2914.0.55.002 - 2006 Census of Population and Housing: Media Releases and Fact Sheets, 2006
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2007 First Issue
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The 2006 Census counted 19,855,289 Australian residents on Census night, an increase of 11.8% since the 1996 Census.
Earlier this month the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the official estimate of Australia's population – the estimated resident population (ERP). This estimated that there were 20,701,500 people usually resident in Australia as at 30 June 2006.
These figures are different for good reason.
The Census counted whoever was in Australia, wherever they happened to be, on Census Night (8 August 2006) – a frozen snapshot in time. However the estimated resident population figure takes into account the wider picture and moves people back to where they live. For example, Australians temporarily overseas are not counted in the Census, but they are accounted-for in the estimated resident population figures.
Because they are comprehensive, the estimated resident population figures are used as the official population estimate.
The estimated resident population as at 30 June 2006 used the 2006 Census counts as a base. The count was adjusted to exclude temporary overseas visitors in Australia. Then these figures were adjusted to include Australian residents temporarily overseas on Census Night as well as an estimate of people not counted on Census Night. Finally, the estimates took into account births, deaths and migration that occurred between 30 June 2006 and Census Night – 8 August 2006.
Official population estimates are used to determine the number of seats each state and territory has in the House of Representatives, as stipulated in Section 24 of the Constitution and the Commonwealth Electoral Act, 1918, and this is why the ABS must, by law, carry out a census every five years. Official population estimates are also used in the distribution of Commonwealth funds to state and territory governments, funds which are used for the provision of a wide range of services.
NB: The figures in this fact sheet exclude overseas visitors. Where an answer to a question has not been provided (i.e. not stated) these occurrences form a separate category in the data and therefore some percentages do not total to 100%.
Source: ABS 2006 Census.
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