The ABS Census of Population and Housing provides a comprehensive picture of Australia's people, how they live and where they reside.
The first round of 2016 Census information was released on Tuesday, 11 April, providing a preview of 2016 results and giving insight into what makes the ‘typical’ Australian in 2016 at the National and State and Territory level.
Following this, the results of the Census held on 9 August 2016 will be released in 2017 in two main stages.
June data release -- 27 June 2017
The main data release started on 27 June 2017 and provided Community level Census data for a wide range of topics, including information on small population groups and for small geographic areas such as Suburbs and Local Government Areas.
As in the 2011 Census, the data is presented in a variety of ways to cater for the different needs of users, from those who just want quick access to basic statistics about their suburb to those who wish to perform detailed data interrogations.
QuickStats and Community Profile tables provide quick and easy access to Census data for large and small geographic areas.
For more complex queries, Census TableBuilder was available from 4 July 2017 to allow people to build their own complex tables that can cross classify many different variables at the same time, across a range of geographic areas.
DataPacks were available from 12 July 2017 and contain data for all geographies in Australia. They provide comprehensive data files and associated Geographic Information System (GIS) boundary files in a format suitable for loading into proprietary software and/or custom-built systems.
Data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is provided through QuickStats, Community Profiles, DataPacks and TableBuilder.
October data release -- 23 October 2017
Employment, qualifications and population mobility (transport and previous address) results were available from 23 October 2017. This type of information needs extra time to process because of its complexity. This data has been released through further additions to Quickstats, Community Profiles, TableBuilder and DataPacks.
Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset release -- 27 February 2017
Data from the 2011 panel of the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD), comprising a representative sample from the 2011 Census brought together with corresponding records from the 2016 Census, was released on 27th February 2018. A second release of the 2016 ACLD in mid-2018 will include additional data items on the 2011 Panel and an updated 2006 Panel consisting of a linked sample between the 2006, 2011 and 2016 Censuses.
Other Census-related data releases -- 2018 onwards
An additional wave of Census-related data will be released from 2018 onwards, adding further value to the main data releases in 2017. The ABS is currently reviewing its microdata access services in order to increase the ease of access to microdata through a wider range of options than is currently available. It is anticipated that 2016 Census microdata will be released as a confidentialised sample file that will be available in June 2018 through the secure microdata download facility and the ABS DataLab.
The release of Socio-Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA) on 27 March 2018 will provide information about the relative social and economic wellbeing of the people living in a region. SEIFA is a set of four indexes which rank geographical areas across Australia according to an average of all people living in that area. It can be used to identify where the wealthy live, where the disadvantaged live and where those who are highly educated live.
Further data releases will occur in April and May with an update to GeoPackages, additional Census data in ABS.Stat and new analytical articles for Reflecting Australia.
As in the last Census, a range of data integration projects will use 2016 Census data to ensure that the Census delivers maximum benefit to governments and the community.
The majority of Census data will continue to be available free-of-charge on the ABS website, including TableBuilder Guest and Basic. TableBuilder Pro and other microdata are charged products. See Microdata prices and How to apply for further information.
Changes between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses
Providing a high level of comparability between 2011 and 2016 Census information, the 2016 data will again be released using the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) and with the same topics as the past two Censuses in 2006 and 2011.
Specific information is provided in the 'Changes between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses' chapter of this publication.