Census 2016: Is there such a thing as a 'typical' Aussie?

Census 2016 collected 4.9 million online forms and 3.5 million paper forms in one of the largest logistical exercises in Australia, and today we get our first insights into the findings of this important population snapshot, says Small Business Minister Michael McCormack.

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will today reveal a glimpse of the findings of the 2016 Census which had a preliminary response rate of around 96 per cent – on par with the 2006 Census and the 2011 Census,” Mr McCormack said. 

“The Australian public have shown strong support for the 2016 Census and a noticeable shift from completing the Census on paper to online. More than 58% of Australians completed their census online, representing a shift of 2.2 million more households participating online than in 2011.

“Today’s release will contain some of the key characteristics that make the ‘typical’ Australian in 2016 at a National and State/Territory level, drawing information from the 2016 Census.

“No two people living in Australia are the same and we’ve changed. The profiles released today will not only show some major attributes of Aussies in 2016 but it will also provide some contrast to a ‘typical’ Aussie from the first Census in 1911.”

Minister McCormack said this information is a preview of detailed 2016 Census data which will be released in June 2017.

“While today’s release will focus just on the ‘typical’ Australian in 2016, the Census proves there is nothing typical about Australians – we are a big, diverse community and more will be revealed on 27 June 2017 with the main data release,” Mr McCormack said.

“The June release will be built on more than 80,000 QuickStats which are simple at-a-glance summaries of local area data containing nearly three million tables of data and over 68 million pieces of data.

“It will also include more than 30,000 Community Profiles which are detailed data workbooks for local areas.

“These statistics will represent the combined efforts of over 700 ABS staff and more than 23 million clerical operations in classifying the data, and I want to thank the ABS for its efforts to date.

“The Census is a large, complex undertaking and every five years it gives us a picture of our great nation and valuable information about our country.”

Minister McCormack said the ABS strives to provide the highest quality data and will release the 2016 Census results to the community after the Independent Assurance Panel of eminent experts has had adequate time to review the detailed Census results and provide its report.

“Thanks to the very high rate of engagement by Australians with the Census last year and ABS’s efforts to assure the data through its internal quality checks and the expert panel, I am assured that Australians can trust the quality of the Census data,” Mr McCormack said.

“Data from the Census is a vital resource to help governments, business and communities shape the future of our nation and our regions.

“It provides the most comprehensive information about regional areas and small population groups which helps inform government decision making and policy development.”

National, State/Territory and capital city data, family and dwelling characteristics, including age, sex, religion, language and income will be part of the comprehensive dataset issued on 27 June 2017.

All ‘typical’ Australia profiles, including States and Territories, will be available on the ABS Website from 11.30am today.

Further information on the release schedule of the 2016 Census can also be found on the ABS website.

Cristy Houghton