4 Use of census data

Siddharth Jain

Learning Objectives

  • To become familiar with accessing a secondary source of data
  • To retrieve information about the Australian population



The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is Australia’s central agency responsible for designing, conducting, storing, and tabulating information relating to the national census. It is the most comprehensive source of data on all aspects of Australian life, including population, economy, environment, and industry.

Census data can be accessed using a few Census data tools, including QuickStats. QuickStats is a simple way to understand an area at a glance. The tool provides a summary of an area including demographics and tables on key characteristics of the people living in the area, their families, and their dwellings. Here is a quick overview of the Australian population: https://abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data/quickstats/2021/AUS


Accessing QuickStats


QuickStats is useful to access customised information about people living in Australia. There are three types of information available via QuickStats:

  • All persons
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Country of Birth

Suppose your research objective is to collect information about Japanese-born individuals residing in New South Wales. You can gather demographic information about this cohort by following the below guidelines:


  1. Navigate to www.abs.gov.au
  1. Click “Census” on the top ribbon of the site



3. Click “Find Census Data”



4. Click “Search Census data”



5. Click “Search by country of birth”



6. Type or select “Japan” in the field



7. Type or select “New South Wales” in the field



8.  Click “Country of birth” to get relevant data



Access: https://www.abs.gov.au/census/find-census-data/search-by-area . Insert the suburb name ‘Parramatta’ in the blank space provided in the section ‘Search by Area Name’.



About the chapter author – Dr. Siddharth Jain

Profile picture of chapter author Siddharth JainDr. Siddharth Jain is a recent WSU Ph.D. graduate, with a Master’s degree in Professional Accounting and Business Administration. Siddharth is also an Associate CPA member. With over three years of experience in both teaching and research, Siddharth has honed his skills at the business school of WSU, gaining expertise in econometrics and data analysis, as evidenced by his numerous published research.

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