Census - The Big Picture
By now you will have all filled in your census form and perhaps you are beginning to wonder what the Australian Bureau of Statistics plans to do with all of that information.
The Census aims to take a 'snapshot' of Australia every five years - collecting vital information on the social, economic and housing characteristics of Australian society.
The Census is compulsory in Australia, like voting or paying taxes. Just as voting gives Australians the chance to have a say about the running of the country, and taxes fund services to the community, so too does the Census provide an important means of addressing society needs and contributing to decisions made. So how does the Census achieve all of this?
Almost all decisions made by governments, businesses and local community groups depend on knowing how many men, women and children of different age groups are located in each part of Australia. This helps in working out the need for services such as schools, retirement homes, health services, transport, shops and hospitals. Federal government also uses the Census to determine State funding. On the local front, community groups use Census data to apply for grants. Want to start a new business? Census data can give you detailed small-area data to help determine potential customers.
And your privacy and confidentiality is 100% guaranteed by law at every stage of the Census process. Best of all, when the results are released in 2007,
access will be available on-line and free!