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Research Guides


Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia


Census and statistics

Although the Commonwealth established the Bureau of Census and Statistics in 1906, the South Australian Government Statistician continued to be responsible for the census and statistics function in the state until 1957. That year, the state and Commonwealth statistical services were integrated in South Australia with the creation of the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics in each state. In 1974 this became known as the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Initially, the main statistics produced by the Bureau of Census and Statistics related to population, births, deaths, marriages, shipping, foreign trade, banking, insurance, cost of living, and labour and wages.

Between 1911 and 1961, intermittent censuses were carried out. Since 1961, a national Census of Population and Housing has occurred in Australia every five years. Before 2001 personal census forms were destroyed after the statistics were extracted. Since 2001 those completing the census have had the option to select whether their forms be retained and released to the public after 100 years.

Due to the confidential nature of Census of Population and Housing data, most records relating to censuses and statistics held by the Archives concern the administration of the census, for example maps and correspondence files, or statistics about industry and housing.

SELECTED SERIES RELATING TO CENSUS AND STATISTICS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Canberra
Recorded by: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics
Census area maps, 1911– A4162
Sydney
Recorded by: Statistical Department, South Australia
General correspondence files, 1917–60 D4771
General correspondence files, 1917–60 AP1204/2
Census register (including dwellings, buildings, cargo, freight), 1932–39 AP1040/3
Register of tabulations of structural and commodity data – factories and works, 1933–58 AP907/2
Factory returns for South Australian statistics of various commodities, 1936–65 AP907/1
Commodity tabulations of materials used and articles produced in factories, 1943–58 AP907/5
Factories and works, 1947–60 AP907/3
Sydney
Recorded by: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, South Australia
Integrated census papers re collection of data from businesses, 1964–69 AP553/1
Integrated register of location addresses of legal entities, 1973 AT1903/31
SELECTED SERIES THAT CONTAIN RECORDS RELATING TO CENSUS AND STATISTICS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Sydney
Recorded by: Australian Electoral Office, South Australia
Census files with supporting documentation, 1979–87 D3387
SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO CENSUS AND STATISTICS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Canberra
South Australia – metropolitan area census [map], 1921 A4162, SA (ADELAIDE 2)
Adelaide
War Census – includes posters, 1915 D596, 1915/5578
Fuel and oil consumption statements forwarded annually to the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics [by Commonwealth Railways], 1930–67 B300, 6585 part 2
Collector of Customs – Adelaide – Census 1947, 1946 D596, 1946/3530
Weapons Research Establishment – Commonwealth Census – Woomera, 1961–66 D250, 56/2329 part 1
Darwin
Administrator, NT [II] – Census of Aboriginal people belonging to the Central Reserves of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia, 1963–72 F1, 1967/2811

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Federation and government