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1996 Census data

Access 1996 Census data and products

Australia's 13th Census of Population and Housing was conducted on Tuesday 6 August 1996. Data from the 1996 Census is available through the following products.

Basic Community Profile for Australia

Detailed tables of key characteristics for people, families and dwellings for Australia, States, Statistical Divisions, Statistical Subdivisions and Statistical Local Areas.

To access data for 1996, select the 1996 Census year from the drop-down list in the Community Profiles Search box.

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA96)

Summary measures derived from 1996 Census data. SEIFA includes five indexes to allow ranking of regions and areas, providing a method of determining the level of social and economic well-being in each region.

1996 Household Sample File (HSF)

A comprehensive Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) of 1996 Census variables, containing a 1% random sample of private dwellings and associated family and person records, and a 1% random sample of persons from non-private dwellings.

The 1996 HSF is available via the ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) for ABS approved users. For more information on how to gain access to the HSF visit the the How to apply for microdata page.


A powerful desktop software package that allows users to analyse and display comprehensive 1996 Census data in detailed maps, graphs and reports. This product is no longer sold by the ABS, and limited support is available for existing users.

Census data analysis and publications

Social Atlases

A series of publications that use maps to highlight key characteristics of the population in Australia's capital cities and selected regional centres. The maps depict social, economic and housing characteristics based on 1996 Census data. A wide range of topics are covered in the atlases relating to population, cultural diversity, work, housing, families, education and training and economic resources.

Selected characteristics for urban centres and localities

Census of Population and Housing: Selected Characteristics for Urban Centres, Australia, 1996 (cat. no. 2016.0)
Census characteristics for Urban Centres and Localities across Australia, ranking the top 200 based on person, family and dwelling characteristics.
Census of Population and Housing: Selected Characteristics for Urban Centres and Localities, 1996

Selected family and labour force characteristics

The tables in this publication provide selected characteristics of the population. Tables 17 to 33 of the Basic Community Profile, focussing on family, household and labour force characteristics, are also included.
Census of Population and Housing: Selected Family and Labour Force Characteristics for Statistical Local Areas, 1996

Selected social and housing characteristics

A range of social and housing statistics produced from the 1996 Census for Australia, the states and territories, and their regions. Census of Population and Housing: Selected Social and Housing Characteristics for Statistical Local Areas, 2001

Australia in Profile – A Regional Analysis

Commentary and data on a number of key social indicators from the 1996 Census, with a focus on regional distributions and comparisons. Topics include cultural diversity, living arrangements, education, work and housing.

Counting the Homeless

A report on a research project to analyse information on the homeless population in Australia using 1996 Census data and administrative data.

Population growth and distribution

Census of Population and Housing: Population Growth and Distribution, Australia, 1996 (cat. no. 2035.0)
This publication describes Australia's population growth and distribution, and analyses internal migration dynamics. It mainly contains final estimated resident population (ERP) data based on the 1996 Census.

Historical data

Archived content. See ABS Website for latest information and statistics