1308.7 - Inform NT, Dec 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/12/2009   
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Why Do We Have a Census? ~ Towards the 2011 Census ~ Census Nature and Content


The Census of Population and Housing is the largest single statistical collection undertaken by the ABS and one of the most important. It is conducted every five years. There are two broad objectives that underpin each census: to accurately measure the number and key characteristics of people in Australia on Census night and the dwellings in which they live; and to provide timely, high quality and relevant data for small geographic areas and small population groups.

The Census provides a reliable basis for estimating the population of Australia and its states/territories and local government areas which, among other things, enables governments to distribute funds on an informed basis. The Census also provides invaluable detailed information for informed decision-making by governments, businesses, organisations and individuals, and complements the rich but broad level data provided by other ABS surveys, such as labour force, education and health data.
For more information about the Census of Population and Housing see our Census: what you need to know webpage.


To help us count everyone in Australia during the 2011 Census, the ABS is seeking the advice and support of community-focused and government organisations. In each ABS Regional Office there is a Census Engagement Manager working with government, businesses, non-government organisations and the community to ensure every attempt is made to count everyone on Census night.
  • During the last six months the NT Census Engagement Manager has met with about 25 non-government organisations, Indigenous organisations and Indigenous communities to discuss ways in which they might be able to assist the ABS in the lead up to the Census. The level of enthusiasm and willingness to assist has been encouraging.
  • A proposal for a 2011 Census partnership between ABS, NT Treasury and the Department of Chief Minister is being discussed.
  • The NT Census Engagement Manager delivered a presentation to the annual Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Forum in Alice Springs in November. Follow up meetings by the ABS NT Regional Director with those CEOs are planned for the first quarter of 2010.

Census engagement activities will continue throughout 2010 allowing organisations that are interested in the Census and making sure their community counts to be involved. For more information and to be part of the planning for the 2011 Census, please see the brochure 2011 Census of Population and Housing Local & Regional Engagement Strategy (cat. no. 2911.0.55.001) or contact the NT Census Engagement Manager on (08) 8943 2188.


The publication Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, 2011 (cat. no. 2008.0) was released in November. This publication outlines the content of the 2011 Census and the procedures to be followed in collecting, processing and releasing the data.