Australia's 15th census to be held tonight

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Tuesday, August 8, 2006

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will hold its 15th census across Australia tonight. For the first time, the bureau will have a website set up to allow people to complete their census online.

The last census was held in 2001. Under federal law censuses are held every five years.

All people who are in Australia or her territories on census night are required to be included in the census. The census includes visitors to the country in addition to permanent residents. The only exceptions are foreign diplomats and their families.

Australia's head statistician, Dennis Trewin said that young people need to ensure they are being included in the count. "Young people may not realise that the mere fact of being counted in the Census can make a difference to their lives," Mr Trewin said.

"By making sure that you are counted on Census night, planners will know how many young people there are and where they are - and be able to plan services accordingly. This includes services such as public transport, education, sporting facilities and bike paths."

The ABS has is also assuring participants that their information is protected. In a statement on their website the ABS stated "The security of your personal information is protected by law. Census information is used to produce statistics, not in ways that can identify any individual. No other organisation, public or private, will have access to any personal information provided in the Census."