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CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING
The Census of Population and Housing is an enumeration of the entire population in Australia on census night. Information is collected by way of self-completion questionnaires. Detailed information from the census is available for small geographic areas and small population groups.
Measurement of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Australian population, and the degree to which Australians retain their ethnic and cultural identity, is primarily based on the use of a number of statistical variables related to a person's origin, including: birthplace of the individual, birthplace of parents, language variables, year of arrival in Australia, religious affiliation and Indigenous status. This complex field is discussed in detail in the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (Cat. no. 1249.0).
Questions regarding work, income and educational qualifications are asked only of persons aged 15 years and over, and the only data items available for visitors to Australia are age, sex and marital status.
FREQUENCY OF COLLECTION
Every five years.
Number of persons
The number of persons in Australia on census night.
Birthplace of individual
The country of birth of each individual is coded using the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (Cat. no. 1269.0). In all, there are 284 categories. Further information may be found in the 2001 Census Dictionary (Cat. no. 2901.0).
Year of arrival in Australia
Records the year a person who was born outside of Australia first arrived in Australia with the intention of staying for at least one year. In standard census products the categories shown below are used. However, data are also available for individual years from 1890 to 2001.
Arrived before 1986
Birthplace of female parent
Indicates whether an individual's female parent was born in Australia or overseas.
Birthplace of male parent
Indicates whether an individual's male parent was born in Australia or overseas.
Records an individual's ancestry, coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (Cat. no. 1249.0). Up to two responses are recorded for each individual. The 191 categories used for this data item may be found in the 2001 Census Dictionary (Cat. no. 2901.0).
Language spoken at home
Identifies the language spoken by an individual at home, coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (Cat. no. 1267.0). If more than one language other than English is spoken, the non-English language spoken most often is specified. The 240 categories used for this data item may be found in the 2001 Census Dictionary (Cat. no. 2901.0).
Proficiency in English
For each person who speaks a language other than English at home this data item classifies their proficiency in spoken English. The main categories are:
Not at all
Records the religion of the respondent, coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (Cat. no. 1266.0). Answering this census question is optional. The 125 categories used for this data item may be found in the 2001 Census Dictionary (Cat. no. 2901.0).
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin
Identifies people of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Categories are:
Torres Strait Islander
Both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Codes the occupation of the main job held during the week prior to census night to the 6-digit level of the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO). Lists 987 occupations, including cultural occupations such as painters, graphic designers, librarians, print journalists, authors and singers; and sport and recreation occupations such as recreation officer, amusement centre manager, footballer and gymnastics coach. See Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition (Cat. no. 1220.0) for the full classification. See the ASCO codes related to culture and leisure and Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications Detailed Occupation Classification for occupations related to culture and leisure.
Codes main activity undertaken at the workplace, at which the main job was held during the week prior to census night, to the 4-digit level of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). Lists 465 industry classes, including cultural industries such as film and video production, television services, museums, music and theatre productions, and performing arts venues; and sport and recreation industries such as horse and dog racing, and sports grounds and facilities n.e.c. See Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 1993 Edition (Cat. no. 1292.0) and ANZSIC codes related to culture and leisure for further details.
Labour force status/status in employment
Identifies whether a person was employed (and, if so, their status in employment), unemployed or not in the labour force in the week before census night.
The statuses are:
Own account worker
Contributing family worker
Unemployed - looking for full-time work
Unemployed - looking for part-time work
Not in the labour force
Records the range of hours into which falls the number of hours worked in all jobs in the week before census night. The ranges are:
49 or more hours
Use of a computer at home
Indicates whether a person used a computer at home in the week before census noght.
Use of the Internet
Indicates whether, and where, a person used the Internet in the week before census night. The categories are:
Yes, at home
Yes, at work
Yes, at home and at work
Yes, at home and elsewhere
Yes, at work and elsewhere
Yes, at home, at work and elsewhere
Non-school qualification: level of education
Describes the level of the individual's highest completed non-school qualification, coded according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education. The 17 categories used for this data item may be found in the 2001 Census Dictionary (Cat. no. 2901.0).
Non-school qualification: field of study
Describes the field of study of the highest completed non-school qualification, coded according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education. The 435 categories used for this data item may be found in the 2001 Census Dictionary (Cat. no. 2901.0).
Records the range into which falls the person's, family's or household's gross weekly income (i.e. income before tax, superannuation, health insurance or other deductions are made).
Data are classified according to the Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC) and are available for Australia, States and Territories, and smaller areas. For data classified by place of usual residence, the Statistical Local Area is the smallest area available. Data classified by place of enumeration, however, are available down to the Collection District level. See Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC), 2001 (Cat. no. 1216.0).
The first census conducted by the Commonwealth of Australia was held in 1911 and censuses were held at irregular intervals to 1961. Since 1961, a census has been conducted every five years.
Australia Council 2005, Artswork 2: A Report on Australians Working in the Arts, Australia Council, Sydney. Free of charge.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, Australian Census Analytic Program: Australia Online: How Australians are Using Computers and the Internet, 2001, Cat. no. 2056.0, ABS, Canberra. Price $34.00.
Australia Council 1997, Artswork: A Report on Australians Working in the Arts, Australia Council, Sydney. Free of charge.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2003, Employment in Culture, Australia, 2001, Cat. no. 6273.0, ABS, Canberra. Price $23.00. Also available for 1991 and 1996.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2003, Employment in Sport and Recreation, Australia, 2001, Cat. no. 4148.0, ABS, Canberra. Price $22.00.
Sport and Recreation Ministers' Council 1998, Sport and Recreation Employment in Australia, August 1996, SRMC, Canberra. Free of charge.
For details about the full range of 2001 Census products refer to 2001 Census of Population and Housing.
In the first instance, refer to To obtain data or further information in the Introduction to this directory.
National Information and Referral Service
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 796
SYDNEY NSW 1041
Telephone: 1300 135 070
Facsimile: 1300 135 211