Duncan Young: The Australian Population Census

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Shedding some light on who we are, what we do and building a brighter future for all Australians.

The information gained from the Census helps determine number of representatives in Parliament and electoral boundaries (both federal and States and Territories), and is used to determine distribution of GST funding to States and Territories. Census data is critical to allow analysis and comparison of composition and changes at small area levels and for small population groups, to guide policy, planning, social research and business decisions…. Yawn… this abstract has lost the majority of people already… this is the way we used to talk to all Australians about the Census… We needed to change.

The conduct of a Census relies on the voluntary compliance of all Australians. We know that people who understand the value of Census data to themselves, their community or something they care about are more likely to participate.

Census data has no value without it being utilised to make decisions. The potential decision makers have both diverse needs and varying levels of statistical literacy.

Duncan will explain how the Census has reached out to all Australians, as both data providers and data consumers, through a variety of products that disseminate, educate, contextualise, personalise, simplify, inspire and visualise data.

Looking towards the 2016 Census, Duncan talks of the challenges the ABS faces to keep the Census current in the face of new data requirements and the ever changing social landscape of Australia. This includes the move to a more ‘online Census,’ the optimisation of a dynamic and temporary workforce and the possibility of data linking.

Duncan Young, Australian Bureau of Statistics[subscribe2]

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