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Research Report: Data digest
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Demographic characteristics of service users

The following tables present a summary of the publicly available demographic data of the 24 agencies examined. For each demographic variable, the percentages presented are based on all complaints with 'valid' or 'specified' information for that variable. These are listed in each table. Given the high proportion of missing values, the total number of complaints (per year) and the percentage of all complaints that had 'specified' information for each demographic variable are also listed. NSW population figures are based on the 2001 census.36

Although the tables consolidate publicly available data, due to the large proportion of missing data, they present only indicative rather than conclusive information about the demographic characteristics of service users. While most agencies published information on volume and performance indicators, only approximately one third published some form of demographic information about their service users in their annual report. Of the 24 agencies, 7 published information on gender, making gender the most commonly published piece of demographic information, followed by source of inquiry (5 agencies), age (4 agencies) and region (4 agencies) (see Table 72).

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census Basic Community Profile and Snapshot: New South Wales, 2001 <>

36  Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census Basic Community Profile and Snapshot: New South Wales, 2001 <>

Scott, S, Eyland, A , Gray, A, Zhou, A & Coumarelos, C 2004, Data digest, a compendium of services usage data from NSW legal assistance and dispute resolution services 1999-2002, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney, 2004