2007.0.55.001 - Census of Population and Housing: Topic Directions, 2021  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/11/2018   
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Further information from the public consultation phase can be found here: Unpaid work and care

TopicsProposed actions

Unpaid work - domestic activitiesRetain existing topic without change.
Unpaid care, help or assistance of another person due to disability, long term illness or old age Retain existing topic, with minor change to be tested (see Disability and carers theme).
Unpaid care of childrenRetain existing topic without change.
Unpaid work - voluntary work for an organisation or groupRetain existing topic without change.

Submissions noted that the topics under this theme provide a rich picture of the contributions Australians make to society outside of the paid work environment. Continuing the inclusion of the unpaid work and unpaid care topics in the Census was well supported.


Suggestions for improvements to the questions on unpaid care of children included asking about the number of hours spent caring for children and recognising the contribution of grandparents in providing unpaid child care.


There were also suggestions to expand the detail captured to distinguish between formal and informal volunteering, hours spent, and type and frequency of volunteering. Capturing this level of detail is complex and will not be further explored for the Census. However, this information is available through the ABS General Social Survey.


Some submissions noted that information on unpaid domestic activities was less important and could be removed from the Census.

The ABS recommends keeping all four topics on the Census due to the economic, social and cultural value of these items, and the collective picture they paint. No changes are proposed to unpaid care of children, unpaid work - voluntary activity, unpaid work - domestic activities.

Amendments to data collection regarding unpaid carers are proposed under the Disability and carers theme.

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