Prior to the 1996 Census, no external territories were included in geographical Australia, although Census data were collected for Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Following amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 - 1973 effective from July 1992, the two external territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands became part of geographical Australia. The other Australian external territories (Norfolk Island, and minor islands such as Heard Island and McDonald Island), remain outside the scope of the Census.
Since the 1996 Census, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and the Jervis Bay Territory (previously linked to the Australian Capital Territory for statistical purposes) comprise a pseudo 'ninth state/territory' of Australia. They are included in state nine 'other territories', with each of the three areas having a unique SLA code.
Prior to the 1986 Census, separate censuses of the islands were conducted by the Department of Home Affairs, or its equivalent.
For the 1986 and 1991 Censuses, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island were included as part of the Australian Census, but their data were excluded from statistical counts for Australia. Norfolk Island and the other minor external territories were out of scope for the Census.
See also Information Consultancy.