2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/07/2006  First Issue
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July 13, 2006
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Increased Life Expectancy, More Females In Professional Employment And More In Education: Census Identifies Society
    On 8 August this year the National Census will once again provide South Australians with the chance to stand up and be counted. The Census will provide us with a unique snapshot of our state and give us the opportunity to assess who we are as Australians and look ahead to a brighter future.

    South Australian society has changed significantly in the last 100 years. Census data provides us with quality information to show the tremendous growth, development and changes that have occurred through-out the century.

    Peter Carmalt, South Australian Census Manager, echoes a statement made at the time of the first Census in 1911, he says: “The Census gives us not only a vivid photograph of the present, but with the help of past Censuses, shows us also the direction in which we are travelling and the rate of progress we are making. This is still true today.”

    “The results from past Censuses are an important national resource both for contemporary planners as well as those seeking to understand how Australia has changed over the first century since Federation. The 2006 Census will again provide Australians with a vital and accurate resource of information about ourselves and our country enabling us to take stock and plan for the future.”

    Census data gives us incredible information about changes to our society.

    Did you know:

    Only 0.27% of people in South Australia at the time of the 1911 Census were studying at university. This number has now jumped to more than 20 times this figure. In the 2001 Census, 5.7% of South Australian’s were recorded as studying at a tertiary institution (including Universities, TAFES and Further Education institutions).

    Only 0.34% of people in South Australia in 1911 were of a non-European background. This figure has risen massively and now stands at 5.7%.

    In 1911, 99.03% of South Australians claimed their religion to be Christian and 0.27% said they did not have a religion. This compares to 2001 Census data which showed 63.7% of South Australians to be Christians and 33.1% claiming to have no religion.

    The life expectancy of South Australian males in 1911 was 56.7 years and female life expectancy was 60.4 years. In less than 100 years, this has increased by around 20 years for both sexes. Males can now expect to live to 77.5 years, while females will live to around 83.2 years.

    There were only 3.28% of males in a professional occupation in 1911 and 2.29% females. A massive increase in these figures has also been accompanied with a role reversal. In the 2001 Census, more females were recorded as working in professional employment at 26% and males at 25.8%.

    The Census plays an integral role in measuring these changes and ensuring planners have accurate information to plan for the future.

    Census data is used across the country from Councils to Community groups to private businesses to identify the service delivery requirements of the population and where to place services so that they can best serve our community both now and in the future.

    Media Note:

    1. ‘The Census gives us not only a vivid photograph of the present, but with past Censuses, shows also the direction in which we are travelling and the rate of progress we are making…’ CBCS, The First Commonwealth Census, 3rd April 1911, Notes by G.H. Knibbs, 1911.