Australian Bureau of Statistics conducting Census field test (Media Release)

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22 July 2014
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Australian Bureau of Statistics conducting Census field test

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is conducting a Census field test with selected households throughout the Shires of Plantagenet, Denmark, and City of Albany and surrounds in Western Australia.

The ABS launched the field test today at a community event in Albany, Western Australia. The test will be held from 23 July to 2 September, with Census test night on Tuesday, 5 August 2014.

ABS Western Australia Regional Director Tom Joseph said the field test will trial new delivery and collection procedures, so that the next Census in August 2016 is cheaper, easier and produces better information.

“The new delivery and collection procedures aim to increase online participation among households and allow us to process data more efficiently,” Mr Joseph said.

“In 2016, the ABS anticipates more than 65 per cent of households will complete the Census online, avoiding a personal visit from a Census Field Officer, helping the environment, and saving taxpayer money.

Households selected for the test will shortly receive an instruction letter from the ABS addressed ‘To the Resident’. This will include instructions on how to complete the Census test online, including a unique form ID and passcode.

The instruction letter will also tell households how they can get a paper form if they need one, and reminds residents to keep an eye out for Census Field Officers, as they may visit homes during the test period.

In some areas where the ABS knows online completion may be difficult, households will automatically receive a paper form that can be completed and mailed back to the ABS in the Reply Paid Envelope provided.

Mr Joseph encouraged everyone selected to complete the Census test online, as it’s fast, easy, secure and environmentally friendly.

“We hope every household selected completes their form as fully and accurately as possible for all people staying in their home on Census test night – 5 August 2014.

“The Census field test is optional, but every response will help the ABS to improve its processes and systems so that the next Census produces a true snapshot of Australia,” Mr Joseph added.

The ABS conducts the Census of Population and Housing every five years, with the next Census due to take place in August 2016.

The Census aims to count every person and every household in Australia. Census data is used to allocate funding for services and infrastructure in your community, including housing, transport, education, industry, hospitals and the environment.

All information provided is kept secure and confidential to the ABS. No information is released in a way that can identify any particular individual or household.

To get more information about the Census, visit or for assistance call the Census Inquiry Service on 1800 138 756 Monday to Friday, between 8am and 6pm (local time).


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