27 June 2007

Statistical cornucopia

Not before time (I submitted my form online on the designated night almost 11 months ago) the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) has released the preliminary results of the 2006 census.

I've spent a couple of hours attempting to navigate the website, which to my statistically, and perhaps technologically, challenged mind isn't the easiest to come to grips with (it assumes a higher degree of familiarity with terminology/jargon than I possess), but have noted some points, eg

# The total population of Australia exceeds 20 million only if non-residents are included;

# The population of South Australia isn't growing as rapidly as that of the rest of Australia;

# The population of my suburb has declined slightly, though the average age of the residents is considerably higher than the national average, which is not surprising given the number of detention centres for the elderly aged care facilities it contains (from my personal observation, not census data) is not surprising.

Anyway, if you have the slightest interest in how Australia is changing it's well worth spending some time exploring the data. Even on this first release you can drill down to your local level: you can type in your address and be directed to a profile of your suburb/ town/ local government area / "statistical division". Unlike Google Earth, however, you can't access the details of the people living at each address, nor their pets, as you apparently are able to do in the USA . Next time, maybe.


Noel said...

As far as the 20 million total is concerned, I guess that it is reasonable to include 'visitors' to balance out the number of Aussies o/s on census night.

Wherever I go in the world, there always seem to be Aussies, most of whom would be mortified to think that they didn't count as Aussies any more just because they were away on census night.

Shortshadow said...

It would be feasible in these days of online form filling to allow expat Aussies to complete a census form, even if they couldn't be included in the population figures. It would at least give a more accurate estimate of the extent of the Aussie diaspora.

It would also be interesting to see how many people who were counted in 2006 identified with another country (or countries).

Miss Eagle said...

Detention centres for the elderly? Really...but you might be right. Like your ideas about including the Aussie diaspora and identifying those with dual citizenship. A bit late now but I figure if you begin to enter into correspondence with the ABS about now and correspond with the relevant Minister in the new govt you just might get it onto the agenda.