The ABS test drives the 2011 Census (Media Release), 2010

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25 May, 2010
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

The ABS test drives the 2011 Census

Residents in parts of New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia are encouraged to play a vital role in helping get Australia’s population count right by taking part in a test for the 2011 Census.

The Australian Statistician, Mr Brian Pink, said the Census of Population and Housing paints a comprehensive picture of our nation by providing data about the number of people in Australia, their key characteristics, and where they live.

“The Census is the largest statistical operation undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and one of the biggest peace time operations in Australia,” Mr Pink said.

“This year’s dress rehearsal, in a small number of areas in three states, is a critical test run for next August’s main event. The test will include a sample of 20,000 dwellings and several remote/Indigenous communities, and will be conducted between 31 May and 2 July 2010.

“This will provide the ABS with valuable knowledge and experience to help ensure procedures are right for the Census in 2011.

“I urge people living or staying in Census test areas to participate so we can get the most accurate count of the nation when the Census is conducted on 9 August 2011.

“To make it even easier, you can fill in your form online using the ABS’s eCensus option, which is fast and secure and available wherever you can access the Internet – in the comfort of your home, at your local library or Internet café, and even telecentres. Online help is also available.”

Mr Pink said information collected in the Census affects everyone in Australia, from government and business, to major cities and the smallest communities.

“Policy makers use Census data to understand the needs of different communities and neighbourhoods, while community organisations, private organisations and all levels of government use it to plan local services like health, education, retail and transport,” he said.

“The Census is the only way we can get detailed population figures at a local level to help identify such things as future demand for schools and hospitals, areas of high unemployment, and where services for the elderly and young people are needed.

“Australia’s population estimates are also based on the Census, and are used to allocate the number of seats for each state in the House of Representatives, and the distribution of Commonwealth funding, including GST revenue, to the states and territories.”

Media note:
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.