2016 Australian census

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Seventeenth Australian census
General information
Country Australia
Date taken 9 August 2016; 2 years ago (2016-08-09)
Total population 23,401,892[1]
Percent change Increase 8.8%
Annual percent change Increase 1.76%
Most populous state or territory New South Wales (7,480,228)
Least populous state or territory Jervis Bay (391)

The 2016 Australian census was the seventeenth national population census held in Australia.[2] The census was officially conducted with effect on Tuesday, 9 August 2016. The total population of the Commonwealth of Australia was counted as 23,401,892 – an increase of 8.8 per cent or 1,894,175 people since the 2011 census.[3] Norfolk Island joined the census for the first time in 2016, adding 1,748 to the population.

The ABS annual report revealed that there were $24 million additional expenses accrued due to the outage on the census website.[4]

Results from the 2016 census were available to the public on 11 April 2017, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website, two months earlier than for any previous census. The second release of data occurred on 27 June 2017 and a third data release was from 17 October 2017.[5][6] Australia's next census is scheduled for 2021.

Collection methods[edit]

The 2016 census had a response rate of 95.1% and a net undercount of 1.0%, with 63% of people completing the Census online.[7]

In the period leading up to census date the Australian Government decided that the retention period for names and addresses would be increased to up to four years, from 18 months in the 2006 and 2011 censuses, leading to concerns about privacy and data security. As such, some Australian Senate crossbenchers (from the Greens, Nick Xenophon Team and Jacqui Lambie Network) said they would not complete those specific sections of the census,[8] despite the fines associated with incorrect completion of the census.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the first release of census data became available to the public on the ABS website on 11 April 2017, two months earlier than for any previous census. The second release of data occurred on 27 June 2017 and a third data release was from 17 October 2017.[9]

Online[edit]

ABS website message after the 2016 online census was shut down

For the first time, the ABS significantly favoured internet submission of census forms over the traditional paper forms, claiming it expected more than 65% of Australians would complete the census online.[10] Reflecting this new preference, the tagline of the ad campaign for the census was the rhyming slogan "Get online on August 9".[11][12] Across many regions, paper forms were no longer delivered by default to homes, and households that wished to complete a paper census had to order such forms via an automated hotline. Letters were sent to each dwelling with unique code numbers that people would need to either login to the census website, or order a paper form if they preferred.[13] By census night, many households had still not received such a letter.[14] Contrary to previous years where censuses were both delivered and retrieved from households by dedicated census employees, in 2016 most of the paperwork relating to the census was delivered from and to the ABS by Australia Post.

The 2016 census was met by a significant controversy, which meant that many Australians could not complete the census online on the designated census day.[15] The ABS census website shut down at about 7:30 pm AEST on the night the census was to be completed. According to the ABS, throughout 9 August the census website received four denial-of-service attacks. At 7:30 pm, when the site was being heavily used, a software failure meant that the ABS was unable to keep blocking the denial-of-service attacks, leading to the failure of a router. As a result, the ABS decided to close down the system as a precaution. The 15th Chief Statistician, David Kalisch stated that no census data were compromised.[16][17][18] The Australian Signals Directorate assisted the ABS to bring the infrastructure back online more than 24 hours after the closure.[19][20][21] The census website was restored at 2:30 pm on 11 August.[22]

On the same day Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated his unhappiness over the event, which had "been a failure of the ABS", with his expectation that "heads will roll" once a review was complete.[23] Leader of the opposition Bill Shorten said that the 2016 census had been the "worst-run ... in the history of Australia".[24] The ABS blamed service provider IBM for the failure in the online census, saying that IBM had advised on the preparedness and resilience to DDoS attacks and had not offered any further protections that could be employed.[25] On 31 August, Parliament initiated an inquiry into the 2016 census.[26][27] It released its findings on 24 November and found that no individual party was responsible but it was shared between the government, IBM, and the sub-contractors.[28]

The census forms were able to be submitted online until 23 September. Once collection was complete, the ABS issued an announcement which confirmed that in spite of the initial online problems, there was a preliminary response rate of more than 96%. This consisted of 4.9 million (over 58%) online submissions and 3.5 million paper forms. The preliminary response rate was similar to the previous two census response rates of 95.8% in 2006 and 96.5% in 2011.[29]

An independent panel established by the Australian Statistician to quality assure the data from the 2016 census found it was fit for purpose, comparable to previous Australian and international censuses and can be used with confidence.[30][31]

"The Independent Assurance Panel I established to provide extra assurance and transparency of Census data quality concluded that the 2016 Census data can be used with confidence."

Census questions[edit]

The Census form had 51 questions relating to the characteristics of individuals, plus an extra nine questions relating to households. Of the sixty questions, the following two questions were optional:[32]

  • What is the person's religion?
  • Does each person agree to his/her name and address and other information on this form being kept by the National Archives of Australia and then made publicly available after 99 years?

Population and dwellings[edit]

The population counts for Australian states and territories were that New South Wales remains the most populous state, with 7,480,228 people counted, ahead of Victoria (5,926,624) and Queensland (4,703,193). Australian Capital Territory (ACT) experienced the largest population growth of any state or territory over the past five years, with an increase of 11.2% while Tasmania had the smallest growth at 3.0% since the last census in 2011.[33]

States and territories Male Female Total % change
New South Wales 3,686,014 3,794,217 7,480,228 Increase 8.1%
Victoria 2,908,077 3,018,549 5,926,624 Increase 10.7%
Queensland 2,321,889 2,381,308 4,703,193 Increase 8.6%
Western Australia 1,238,419 1,235,994 2,474,410 Increase 10.5%
South Australia 825,997 850,652 1,676,653 Increase 5.0%
Tasmania 249,478 260,482 509,965 Increase 3.0%
Australian Capital Territory 195,739 201,653 397,397 Increase11.2%
Northern Territory 118,570 110,266 228,833 Increase 8.0%
Other / External territories Male Female Total % change
Christmas Island 1,130 712 1,843 Decrease
Norfolk Island 819 930 1,748 Decrease
Cocos (Keeling) Islands 268 273 544 Decrease
Jervis Bay Territory 216 172 391 Increase
Australia Commonwealth of Australia 11,546,638 11,855,248 23,401,892 Increase 8.8%
Persons count based on place of usual residence on Census night – Source:[34][35][33] External territories[36][37][38][39]

Other Territories[edit]

The inclusion of Norfolk Island in Other Territories is new for 2016, following an amendment to the Acts Interpretation Act, 1901. In the 2016 Census, there were 1,748 people, compared with a population of 1,796 in 2011 (Norfolk Island Government Census). Of these 46.8% were male and 53.2% were female. The enumeration of Norfolk Island was an area of special attention for the ABS.

Age[edit]

Age 2016 Census
Number Percentage
Median age 38
    0–4 years 1,464,779 6.3%
    5–9 years 1,502,646 6.4%
    10–14 years 1,397,183 6.0%
    15–19 years 1,421,595 6.1%
    20–24 years 1,566,793 6.7%
    25–29 years 1,664,602 7.1%
    30–34 years 1,703,847 7.3%
    35–39 years 1,561,679 6.7%
    40–44 years 1,583,257 6.8%
    45–49 years 1,581,455 6.8%
    50–54 years 1,523,551 6.5%
    55–59 years 1,454,332 6.2%
    60–64 years 1,299,397 5.6%
    65–69 years 1,188,999 5.1%
    70–74 years 887,716 3.8%
    75–79 years 652,657 2.8%
    80–84 years 460,549 2.0%
    85 years and over 486,842 2.1%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics[40]

Country of birth[edit]

Of all residents over two thirds (66.7% or 15,614,835) were born in Australia. Over a quarter of the population (33.3% or 6,163,667 persons) said they were born overseas. The proportion of overseas-born people from Asia has increased from 33% in 2011 to 40%, while Europe has declined from 40% in 2011 to 34% in 2016. However, England (907,572 or 3.9% of Australia's population) remains the most common country of birth, followed by New Zealand (518,466 or 2.2%).[41] It was question 12 on the 2016 Census Household Paper Form.[42]

Country of birth of Australian residents at 2016 census[43]
Country of Birth Population Percent of
population
Ref(s)
Australia Australia 15,614,835 66.7% [44]
New South Wales 4,899,090 65.5% [45]
Victoria 3,845,493 64.9% [46]
Queensland 3,343,657 71.1% [47]
South Australia 1,192,546 71.1% [48]
Western Australia 1,492,842 60.3% [49]
Tasmania 411,490 80.7% [50]
Northern Territory 157,531 68.8% [51]
Australian Capital Territory 269,682 68.0% [52]
Total Overseas-born 6,163,667 33.3%
Oceania
New Zealand New Zealand 518,462 2.2% [53]
Europe
England England 907,572 3.9% [41]
Scotland Scotland 119,420 0.4% [54]
Wales Wales 28,047 0.1% [55]
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 23,025 0.1% [56]
Italy Italy 174,044 0.7% [57]
Germany Germany 102,595 0.4% [58]
Greece Greece 93,745 0.4% [59]
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 74,895 0.4% [60]
Netherlands Netherlands 70,174 0.3% [61]
Poland Poland 45,365 0.2% [62]
Croatia Croatia 43,681 0.2% [63]
France France 31,124 0.1% [64]
Portugal Portugal 15,809 0.1% [65]
Spain Spain 15,396 0.1% [66]
Other European Countries -
Asia
China China[a] 509,557 2.2% [67]
India India 455,388 1.9% [68]
Philippines Philippines 232,384 1.0% [69]
Vietnam Vietnam 219,357 0.9% [70]
Malaysia Malaysia 138,365 - [71]
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 109,853 [72]
South Korea South Korea 98,775 0.4% [73]
Hong Kong Hong Kong 86,888 - [74]
Lebanon Lebanon 78,651 - [75]
Indonesia Indonesia 73,217 - [76]
Iraq Iraq 67,355 - [77]
Thailand Thailand 66,231 - [78]
Pakistan Pakistan 61,915 - [79]
Iran Iran 58,106 - [80]
Africa
South Africa South Africa 162,448 0.7% [81]
America - -
United States United States 86,133 0.4% [82]
Canada Canada 43,049 - [83]
Polynesia - -
Fiji Fiji 61,473 - [84]
At sea - -
Unspecified - -
Totals, Australia 23,401,892 100.0% -
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics[44][85]

Culture and language[edit]

Ancestries[edit]

The top reported ancestries in Australia and for the external territory of Norfolk Island as a percentage of population.[86]

Ancestry 2016 census
Number Percentage
English people 7,852,224 25.0%
Australian 7,298,243 23.3%
Irish people 2,388,058 7.6%
Scottish people 2,023,470 6.4%
Chinese people 1,213,903 3.9%
Norfolk Island
Ancestry Population Percentage
Australian 553 22.8%
English 543 22.4%
Pitcairn 484 20.0%
Scottish 145 6.0%
Irish 125 5.2%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics[86][87]

Religion[edit]

Religious affiliation 2016 census
Number Percentage
Christian Decrease 12,201,600 Decrease 52.1%
    Anglican Decrease 3,101,191 Decrease 13.3%
    Baptist Increase 345,142 Increase 1.5%
    Catholic (Roman) Increase 5,291,830 Increase 22.6%
    Christianity (defined and not defined) Increase 768,649 Increase 6.3%
    Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Assyrian Apostolic Increase 567,680 Increase 2.1%
    Jehovah's Witnesses Decrease 82,510 Decrease 0.4%
    Latter-day Saints Increase 61,639 Increase 0.3%
    Lutheran Decrease 174,019 Decrease 0.7%
    Pentecostal Increase 260,560 Increase 1.1%
    Presbyterian and Reformed Decrease 524,338 Decrease 2.3%
    Salvation Army Decrease 48,939 Decrease 0.2%
    Seventh-day Adventist Increase 62,945 Increase 0.3%
    Uniting Church in Australia Decrease 870,183 Decrease 3.7%
Non-Christian 1,464,162 6.3%
    Buddhism 563,674 2.4%
    Hinduism 440,330 1.9%
    Islam 604,420 2.6%
    Judaism 91,022 0.4%
    Sikhism 125,901 0.5%
No Religion Increase 7,040,717 Increase 30.1%
Not stated or unclear Increase 2,238,735 Increase 9.6%
Australia Increase 23,401,892 Steady 100%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics.[88][89][90][91]

Homelessness[edit]

The number of homeless people in Australia jumped by more than 14,000 — or 14 per cent — in the five years to 2016, according to census data. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said 116,000 people were homeless on census night in 2016, representing 50 homeless people per 10,000.[92]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2016 Census QuickStats". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government.
  2. ^ "2016 Census Overview: The 2016 Census was Australia's seventeenth national Census of Population and Housing". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government.
  3. ^ "Census 2016: Summary of results". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government.
  4. ^ "Year of #CensusFail: $24m blow-out, bad media and hundreds of injuries". ABC News. Australia. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  5. ^ "2011.0.55.001 – Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing – Products and Services, 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  6. ^ "2016 Census Data". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  7. ^ "2016 Census". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government. 27 June 2017.
  8. ^ Anderson, Stephanie (9 August 2016). "Census 2016: Christopher Pyne criticises politicians withholding details over privacy fears". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  9. ^ "2011.0.55.001 – Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing – Products and Services, 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Get ready to get digital with the 2016 Census" (Press release). Australian Bureau of Statistics. 9 August 2015.
  11. ^ Official Ad From Australian Bureau of Statistics. YouTube.
  12. ^ "Get online on August 9". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  13. ^ Martin, Peter (9 August 2015). "Census 2016 to be $100 million cheaper and all digital, on August 9". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  14. ^ Smith, Lucy (August 9, 2016). "Census delay for residents without letters". Mackay Daily Mercury. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  15. ^ Borrello, Eliza (9 August 2015). "Census goes digital: 2016 survey to be delivered online for speed, convenience". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Census: How the Government says the website meltdown unfolded". ABC News. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  17. ^ "2016 Census – 9 August online form outage update". Australian Bureau of Statistics (Press release). 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Australian census attacked by hackers". BBC News. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Census website still down after cyber attacks". ABC News. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Review of the events surrounding the 2016 eCensus: Improving institutional cyber security culture and practices across the Australian government—Alastair MacGibbon, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security—Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet". Australian Parliament. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  21. ^ "ABS Chief Statistician reveals to ABC NewsRadio the census website was taken down after four cyber-attacks from an overseas source". ABC News. Australia. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  22. ^ "2016 Census – Online form update: 3.00 pm, August 11" (Press release). Australian Bureau of Statistics. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  23. ^ "Angry PM slams ABS 'failure' as census website goes back online". ABC News. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  24. ^ Vickey, Kara; Wilson, Gemma (10 August 2016). "Census hacking: Privacy Commissioner investigates as Nick Xenophon calls for Senate inquiry". news.com.au. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Census 2016: ABS targets service provider IBM over botched survey". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  26. ^ "2016 Census Inquiry". Australian Parliament House. Australian Parliament House. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  27. ^ "2016 Census Senate Inquiry Report". Australian Parliament. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  28. ^ "Government, IBM and ABS all criticised as Census failure reports released". Financial Review. Australia. 24 November 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  29. ^ "Australia records more than 96 per cent preliminary response rate for the 2016 Census". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  30. ^ "Census quality – independent assurance". abs.gov.au. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  31. ^ "2016 Census". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government. 27 June 2017.
  32. ^ "2016 Census Household Form (sample)" (PDF). Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government. 2016.
  33. ^ a b Census 2016 – Summary of result – Population by states and territories, 2011 and 2016 Census
  34. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats – ABS
  35. ^ 2016 Census – Data in pictures
  36. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Jervis Bay
  37. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  38. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Christmas Island
  39. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Norfolk Island
  40. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats – Australia
  41. ^ a b 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in England
  42. ^ 2016 Census: - Country of Birth
  43. ^ "Australian Bureau of Statistics". Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  44. ^ a b 2016 Census QuickStats - Australia
  45. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - New South Wales
  46. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Victoria
  47. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Queensland
  48. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - South Australia
  49. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Western Australia
  50. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Tasmania
  51. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Northern Territory
  52. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Australian Capital Territory
  53. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in New Zealand
  54. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Country of Birth - Scotland
  55. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Country of Birth - Wales
  56. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Northern Ireland
  57. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Italy
  58. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - Country of Birth
  59. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Greece
  60. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - People in Australia who were born in Ireland
  61. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - People in Australia who were born in Netherlands
  62. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - People in Australia who were born in Poland
  63. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - People in Australia who were born in Croatia
  64. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - People in Australia who were born in France
  65. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - People in Australia who were born in Portugal
  66. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats - People in Australia who were born in Spain
  67. ^ [2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth| - People in Australia who were born in China
  68. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in India
  69. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Philippines
  70. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Vietnam
  71. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Malaysia
  72. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Sri Lanka
  73. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in South Korea
  74. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Hong Kong
  75. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Lebanon
  76. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Indonesia
  77. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Iraq
  78. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Thailand
  79. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Pakistan
  80. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Iran
  81. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in South Africa
  82. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in United States of America
  83. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Canada
  84. ^ 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth - People in Australia who were born in Fiji
  85. ^ Birthplace - Ranked by size - Australia - Overseas born (Usual residence)
  86. ^ a b "Census 2016: Summary of result – Population by states and territories, 2011 and 2016 Census". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government.
  87. ^ "2016 Census QuickStats: Norfolk Island – Ancestry, top responses". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Government.
  88. ^ RELIGION IN AUSTRALIA - 2016 CENSUS DATA SUMMARY
  89. ^ "2016 Census data reveals "no religion" is rising fast" (Press release). Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  90. ^ "2071.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia - Stories from the Census, 2016: Religion" (Excel (requires download)). 2016 Australian Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  91. ^ "Cultural diversity in Australia". 2071.0 – Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012–2013. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 21 June 2012. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  92. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-14/homelessness-in-australia-jumps-14pc-over-five-year-period/9547786