What's new on the 2001 Census form, Jul 2001

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What's new on the 2001 Census form

People in Australia will be answering three new questions when they complete their census forms on Tuesday, 7 August.

Since the first national census in 1911, the content of censuses has changed. Some topics have been included in each census since 1911, for example, age, marital status and religion, while others have been included or excluded depending on the importance of the topic at the time.

Because computers and the Internet are changing the way people live and work, two of the new questions for 2001 are about the use of information technology.

A third question is about the Centenary of Federation Census Time Capsule Project and will ask each person in the household whether they agree to their name and address and other information on their census form being kept by the National Archives of Australia and then made publicly available after 99 years. Answering this question is optional.

Another question in the 2001 Census relates to ancestry. An understanding of the origins of the people who call Australia home is essential in developing policies and services which reflect the needs of our society, particularly the needs of recent generation Australians.

The ABS has worked with a panel of experts to develop this question, including representatives of ethnic groups, and they strongly supported the ancestry topic on grounds of assistance in service delivery.

For more information about all aspects of the 2001 Census visit the public information website at www.abs.gov.au/census