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Urban and Regional Planning: Suburban Analysis

Everybody counts...

 Jedi Knight Populations of Northern England by Tom Blackwell

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is responsible for conducting a census of the population every 5 years.  After tabulation, the results are released via their website, and are freely available to all researchers.  Census records in the website covers 2001, 2006 and 2011 data. 

Community profiles contain the following profiles:

  • Basic Community
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (Indigenous)
  • Time series
  • Place of enumeration
  • Expanded community
  • Working population

QuickStats provides a quick summary information about a selected geographical area.  Geographical divisions for census returns are:

  • States or territories
  • Indigenous geography
  • Section of state/urban centres significant urban areas
  • Local government areas
  • Statistical local areas
  • State suburb
  • Postal areas
  • Electoral divisions

Some limited historical data is also provided on this website.

Getting census data

Access to the website of the Australian Bureau of Statistics is free of charge.  Use the following steps to access Census data

  1. Log on to the ABS website.
  2. From the left hand column, select Census data.
  3. Scroll down to view the selections available.
  4. For any selection, you can either use a Simple search to enter a location, or click on the link Advanced search to choose the geographical category you want to access. 
  5. If you select a Geographies search in the Advanced search option, 
    • Double click on the category you want, eg State Suburb.
    • Double click on your state.
    • Double click on the appropriate letter in the alphabetical list for your suburb.
    • In the box on the right hand side, under the map, select either QuickStats (brief summary) or Community Profiles (spreadsheet of tables).
    • Selet either Basic Community Profile (place of usual residence) or Place of Enumeration Profile (where each subject was staying on Census night).  Double click.
    • Select Open to access spreadsheet directly, or Save to save to desk top.  This is a compressed file, so needs intermediary software such as WinZip to open.

Other resources

The ABS has provided a strategy game using real Census data on their website.  See if you can take control of your neighbourhood. 

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