Category: Australian Census 2011
Here at .id, we have just launched our first “community of interest” profile based on the 2011 profile.id platform. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (indigenous) community profile lets councils look in detail at their indigenous community, how it relates to the wider population and the region, and how it is changing. Many councils already subscribe to this module, and it is available to any Council with a significant indigenous population so add to their subscription. So what does the indigenous profile show?
Since the release of the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas, we have been getting a lot of questions about whether users can compare SEIFA scores over time. It’s a very natural thing to want to do – we all want to know if our area is getting better or worse off over time. Unfortunately, for the socio-economic indexes, the short answer is NO! And this is why.
On March 28th, the day before Easter, the ABS released the final dataset derived from the 2011 Census, the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas. Some people may know this better as the “Index of Disadvantage” because that’s the most widely used one, and the one we present on profile.id and atlas.id. However, there are actually 4 indexes, which each have slightly different uses. Though commonly used, SEIFA is also quite misunderstood, and there is also some stigma attached to having a low SEIFA score. This blog goes through what SEIFA is, and briefly what the new dataset shows.
The ABS has continued its habit of releasing significant results before major public holidays, by releasing the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) on March 28th, 2013, the day before the Easter break. The SEIFA results show an aggregate measure of Census characteristics pertaining to advantage and disadvantage in communities, and enables users to rank areas on a single scale. What do the results actually show?
After first release of Census, I wrote a blog about the higher quality of the Census data in 2011, compared to 2006. In general this is true, but unfortunately the second release has revealed an area where the quality of the 2011 Census is far far worse than 2006 or 2001. This is in the area of place of work, or work destination data, and it makes time series comparison very difficult for our users. This means we will be less able to rely on Census as an estimate of workforce numbers in 2011, and underscores the need for modelled estimates to give LGAs a better handle on their number of workers. Read on for more information.
.id regards the ABS website as a fantastic resource for raw data pertaining to Australian society. The ABS run one of the most comprehensive and high quality Censuses in the world, so Local Government in Australia is fortunate to have access to a great repository of demographic data to help them tell the story of their communities. It has long been our position that such valuable data should be available free of charge to the widest possible audience in order to promote better decision making at all levels of society.
The 230+ profile.id sites around Australia have now been updated with the latest second release data from the 2011 Census. The data was released at the end of October by the ABS, so we’ve been working flat out to get the data into all the sites in less than three weeks.
Census data in Australia usually comes in two parts – first release, the “easy” questions to process comes out about 10 months after Census date (in this case in June 2012), while second release is a few months later. On October 30th, the ABS launched the second release of the Australian Census data from the 2011 count.
Today profile.id was re-released with the 2011 Census data analysed and presented in tables and charts, ready for you to incorporate into your planning and reports. Not only will you find the 2011 Census data, but an entirely new website complete with new topics, enhancements of existing topics, an improved user interface and modern design.
In my final blog on religion in the Census, I will focus on how particular religious affiliations are distributed around Australia. Religion is strongly associated with cultural background, and the breakdown of these religions can reveal how particular groups are moving within our cities, and also something about our history.
One of the most important indicators of the demand for services is the age structure of the population. Australia has an ageing population as evidenced by the increasing number and proportion of persons in the older age groups. But the delivery of many services is often predicated on the age structure of larger geographic regions (I’m often amazed at how some policy people in government consider that states are small geographic areas!), and this ignores the wide variations in the age structure than can occur even within local government areas. We recently had a guest blogger highlight the implications of the changing age structure in inner northern Melbourne and the impact on school services. This blog will show examples of age structures for smaller communities (SA2 level) and what this might mean for service delivery.
As well as people’s beliefs and affiliations, religions are also a measure of the cultural diversity in the nation. The fastest growing religious groups represent communities which have had a lot of migration in the last few years. So which are the fastest growing religions (and communities)?
Though Christianity as a whole declined as a proportion of the population in 2011 (from 63.9% in 2006 to 61.1% in 2011), there were substantial differences between Christian groups. In general, the large mainstream faiths had stable or declining populations, while smaller Christian groups recorded increases.In this next article in my series on religion in the Australian Census, I look at the growth and decline in denominations of Christian religions, and the growth in a group which represents no denomination at all.
In an earlier article, I looked at the rise of India, Nepal and Malaysian communities, with falls in older European migration, and spectacular increases in some of the smaller sources of immigrants, like Bhutan and Congo. But how is this increasing diversity distributed across Australia? In areas of high diversity, a large proportion of council services need to be devoted to helping recent migrants settle into Australian society, and areas with large increases may not yet have these services in place.
The old adage, not to discuss sex, politics or religion at a dinner party can be sound advice for avoiding arguments. While nothing about politics is collected in the Census, and sex is limited to “male” and “female”, religion is the question which seems to generate the most arguments around the time of the Census collection and data release. Discussions of faith and non-faith, Christian and Muslim, Protestant and Catholic, and Jedi Knights pop up every Census. Everyone seems to have an agenda, and an interest in the religion numbers.
With the array of data visualisation tools available these days, it may seem pretty easy to present Census data for small areas and draw conclusions from it. Since the release of data on June 21st, quite a few websites have popped up offering data for your area and analysis. Unfortunately it’s never quite as simple as it seems, and there are many pitfalls in presenting this data.
A few days before Census release, the Canberra Times had an article about possible changes for the next Census in 2016, from an interview with the Australian Statistician, Brian Pink. It contained some interesting possibilities, which, if implemented, would radically change the way we conduct Census in Australia.
Every Census, one of the topics that gathers the most interest is the changing mix of origins of Australia’s residents. Country of Birth is the easiest way to measure this. Australia is a multicultural society, and there is a lot of interest in how we’re changing. One oft-quoted statistic is that about a quarter of the population were born overseas. The interesting thing about that is that it doesn’t actually change much. About a quarter of the population have been born overseas right back to the 1800s. What does change is the makeup of those overseas origins.
While many people get excited about the population characteristics revealed by Census data, many forget that it is a Census of Population AND Housing. The type, structure and composition of dwellings and households also form an important part of the story around urban and regional change. The number and proportion of unoccupied, or vacant, dwellings has particular spatial characteristics that are important to local government planners. What does the 2011 Census reveal about vacant dwellings in Australia?
Much has been made in the media in recent years about a baby boom, baby bounce – whatever fancy name you want to give it – but there’s no doubting the evidence base. In the last ten years or so the total fertility rate (TFR) in Australia has climbed up from the lows recorded in the 1990s. What trends are evident in Victoria and what does it mean for children’s services?
Well the Census Australia 2011 results are out now, and we will be blogging about our discoveries over the coming weeks, months and years. We’re working away now to get the 2011-based community profile and atlas sites online, and looking closely at the Census data. We’ve already noticed something significant about it. The results seem better this year.
Well the Census results are out, so it’s finally time to check my 11 predictions made before the release of the results and see how well I did. Did I pick the trend right? How close did I get to the actual numbers? And what does it all mean?
With the Census results released yesterday, lots of people, organisations and governments are looking up their local area’s population using the Quickstats feature on the ABS website. The headline number on Quickstats is people, and many viewers take this to mean the official population. Believe it or not, these are not the same thing and this is leading to some confusion.
The first release of Australian 2011 Census results was published today. We celebrated with champagne and then crowded around computers as the results were released. Here is a quick summary of some of the headline numbers that caught our attention and busted a few myths. We’ll be exploring each of these in more detail over the coming days and weeks as we continue to pore over the figures…
I was fortunate enough to to attend the launch of the 2011 Census at the Data Processing Centre in Melbourne today. Only about 50 people were invited to hear the results announcement.
Many people are eagerly awaiting the first release of Australian 2011 Census results. Us and our clients more than most! As a licensed intermediary of ABS Census data, we take the raw Census data and convert it into online information tools that are used in communities across Australia to inform decision makers, access funding and advocate for services. This blog will tell you all you need to know about 2011 Census release dates, .id’s schedule for updating our online demographic resources and how to register for notification of updates.
The Australian Census 2011 results are imminent, so I thought it would be worth revisiting some of the predictions I made for the Census results, around the time the Census was actually being collected. I promised I would review them after the Census release and see how well I did, but a few things have changed in the intervening (almost) year, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain the predictions a bit more, and modify a couple.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. This has never been more true than in the case of the US Census of the late 1800’s, which in many ways set the wheels in motion for the development of the modern computer.
I was recently forwarded an article published on the BBC website, which outlined calls by the Conservative Government in the UK to scrap the Census in its current format. The premise of their argument is that it has become too expensive and that the data can be obtained from other sources. Having worked with Census data for many years, I’ve certainly come across this argument many times. But how true is this? Can the data be obtained elsewhere? And can the argument come down to mere dollars? Let’s have a closer look at some of the issues.
Talking about the characteristics of the population is what we do best at .id. However, the most basic demographic question of all is just “What is our population?”. With the recent release of Regional Population Growth (3218.0) by the ABS I just did a quick ranking to see what the biggest cities in Australia are.
The Census was conducted in Australia on Tuesday 9 August 2011. Inevitably we received a few phone calls in the following weeks asking if we had the results yet! But that’s just the beginning of the process. There’s a huge amount of work that needs to happen to capture and process the data and then convert it into useful information for decision making. This blog will tell you all you need to know about 2011 Census release dates, .id’s schedule for updating our online demographic resources and how to register for notification of updates.
The 2006 Census showed that about 4.4 million Australians were born overseas (22% of the population). In the last 5 years, we have had very high overseas migration, and everyone is now awaiting the 2011 Census results to see how the make-up of Australia has changed. My recent “Crystal Ball Gazing” article gives 10 predictions about the Census results. Many of those predictions aren’t outright guesses, but are based on some hard evidence we already have. The total population growth (#2) and the origin of migrants (#5) are among these.
So, before the Census data become available, it’s worth having a look at where these migrants are coming from, which state they’re going to and how they are changing the cultural makeup of Australian society.
Well the Census has been done, and we’ve had a lot of interest in why we’re excited about the 2011 Census and what it might show.
So here are some predictions, not official .id forecasts, but just my own opinions, of what the results of the recent 2011 Census will show. I will revisit them when the data is released and see how accurate or completely wrong I was!
The 2011 Census is over as far as filling in the forms are concerned. Now the ABS is in full swing collecting those forms and then processing the data, and then it will be our turn, converting that data into knowledge and updating all of our Census based websites. So what new output can you expect to see from the 2011 Census?
As the “Census fever” dies down and everyone is patiently looking forward to the results of 2011 Census (which will be released in June 2012), let us take a quick look at where 2006 Census has brought us.
*Please note that unless otherwise stated, figures were taken from the 2006 and 2001 Censuses.
Well the day is finally here! The one day every 5 years we get to fill in our Census forms and contribute to the statistical picture of the nation for the next 5 years. Whether you’re submitting your form by eCensus or the regular paper form, whether you’re at home, staying at another house or a Non-Private Dwelling on Census night, the information you provide will help shape Australia into the future.
As you sit down to fill in your form, think about your answers. Answer truthfully remembering that whatever you put here will represent you statistically for the next 5 years worth (and if you are marking the time capsule box to retain your record in the National Archives, much longer than that).
But Census is a bit like Quantum Physics – the measurement can cause changes in the output! Even with everyone filling in their Census accurately, there are some things about the day, and time of year, which can affect the Census results.
Being an Arts student who barely turned 21, statistics and numbers can be mindboggling – worse still, intimidating. I never thought one day I’d be working with a spatial and demographic analysis company like .id. When I applied for the job, I honestly didn’t even know what ‘spatial analysis’ was. Sounded like a sophisticated way of saying ‘geography’. But in the short period that I’ve worked here (here comes the cliché but earnest part), I learnt a lot about why these (horrendous) numbers matter to our society. And why I think everyone should be excited about the census. On a sadistic (and of course, joking) note, don’t you feel happy that 30minutes of your time filling in the census form would torture statisticians and demographers for the next 5 years to translate them into meaningful information for our use?
The 2011 Census, like the 2006 and 2001 Census before, gives respondents the opportunity to have their details kept for 99 years with the National Archives of Australia to be released in the 22nd century. Read on to find out how you can be a part of this great project and provide a resource for future generations.
The 2011 Census is just two weeks away. At .id, we deal with Census data every day, and both ourselves and our clients love the demographic stories it can tell about each suburb and town in Australia. There are many reasons to get excited about the 2011 Census because the magnitude of demographic change in the last five years is significant. Here are a few of the many questions on topical issues that the Census will answer …
For the 2011 Census, the ABS is promoting and recommending the eCensus – the option for all households to complete a Census form on the Internet. eCensus was offered in 2006 but not heavily promoted. We look at how this works and the benefits of doing it this way, and a little of the technology which sits behind it.
Australia is gearing up to run the 2011 Census next month. Every 5 years Australia conducts a Census, which is a fantastic data resource, with a wealth of information for very small areas on the people that live there, their families and dwellings. At .id we put together a lot of information from Census in a very user friendly format, allowing our users to tell the demographic story of their area. As you are filling in your Census form on the 9th of August, you may wonder who decides which questions will be on it?
The Census is a massive undertaking every 5 years, which provides a wealth of information for all levels of government and private sector organisations. There are somewhere in the vicinity of 40,000 people involved in running the Census, and when you sit down to fill in your Census form on August 9th, it’s worth reflecting on the huge organisational effort it take to get it to you, and then process the data. As you’d imagine, it’s quite a job to make sure that everyone in Australia gets counted on Census night.
The ABS is moving from the concept of “Capital City Statistical Division” to “Greater Capital City Statistical Areas”, as part of the new geography – the ASGS. While this may just seem like a bit of jargon, it’s actually got quite a significant impact – partly because a lot more ABS collections produce data at this level, and partly because the capital city is just more visible than other areas. This is Part 5 in our series about what the new ABS geography looks like and how it will affect you.
Residents of Launceston are younger than the Tasmanian and Australian average, but the ageing of the baby boomers is the dominant population trend. The area is relatively low income but with an increasing high income population, and it attracts people into the area from across Northern Tasmania, and from interstate, particularly from New South Wales.
The ABS is introducing a new geographic classification, which means the geography for which statistics are generated from a wide variety of collections, including the Census, is going to change radically. This is Part 4 in our series about what the new geography looks like and how it will affect you.
Happy Star Wars Day everyone – May the 4th be with you!….In line with this theme, here’s a brief look at the “Jedi” phenomenon and how it affected the Australian Census.
Prior to the 2001 Census, a bunch of Star Wars fans around the world decided that it would be good to get “Jedi” recognised as an official religion. For some reason, someone decided that if 10,000 people in the country put down a religion on their Census form, it would suddenly be recognised as an official religion (presumably with tax fee status for Yoda, and a nice office overlooking the harbour).
Probably the most radical change in the new ABS geography is the move to SA2s (“Statistical Area Level 2” – another imaginative name…). These replace Statistical Local Areas (SLAs), which were always a bit misunderstood. This is the third part in my series on the new ABS geography.
As part of the new statistical geography called the ASGS (see earlier blog – The new geography standard – what is it and how does it affect me?), the ABS is fundamentally changing the boundaries on which Census data is distributed. It is replacing the Census Collection District with a new unit, called, rather uninspiringly, the SA1, or Statistical Area Level 1. How will this affect Census analysis and in particular, time series?
We commonly get asked how homeless people are counted in the Census. Many councils have specific policies addressing the needs of the homeless, and accurate data is difficult to come by. The short answer is, yes, they are counted in the Census, but it is hard to separate them out from the rest of the population.
A crew from .id (Ivan, Simone, Glenn and Lailani) attended and presented at the two day Beyond the Count conference (3-4 March) held by the ABS to promote the use of Census data. We noticed that not so many of our local government clients were able to attend, so we thought we’d provide a quick synopsis of the sessions we attended and the gems we gleaned … not least of all that the Census really is a national treasure.
The Census is the biggest peacetime recruitment exercise Australia conducts, and Census Collectors are the foot soldiers of the operation. The ABS recently launched their Area Supervisor recruitment campaign. In April they will be launching their Census collector recruitment.
Over the past few years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has been working out a whole new Statistical Geography for Australia.
Now Statistical Geography may not sound like the most interesting topic, unless you work here at .id in which case it’s fascinating! It underpins most of the data that you can get from the Census, and most of our work at .id, as well as a whole lot of other ABS collections. ABS is moving to a completely new set of areas for the release of data, which will change what data is available for what areas. Read the rest of this entry