What we do
We collect, compile, analyse and disseminate information on a wide range of social, environmental and economic matters. Our statistics are used by governments, business, industry organisations, academics and others seeking to understand Australian society and the economy. We also have an important leadership and coordination function with respect to the statistical activities of other official bodies, both in Australia and overseas.
We collect information from individuals, households and businesses, where it is not possible to obtain information from other sources. Our surveys are designed to select only the required number of people, households or businesses needed to produce reliable statistics. Those selected in our surveys represent others in the community with similar characteristics.
ABS surveys may be conducted by interview, either face to face or over the telephone; or may involve the respondent completing their own survey form and returning it to us. Our team of interviewers are authorised under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 to visit or telephone your household, place of work, or contact you using the details you provide, for the purpose of collecting information. Interviewers operate under an agreement which allows for penalties if confidentiality is broken.