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Australian Bureau of Statistics: What does progress mean to you?

What does progress mean to you?

This Case Study highlights the way that the Australian Bureau of Statistics measures the progress of Australia towards achieving a better life, and how such data informs business and the general public.

As a result of reading this Case Study, the student should be able to:

  • Understand why and how progress is measured
  • Appreciate the importance of progress to the Australian community 
  • Analyse the interrelationships between environmental progress, economic progress and social progress
  • Explain how business benefits from the use of statistical data.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics is widely known and valued for its comprehensive range of statistical data that is used by government, business, the education sector and the wider community.

What defines progress?

Progress is broadly defined as life in Australia getting better. Progress is multidimensional.

What do you see as progress?

Any assessment of whether or not there has been national progress, and if so to what extent, will be subjective based on the relative priorities, perspectives and values of the individual.

Why is it important to measure progress?

There are benefits to measuring Australia's progress.

How do you measure progress?

The ABS has literally thousands of sets of statistical indicators available from which to choose suitable indicators to measure progress.


The ABS has made a significant contribution to the national discussion about whether life in Australia is getting better.


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