2008.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, Australia, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/08/2015   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All


The collection of information regarding household address on Census Night is essential for the conduct of an accurate and high quality Census. Household address is the basic unit used to distribute, collect and monitor return of Census forms. Household address is also essential for the conduct of a high quality post-enumeration survey which is used to measure the level of under-enumeration in the Census.

The Address on Census Night topic also forms the basis for geographic coding of Census data based on place of enumeration. Data on households and families is coded to this geography. Data on persons (such as population counts) is also available on a place of enumeration basis. Such person data will show seasonal effects but is preferred for some specific research purposes.


Census counts of where people spent Census Night, classified by statistical areas, are available from all Censuses in Australia since 1911. Basic enumerations of the population have been undertaken since the early days of European settlement in Australia.


The strongest possible measures are employed to ensure the security and confidentiality of information provided in the Census. The Census and Statistics Act 1905 requires that no identifiable information about an individual, such as their address on Census Night, be made available to any other person, government agency or private organisation.


The ABS is currently considering the retention of name and address information for statistical purposes, under stringent controls. The retention of name and address information would provide a benefit to the ABS and the wider community by enabling higher quality linkage of Census data with other datasets, for approved purposes only. It would also support some improvements in geospatial statistics and the application of geospatial techniques to statistical production, and add value to the ABS Address Register as a comprehensive frame for planning future ABS surveys.

As noted above, under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, retained information that could identify an individual cannot be shared outside the ABS. The ABS will be transparent with its plans to retain or integrate data by publishing information through the ABS website as they are finalised.


The following question is from the paper 2016 Census Household Form.

Image: question 1 from the paper 2016 Census Household Form