Department of Family and Community Services
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How does NSW compare?

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NSW makes up a third of the Australian population, and it is not surprising that NSW women’s status and experiences are very similar to those of Australian women more widely. However, as described in the first chapter, more women in NSW speak a language other than English at home, and in the intercensal period 2006 to 2011, NSW had the largest numerical increase in its Aboriginal female population of any state or territory.

Indicators of NSW women’s health are slightly better than the national average in some cases and slightly worse in others. Fewer NSW women are current smokers, but more are sedentary or engage in low levels of exercise. (Note that this national indicator is different to the one used in Chapter Two, Health and Wellbeing).

Across Australia, women’s educational participation and qualifications have been rising everywhere. In NSW in 2012, 59 percent of adult women had a post-school qualification at Certificate III and above, compared to 54 percent nationally. As reported in 2012, NSW women have lower overall labour force participation rates (perhaps based on their higher participation in full-time education), but a high rate among women in the child-bearing years.

The graduate earnings gap, as last year, was higher in NSW than nationally with the median earnings of NSW women graduates $5,000 less per annum than those of equivalent men in their first full-time job. Nationally, the difference between female and male graduates was $2,000 per annum in 2011, due to the higher earnings of NSW men.

However, among the non-managerial workforce as a whole, NSW women earn slightly more on an hourly basis than Australian women.

Crime and safety indicators suggest that NSW women are slightly safer on average than Australian women overall. NSW women are far less likely to be victims of physical assault. 2.7 percent of NSW women reported an incident of physical assault in the 12 months prior to the survey compared to 4.3 percent of Australian women (2010-11 data). Offender rates were also lower, at 643 per 100,000 NSW women compared to 834 per 100,000 nationally in 2010-11.