Locating Australian Census Information

This guide provides information on how to access Australian Census data.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics opens in a new window (ABS) website gives you access to the full range of ABS statistical and reference information. Most of the resources on the ABS website are freely accessable.

Community Profiles

Census data is distributed amongst the 6 major Community Profiles.

  • Basic Community Profile provides basic demographic information for an area, including age, ancestry, income, education, family type and more. The data is based on place of usual residence.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Indigenous) Profile  provides key census characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons, families and dwellings. It includes comparisons with non-Indigenous people.

  • Time Series Profile contains tables similar to those in the Basic Community Profile, comprising comparable data from the 1996, 2001 and 2006 Censuses.

  • Place of Enumeration Profile provides basic demographic information for an area, including age, ancestry, income, education, family type and more. The data is based on place of enumeration.

  • Expanded Community Profile is the most comprehensive Community Profile in the series providing extended data on key Census characteristics of persons, families and dwellings. The data is based on place of usual residence.

  • Working Population Profile provides labour force and employment characteristics of people who are employed in a particular geographic area. The data is based on place of employment.


QuickStats is a summary of key Census data relating to persons, families and dwellings and also contains a small textual description of the statistics contained within the tables. QuickStats is not inclusive of all Census topics, instead providing a selection of general topics and data about a chosen area. The data displayed covers a range of social, economic and demographic statistics, and includes main responses for a selection of variables.

All QuickStats include Australian data to allow users to compare results from their selected region with the Australian totals.The summary produced includes variables such as age breakdowns; a selection of birthplaces, languages and religions; employment information etc. For users interested in small geographic areas, say around 100-250 persons, QuickStats is a valuable resource.


TableBuilder is an online self-help tool which enables users to create tables, graphs and maps of Census data.

TableBuilder Basic is a free product designed for clients who have some experience using Census data. It provides access to most Census data in a range of topic-based data cubes that include classifications such as age, education, housing, income, transport, religion, ethnicity and occupation.

CDATA Online 2006 has transitioned to TableBuilder Basic 2006 with enhanced functionality. Users of CDATA Online 2006 will need to register and subscribe to TableBuilder Basic 2006. Access to 2006 Census data will then be available for those users.

Topics @ a Glance

Topics @ a Glance opens in a new window pages are subject guides to ABS statistics. The page groups together ABS publications and other relevant information on subjects, such as:

  • Economy - national accounts, international trade, finance and business indicators
  • Environment and energy
  • Industry - agriculture & rural, building & construction, IT, manufacturing, tourism, transport, service industries, science & innovation
  • People - Census, aging, demography, education & training, families & children, health, indigenous people and labour
  • Regional statistics - state and territory statistics

Topics @ a Glance provide:

  • information about the subject matter area
  • Noticeboard - what's new , work in progress and latest updates
  • releases from the subject matter area - upcoming releases, statistical publications and other relevant indicators
  • other related sources of information
  • using statistics from the subject matter area - information useful for interpreting statistics
  • contact details


Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) is a product developed especially for those interested in the assessment of the welfare of Australian communities. The ABS has developed four indexes to allow ranking of regions/areas, providing a method of determining the level of social and economic well-being in each region.

Each of the four indexes summarises different aspects of the socio-economic conditions of people living in an area; each is based upon a different set of social and economic information from the 2006 Census. The indexes provide more general measures of socio-economic status than is given by measuring, for example, income or unemployment alone.

SEIFA has a number of applications, including research into the relationship between socio-economic status and various health and educational outcomes, determining areas that require funding and services, and identifying new business opportunities.

Historical data

The ABS Historical Data page gives access to 1996 to 2006 Census data, and links to pre 1996 publications.

ABS Help

The site contains a number of guides including: