Today is the day of the 16th Australian Census. Have you filled out your form? Are you one of those people who quite enjoy filling out surveys?
As a researcher who uses data from the census almost every day, I value this resource highly—it provides a plethora of information about the people of this country that simply cannot be collected any other way (with ease). However I understand that not everyone is keen on completing their census form —it does contains private information and for some, there is always a fear that it could fall into the wrong hands. I would encourage everyone to complete their forms—the information really is in the best hands (from my expereince) and is so useful for people like me.
Here is some census trivia for you!!:
- The first population counts of Australia were known as musters and were made as early as 1788. The first census in Australia was that of New South Wales, held in November 1828
- For the 1911 Census - 250 temporary staff sorted over 4 million cards into piles according to the answers to particular questions. Each pile was totaled, then the cards were re-sorted according to the answers to the next question. The main work began in August 1911 and was completed by the end of June 1912. And without the use of computers!!
- Because of the economic depression it was considered ill-advised to conduct the scheduled Census of 1931, the next Census was held in 1933.
- No Census was held during World War 2, with the next Census in 1947 after an interval of 14 years. The five-yearly census commenced from 1961.
- Indigenous Australians were not counted in Commonwealth censuses before 1967 .
- The 1976 census was the largest undertaken, with 53 questions. Due to budgetary restraints, processing of the data was not completed and a 50% sample was processed.
- Questions have changed considerable, earlier census asked about: materials of the roof and walls of your house, whether you had an outside toilet, if you own a TV, blindness/deafness and your war service. Modern census ask about internet connect, defacto relationships and if you are married" and living in same-sex relationship. How times have changed
For those homeschooling Australian families - you might find this link interesting, it is about the very early counts (the musters) of the population in Australia: link