2011.0.55.001 - Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing - Products and Services, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/03/2017   
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Census data becomes an even more valuable resource when it is combined with other information to provide more comprehensive statistical and research insights about Australia.

Since 2006, the ABS has enhanced the value of Census data through integrating unit record data with other ABS and non-ABS datasets to create new datasets for statistical and research purposes. Integration of 2016 Census data with administrative data on subjects such as health, education and migration will continue to improve and expand the range of official statistics and policy insights available to the Australian community to inform important decisions. The improved evidence base will help support good government policy making, program management and service delivery. Data integration will continue to be a central element of the 2016 Census, and is increasingly important within the broader ABS work program.

Previous data integration initiatives have successfully demonstrated that linking Census data with other datasets can improve the quality of key estimates derived from administrative sources, as well as replace the need to directly collect certain information from individuals. These initiatives improve the evidence base for decision making in a cost-effective way.

Previous data integration initiatives have included:

A recent data integration initiative, the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP), is a cross-portfolio government partnership to explore how the Australian Government can make better use of existing public data for policy analysis, research, and statistical purposes. Currently in the evaluation phase, the ABS created MADIP by securely linking Medicare, government payments, personal income tax and anonymised 2011 Census data to enable analysis of socio-economic outcomes and trends to inform policy and program development.
All ABS data integration projects must demonstrate a clear benefit to the Australian community. Potential projects that involve linkage to Census data are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The ABS consults regularly with its partners across government and seeks feedback from its advisory fora, including the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC), about the data integration program and priority projects.

The ABS has methodological and technological expertise to undertake data integration projects, a strong legislative basis to ensure the protection of sensitive personal information, and a high level of community trust to underpin its activities as an Accredited Integrating Authority.

2017-18 RELEASES

In 2017-18, the ABS will update the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mortality Project and the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset.

From 2017-18, the ABS will receive additional funding under the Data Integration Partnership for Australia (DIPA). The DIPA is a coordinated Australian Public Service-wide investment to maximise the use and value of the Australian Government’s data assets through data integration, allowing cost effective and timely policy development and evaluation. The 2017-18 Federal Budget allocated $37.7 million funding to the ABS over the next three years to work with Commonwealth partners and enhance its data integration capabilities and enduring data assets.

By funding the DIPA, the government recognises that some of the most challenging and important policy and service delivery questions span all sectors of the Australian community. As the most comprehensive data collection in Australia, the Census provides a foundation for the DIPA when combined with other information.

The lives of Australians can be improved through high quality programs and services. The DIPA provides a rich picture of life in Australia by bringing together the 2016 Census and other existing public datasets. This insight will enable Government to ensure that the services provided are high quality and making a difference for Australians. For example, bringing together information from the Census, health, education and employment sectors can improve understanding of the various influences on children's lives and how these can impact their future which in turn can support better delivery of early childhood and school services.

For more information refer to the Data Integration FAQs.