2006 Census: Uses of Census Information

Who uses Census Information?

Census information is used by all sections of the community, from state and federal government to town planners, community groups, students, large and small businesses and more:

    • to estimate the population of each state, territory and local government area.
    • to determine electoral boundaries and calculate the number of members to be elected to the House of Representatives from each state and self-governing territory.
    • to determine the distribution of Federal government funds to the states.
    • to show characteristics of Australia's people and their housing within small geographic areas and for small population groups.
    • to give governments and other users information they can use to support planning, administration, policy development and evaluation activities.
    • to help plan basic services such as housing, social security, transport, education, industry, shops and hospitals.

How are the Census results used?

A few examples ...

Planning for residents

Census results were used by local government councils to develop strategic land-use plans. Up-to-date population statistics, including data on population movements, were used to plan for future residential needs, helped to predict the level of demand in the local housing market and increased the councils' awareness about future growth. This information assisted the councils to be able to see how the cities were growing and what services would be in demand in the future.

Monitoring educational performance

A senior secondary school board wanted to find out whether there were particular groups of students that were not achieving their potential due to socioeconomic factors. This board used Census information to complement the school's own information; to illustrate the relationships between socioeconomic level, educational participation and qualification attainment; and to identify the groups of students who were at most risk of under achieving. This enabled the board to address the issues associated with this group.

Making unpaid work count.

During the 2006 Census public consultation period, a number of national, state and local government councils and non-government organisations identified the need for a set of questions on unpaid work. These organisations stated that they would use the information to identify the long-term planning needs of carers and volunteers, planning for support services and programs, and to fund and provide these services to assist unpaid workers. The information will help to make sure that resources and services are allocated to people in the areas with the greatest need and to ensure that programs are sustainable and meet the needs of Australia’s ageing population.