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DataPacks –
Answers to FAQs

Using DataPacks

What systems do I need to use a DataPack?

The files you download have been compressed to reduce their size. To open the files, you will need decompression software such as Winzip. See 'Help: Open Zipped Files' on our website.

You will need your own database software, viewing software or a spreadsheet application. e.g. Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel or Ultra Edit.

You will need your own mapping application in order to import the digital boundaries – for example, Mapinfo or ArcGis. The digital boundary files are in both '.Mid/Mif' and 'ESRI.shp' formats.

If you are using Mapinfo you will need version 7.8 or above.

Where can I find more information about DataPacks?

More information is available from the DataPacks details page.

What do you get in a DataPack?

Community Profile DataPacks contain Census data for geographies ranging from Statistical Area Level 1 to the whole of Australia. The Estimated Resident Population (ERP) DataPack contains, for each state and territory, the ERP by five-year age group and sex as at 30 June 2006 and 30 June 2011.

DataPacks include digital geography boundary files, metadata and reference documents to enable you to read the data.

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.

DataPacks do not include software.

The 2011 Census uses the new geography classification, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

How do I use DataPacks with Mapinfo?

To open the 2011 DataPacks boundary files you need to use Mapinfo version 7.8 or above.

When creating .tab files in Mapinfo for SA1, SA2, SA3, SA4, STE or SLA, the 'region ID' in the CSV file has to be changed from 'integer' or 'small integer' to 'character'.

Note: In DataPacks tutorial 3, a thematic map is created in MapInfo. The LGA boundary file that is imported in the example is an ESRI Shapefile, and although compatible, it is actually the Map Interchange Format file that is the favoured file type.

How do I compare Census data over time?

The Time Series Profile DataPack has data from the 2001, 2006 and 2011 Censuses. There are data for persons, families and dwellings. The data are based on 'Place of enumeration', that is, where people were counted on Census Night.



Help & FAQs

  • Answers to FAQs

DataPacks tutorials

Sample downloads

Have the data been made confidential?


For details, see the entries 'Confidentiality' and 'Introduced random error' in the Glossary in the 2011 Census Dictionary.

How reliable are small numbers?

Care should be taken in analysing data with cells containing small numbers. No reliance should be placed on small number cells. Aside from the effects of the confidentiality process, possible respondent and processing errors have the greatest relative impact on small numbers.

What is the basis for the Working Population Profile?

The Working Population Profile DataPack contains data on the labour force and employment characteristics of people who work in a particular area.

For more information, see the 'Place of Work (POWP)' entry in the Glossary in the 2011 Census Dictionary.

Geography fact sheets

To find out more about geography, go to the Geography fact sheets.

How do I add the geographic labels and cell descriptors to CSV data files in Excel?

For 2011: see DataPacks - details. For 2006: Instructions on how to do this are included in the 'Frequently asked questions' (PDF 129MB).

Do some geographies cross state or territory borders?

Yes. Some Postal Areas and Commonwealth Electoral Divisions contain cross border geographies.

Postal areas (POA)
POA Crosses borders POA is counted in
POA0872 NT/SA/WA NT only
POA2540 NSW/OT NSW only
POA2618 NSW/ACT NSW only
POA2620 NSW/ACT NSW only
POA3585 Vic./NSW Vic. only
POA3644 Vic./NSW Vic. only
POA4383 Qld/NSW Qld only
POA4825 Qld/NT Qld only


Commonwealth Electoral Divisions (CED)
CED Crosses borders CED is counted in
CED701 Lingiari NT/OT(a) NT only
CED802 Fraser ACT/OT(b) ACT only