2016 Australian census

Last updated

2016 Census

  2011 9 August 2016;6 years ago (2016-08-09) 2021  

General information
Country Australia
Authority Australian Bureau of Statistics
Website abs.gov.au (2016)
Results
Total population23,401,892 (Increase2.svg 8.8%)
Most populous state/territory New South Wales (7,480,228)
Least populous state/territory Jervis Bay (391)

The 2016 Australian census was the 17th national population census held in Australia. [1] 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 over the 2011 census. [2] Norfolk Island joined the census for the first time in 2016, adding 1,748 to the population.

Contents

The ABS annual report revealed that $24 million in additional expenses accrued due to the outage on the census website. [3]

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. [4] [5] Australia's next census took place in 2021.

Scope

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) states the aim of the 2016 Australian census is "to count every person who spent Census night, 9 August 2016, in Australia." [6]

The census covers every Australian state and mainland territory, as well as the external territories of Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island. It does not include the other external territories of Australia. People who leave Australia but do not go through migration formalities are included, counted as part of an "Off-Shore Statistical Areas Level 1" in Tasmania. This includes those on oil and gas rigs near Australia and those at the Australian bases of the Australian Antarctic Territory. Visitors to Australia are included, regardless of how long they are staying for, however those who have been in the country less than a year answer fewer questions on the census. People who enter Australia but do not go through migration formalities are excluded. This includes those on ships in Australian waters that remain on the ship at port. Foreign diplomats and their families or those who travel on a diplomatic passport are excluded, as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Those on vessels between Australian ports, or planes between Australian airports are included. [6]

All private dwellings are counted. Caravans in caravan parks and manufactured homes in manufactured home estates are counted if they are occupied. Non-private dwellings are included if they are occupied. This includes hotels, hospitals and prisons. Non occupied residences of owners, managers or caretakers are included and unoccupied, self contained residences in retirement villages are included. [6]

Collection methods

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

ABS website message after the 2016 online census was shut down Census in Australia 2016, ABS website error.png
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] Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that IBM made a "very substantial financial settlement" with the Commonwealth as compensation for the failure of the 2016 online Census. [29]

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. [30]

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. [31] [32]

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

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: [33]

Population and dwellings

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. [34] Persons count based on place of usual residence on Census night.

States and territories MaleFemaleTotal % change
Flag of New South Wales.svg New South Wales 3,686,0143,794,2177,480,228Increase2.svg 8.1%
Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Victoria 2,908,0773,018,5495,926,624Increase2.svg 10.7%
Flag of Queensland.svg Queensland 2,321,8892,381,3084,703,193Increase2.svg 8.6%
Flag of Western Australia.svg Western Australia 1,238,4191,235,9942,474,410Increase2.svg 10.5%
Flag of South Australia.svg South Australia 825,997850,6521,676,653Increase2.svg 5.0%
Flag of Tasmania.svg Tasmania 249,478260,482509,965Increase2.svg 3.0%
Flag of the Australian Capital Territory.svg Australian Capital Territory 195,739201,653397,397Increase2.svg11.2%
Flag of the Northern Territory.svg Northern Territory 118,570110,266228,833Increase2.svg 8.0%
External Territories
Flag of Christmas Island.svg Christmas Island 1,1307121,843Decrease2.svg
Flag of Norfolk Island.svg Norfolk Island 8199301,748Decrease2.svg
Flag of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.svg Cocos (Keeling) Islands 268273544Decrease2.svg
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Jervis Bay Territory 216172391Increase2.svg
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Commonwealth of Australia11,546,63811,855,24823,401,892Increase2.svg 8.8%
Source: [35] [36] [34] External territories [37] [38] [39] [40]

"Other Territories"

The inclusion of Norfolk Island in Other Territories was 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

Age2016 Census
NumberPercentage
Median age 38
    0–4 years1,464,7796.3%
    5–9 years1,502,6466.4%
    10–14 years1,397,1836.0%
    15–19 years1,421,5956.1%
    20–24 years1,566,7936.7%
    25–29 years1,664,6027.1%
    30–34 years1,703,8477.3%
    35–39 years1,561,6796.7%
    40–44 years1,583,2576.8%
    45–49 years1,581,4556.8%
    50–54 years1,523,5516.5%
    55–59 years1,454,3326.2%
    60–64 years1,299,3975.6%
    65–69 years1,188,9995.1%
    70–74 years887,7163.8%
    75–79 years652,6572.8%
    80–84 years460,5492.0%
    85 years and over486,8422.1%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics [41]

Country of birth

Of all residents over two-thirds (66.7% or 15,614,835) were born in Australia. Over a quarter of the population (26.3% or 6,163,667 persons) said they were born overseas, plus 1.6 million did not state any response. 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.

Country of birth of Australian residents at 2016 census Australian Residents by Country of Birth 2016 Census.png
Country of birth of Australian residents at 2016 census

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%). [43] [44] It was question 12 on the 2016 Census Household Paper Form. [45]

Proportion of overseas-born population. [46]

  England (14.7%)
   New Zealand (8.4%)
   China (8.3%)
  India (7.4%)
   Philippines (3.8%)
   Vietnam (3.6%)
   Italy (2.8%)
   South Africa (2.6%)
   Malaysia (2.2%)
   Scotland (1.9%)
  Others (44.3%)
Country of BirthPopulationPercent of
population
Ref(s)
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia15,614,83566.7% [47]
New South Wales 4,899,09065.5% [48]
Victoria 3,845,49364.9% [49]
Queensland 3,343,65771.1% [50]
South Australia 1,192,54671.1% [51]
Western Australia 1,492,84260.3% [52]
Tasmania 411,49080.7% [53]
Northern Territory 157,53168.8% [54]
Australian Capital Territory 269,68268.0% [55]
Total, Overseas-born6,163,66726.3%
Oceania
Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand 518,4622.2% [56]
Europe
Flag of England.svg England 907,5723.9% [43]
Flag of Scotland.svg Scotland 119,4200.4% [57]
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Wales 28,0470.1% [58]
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Northern Ireland 23,0250.1% [59]
Flag of Italy.svg Italy 174,0440.7% [60]
Flag of Germany.svg Germany 102,5950.4% [61]
Flag of Greece.svg Greece 93,7450.4% [62]
Flag of Ireland.svg Republic of Ireland 74,8950.4% [63]
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands 70,1740.3% [64]
Flag of Poland.svg Poland 45,3650.2% [65]
Flag of Croatia.svg Croatia 43,6810.2% [66]
Flag of France.svg France 31,1240.1% [67]
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal 15,8090.1% [68]
Flag of Spain.svg Spain 15,3960.1% [69]
Other European Countries
Asia
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China [lower-alpha 1] 509,5572.2% [70]
Flag of India.svg India 455,3881.9% [71]
Flag of the Philippines.svg Philippines 232,3841.0% [72]
Flag of Vietnam.svg Vietnam 219,3570.9% [73]
Flag of Malaysia.svg Malaysia 138,365 [74]
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg Sri Lanka 109,853 [75]
Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea 98,7750.4% [76]
Flag of Hong Kong.svg Hong Kong 86,888- [77]
Flag of Lebanon.svg Lebanon 78,651- [78]
Flag of Indonesia.svg Indonesia 73,217 [79]
Flag of Iraq.svg Iraq 67,355 [80]
Flag of Thailand.svg Thailand 66,231 [81]
Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan 61,915 [82]
Flag of Iran.svg Iran 58,106 [83]
Africa
Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa 162,4480.7% [84]
America
Flag of the United States.svg United States 86,1330.4% [85]
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada 43,049 [86]
Polynesia
Flag of Fiji.svg Fiji 61,473 [87]
Not stated1,636,0007.0% [88]
Totals, Australia23,401,892100.0%
Source: Bureau of Statistics [47] [88]

Culture, ancestry and language

Ancestry

The highest reported ancestries in Australia and for the external territory of Norfolk Island as a percentage of population. [89] Results of the ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016 are as follows. [90]

AncestryNumberPercent
English 7,852,22436.1
Australian [N 1] 7,298,24333.5
Irish 2,388,05811.0
Scottish 2,023,4709.3
Chinese 1,213,9035.6
Australian Bureau of Statistics

External territories

Norfolk Island
AncestryNumberPercentage
Australian55322.8%
English54322.4%
Pitcairn 48420.0%
Scottish1456.0%
Irish1255.2%
Source [92]
Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders

There were 649,171 Indigenous Australians, who made up 2.8% of Australia's population.

Religion

Religious affiliation 2016 census
NumberPercentage
Christian Decrease2.svg12,201,600Decrease2.svg52.1%
     Anglican Decrease2.svg3,101,191Decrease2.svg13.3%
     Baptist Increase2.svg345,142Increase2.svg1.5%
     Catholic (Roman) Increase2.svg5,291,830Increase2.svg22.6%
    Christianity (defined and not defined)Increase2.svg768,649Increase2.svg6.3%
     Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Assyrian Apostolic Increase2.svg567,680Increase2.svg2.1%
     Jehovah's Witnesses Decrease2.svg82,510Decrease2.svg0.4%
     Latter-day Saints Increase2.svg61,639Increase2.svg0.3%
     Lutheran Decrease2.svg174,019Decrease2.svg0.7%
     Pentecostal Increase2.svg260,560Increase2.svg1.1%
     Presbyterian and Reformed Decrease2.svg524,338Decrease2.svg2.3%
     Salvation Army Decrease2.svg48,939Decrease2.svg0.2%
     Seventh-day Adventist Increase2.svg62,945Increase2.svg0.3%
     Uniting Church in Australia Decrease2.svg870,183Decrease2.svg3.7%
Non-Christian1,464,1626.3%
     Buddhism 563,6742.4%
     Hinduism 440,3301.9%
     Islam 604,4202.6%
     Judaism 91,0220.4%
     Sikhism 125,9010.5%
No ReligionIncrease2.svg7,040,717Increase2.svg30.1%
Not stated or unclearIncrease2.svg2,238,735Increase2.svg9.6%
AustraliaIncrease2.svg23,401,892Steady2.svg100%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. [93] [94] [95] [96]

Language

Homelessness

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. [97] The majority of homeless people in Australia were male. [98] In addition, Indigenous Australians and recent migrants were over-represented among the homeless. [98]

Gender

The 2016 census was the first to offer an option other than "male" or "female", however, this option was only available on a special version of the online form. [99] [100] Some trans people criticized the difficulty in accessing this alternative form. The online nature of the census also prevented transmasculine people who checked the "male" box from answering questions about pregnancy and having children, as it would automatically skip those questions.

See also

Notes

    1. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has stated that most who nominate "Australian" as their ancestry have at least partial Anglo-Celtic ancestry. [91]

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    50. 2016 Census QuickStats – Queensland
    51. 2016 Census QuickStats – South Australia
    52. 2016 Census QuickStats – Western Australia
    53. 2016 Census QuickStats – Tasmania
    54. 2016 Census QuickStats – Northern Territory
    55. 2016 Census QuickStats – Australian Capital Territory
    56. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in New Zealand
    57. 2016 Census QuickStats – Country of Birth – Scotland
    58. 2016 Census QuickStats – Country of Birth – Wales
    59. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Northern Ireland
    60. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Italy
    61. 2016 Census QuickStats – Country of Birth
    62. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Greece
    63. 2016 Census QuickStats – People in Australia who were born in Ireland
    64. 2016 Census QuickStats – People in Australia who were born in Netherlands
    65. 2016 Census QuickStats – People in Australia who were born in Poland
    66. 2016 Census QuickStats – People in Australia who were born in Croatia
    67. 2016 Census QuickStats – People in Australia who were born in France
    68. 2016 Census QuickStats – People in Australia who were born in Portugal
    69. 2016 Census QuickStats – People in Australia who were born in Spain
    70. [2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth| – People in Australia who were born in China
    71. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in India
    72. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Philippines
    73. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Vietnam
    74. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Malaysia
    75. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Sri Lanka
    76. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in South Korea
    77. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Hong Kong
    78. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Lebanon
    79. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Indonesia
    80. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Iraq
    81. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Thailand
    82. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Pakistan
    83. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Iran
    84. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in South Africa
    85. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in United States of America
    86. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Canada
    87. 2016 Census QuickStats Country of Birth – People in Australia who were born in Fiji
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    100. The Census Showed How Difficult It Is To Get Accurate Numbers On Sex And Gender Buzzfeed News