Making sense of the census

I must admit I was a little taken aback the other day when I landed back in Australia to find the country has got their nickers in a twist over the census!

Tonight, Australians around the country are being told to take part in the census. Something that has been around since well before my presence on the earth, so what’s the big deal? I can’t say I have ever thought of the census as anything other than a positive thing. While it doesn’t directly affect me I think it is so important to have a snapshot of what our country looks like.


Information gathered from the census can be used for all sorts of things. It allows us to get a gage of the state of the Country. It helps us establish things like median wages, where infrastructure is required and so on. Before you roll your eyes and think well does the Government even use this info? The answer is yes, and so can you!

People seem to have lost sight that a census can be really helpful to everyday Aussies, particularly those who own businesses. The census data becomes available to the public and when you want to look up stats on your local town..bang there it is straight from the census! This gives us more than an update on the current population it gives you a cross section of your local economy, demographic and more. It can help the small to big business owners as well as your local government departments.

Now while I totally understand that the move to be an online survey is more than a little inconvenient for many Australians, overall the census should be something we all do.

Senator Nick Xenophon has called for the census not to be compulsory, that Australian’s should have the option to be involved. Forgive me for being blunt but does that not defeat the purpose of having a census? Surely you can not have an accurate data analysis if half the country is missing from it, that my friends is a skewed result! I agree that the fine is a fairly hefty one and I’d be keen to know where the money goes .Given that it’s hard to get Australian’s to back their own election I highly doubt there is another way to get people to be involved in something that affects their country these days….yes we have reached that low in our country involvement, sad isn’t it!

Now with regards to privacy, with all due respect I find it highly unlikely that there are a bunch of hackers to go to steal info on how many people are in your house and if you have a car or not. While I understand there is a lot more to it than this, sometimes you have to trust the people doing their jobs. I have heard reports this morning saying if the CIA couldn’t stop the republican party being hacked what hope do we have? um…..the stakes are a little higher and more complicated me thinks!!

There is a great deal of concern about putting names on census. This one is about the only one I will support, perhaps anonymity in the census is not such a bad idea! However, again with all due respect we are being asked how many kids we have not our bank account details.

All in all, statistics are awesome they give us so much information. Information that is not just useful to the Government but is also useful to you, me and any business owner or resident of your town or suburb. So lets try and do our best and go along with the census with out making too much of a drama about it! Even if you just want to know the population of your town, that my friend is enough of a motivation to be involved!

Yes it’s a pain, an inconvenience, blah blah but here’s a challenge…instead of sitting down reluctantly and grumping your way through it, get positive! Make a fun time out of it, grab a glass of wine, get  the kids involved or just pucker up and get along with it, because you don’t want to be a forgotten statistic!