Quantitative data sources in Victoria
Statistical Data for Victorian Communities
This data has been prepared by the City of Greater Dandenong and Victorian Local Government Association (VCGA). The data is provided in excel format and is available for a range of geographical areas including state, regional, local government, neighbourhood and small areas. The data includes population, age profile, birthplaces, community strengthening, crime, disability and carers, education, employment, families, gambling, gender, health, housing, income, social disadvantage, transport and young people.
Important considerations when applying quantitative data:
- Find the average. Data should be compared against Victorian or Greater Melbourne and municipal averages. Without this it is not possible to understand how an area compares to the average. If a figure (for example, the local unemployment rate) only slightly differs from the average then it may not be a significant enough to draw conclusions from.
- The geographical area that the data captures. Municipal wide data is generally not very effective for understanding a specific suburb or new community. Municipal boundaries normally capture a wide range of communities, including both new and established suburbs. Data should focus on micro level such as a suburb, Statistical Local Area (SLA), Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2), or postcode.
- Service data. Service providers and local governments collect a wealth of data which should inform community building. It is useful to establish mechanisms for consistent data capture and sharing across different council departments and between different organisations in the municipality. This helps to create a solid evidence base that can be used to demonstrate changes in community needs over time and with which responses can be planned with confidence. Examples of useful service data includes:
- The number of people that participated in programs
- The catchments of the service (such as the postcodes of clients)
- Demographic profile of the clients accessing services
- Number of appointments
- Use across the week/different months of the year
- Spare capacity in current programs
Council’s population projections
Local governments develop population projections that show how different communities in the municipality are expected to change over time, incorporating factors such as new developments and the life cycle of communities. Projections can give information such as total populations in an area at given points in time as well as household types and population structure.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) census data
The ABS conducts a census every five years with the aim of measuring the number of people and dwellings in Australia, plus a range of key characteristics including: education, employment, income, dwellings, household, family characteristics, migration, internet connections and motor vehicles.
The information can be used to predict a profile of the growth area community by analysing comparable areas. Once the community is established, it can be used to understand how the area is changing over time and whether the population profile assumptions made in the initial stages of planning were correct.
Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) are developed by the ABS and rank areas in Australia according to relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage. The information is drawn from ABS census data.
Community Indicators Victoria (CIV)
CIV provides benchmark indicators of community social strength and wellbeing. They measure both objective and subjective indicators, making it useful to understand both community needs and perceptions. Data is updated every three to five years. It is available at the municipal level, however additional data can be collected at a more local level to supplement it.
Victoria in the Future (VIF)
VIF is the Victorian Government's official population and household projection data. The most recent publication was released in 2012. The VIF figures provide a vital resource for understanding population trends–such as age structure changes–at both a state and local level.
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
The Department publishes quarterly figures of local unemployment levels in the Small Area Labour Markets data set. This data allows practitioners to understand the potential economic issues, vulnerabilities and cycles faced by growth area communities.
Housing rental report
The Department of Human Services (DHS) prepares rental reports quarterly. The report provides statistics on Victoria’s private rental market, including time series data on affordable lettings by local government area and median rents by region. Using this data in benchmarking helps to understand potential housing trends and costs in a new community.
Public Health Information and Development Unit (PHIDU)
PHIDU provides up-to-date modelling for social and health issues at a fine grain geographical level. This is useful for understanding the potential health issues in a growth area community. The site provides downloads and map data for a range of different topics such as education, income support, families, health, community strength, internet usage and disadvantage.
Towns in Time
Based on ABS Census data, Towns in Time is a compilation of time series data for Victorian towns from 1981 through to 2011 produced by the Department Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure.
Data covered in the series includes total population, age structure, labour force characteristics, number of dwellings, household sizes, indigenous Australians and persons born overseas.
Department of Health Geographical Profiles
The Department of Health each year produces annual profiles for a range of geographical areas. Each profile includes information on population, services and facilities, socio-economic characteristics and health data.
Victorian Population Health Survey
The survey is undertaken by the Department of Health and collects information about health, lifestyle and wellbeing of adult Victorians aged 18 years and over. The survey topics include smoking status, alcohol consumption, obesity, nutrition, physical activity, and physiological distress.
Victorian Transport Statistical Portal
The portal provides access to data that assists in understanding transport trends in Victoria. The data comes from a number of sources including ABS, VicRoads and the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure. The topics covered include education and income, dwellings and households, motor vehicles, method of travel to work, industry occupation, property sales data, crash statistics and surveys of travel attitudes.
Victorian Crime Statistics
These are official statistical summaries of offences recorded by police in Victoria for the previous financial year. The summaries include crime against the person, crime against property, drug offences and family incident reports.
Victorian Child and Adolescent Monitoring System (VCAMS)
This system tracks and measures children and young people’s health, wellbeing, safety, learning and development outcomes and reports on 150 indicators. Some of the indicators include children who are breastfed, vaccinations rates, children who are developmentally vulnerable, adolescent crime rates (victims and offenders), teenage fertility rates, child abuse, support services and kindergarten participation.
Victorian Government Data Directory
The directory provides public access to raw data generated or owned by the Victorian Government. The data is provided in a range of formats and covers the topics of business, community, communication, education, employment, environment, health, planning, recreation, science and technology, society, transport and spatial data.