Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
Help: Use Census Data
 



Find Census data

Information from Census data
Geographic areas
Basic Community Profile
Census data using maps
Census data by location names
Census data by profile
System requirements to view and download Census data


FIND CENSUS DATA

The Census main page is the entry point for 2006, 2001 and 1996 Census data, and you will also find any available information on the upcoming 2011 Census of Population and Housing. To find the Census main page, use the Census link on the top or bottom navigation bar from any page on the ABS web site.

From the Census main page, there are three methods you can use to find Census data:

1. Census data using maps
2. Census data by location names
3. Census data by profile (2001 Census Data only)

Back to top

WHY USE CENSUS DATA?

Let's say you are thinking of moving to the Queensland Gold Coast, and you would like to do some research about the area. You can get demographic information from a
Basic Community Profile (BCP). For example, the number of people living there, the age profile, housing costs, average weekly income, the industries that employ people or the age and sex of computer users.

Back to top

GEOGRAPHIC AREAS

There are special geographic areas that are used for the collection and publication of Census data. These geographic areas are known as spatial units. These spatial units are defined in the
Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) - Cat. No.1216.0.

The main ASGC hierarchy includes the following geographic areas:
  • Collection District (CD)
  • Statistical Local Area (SLA)
  • Statistical Subdivisions (SSD)
  • Statistical Divisions (SD)
  • States/Territories (S/T)
  • Australia
For detailed information on geographic areas, navigate to Chapter 2 - Main Structure of ASGC Contents

You can get more information about Census geography from the following links:


Collection District (CD)

A CD is the smallest unit used for collecting and recording Census data. The CD is the base unit used to build the other Census spatial units. CD's can be added up, or aggregated, to cover larger areas, like Statistical Local Areas (SLA's).

The traditional concept of a CD is that it defines an area that one Census collector can cover (delivering and collecting census forms) in about a ten-day period.

However, in the 2001 Census, many urban CD's are of a size such that Census collectors may be allocated more than one CD. In urban areas CD's average about 220 dwellings. In rural areas the number of dwellings per CD reduces as population densities decrease.

For the 2001 Census there were 37,209 CD's defined throughout Australia.


Statistical Local Area (SLA)

The SLA is a general purpose spatial unit. In Census years, the SLA consists of one or more whole CD's. In non-Census years, the SLA is the smallest unit defined in the ASGC. The SLA is also the base spatial unit used to collect and disseminate statistics other than those collected from the Population Census.

In aggregate (when you add them all up), SLA's cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps.

For the 2001 Census there were 1,353 SLA's defined throughout Australia.




Statistical Subdivisions (SSD)

The SSD is a general purpose spatial unit of intermediate size between the SLA (smaller) and the SD (larger) in the main structure.

SSD's consist of one or more SLA's. In aggregate, they cover Australia without gaps or overlaps. For the 2001 Census there were 207 SSD's defined throughout Australia.

Statistical Divisions (SD)

The SD is a general purpose spatial unit and is the largest and most stable unit within each S/T in the main structure.

SD's consist of one or more SSD's. In aggregate, they cover Australia without gaps or overlaps. SD's aggregate to form S/T's. For the 2001 Census there were 66 SD's defined throughout Australia.

States/Territories (S/T)

The S/T is the largest spatial unit in the main structure and the ASGC. Six States and five Territories are recognised in the ASGC: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, Jervis Bay Territory and the external Territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

These spatial units are political entities with fixed boundaries. S/T's consist of one or more SD's. In aggregate, they cover Australia without gaps or overlaps.

Back to top

BASIC COMMUNITY PROFILE (BCP)

The BCP provides detailed Census data for small areas in Excel formatted tables. They provide all the basic demographic information (about persons, families and dwellings) needed to gain a statistical profile of an area. BCP's cover a wide range of areas, from smallest areas (called a Collection District, made up of approximately 220 households) up to the whole of Australia. The BCP is one of the key outputs from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing.


BCP's contain information on:
  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Income
  • Religion
  • Education
  • Computer and Internet Use
  • Labour Force Status
  • Employment by Industry and Occupation
  • Housing Costs
  • Journey to Work

Read more detailed information about
Basic Community Profiles and other Census products.
Back to top


CENSUS DATA USING MAPS

To find the maps follow these steps -

1. Go to the ABS home page (www.abs.gov.au)
2. Click on the Census link
3. Click on the 2001 Census Data by Location Map link in the left navigation menu. This opens a map of Australia.

To view the map you need freeware called SVG viewer installed. If this it is not installed, or an older version of the viewer is detected, you can go to the Adobe web site and download the free viewer from http://www.adobe.com/svg/viewer/install/main.html - opens in a new window.

You can navigate Census geographic areas using the map. Your cursor turns to a hand icon when you are in the map. Move your cursor across the map to highlight different areas. The name of the area will be displayed above the map. The 'View information about .......' link above the map allows you to view Census information relating to the geographic area of interest.

Example:


You are thinking of moving to the Queensland Gold Coast and would like to find information about the people that live there, such as the age profile, housing costs, average weekly income and the industries of occupation.


Step 1: Find your geographic area
  • Use your cursor to point to any area within the state of Queensland and click once, you are now in the State/territory level
  • Next use your cursor to point to the area below Brisbane and click once, you are now in the Statistical Division level
  • Point to Gold Coast and click once, you are now in the Statistical Sub Division level
  • You can go down one more level to any Statistical Local Area, say, Surfer's Paradise - click once

Step 2: Download your file

You now have the option to view Census information such as the Snapshot or download the Basic Community Profile.
Back to top

CENSUS DATA BY LOCATION NAMES

Census data in name order is organised in a collapsible list by the main ASGC geography units.

Use this method if you know the name of the Statistical Division (SD), Statistical Subdivision (SSD) and SLA (Statistical Local Area) you need.

Example:

You are looking for the Census information about Brisbane City.

You also know that Brisbane City is a Statistical Subdivision of Brisbane, so you can find information on this area by name:

1. Select the Census link
2. Follow the link to the 2001 Census Data by Location Name link in the left navigation menu
3. Expand the links next to Queensland, you are now in the State/Territory division
4. Next expand the link to Brisbane, you are now in the (Statistical Division) level
5. Now click on the underlined title Brisbane City, you are now in the (Statistical Subdivision) level
6. You now have access to information available for this area e.g. click the Basic Community Profile link to download this file



CENSUS DATA BY PROFILE

Census data is organised by the profile type. For example, Basic Community Profile, Indigenous Profile, Working Population Profile.

Use this method if you know the type of profile that you are interested in. Once you have selected your profile, you will then need to select the area of interest using a list or map.

Example:


You are looking for the BCP about Gold Coast City.

You also know that Gold Coast City Part B is a Statistical Subdivision of Brisbane, so you can find your BCP by name:

1. Select the Census link
2. Under the '2001 Census Data' tab in the left navigation menu, click on 'By Profile'
3. Next click on the 'Basic Community Profile' link
4. You can now choose a method of how you would like to select an area, in this case we click on 'Main Areas - By Location Name'
5. Next expand the link to Brisbane, you are now in the (Statistical Division)
6. Now click on the underlined title Gold Coast City Part B, you are now in the (Statistical Subdivision) level
7. Select the Basic Community Profile link and download the BCP

Back to top


SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD CENSUS DATA

To view Census maps:


SVG Viewer
If your browser does not display the Census maps, you will need to download and install the free SVG viewer from the Adobe web site. Click on this link for more information on the SVG viewer http://www.adobe.com/svg/viewer/install/main.html - opens in a new window.

Browsers
Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher. Netscape Navigator or Communicator versions 4.0 through 4.75 (but not Netscape 6).

Windows users
Windows 95, 98, SE, 2000, ME, XP or NT4.0 Service Pack 4 and above


Macintosh users
System 8.6 through 9.2, or 10.1 (not 10.0 through 10.0.4)


To download a BCP:
You need WinZip or equivalent software to unzip or decompress the file. See Help on Open Zipped Files.

The file itself needs a spreadsheet application like Microsoft Excel.

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.