Census night is the 9th August 2016 and this is when all Australians will be called upon to provide details about themselves to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The census has been run every five years since 1911 and this information is used to capture population data that can be used to inform Government about policy and funding decisions. This is includes areas such as housing, transport, education, industry, hospitals and the environment. This year there are a couple of major differences in the collection and analysis of census data. This is the first year that electronic lodgement of census forms will be available. Letters should be arriving in your post box shortly to provide you with your unique login to the census website. It is still possible to lodge a paper form if that is preferred. A reminder letter will be sent to households that have not completed the census and field officers may provide a follow up visit.
The second change to the data collection is that names and addresses will be retained for four years (as opposed to 18 months) to allow for better matching of individual information across different data sets. In previous years, name and address data was not used for data matching, which has limited the scope of statistical analysis. In this census, information will be anonymised by creating a unique key from name and address data. Access to the anonymised data will need to be approved by senior level committee. The ABS states that "Other government agencies, private agencies and direct marketing companies will not have access to personal information that you provide on the Census form. This is protected by law."
For more information follow the links below.