Australian Bureau of Statistics
DataPacks Frequently Asked Questions
What is DataPacks?
DataPacks is a CD-ROM product containing 2006 Census of Population and Housing Profile data, down to Collection District (CD) level, and digital boundaries in generic formats. There are 7 'datapacks', each containing different kinds of data, which can be purchased individually. Census DataPacks at a Glance gives an overview.
Who is DataPacks designed for?
The 2006 DataPack products are is designed for :
What level of technical expertise do I need to use DataPacks?
DataPacks contains the data in its raw format - in CSV format - and the digital boundary basemaps are in both '.Mid/Mif' and 'ESRI.shp' formats.
As there is no viewing or extraction software included in this product, a good level of technical expertise is required to extract and link the data.
DataPacks also contains metadata (referencing) documents to enable the user to read the data. The metadata files contain data sequencing, labelling, geographic concordances and information pertaining to both the data and digital boundary basemaps where required. Clients will be required to merge the data files with the 'sequential file' and 'cell descriptor' metadata files to obtain meaningful data labels and other attributes associated with the data.
I don't have the time or expertise; is there any other way I can obtain census data 'in bulk'?
CDATA Online and TableBuilder allow you to create tables, maps and graphs of census data. If these aren't suitable, contact the ABS Information Consultancy Service for an obligation-free quote.
Additionally, there are Licensed Intermediaries, organisations or individuals who provide ABS data in their own products and services. The ABS encourages this, because we want our statistics used widely.
What systems do I need to use the DataPacks?
There is no viewing or extraction software included in this product.
The data contained on the product is in a CSV format. Therefore users will require their own database software, viewing software or a spreadsheet application. e.g. Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel or Ultra Edit.
The digital boundary basemaps are in both '.Mid/Mif' and 'ESRI.shp' formats. Therefore users will require their own GIS application in order to import the digital boundaries. e.g. MapInfo or Arc GIS.
Where can I find more information about DataPacks?
More information about DataPacks is available from the Census DataPacks Product Brief.
How many people can access DataPacks under each purchase?
The DataPacks product is sold under the ABS Conditions of Sale. Purchasers are free to distribute the data and boundaries throughout their organisation so long as the ABS is cited as the source of the data.
I want to compare Census data over time. Are there DataPacks available for 2001 and earlier?
The Time Series Profile (TSP) DataPack consists of 26 tables containing key Census characteristics of persons, families and dwellings. The data is based on where people were enumerated on Census night. The TSP DataPack compares data from the 1996, 2001 and 2006 Censuses and is based on 2006 Statistical Local Area boundaries and is also available for areas aggregated from SLAs.
For the 2001 Census, the Census Basics product was produced. The Census Basics product provides detailed census data for small areas in 33 tables containing key Census characteristics of persons, families and dwellings. The profile is available for all standard Census geographic areas from Collection District (CD) level to all of Australia. The data is based on where people were enumerated on Census night.
The are no similar products for Censuses prior to 2001. If the Census information you require is not available as a standard product or service, then for a fee ABS Information Consultancy Services can help you with customised services to suit your needs.
Tables, Data and Boundaries
What geographic levels are contained in each DataPack?
The geographic levels contained on each DataPack are listed in the DataPacks Product Brief.
How do I open the CSV data in Excel?
This How to open CSV data in Excel PDF file details the process.
How do I add the Geographic Labels and Cell Descriptors to CSV data files in Excel?
This Adding the Geographic Labels and Cell Descriptors to CSV data files in Excel PDF file details the process.
What is the CSV & digital boundary directory structure?
This CSV & digital boundary directory structure PDF file shows the directory structure.
How do I unzip the CSV and digital boundary files?
This How to unzip the CSV and digital boundary files PDF file details the process.
How do I open the CSV data in MapInfo?
This How to open the CSV data in MapInfo PDF file details the process.
How do I open the digital boundaries in MapInfo?
This How to open the digital boundaries in MapInfo PDF file details the process.
How do I import the CSV data and digital boundary files in ArcGIS?
This Importing CSV data and digital boundary files in ArcGIS PDF file details the process.
How do I import the CSV data and digital boundary files in MapInfo?
This Importing CSV data and digital boundary files in MapInfo PDF file details the process.
What is GIS?
This GIS Users Walk Through PDF file details the process of opening up the data and boundaries in GIS software.
How much does DataPacks cost?
Each 'DataPack' costs $115 (including GST). There are 7 different data packs.
How do I obtain the DataPacks product?
If you decide to purchase a DataPack, please contact our National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
International callers call +61 2 9268 4909. You will need to supply the catalogue number for the particular DataPack you decide to purchase:
Has the data been made confidential?
Yes. In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, no results will be released in a way that would enable particular individuals or households to be identified.
All data contained in DataPacks has undergone a confidentiality process. It is important to remember that the confidentiality process has the greatest relative impact on small cells. No reliance should be placed on any small cell data.
Further information on the confidentiality process and introduced random error can be found on the ABS website.
Where can I get further assistance?
On Disk 1 in the 'Help' folder are various hints, which may assist clients with extracting the data from the product. It is suggested that clients open up the '2006 DataPacks - Help File Index.html' contained on the root directory of Disk 1.
The Census DataPacks at a Glance document gives an overview of the product. A full product description is available from the Census DataPacks Product Brief.
If the above documents do not assist in answering your query, the National Information Referral Service is also available for assistance. Please contact 1300 135 070 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The National Information Referral Service is staffed Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm, Canberra time. We will endeavour to answer all calls within these times. Any queries outside these hours will be diverted to voice mail and will be answered as soon as possible.
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This page last updated 23 April 2012