The Australian Census of Population and Housing was conducted on 9 August 2011. This was Australia's sixteenth national Census, and marked the centenary of national Censuses in Australia. The objective of the Census is to measure accurately, the number of people and dwellings in Australia on Census night, and a range of their key characteristics.
The Census provides information about the population's characteristics and its housing, within small geographic areas, to support planning, administration, policy development and evaluation activities in the public and private sectors.
The Census is the largest statistical operation undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and one of the most important. Notwithstanding advances in technology, there is still a relatively long lead time required to release Census data because of the essential activities for collection, capture, coding, and validation. These processes began in August 2011, with the total processing phase expected to last approximately 11 months.
Development is well underway for the 2011 Census output program. The ABS is committed to releasing the results of the 2011 Census through a wide range of products and services designed to make it easy for users to access the data they need. The first results of the 2011 Census will be released in June 2012.
In direct response to user feedback, the ABS has made substantial changes to the way users can access 2011 Census data on the ABS website. The key goals of the 2011 Census output program are to:
- provide high quality data in a timely manner
- make the data available through a wide range of products to suit the varying needs of clients
- deliver rich applications early in the output cycle to maximise the value of the data
- use the Internet as the primary channel for dissemination
- make improvements to the stability and speed of our online applications
- use state-of-the-art maps for navigation and visualisation of Census data
- ensure Census results are available to all users in a fully accessible web environment
- make it easier to navigate around the Census website
- allow users to explore data seamlessly across the full range of products.