Skip to main content

Statistics and Datasets: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

A guide on who collects statistics and datasets and where to find statistics and datasets

Key ABS publications


TableBuilder replaces CDATA and is an online tool which enables you to create your own tables and maps using 2011 and 2006 Census data. It is designed for clients with knowledge of Census concepts and experience with Census data. TableBuilder Basic is a freely available product. Curtin University pays for access to TableBuilder Pro, so there is no cost to staff and postgraduate students. Both products require registration to use.

After accessing Tablebuilder (below) you will need to click on the Register link (under the Login... button) and submit the form with your details. ABS will process your request and email you a User ID to activate your account.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the government agency responsible for the collection of statistics in Australia. They collect, collate and report on data from the Census of Population and Housing, from surveys, and from other government agencies.

The ABS collects and makes available statistics covering the economy, people, health, environment & energy, regions and industry.

Australian Census

The Census of Population and Housing is conducted every 5 years by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It collects basic demographic and socio-economic data on Australia. It is "crucial to communities, private institutions and all levels of government when planning infrastructure, community services and facilities...federal funding arrangements to the states and territories, including allocation of GST revenue, are also based on Census information" (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).

Besides counting every individual in Australia, the Census provides data on the age and sex structure of the population, birthplace, religion, educational attainment, marital status, family type, income distribution, the labour force, type and size of dwellings, price/rental of dwellings and nature of occupancy.

As part of your studies you may be required to access and use Census data for your assignments.


Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). About the 2011 Census. Retrieved from

Historical Census data

Some historical Census data may be available online through the ABS website.

ABS video tutorials

The following online video tutorials from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are useful for helping you understand and access ABS data:

Accessing Census data

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to access Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics:

Locating microdata

The ABS/Universities Australia have formed an agreement that allows participating Australian Universities (including Curtin University) access to a range of products and services.  Under this agreement, staff and students of the participating Universities can use the products and services freely for the purpose of research, teaching and permitted commercial uses.

As a Curtin staff and student, you have access to Microdata.  To register, contact the Office of Research and Development (ORD) at Curtin University.

For more information check out the Microdata page on the ABS website.