2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Aug 1998  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/1998   
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Work on 2001 Census is underway

With many of the products and services from the 1996 Census now available, attention has already begun to focus on the next Census of Population and Housing to be held in 2001.

User consultation for the 2001 Census began with the release of the Information Paper 2001 Census of Population and Housing: ABS Views on Content and Procedures (2007.0) in March this year. The purpose of the paper was to:
a) outline ABS views on what topics should be included on the 2001 Census form, and
b) request submissions from users and interested members of the public outlining their requirements of census data.

In addition to mailing out 1,700 copies of the Information Paper to people and organisations with an interest in census data, the public was notified of the release of the Information Paper through:

  • advertisements placed in major newspapers across the country
  • Census Update
  • media releases
  • radio interviews and
  • the ABS Web Site.
A series of seminars were conducted in each capital city lead by census staff, including John Struik, Assistant Statistician of Census, Demography and Geography Branch, Paul Williams, Director of Census Development and Field Organisation Section and Regional Office staff. Major users of census data were invited to the seminars to discuss various census issues.

Submissions were received from Commonwealth, State and Local Government Departments, private sector organisations, academics and various lobby and community groups.

In total, 130 submissions were received, raising 325 topics or issues. Many submissions raised more than one topic or issue.

The range of issues canvassed in submissions was broad and included requests for:
  • greater recognition of unpaid work
  • inclusion of questions designed to measure disability
  • inclusion of questions designed to measure ethnic identity, and
  • inclusion of questions designed to measure military service.
The content of submissions confirmed that census data are widely used and depended upon in the community. Significantly, several submissions were received disagreeing with the ABS position that a number of topics be deleted from the 2001 questionnaire.

As a result of the user consultation process, the census testing program will be adjusted with a view to measuring the feasibility of some of the suggestions raised in the submissions.

Future editions of Census Update will keep you up-to-date on issues and developments from the 2001 Census.