26 September 2023

Statistics Bureau shares sense about Census

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has issued a report on its successful staging of last year’s national census which was held in August.

Put together by the Bureau, the 2021 Census is considered to be one of the largest and most important statistical collections ever undertaken by the Bureau, providing a snapshot of who the organisation is and how well it was changing.

Explaining how it helped people complete the Census, the Bureau said participation was vitally important so it was important that everyone could participate in it.

“It worked with public and community organisations to ensure people had access to the support they needed,” the ABS said.

“For the first time, the ABS took a user-centred design approach to understand the needs, behaviours, experiential preferences, and barriers in completing the Census,” it said.

“This research was used to inform the design of the Census letter, the online form and contact materials about where to get help.”

It said people were also encouraged to complete the form before Census night if they knew where they would be on Census night.

“The Census form was available in several formats to ensure everyone had an opportunity to complete the Census,” it said.

“This included the option to complete the form online, by paper or with help from the ABS.

“Staff were also locally recruited to help people in remote communities, and people experiencing homelessness, to complete the Census.”

For more information about the Governance processes involved, the partnerships created and how COVID-19 impacted the approach in the case study the ABS Census program delivery case study can be accessed at this PS News link.

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