1376.0 - Local Government and ABS, 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/01/2013  Final
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Image: Population Census Developments POPULATION CENSUS DEVELOPMENTS

Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset released (New - Dec 2013)
2011 Census Sample Files released (New - Dec 2013)
Spotlight 2.0 released (New - Aug 2013)
Run That Town! (New - Aug 2013)
2016 Census planning (Updated - Oct 2013)
2011 Census update (Updated - Dec 2013)


The first Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD), Australians' Journeys Through Life, was released on 20 December 2013. The ACLD, Australia’s largest longitudinal social dataset, is based on a sample of about 1 million records from the 2006 Census which has been combined with records from the 2011 Census.

The ACLD was created by bringing together common characteristics of people from both Censuses, such as age, sex, geographic region and country of birth, without using names and addresses. Additional waves will be added to the ACLD following future Censuses.

The Australian Statistician, Mr Brian Pink, said the release of the ACLD is a significant milestone for statistics in Australia.

"It's the culmination of more than ten years work and public consultation, and will give researchers and policy makers access to an unprecedented data source about Australia's population. An Australian dataset of this depth and breadth has never been available before."

"The ACLD provides new insights into the dynamics that drive social and economic change. Longitudinal datasets, like the ACLD, allow community and governments to better evaluate the effects of social and economic policy decisions over time."

"For example, this dataset shows that almost half of Year 11 or 12 students in 2006 had moved into work (and were not undertaking higher study) in 2011, and almost a third were combining work with higher studies," said Mr Pink.

The ACLD also shows:

  • health care and social assistance and education and training industries had the highest staff retention rates at 63 per cent across both years
  • of all people who provided care in either 2006 or 2011, only 20 per cent provided care in both years
  • of all people who volunteered in either 2006 or 2011, one third did so in both years, and
  • of recent migrants who had difficulty with spoken English in 2006, over half spoke English well or very well in 2011.

An article demonstrating the analysis that can be undertaken with the ACLD is available in Australians' Journeys Through Life: Stories from the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ABS cat. no. 2081.0).

The ACLD is available, in TableBuilder format, in Microdata: Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (cat. no. 2080.0).


The 2011 Census Sample Files (CSFs) are Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) of Census variables. They contain a small random sample of unidentified occupied private dwellings with their associated family and person records, and a random sample of persons from all non-private dwellings together with a record for the associated non-private dwelling. Subject to the limitations of sample size and the data classifications used, the CURF will enable users to tabulate, manipulate and analyse data to their own specifications.

The 1% Basic CURF contains data on 87,798 dwellings, 93,002 families and 215,597 persons. The 5% Expanded CURF contains data on 422,725 dwellings, 450,038 families and 1,083,585 persons.

The data were collected on Census Night, 9 August 2011. More information can be found on the Microdata: Census of Population and Housing, Census Sample File (cat. no. 2037.0.30.001) page.


The ABS has released Spotlight 2.0, a new version of the award winning Census Spotlight application, using the latest Census data available.

Spotlight 2.0 takes data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing and turns it into a simple interactive movie, to show just a few of the interesting things that the Census can tell about Australia's people and population. The application allows people to dynamically interpret Census data, in a way that relates specifically to them – when they were born, where they live, who they are. Once a player has explored Spotlight 2.0, they can create an infographic - a personalised snapshot of the individuals numbers that can be shared via social media.

The app creates an online experience for the Australian public that brings Census data to life making it interesting, fun and interactive. The original Spotlight app proved to be a great success, receiving over 15 national and international awards.

Check out Spotlight 2.0 at http://spotlight.abs.gov.au/.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has launched an interactive and innovative game that promotes the release and application of Census data. Run That Town is the first game of its kind to be released by a national statistical agency using real Census data.

Run That Town puts the player in charge of any Australian neighbourhood and challenges them to make planning decisions based on 2011 Census data to boost popularity, grow the town and keep the locals happy.

Sue Taylor, Director in the 2016 Census, said by using core demographic data, the game demonstrates, in a simple and visual way, the many ways Census data can be used by everyday Australians in a light-hearted and entertaining way.

“Run That Town offers a unique insight into how Census data can be used. The game is an innovative and fun way to communicate with the public, while embracing digital media.”

“Run That Town is a strategy game with a twist that is intended for a wide audience offering both one-time and ongoing users a unique insight into the value of Census data.” Ms Taylor said.

Run That Town can be downloaded for free from the App Store and played on all current Apple devices.

“I encourage people to download the game, take control of any Australian suburb and shape it the way you want by using real Census data and see how your decisions affect your town’s demographics.”

For more information visit http://runthattown.abs.gov.au/.

Planning for the 2016 Census of Population and Housing is underway

The ABS has released a publication proposing directions for Australia's 17th national Census, to be held in 2016.

The publication 2016 Census of Population and Housing: Consultation on content and procedures – ABS (cat. no. 2007.0) outlines initial ABS views on topics and procedures for the 2016 Census.

The ABS conducted a consultation process with Census data users and the general public. The consultation process included:
  • public information sessions where the ABS presented proposed directions for 2016. (These were held late 2012).
  • a submission period where interested parties formally submitted their feedback and suggestions to the ABS via an online submission form or email to the ABS. (Submissions were open from November 2012 to 31 May 2013).

The ABS thanks all those who made submissions. The information paper Census of Population and Housing: Submissions Report, 2016 (cat. no. 2007.0.55.001) was released on 26 September 2013. The report summarises the key themes emerging from the public submissions received by the ABS on the proposed content and procedures for the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. It includes a brief overview of the 2016 Census content, public consultation, submission process and privacy disclaimer.

Following assessment of submissions, final recommendations on the nature and content of the 2016 Census will be discussed with the Australian Statistical Advisory Council in late 2013. The ABS will then make a submission to the Government in mid 2014, outlining the recommendations for the 2016 Census. The content of the 2016 Census is expected to be finalised by the end of 2014.


Remaining 2011 release schedule

The third release of Census 2011 data began on 28 March 2013, with products released progressively until the end of 2013. This will finalise all Census data output for the 2011 Census.

September 2013 releases:
Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2011 (cat. no. 3238.0.55.001)
Census of Population and Housing: Estimated Resident Population DataPack, 2011 (cat. no. 2069.0.30.007)
Census of Population and Housing: Submissions Report, 2016 (cat. no. 2007.0.55.001)

December 2013 releases
Microdata: Census of Population and Housing, Census Sample File (cat. no. 2037.0.30.001)
Microdata: Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (cat. no. 2080.0)

For more information see the Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Products and Services, 2011 (cat. no. 2011.0.55.001), specifically Chapter 8 and Appendices 10 - 13.