2011.0.55.001 - Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Products and Services, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/08/2012  First Issue
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This document was added or updated on 05/08/2015.


DataPacks are suitable for experienced Census data users who have their own database or analysis systems. You can use DataPacks if you want Community Profile data for numerous geographic areas.

Community Profile DataPacks contain data for Census geographic areas ranging from Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) to the whole of Australia. They include digital boundary files, metadata and reference documents to enable you to read the data.

DataPacks do not include software.

Metadata files contain the information you need to match the data with the Community Profile template, such as information about the sequential numbers and labels, the digital boundaries, the table descriptors, and the population that is being counted.

There are six Community Profile DataPacks and an Estimated Resident Population DataPack.

The Profile DataPacks are:
  • Basic Community
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Indigenous)
  • Time Series
  • Place of Enumeration
  • Expanded Community
  • Working Population.


There are three options for column labels in the 2011 DataPacks. You can use the sequential number labels, short descriptors (up to 29 characters) or long descriptors. Short descriptors were created for use with Geographic Information System (GIS) software.

The example below, using Local Government Area (LGA) geography, shows the three options for descriptors.

Download from the ABS website

The 2011 DataPacks will be available by downloading files free of charge from the ABS website. To download DataPacks directly from the ABS website users will need to register first and then download a DataPack based on a profile for a selected geographic classification (e.g. all SA1s). You are advised that high levels of traffic on the website are expected on release dates.

DataPacks with first release data for the Basic Community Profile, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Indigenous) Profile, and Time Series Profile can be downloaded from the ABS website from 10 July 2012.

2011 sample and shell DataPacks

To help you set up your system and prepare for the data release, sample files are available now at the Australia level for download and you do not need to register to access these.

Shell DataPacks for all the 2011 first release geographic areas are available now to registered users for download.

DataPacks on DVD

The ABS no longer produces or sells DataPack DVDs.

Requirements for DataPacks on DVD (existing users)

A DVD-ROM drive (DVDs cannot be read by CD-ROM equipment). The DVD does not contain video content and therefore does not require a DVD decoder.

The DVD contains:
  • data in CSV format
  • 'Readme' document in Microsoft Word 2010 (.docx) format
  • metadata in Microsoft Excel 2010 (.xlsx) format.

Minimum software requirements

The following software is required to use DataPacks:
  • Software for decompressing zip files (e.g. Winzip)
  • Text Editor for CSV Files
  • Microsoft Word 2010 for 'Readme' document
  • Spreadsheet application for the Metadata files.

A GIS application such as MapInfo or Esri ArcGIS is required to utilise the digital boundary files.

For more information on ordering and requirements for DVD DataPacks, refer to the DataPacks - Details page on the ABS Census website.

For the release schedules for DataPacks, refer to Appendix 12: 2011 Census Products and Services Release Schedule – by Date and Appendix 13: 2011 Census Products and Services Release Schedule – by Product.