1376.0 - Local Government and ABS, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/03/2012   
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Image: Population Census Developments POPULATION CENSUS DEVELOPMENTS

Added 31/10/2012
2011 Census data released
2016 Census planning update


First release

The first release phase of 2011 Census of Population and Housing data commenced on 21 June 2012. This included the release of core demographic data items which are freely available in a variety of products from the Census Data & analysis page on the ABS website. This page also provides access to TableBuilder Pro and DataPacks which are designed for advanced Census data users.

Second release

The second release phase commenced on 30 October 2012 and included data items requiring more detailed processing, such as the 'Occupation' and 'Method of Travel to Work' variables. Second release 2011 Census data is now available in TableBuilder (Basic and Pro), 4 weeks ahead of schedule. The Place of Enumeration and Expanded Community Profiles with 2011 Census second release data are also available. The Working Population Community Profiles and online DataPacks for Place of Enumeration, Expanded and Working population profiles will be released on 20 November 2012.

This release also include the boundaries for Urban Centre and Locality/Section of State and Significant Urban Areas structures. Details of which can be found in Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 4 - Significant Urban Area, Urban Centres and Localities and Section of State, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.004).

Further information

More detailed information about the 2011 Census data products, the release schedule and changes between the 2006 and 2011 Census, is included in Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Products and Services, 2011 (cat. no. 2011.0.55.001).


Public consultation for the review of Census topics and procedures for 2016 will commence after the 2011 Census second data release. Following the release of the information paper – Census of Population and Housing: Consultation on Content and Procedures, 2016 (cat. no. 2007.0) – public seminars outlining the consultation and submission process and ABS proposals for the 2016 Census will occur around Australia. Details for registration, dates and location of these seminars will be advertised on the Census Newsboard page from 6 November 2012.

Added 16/3/2012
2011 Census output plans
Changes between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses
Census pages updated on ABS website
2016 Census planning


Data release dates confirmed

Development is well underway for the 2011 Census output program and the ABS is committed to releasing the results of the 2011 Census through a wide range of products and services designed to make it easy for you to access the data you need. The information about the 2011 release plans and output product range was released in the ABS Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Products and Services, 2011 (cat. no. 2011.0.55.001) on 22 December 2011.

The paper provided information on:
    • 2011 output product range and associated pricing policies
    • key release dates for the full range of 2011 Census output products
    • changes to 2011 Census data concepts and classifications.

Data product range

The 2011 Census data will be released through a wide range of products and services designed to make it easy for users to access the data they need. Predominantly, data from 2011 Census will be released free of charge through a suite of products such as:
    • QuickStats: a simple at-a-glance summary of Census statistics for a selected area
    • Community Profiles: detailed Census data for a selected area in a series of tables in Excel format
    • TableBuilder Basic: an online tool containing Census data in a range of person, family and dwelling topics, which you can use to create custom tables, graphs and maps for all Census geographic area
    • DataPacks online: large volumes of Census data about people, families and dwellings for a range of areas, which you can download and import into your own systems.

Some products also have associated charges and are priced in accordance with the government 'user-pays' policy. The charged data products are:
    • TableBuilder Pro: an online tool you can use to construct large and complex custom tables and view data in graphs and maps, with access to almost all Census variables and all Census geographic areas
    • DataPacks on DVD: large volumes of Census data about people, families and dwellings for all available geographic areas, which you can import into your own systems
    • Census Sample Files: a confidentialised sample of Census unit record data for modelling and analysis
    • 5% Statistical Longitudinal Dataset: data from the 2006 and 2011 Censuses, brought together for analytical and research purposes.
Release plans

The release plan discussed in the paper advised that there will be a three-phased release of the 2011 Census data:
    • first release, containing core demographic data items, which will commence on 21 June 2012
    • second release, commencing on 30 October 2012, which will include data items requiring more detailed processing (such as the 'Occupation' and 'Method of Travel to Work' variables)
    • third release, commencing on 28 March 2013, with highly specialised products such as Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) and the Census Sample Files.

Registration opens on 30 April 2012 for the following products:
    • 2011 TableBuilder Pro: registered users will be able to access 2011 TableBuilder Pro Shell database
    • 2011 Data Packs online: registered users will be able to access 2011 Sample Data Packs online.

Sample Community Profiles will also be available online from 30 April 2012. None of these products will contain any data until the actual release date.

Data for Local Government Areas (LGAs) will be available in various products in the first and subsequent releases. For example, LGA data will be available in the Basic Community Profiles in the first release and the Working Population Profiles in the second release.

Advance order service for customised tables

In order to help you prepare for your receipt and use of 2011 Census information, the ABS is again making available its Advance Order Service for customised tables. This service proved popular for the 2006 Census. As demand for customised tables is high in the months following release, the ABS encourages you to consider your data requirements and place your order early.

The Advance Order Service allows you to pre-order Census data, tailored to your specific needs. This service is perfect for those requiring large and/or complex tables.

You may place your order for either first or second release data (or both), from Thursday 1 March 2012.

Clients taking advantage of this service will have their orders processed on a 'first in, first served' basis. Data will be delivered as soon as possible following the official releases of the 2011 Census data. Data purchases may be pre-paid to meet your financial year budgetary requirements.

To discuss your customised Census data requirements, or to place your order for customised Census data tables, please call the ABS on 1300 135 070, or email client.services@abs.gov.au and mention the 'Advance Order Service'. Your enquiry will be referred to an ABS Information Consultant who will contact you to discuss the details and relevant cost of your requirements.


The paper advises of a number of major changes to some of the classifications used in the 2011 Census, including the greatest change around geographical units used to output Census data. The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) will be used for the 2011 Census for the first time and replaces the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) used in the 2006 Census. Statistical Area Level 1s (SA1s) are composed of aggregates of Mesh Blocks (MB) and will replace Census Collection Districts (CDs) as the new base unit of output geography for the 2011 Census. The SA1 unit will aggregate to form the higher level units in the main structure of the ASGS.

The change in classification means there will be an unavoidable break in time series, however for the 2011 Census, the Statistical Local Area (SLA) while not a defined region in the new ASGS, will be available as a transitional unit to allow for comparison to the 2006 Census. LGA data will continue to be available for future Censuses. Data from the 2016 Census data will not be available for SLAs.

For full details of all 2011 Census classifications please refer to the Census Dictionary, 2011 (cat. no. 2901.0).


There will be some new products for the 2011 Census, while others will no longer be produced. The new 2011 Census product TableBuilder Basic replaces CDATA online, and TableBuilder Pro will contain all the features and functionality of the 2006 Table Builder product, and more. Some products, such as Social Atlases, 2006 CDATA Online, 2006 TableBuilder, Census Tables and Mapstats, will be discontinued.

The full range of Census products are detailed in the ABS Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Products and Services, 2011 (cat. no. 2011.0.55.001).New data items

Although the questions on the 2011 Census form did not change from those asked in 2006, the ABS has created a range of new data items from the information collected. Eight to ten new data items have been created for each of the Person, Family and Dwelling records. Examples of new data items are Hours Worked (ranges) for the Person record, Count of Persons in Family for the Family record and Number of Persons Usually Resident in Dwelling for the Dwelling record.

Full details of all changes that have been made to variables since the 2006 Census are included in the Census Dictionary, 2011 (cat. no. 2901.0).

More detailed information about other 2011 Census data products, the release schedule and changes between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses is included in the ABS Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Products and Services, 2011 (cat. no. 2011.0.55.001).


The Census pages on the ABS website are being redesigned to improve your experience, as a consequence of feedback received and website analytics. The Census pages will have a new look and feel to help you navigate to the data product or information that best meets your needs. This includes new graphic design elements, navigation changes and an overall simplification of the way you get Census data and associated information. The Newsboard page includes the latest product news information, articles, release schedules and other general Census information.


The ABS is already planning for the 2016 Census and you can provide your input by completing this form, Tell us what you think, or by email to 2016census@abs.gov.au.