Aspects of Social Capital

Aspects of Social Capital Report

  • Author(s): Australian Bureau of Statistics,
  • Published: 2006
  • Publisher: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • ISBN: (Cat. 4911.0)

Abstract: This publication presents indicators and descriptive analysis concerned with the measurement of social capital in Australia, using data drawn from a range of ABS surveys. Social capital is conceived as being a resource available to individuals and communities founded on networks of mutual support, reciprocity and trust. It has been an area of considerable emerging interest because of its links to individual and community wellbeing. Many researchers have suggested the benefits of social capital for individual outcomes in areas such as health, education, employment and family wellbeing and also in fostering community strength and resilience (Endnote 1). Developing a sound evidence base through data collection and analysis activities is important to ensuring that any policies and programs designed to foster social capital in Australia, or in particular communities within Australia, help to improve people's lives. The compilation of this report is part of the ongoing development of social capital related data by the ABS. For this report the statistics have been drawn together from multiple ABS data sources, many of which were not designed with the express purpose of measuring aspects of social capital, but have nevertheless contained relevant indicators. As a result the report only provides insights into some aspects of social capital, that is, those for which ABS data are available. The 2006 General Social Survey has been developed as a key vehicle for expanding the range of social capital data items collected by the ABS, and first results from that survey are expected to become available early in 2007.

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Australian Bureau of Statistics,, 2006, Aspects of Social Capital, Report, viewed 16 June 2024,

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