Which Census tool is best for you

Census tools

Census of Population and Housing data is available for everyone to view through a range of data tools. Each tool has different features and presents data in different ways. Data from recent and past censuses can be obtained using the tools listed: 

  • Search Census data - an easy to use tool that allows you to find data relating to people, families and dwellings for a specific area within Australia. This is presented in the form of QuickStats (summary data tables on key characteristics) and Community Profiles (comprehensive statistical pictures of an area delivered in spreadsheets). This tool is the best starting point for those new to accessing Census data. 
  • Census data by topic - stories and visualisations that relate to Census data on topics of interest. Spreadsheets containing summary data on the topics are also included.
  • Interactive maps - an interactive tool that allows you to explore data on Australia's population movement and journey to work visually.
  • Census TableBuilder - a tool to build and customise data tables to your own specifications. 
  • DataPacks - containers of Census data based on Community Profiles that can be downloaded as CSV files and linked to geographic areas. They are designed for users who have their own database or analysis systems.
  • GeoPackages - Census data based on the General Community Profile that is linked to geography boundary data and can be downloaded as GPKG files. GeoPackages are suitable for users who have their own analysis system and mapping software.

For more information on these tools, including how to use the interfaces, see Census tools and products

The complexity and data available for each tool varies. Please use the table below to find out which Census tool is best for you. 

 User levelGeographies availableFormatUser guide   Download available
*QuickStatsAll levelsTo Statistical Area Level 1, including Indigenous geographiesWebpageYesNo
Census data by topicAll levelsAustralia and StateWebpage and Excel spreadsheetsNoYes
Interactive mapsAll levelsStatistical Area Level 3 or 4WebpageYesNo
*Community ProfilesIntermediateTo Statistical Area Level 2, including Indigenous geographiesExcel spreadsheetsYesYes
^TableBuilderIntermediate - AdvancedAllExcel and CSVYesYes
DataPacksAdvancedAllCSV filesYesYes
GeoPackagesAdvancedAllCSV filesYesYes

*Accessed through Search Census Data tool

^TableBuilder requires registration - find out more here

Other data products

Census data is also available through additional tools which incorporate other ABS data. Some include: 

  • ABS Data APIs - Data Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable fast access to ABS statistics by using machine to machine 'API calls'. These calls return statistics in a machine friendly format so that you can integrate data into your own systems as they are released. 
  • DataLab - an analysis solution for high end users who want to undertake real-time, complex analysis of detailed microdata.

For more ways to access Census data please see Compare data services.

Historical Census data

Data and information dating back to the first Australian Census in 1911 can be found in Historical Census data.

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