Australian Bureau of Statistics

Last updated

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed8 December 1905;118 years ago (1905-12-08)
Preceding agency
  • Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics
Jurisdiction Australian Government
Headquarters Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Employees3,779 (at 30 June 2021) [1]
Annual budget AUS$ $172.7 million (over four years from 2023–24) [2]
Minister responsible
Agency executives
  • David Gruen, Australian Statistician [4]
  • Brenton Goldsworthy, Deputy Australian Statistician, Insights and Statistics Group
  • Teresa Dickinson, Deputy Australian Statistician, Data and Statistical Practices Group
  • Jenet Connell, Deputy Australian Statistician, Enterprise Services Group and Acting Chief Operating Officer
Parent department Treasury
Website abs.gov.au

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is an Australian government agency that collects and analyses statistics on economic, population, environmental, and social issues to advise the government. [5]

Contents

The bureau was established in 1905 and replaced the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics (CBCS). [6] [7] The ABS conducts Australia's Census of Population and Housing every five years and publishes its findings online.

History

Efforts to count the population of Australia reach as far back as 1788 with "musters" which involved physically gathering a community to be counted, a practice that continued until 1825. [8] Each colony continued to individually collect statistics despite various attempts to coordinate collections through an annual Conference of Statisticians. The first simultaneous census across all then Australian colonies occurred in 1881. [8] Later, a national statistical office was proposed to develop comparable statistics. [9]

The Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics (CBCS) was established under the Census and Statistics Act of 1905. Sir George Handley Knibbs was appointed as the first Commonwealth Statistician. CBCS was located in Melbourne and was attached to the Department of Home Affairs. In 1928, the Bureau relocated to Canberra, and in 1932 it moved to the Department of the Treasury. [9]

The first national census occurred in 1911 with approximately 7,300 collection workers. [8] While coordination and data sharing were facilitated by CBCS, each state in Australia initially had its own statistical office and worked with the CBCS to produce national data. Some states faced challenges in providing a satisfactory statistical service through their own offices, resulting in mergers with the Commonwealth Bureau. The Tasmanian Statistical Office was transferred to the Commonwealth Bureau in 1924, and the New South Wales (NSW) Bureau of Statistics amalgamated into the Commonwealth Bureau on 20 August 1957. [10] The final unification of all state statistical offices with the CBCS occurred in the late 1950s under the guidance of Sir Stanley Carver, the NSW's Statistician and Acting Commonwealth Statistician. [9]

In 1974, the CBCS was abolished replaced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The Australian Bureau of Statistics Act established the ABS as a statutory authority in 1975, headed by the Australian Statistician who reported to the Treasurer. [9]

In 2015, the Australian government announced a $250 million five-year investment in the ABS to modernize its systems and processes. [11]

Census of Population and Housing

Once every 5 years, the ABS conducts the Australian Census of Population and Housing as stipulated under federal law in the Constitution of Australia. [12]

The most recent Census of Population and Housing was conducted on 10 August 2021. [13] Statistics from the census were published on the ABS website on 28 June 2022. [14]

The census aims to accurately measure the population, number of dwellings in Australia, and a range of their key characteristics. Census data is used for the definition of electoral boundaries, infrastructure planning, the creation of community services, and public policy formulation. [15]

2016 Census

In 2016, the ABS conducted its census largely online through its website and logins, rather than through the traditional paper forms. [16] The 2016 census was unavailable for 43 hours, from 7:30 pm on 9 August, due to a series of cyber-security concerns that prompted the ABS to take the form offline. [17] The chief statistician, David Kalisch, stated that the website was closed after multiple denial-of-service attacks targeted the online form. The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) confirmed the incident was a DDoS attack and that it did not result in any unauthorised access to or extraction of personal information. [18] [19]

The online census web page was returned at 2:30 pm on 11 August. [20] A Senate inquiry was held into the census events. [21] An independent panel was established by the Australian Statistician to help ensure the quality of the 2016 census and found that the data was fit for purpose. [22]

The parliamentary report on the outage concluded that technical and organisational issues contributed to the outage. [18] Lack of communication prompted the use of social media channels to update the public on the status of the site, such as unclear escalation procedures between the ABS, ASD, and their sub-contractor IBM (including the poor independent verification of security arrangements).

2021 Census

The 2021 Census achieved a response rate above the ABS target, obtaining data from ten million (10,852,208) dwellings during the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The dwelling response rate was 96.1%, an increase from 95.1% in 2016. [23]

Publications

The ABS publishes monthly and quarterly economic information spanning interest rates, property prices, employment, the value of the Australian dollar, and commodity prices. Publications include things such as: the Key Economic Indicators, Consumer Price Index, Australian National Accounts, Average Weekly Earnings, and Labour Force.

Other major publications

Outside the main economic indicators, the ABS has several other major publications covering topics including:

In August 2017, the Treasurer issued a directive to the ABS to undertake a statistical collection into the views of Australians on the electoral roll about same-sex marriage. [42] This is now referred to as the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

The ABS previously published the Yearbook Australia, from 1908 to 2012 under various ISSNs and title iterations (Commonwealth yearbook, Official yearbook of the Commonwealth of Australia). [43]

The ABS publishes an Annual Report with a detailed description of the ABS' activities during the preceding year, accounting for its use of public resources and performance against planned outcomes.

International engagement

The ABS engages in international and regional statistical forums including the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy (CSSP), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Conference for European Statisticians (CES).

The ABS has a partnership with DFAT to deliver statistical and institutional capability building programs for the Indo-Pacific region, both in-country and by hosting development visits. The ABS has also hosted international development and study visits from countries including China, Japan, Canada, Korea, and Nepal. [44]

Australian Statistician

Since 1975, the head of the ABS has been known as the "Australian Statistician". The title has been previously known as the "Commonwealth Statistician".

The incumbent since 11 December 2019 is David Gruen. [45] Previous incumbents have included David Kalisch [46] and Brian Pink. [47] Pink retired in January 2014. [48] Ian Ewing acted in the role from 13 January to 14 February 2014, and Jonathan Palmer acted from 17 February to 12 December 2014.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Demographics of Australia</span>

The population of Australia is estimated to be 26,966,100 as of 13 January 2024. Australia is the 55th most populous country in the world and the most populous Oceanian country. Its population is concentrated mainly in urban areas, particularly on the Eastern, South Eastern and Southern seaboards, and is expected to exceed 30 million by 2029.

A violent crime, violent felony, crime of violence or crime of a violent nature is a crime in which an offender or perpetrator uses or threatens to use harmful force upon a victim. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective, such as murder, assault, rape and assassination, as well as crimes in which violence is used as a method of coercion or show of force, such as robbery, extortion and terrorism. Violent crimes may, or may not, be committed with weapons. Depending on the jurisdiction, violent crimes may be regarded with varying severities from homicide to harassment. There have been many theories regarding heat being the cause of an increase in violent crime. Theorists claim that violent crime is persistent during the summer due to the heat, further causing people to become aggressive and commit more violent crime.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Israel Central Bureau of Statistics</span> Data research office of the Israeli government

The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, abbreviated CBS, is an Israeli government office established in 1949 to carry out research and publish statistical data on all aspects of Israeli life, including population, society, economy, industry, education, and physical infrastructure.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crime in Australia</span> Australian police information

Crime in Australia is managed by various law enforcement bodies, the federal and state-based criminal justice systems and state-based correctional services.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Asian Australians</span> Australian of Asian ethnicity or ancestry

Asian Australians are Australians of Asian ancestry, including naturalised Australians who are immigrants from various regions in Asia and descendants of such immigrants. At the 2021 census, the proportion of the population identifying as Asian amounted to approximately 17.4 percent with breakdowns of 6.5 percent from Southern and Central Asia, 6.4 percent from North-East Asia, and 4.5 percent from South-East Asia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Census in Australia</span> National census of Australia, held every five years

The Census in Australia, officially the Census of Population and Housing, is the national census in Australia that occurs every five years. The census collects key demographic, social and economic data from all people in Australia on census night, including overseas visitors and residents of Australian external territories, only excluding foreign diplomats. The census is the largest and most significant statistical event in Australia and is run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Every person must complete the census, although some personal questions are not compulsory. The penalty for failing to complete the census after being directed to by the Australian Statistician is one federal penalty unit, or A$220. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 and Census and Statistics Act 1905 authorise the ABS to collect, store, and share anonymised data.

The Australian Statistician is the head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Homelessness in Australia</span> Overview of homelessness in Australia

Homelessness in Australia is a social issue concerning the number of people in Australia that are considered to be homeless. There are no internationally agreed upon definitions of homelessness, making it difficult to compare levels of homelessness across countries. A majority of people experiencing homelessness long-term in Australia are found in the large cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. It is estimated that on any given night approximately 116,000 people will be homeless and many more are living in insecure housing, "one step away from being homeless". A person who does not obtain any shelter is often described as sleeping 'rough'.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Demographics of Sydney</span>

Sydney is Australia's most populous city, and is also the most populous city in Oceania. In the 2021 census, 5,231,147 persons declared themselves as residents of the Sydney Statistical Division–about one-fifth (20.58%) of Australia's total population. With a population density of 2037 people per square kilometre, the urban core has population density five times that of the greater region.

Serbian Australians, are Australians of ethnic Serb ancestry. In the 2021 census there were 94,997 people in Australia who identified as having Serb ancestry, making it a significant group with the global Serb diaspora.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Australians</span> Citizens of Australia

Australians, colloquially known as Aussies, are the citizens, nationals and individuals associated with the country of Australia. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or ethno-cultural. For most Australians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Australian. Australian law does not provide for a racial or ethnic component of nationality, instead relying on citizenship as a legal status.

William Patrick McLennan was an Australian statistician who was Director of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) of the United Kingdom and Australian Statistician, head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">English Australians</span> Australians of English birth or descent

English Australians, also known as Anglo-Australians, are Australians whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England. In the 2021 census, 8,385,928 people, or 33% of the Australian population, stated that they had English ancestry. It is the largest self-identified ancestry in Australia. People of ethnic English origin have been the largest group to migrate to Australia since the establishment of the Colony of New South Wales in 1788.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Demographics of Melbourne</span> Demographics of region

Melbourne is Australia's second largest city and has a diverse and multicultural population.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Punishment in Australia</span>

Punishment in Australia arises when an individual has been accused or convicted of breaking the law through the Australian criminal justice system. Australia uses prisons, as well as community corrections. When awaiting trial, prisoners may be kept in specialised remand centres or within other prisons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Kalisch (economist)</span> Australian economist and public servant

David Wayne Kalisch is an Australian economist and public servant. From 2014 to 2019, he was the Australian Statistician in charge of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1911 Australian census</span> First Australian national population census

The 1911 Australian census was the first national population census held in Australia and was conducted by the Bureau of Census and Statistics. The day used for the census, was taken for the night between 2 and 3 April 1911. The total population of the Commonwealth of Australia was counted as 4,455,005 – an increase of 681,204 people, 18.05% over the 1901 "Federation" census.

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

<i>Wilkie v Commonwealth</i> High Court of Australia case

Wilkie v Commonwealth and Australian Marriage Equality v Minister for Finance, were two cases heard simultaneously by the High Court which held that the expenditure for the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey had been approved by Parliament and involved the collection of "statistical information" that could be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The case was heard urgently and the Court pronounced its orders on 7 September 2017, and delivered their reasons for judgment on 28 September 2017.

The 2021 Australian census, simply called the 2021 Census, was the eighteenth national Census of Population and Housing in Australia. The 2021 Census took place on 10 August 2021, and was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It had a response rate of 96.1% up from the 95.1% at the 2016 census. The total population of the Commonwealth of Australia was counted as 25,422,788 – an increase of 8.6 per cent or 2,020,896 people over the previous 2016 census.

References

  1. "Australian Bureau of Statistics – Annual Report 2020–21". transparency.gov.au. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2023). "Budget funding supports new data and security uplift" . Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  3. "Administrative Arrangements Order". pmc.gov.au. 23 June 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  4. "Dr David Gruen, Australian Statistician". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  5. "ABS Institutional Environment". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  6. "Australian Bureau of Statistics". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 3 November 2023. Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  7. "Building a national statistical agency: From the Commonwealth. Bureau of Census and Statistics to the Australian Bureau of Statistics" (PDF). United Nations Statistics Division . 2005. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 December 2023.
  8. 1 2 3 "History of the Census". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  9. 1 2 3 4 "History of the ABS". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 24 July 2008. Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  10. "Bureau of Statistics". Record agency. NSW State Archives & Records. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  11. "Government to tip $250M into ABS to modernise IT". CIO. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  12. "Senate Inquiry Report into the 2016 Census". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  13. "2021 Census product release guide". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 21 July 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  14. "2021 Census snapshot: Australia has doubled in size over the last 50 years". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 June 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  15. "The Australian Census". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 May 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  16. "Get online on August 9". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  17. "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—13 October 2016". parlinfo.aph.gov.au. Archived from the original on 18 October 2023. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  18. 1 2 "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—13 October 2016". parlinfo.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  19. "ABS Chief Statistician reveals to ABC NewsRadio the census website was taken down after four cyber-attacks from an overseas source". abc.net.au/newsradio. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 August 2016. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  20. "2016 Census – Online form update: 3.00 pm, August 11" (Press release). Australian Bureau of Statistics. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  21. "2016 Census Senate Inquiry Report". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  22. "2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 June 2017. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  23. "2021 Census snapshot: Australia has doubled in size over the last 50 years". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 June 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  24. "4364.0.55.007 – Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results – Foods and Nutrients, 2011–12". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  25. "4519.0 – Recorded Crime – Offenders, 2014–15". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  26. "4530.0 – Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2014–15". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  27. "4512.0 – Corrective Services, Australia, March Quarter 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  28. "4517.0 – Prisoners in Australia, 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  29. "Australia Crime Rate & Statistics 1990-2023". macrotrends. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  30. "3101.0 – Australian Demographic Statistics, Dec 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  31. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014–15". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  32. "3222.0 – Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  33. "3412.0 – Migration, Australia, 2014–15". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  34. "3301.0 – Births, Australia, 2014". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  35. "3302.0 – Deaths, Australia, 2014". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  36. "3401.0 – Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, May 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  37. "4727.0.55.003 – Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Biomedical Results, 2012–13". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  38. "4402.0 – Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2014". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  39. "4221.0 – Schools, Australia, 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  40. "6227.0 – Education and Work, Australia, May 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  41. "8166.0 – Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2014–15". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  42. Treasury. "Census and Statistics (Statistical Information) Direction 2017". www.legislation.gov.au. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  43. "1301.0". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  44. "1001.0 – Australian Bureau of Statistics – Annual Report, 2013–14". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 August 2016. CC-BY icon.svg This article contains quotations from this source, which is available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia licence.
  45. "Appointment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Statistician". Department of the Treasury. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  46. National (12 December 2014). "David Kalisch new Australian Statistician: Leads Australian Bureau of Statistics after tumultuous year". Canberratimes.com.au. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  47. "Appointment of Australian Statistician". Press Release, Treasurer of Australia . 13 December 2006. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2007.
  48. "The Australian Statistician to retire (Media Release)". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2016.