What were your relatives doing 99 years ago?

4 August 2011 | VIC/31

Everyone counted in the Census on Tuesday 9 August can choose to have their Census information preserved for 99 years.

Under the optional Census Time Capsule program, your personal Census data can be stored by the National Archives of Australia and after 99 years released for research purposes.

Director of Census Victoria, Sam Thomas said the Time Capsule program is voluntary.

“It’s up to each individual to decide if they would like their Census data stored and then released in 2110,” Mr Thomas says.

More than 56 per cent of the population chose the Time Capsule option in the 2006 Census.

In 2011 the Australian Bureau of Statistics expects even more people to choose to have their Census information stored by the National Archives of Australia. This will allow future generations of Australians to research some of our key characteristics, including our occupation, marital status and address.

Question 60, the Time Capsule question is now a permanent feature of the Census. If you answer yes and sign your form, your information will be supplied to the National Archives who will retain it securely for 99 years.

More information is available online at www.abs.gov.au/census or by calling the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 338 776

Key Census dates

  • 9 August 2011 – Census night.
  • From 10 August – Collection of Census forms.
  • June 2012 – The first results from the 2011 Census will be released.