Census to give clear picture on northern suburbs growth

Census to give clear picture on northern suburbs growth

NEXT week’s national Census will collect data on Australia’s population to show how much change has occurred in the past five years.

The 2011 Census saw significant growth in suburbs such as Jindalee (813.8 per cent), Yanchep (71.1 per cent), Clarkson (65 per cent) and Ellenbrook (55.4 per cent) from the 2006 count.

Run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), previous counts found Jindalee had 145 people living in 52 dwellings in 2006 and that grew seven-fold to 1180 people in 401 homes in 2011.

Yanchep’s population grew from 2482 people in 1194 dwellings in 2006 to 4247 people in 1878 dwellings in 2011.

In Clarkson, the population grew from 7082 people in 2623 dwellings to 11,687 people in 4462 dwellings over the five-year period.

Ellenbrook saw the population increase from 10,477 people in 3676 dwellings to 16,284 people in 5888 dwellings.

The Census WA director David Waymouth said the August 9 count would help the ABS understand what changes there have been in the past five years.

“We know that there has been a lot of change in WA in general; Census is the opportunity to document that,” he said.

“It’s about providing that snapshot in that point in time.

“It’s always done on the same night; that allows comparing apples with apples.”

While the forms have shifted online, Mr Waymouth said they would have the “same questions as last time with some minor fine-tuning”.

He said recording the change helped organisations, including government, plan for infrastructure to meet the needs of the population.

Mr Waymouth said households should receive letters advising them to do the Census online this week, although those who could not do it online could request paper forms.

He said the process would allow them to “know which houses have responded pretty quickly” and WA’s 3000 field officers could follow up with those that had not after the August 9 Census night.

While the forms are all in English, Mr Waymouth said they had worked with community groups to offer workshops to people who spoke other languages, and those doing it online would be able to use translators if needed.

He said the online forms offered prompts and assistance to help people complete it, and it was important for people to do the Census wherever they were on the night.

“It’s not just that it’s more efficient but it’s easier for end users as well,” he said.

Mr Waymouth said they were working with support agencies to locate people “sleeping rough” and would collect data from them on shorter forms.

The ABS expects to release the first results of the 2016 Census in April or May 2017.