date.  

part-time worker:
Employed person who usually worked fewer than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week of the ABS Labour Force Survey, or was not at work in the reference week. Note this definition applies to the ABS Labour Force Survey and may differ somewhat from definitions in other collections. Compare with full-time workers See also employed.

Persistent disadvantage:
In this report, a measure derived using the Social Exclusion Monitor (SEM). The SEM is a composite measure that considers the seven domains of material resources, employment, education and skills, health and disability, social support, community participation, and personal safety perceptions. Disadvantage (social exclusion) is scored from 0 to 7, with scores of 2 or more defined as deep exclusion and of 3 or more defined as very deep exclusion.

physical abuse:
Any non-accidental physical act inflicted upon a child by a person having the care of a child.

post-school qualification:
See non-school qualification.

preschool:
Services licensed and/or funded by state or territory governments to deliver preschool services at a particular location. Preschool comprises a structured educational program provided by a qualified teacher in a variety of settings, usually aimed at children in the year before they start formal schooling.

primary carer:
A person who provides most of the informal assistance, in terms of help or supervision, to a person with one or more disabilities or aged 65 and over in one or more of the core activities (communication, mobility and self-care). The 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers included as carers people aged 15 and over who identified themselves as carers or were nominated by a care recipient as a carer. See also informal carer.

projection (population):
Is not a forecast but instead illustrates changes that would occur if the stated assumptions were to apply over the period in question.

psychological abuse:
Behaviours including limiting access to finances, exclusion from contacting family and friends, demeaning and humiliation, and any threats of injury or death directed at the victim or their children

quintile:
A group derived by ranking a population according to specified criteria (for example, income) and dividing it into five equal parts. The term can also mean the cut-points that make these divisions—that is, the 20th, 40th, 60th and 80th percentiles—but the first use is the more common one. Commonly used to describe socioeconomic groups based on socioeconomic position. Also used to describe income groups.

rate:
One number (the numerator) divided by another number (the denominator). The numerator is commonly the number of events in a specified time. The denominator is the population 'at risk' of the event. Rates (crude, age-specific and age-standardised) are generally multiplied by a number such as 100,000 to create whole numbers.

rate ratio:
A rate ratio shows the relative difference between two rates and may be calculated as: the rate for population A divided by the rate for population B.  Rate ratios are commonly used to compare rates between:

(i)    two points in time for the same population, or

(ii)   between different populations at the same point in time. 

A rate ratio of 1 indicates no difference between the rates. A rate ratio less than 1 indicates that rates have decreased over time (use i), or that the rate for population A is lower than that for population B (use ii). A rate more than 1 indicates an increase over time or that the rate for population A is higher than that for population B.

recurrent expenditure:
Expenditure incurred for goods and services with a life of less than 1 year. Compare with capital expenditure.

reference person:
The reference person for each household is chosen by applying, to all household members aged 15 and over, the selection criteria below, in the order listed, until a single appropriate reference person is identified:

  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, with dependent children
  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, without dependent children
  • a lone parent with dependent children
  • the person with the highest income
  • the eldest person.

This definition applies to the ABS Survey of Income and Housing and may differ somewhat from other collections definitions.

Relative income poverty:
The proportion of households with an equivalised income that is less than 50% of the national median equivalised household income. (Note that there is more than one measure for relative income poverty, and therefore this definition may differ somewhat from definitions in other reports).

relative kinship care:
A form of out-of-home care where the caregiver is a relative (other than parents), considered to be family or a close friend, a member of the child or young person’s community (in accordance with their culture),  or who is reimbursed by the state/territory for the care of the child (or who has been offered but declined reimbursement). For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, a kinship carer may be another Indigenous person who is a member of their community, a compatible community or from the same language group. See also out-of-home care.

remoteness classification:
A classification that divides each state and territory into several regions based on their relative accessibility to goods and services (such as general practitioners, hospitals and specialist care) as measured by road distance. These regions are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) and defined as Remoteness Areas by either the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (before 2011) or the Australian Statistical Geographical Standard (ASGS) (from 2011 onwards) in each Census year.

residential aged care:
Care provided to a person in an Australian Government-approved aged care home, including accommodation (bedding and other furnishings, meals, laundry, social activities), personal care (bathing/showering, toileting, dressing, eating, moving about), and nursing and allied health services if required. Residential aged care can be provided on a permanent basis, or a short-term basis for respite or emergency support. Before July 2014, care was provided at a ‘high’ or ‘low’ level, relative to the resident’s care needs; however, since July 2014, there is no distinction among permanent residents as needing high or low care.

residential care (aged care and younger people with disability):
See residential aged care.

residential care (out-of-home care):
A type of out-of-home care where the placement is in a residential building whose purpose is to provide placements for children and where there are paid staff.

respite services:
Services that support community living by people receiving assistance from informal carers. Direct respite is respite care where the primary purpose is to meet carer needs by providing them with a break from their caring role; this may be delivered in the person’s home, in a day centre or community-based overnight respite unit, and in residential aged care homes. Indirect respite is the ‘respite effect’ achieved by relieving the carer of other tasks of daily living, which may or may not be directly related to their caring responsibility. 

restriction:
A person has a restriction if he/she has difficulty participating in life situations, needs assistance from another person or uses an aid.

retirement:
People are considered to have retired when they have previously worked for 2 weeks or more; have retired from work, or from looking for work; and are not intending to look for, or take up, work in the future.

schooling restriction:
A restriction determined for people aged 5 to 20 who have one or more disabilities if, because of their disability, they were unable to attend school, a special school or special classes at an ordinary school; needed at least one day a week off school on average; or had difficulty at school. Note, this definition applies to the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers and may differ somewhat from definitions in other collections. See also employment restriction.

severe or profound core activity limitation:
A person who needs help or supervision always (profound) or sometimes (severe) to perform activities that most people undertake at least daily— that is, the core activities of self-care, mobility and/or communication. See also core activity limitation and disability.

severely crowded dwelling:
A dwelling that requires four or more extra bedrooms to accommodate the usual residents of that dwelling, according to the Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS). Note, this definition applies to the ABS Census and may differ somewhat from other collections' definitions.

sexual abuse:
Any act by a person, having the care of a child that exposes the child to, or involves the child in, sexual processes beyond his or her understanding or contrary to accepted community standards.

sexual violence:
Behaviours of a sexual nature carried out against a person’s will using physical force or coercion (or any threat or attempt to do so). Sexual violence can be perpetrated by partners in a domestic relationship, former partners, other people known to the victims, or strangers.

sleeping rough:
The state of sleeping with no shelter on the street, in a park or in the open, or in a motor vehicle. See also homeless people.

social exclusion:
The opposite of social inclusion.

social housing:
Rental housing that is funded or partly funded by government and is owned or managed by the government or a community organisation and let to eligible persons. This includes public rental housing, state owned and managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH), mainstream and Indigenous community housing and the Crisis Accommodation Program.

social housing programs:
Social housing is rental housing funded, or partly funded by government, that is owned or managed by the government or a community organisation. There are four main social housing programs in Australia:

  • public rental housing
  • state owned or managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH)
  • mainstream community housing
  • Indigenous community housing.

social impact bonds:
An approach for financing social service programs. They are offered to investors, who provide capital to fund specific projects—which are expected to result in improved social outcomes and public sector savings—in return for a future financial return paid on delivery of those specific social outcomes. They are also known as ‘social benefit bonds’.

social inclusion:
According to the former Social Inclusion Board, an inclusive society is one in which all members have the resources, opportunities and capability to learn, work, engage with and have a voice in the community. See also social exclusion.

social investment:
An investment activity that has an expected social outcome (or improvement) and a financial return (or savings). More generally, it is spending on programs up front to provide better long-term outcomes for a given population.

socioeconomic position:
An indication of how ‘well off’ a person or group is. In this report, socioeconomic groups are mostly reported using the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas, typically for five groups (quintiles), from the most disadvantaged (worst off or lowest socioeconomic group) to the least disadvantaged (best off or highest socioeconomic group). 

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA):
A set of indexes, created from Census data, that aim to represent the socioeconomic position of Australian communities and identify areas of advantage and disadvantage. The index value reflects the overall or average level of disadvantage of the population of an area; it does not show how individuals living in the same area differ from each other in their socioeconomic group. This report generally uses the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage.

specialist disability services:
Services provided under the National Disability Agreement for people with intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, physical or neurological impairments that manifest before 65 years of age, and which result in a need for assistance with one or more core activities of life. Services currently include accommodation support, community support, community access, respite and employment. 

specialist homelessness service:
Assistance provided specifically to people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.

Substantiations (child protection):
Substantiations of notifications received during the current reporting year are child protection notifications made to relevant authorities between 1 July and
30 June, which were investigated and the investigation was finalised by 31 August of the reporting period, and where it was concluded that there was reasonable cause to believe that the child had been, was being, or was likely to be, abused, neglected or otherwise harmed. Substantiation does not necessarily require sufficient evidence for a successful prosecution and does not imply that treatment or case management was provided. Substantiations may also include cases where there is no suitable caregiver, such as when children have been abandoned or their parents are deceased.

superannuation:
Money set aside over a person’s lifetime to provide for their retirement. It can be accessed when a person reaches eligible age (between 55 and 60, depending on year of birth) and retires, or when they turn 65. Access can be through pension payments or a lump sum. 

Survey data collection:
A data set that results from sampling individual units from the population. No sample will ever be fully representative of the population, but if carefully designed and implemented, samples will be highly representative for drawing conclusions about characteristics of the whole population.

tertiary education:
Tertiary education in Australia can be broadly categorised as either ‘higher education’ or vocational education and training (VET). Higher education is generally delivered in a university setting, leading to a Bachelor, Master or Doctoral degree. VET focuses on delivering skills and knowledge for a specific industry, leading to Certificate and Diploma qualifications. It is delivered by Registered Training Organisations such as Technical and Further Education institutions.

traditional working age:
In this report, refers to the ages of 15 to 64.

underemployed:
Employed persons aged 15 and over who want, and are available for, more hours of work than they currently have. They comprise people employed part time who want to work more hours and are available to start work with more hours, either in the reference week or in the 4 weeks after the survey; and persons employed full time who worked part-time hours in the reference week for economic reasons (such as being stood down or insufficient work being available). Note, this definition applies to the ABS Labour Force Survey and may differ somewhat from definitions in other collections.

underemployment rate:
The number of underemployed workers expressed as a percentage of the labour force.

underutilisation (housing):
Occurs where a dwelling contains one or more bedrooms surplus to the needs of the household occupying it, according to the Canadian National Occupancy Standard. Compare with overcrowding.

unemployed:
Describes people aged 15 and over who were not employed during the reference week of the ABS Labour Force Survey, and had actively looked for full- or part- time work at any time in the previous 4 weeks, or were waiting to start a new job within 4 weeks of the end of the reference period. Note, this definition applies to the ABS Labour Force Survey and may differ somewhat from definitions in other collections. Compare with employed.

unemployment rate:
The number of unemployed people, expressed as a percentage of the labour force.

usual resident:
Refers to all people, regardless of nationality, citizenship or legal status, who usually live in Australia, except foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. It includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 months over a 16-month period. It excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 months over a 16-month period.

victimisation rate (crime):
The total number of people/households who experienced a crime type, expressed as a percentage of all people/households. This is a measure of how prevalent a crime type is in a given population.

volunteer:
Someone who, in the previous 12 months, willingly gave unpaid help, in the form of time, service or skills, through an organisation or group.

volunteer rate:
The number of volunteers as a percentage of the relevant population.

working-time mismatch:
When the number of hours a week an employed person works does not align with their preferences for working hours.