The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released information about educational attainment as revealed through the last Census. The information is based on the count of persons (place of usual residence) and shows the numbers of persons who have achieved non-school qualifications (e.g. postgraduate degree, graduate diploma/certificate, bachelor degree, advanced diploma/diploma, and certificate). The information is derived from a specific question on the Census form that asks about the highest qualification attained of respondents.
Quality and Applicability
Place of usual residence counts are used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in all its standard data sets e.g. Basic Community Profile, Expanded Community Profile, Indigenous Profile and QuickStats.
Information about educational attainment is an important indicator of the socio-economic status of a given area. The level of educational attainment in an area is linked to several factors including the age of the population (the younger the population profile the more likely the university degrees), the professional aspirations of the population, and the opportunities for study beyond compulsory schooling. It is useful to consider educational attainment with other indicators of socio-economic status such as the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage, labour force participation, individual income, occupations and industries and unemployment rate.
Information about educational attainment is available for local government areas, statistical local areas, suburbs, and collector districts. Figures are by sex and age (ten-year age groups).
Collector districts are the smallest spatial units under the Australian Standard Geographical Classification system used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Collector districts enable the collection and dissemination of Census data. Statistical local areas fit into the boundaries of incorporated bodies of local government (i.e. local government areas) when aggregated.
Information about educational attainment refers to 8 August 2006, the most recent Census.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics progressively released all standard data sets based on the 2006 Census during 2007.
Information about educational attainment is contained in the Basic Community Profile Cat. No. 2001.0 2006 Table B39. Select the 'Community Profiles' function to search for an area by name then open its Basic Community Profile.
Cost and Format
Australian Bureau of Statistics data sets are downloadable free of charge in excel spreadsheet format.
Additional Data Source(s)
Information about educational attainment is available through profile.id, an online product designed to support local government planning and accessible through council websites. Go to your council website, search for community profiles, and click on 'Who Are We/What Are Our Qualifications' to generate reports based on the last Census. Reports are available for local government areas and smaller areas (e.g. suburbs). More on profile.id.
The Victorian Local Governance Association has an online library of social statistics that includes estimates of youth disengagement. These are based on the numbers of people aged 15-24 who are neither in paid employment nor enrolled in education as derived from usual residence counts at the last Census.