2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Oct 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/10/2006   
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Towards 2011, the Next Census

Planning for the 2011 Census is already underway, since the census operates on a seven year cycle. Certain aspects of the census will not change, including

  • universal coverage - every person in Australia will be counted
  • place of enumeration collection - people will be counted at the place where they are staying on Census Night
  • self enumeration - most people will fill in their own forms
  • special enumeration strategies for harder to count groups will continue

Evaluation is currently underway on various aspects of the 2006 Census to assist planning for the 2011 Census. Tests, evaluations and recommendations from 2006 will all contribute to efficient and effective field procedures, form design and processing, and output for 2011. The ABS actively exchanges ideas and experiences with other statistical agencies on international best practice in the field of census taking. The aim is to understand and respond to social change in Australia, the evolving information needs of the community, and opportunities offered by new technology.

Some likely developments for the 2011 Census are an increased promotion and use of the eCensus, associated with the anticipated increase in use of the internet in Australian homes. It is possible that up to 50% of census forms in 2011 may be completed online. It is also expected that an increased proportion of the population will opt to mail their forms back rather than having field collectors return to households to collect them. While nearly all the questions on the 2006 Census form are likely to be repeated in 2011, there is also likely to be increased demand for additional questions on particular topics.

2011 will mark one hundred years of the National Census in Australia. Planning has already commenced on ways to commemorate this historic and significant event in our history.

The Australian Statistician will be calling for submissions in relation to the 2011 Census in early 2008. If you would like to be notified of the commencement of the consultation period, please send you contact details to darran.holder@abs.gov.au to have your contact details added to the consultation list.