Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.21, No.4, 2005. pp. 727746

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Measuring Progress - An Australian Travelogue

In 2002 the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released Measuring Australia’s Progress (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002), a publication built around a set of headline indicators that spanned economic, social and environmental concerns. Different projects from around the world have used different ways of addressing what is essentially the same question: Is life getting better? Each agency has followed its own route. But along the way, each agency has faced the same core set of key decisions. This article describes those forks in the road and explains the path taken by the ABS. Although it is very unlikely that our approach would be appropriate for every organisation, it is likely that anyone wanting to measure progress will be faced with similar choices. We hope this article will provide help for anyone setting out on a similar journey.

Sustainable development, well-being, quality of life, headline indicators, triple bottom line reporting

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