The Australian Bureau of Statistics is about to conduct the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. The census will enumerate (count) everyone living in Australia as of August 8, 2006. One big difference this year is that you will now be able to fill out your census online.
The Australian eCensus uses technology developed by IBM and cost AU$9 million ($1.3 million U.S.). Unlike a somewhat similar effort in Canada recently, the Australian online census can be conducted using any standard Web browser. There is no special software to download and install. All data is encrypted and full protected to insure privacy of the respondents.
To complete the online census form, however, you will need some paper: documents mailed to all Australian residents. For the Household Form, you need a Census Form Number and an eCensus Number. For the Personal Form, you need a Census Form Number, a Person Number (PNO), a Summary Form Number (SFNO) and an eCensus Number.
The Census Form Number, Person Number, and Summary Form Number can be found on the top right hand corner of the paper Census form. For the Household Form, the Census Form Number identifies the household and is the same for everyone in the household. The eCensus Number is provided in a sealed envelope,
Internet access is not required. Those who do not have online access or prefer to not use the automated processes may simply enter the required information on the paper forms and then return them by mail. The online process is used to simplify the process and to reduce the government's data entry costs.
More information about the 2006 Australian eCensus may be found at http://stream0.census.abs.gov.au/eCensusWeb