2011.0.55.001 - Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Products and Services, 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/08/2012  First Issue
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4. Key 2011 Census Output Strategies

The following key strategies are proposed:
  • the Internet will be the main tool for dissemination of 2011 Census data with an expanded range of products and services
  • place of usual residence as the basis for the dissemination of standard Census data
  • implementation of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) for the 2011 Census
  • timely release of data through a three-phase release strategy, increasing the number of first release data items while maintaining timeliness
  • enhancing the value of the Census through the Census Data Enhancement project by improving and expanding the range of official statistics.

The Internet has played an ever increasing role in the dissemination of Census products. It provides the ABS with the opportunity to place its products on the desktops and in the households of users not just Australia wide but world wide, and forms the cornerstone of the 2011 Census dissemination strategy.

Previously, the ABS released Census data as a defined range of products containing predefined tables for most levels of geography. While this defined data will still be available for the 2011 Census, a range of other Internet-based products will also be available. These products will have greater flexibility, allowing clients to choose topics rather than just geography and even to have some ability to create customised cross-classifications. There will be some restrictions on the level of geographic disaggregation that will be available in order to guarantee the confidentiality of information about individuals. This is dealt with in more detail in Chapter 7: Data Issues.

Most data from the 2011 Census will be released free of charge. The suite of 2011 Census products and associated pricing is outlined in Chapter 5: The 2011 Census Data Product Range.


Australian Censuses have traditionally given priority to place of enumeration data. The place of enumeration is the location at which the person was counted on Census night. This type of count provides a snapshot in any given area. Although the Census is timed to attempt to capture the typical situation, holiday resort areas, such as the Gold Coast and snowfields, may show a large enumeration count compared with the usual residence count, which is based on where people usually live.

It should be noted that Census usual residence population counts differ significantly from the official Estimated Resident Population. Usual residence counts have not been adjusted for underenumeration and exclude Australian residents who were overseas on Census night.


The 2011 Census results will be released on a new geographical classification, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). This geography is more stable than the previously used Australian Standard Geographical Classification and will improve the quality of outputs available from the Census. More detail about the ASGS is provided in Chapter 6: Changes between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses.

For more information about Census products and the ASGS, please refer to Census of Population and Housing: Outcomes from the 2011 Census Output Geography Discussion Paper, 2011 (cat. no. 2911.0.55.003).


One of the primary goals of the Census is to provide timely and responsive output to users. Due to the enormous task associated with processing in excess of 11 million Census forms, the previous three Censuses have aimed at delivering data as quickly as possible through a two-phase release. First release data contain core demographic variables and second release tables contain variables that require more complex processing.

First release data will be made available as soon as possible after the Census with a release date of 21 June 2012. The second release data will follow four months later, on 30 October 2012. The supplementary data release, third release, will begin on 28 March 2013, with products released progressively until the end of 2013. This will finalise all Census data output for the 2011 Census.


Commencing with the 2006 Census, the ABS began a project to enhance the value of Census data by bringing it together with other datasets to leverage more information from the combination of individual datasets than is available from the datasets separately.

The Census Data Enhancement (CDE) project improves and expands the range of official statistics available to Australian society, and improves the evidence base to support good government policy making, program management and service delivery. For more detail, please refer to Census Data Enhancement Project: An Update, Oct 2010 (cat. no. 2062.0).

The CDE project is a major project involving integrating unit record data from the Census with other ABS and non-ABS datasets to create new datasets for statistical and research purposes. The project also adds value to data from the Census by bringing it together with data from future Censuses. There will be three components of the CDE project which will include the possibility of producing output products:
  • the 5% Statistical Longitudinal Census Dataset (SLCD)
  • bringing together the SLCD with other datasets, without using name and address, for statistical and research purposes
  • bringing together 2011 Census data with other datasets, without using name and address, after Census processing.
The 5% Statistical Longitudinal Census Dataset

A Statistical Longitudinal Census Dataset (SLCD) will be created by bringing together data from the 2006 Census with data from the 2011 Census and future Censuses, without using name and address, to build a picture of how society moves through various changes: which groups are affected by different types of change and in what way.

Bringing together the SLCD with other datasets without using name and address

The 5% SLCD can be enhanced further by bringing it together with specified non-ABS datasets using statistical techniques, without using name and address. At this stage no data integration projects involving the 5% SLCD are planned.

Bringing together 2011 Census data with other datasets without using name and address

The ABS will support certain projects that bring together the full 2011 Census datasets with other ABS and non-ABS datasets without name and address after Census processing. There are a number of criteria that these projects must meet in order to proceed (see Census Data Enhancement Project: An Update, Oct 2010 (cat. no. 2062.0). Details of all such projects that are approved to proceed will be published. At this stage no data integration projects of this type are planned.