The Database That Ate The Census


The Australian Census (in formats that don't suck)

What is this?

This page provides a series of downloads of the Australian Census 2006, in formats intended to be immediately usable for various tasks.

The goal is to greatly reduce the time and cost associated with using the census information, and reduce the skill level needed to work with the data.

Why bother?

At the 32-hour long Canberra GovHack event, we (the MyReps team, Jeffery and myself) noticed that most of the teams present ended up spending between one and two thirds of their time dealing with locating, downloading, cleaning, formatting and otherwise overcoming problems getting access to the data they wanted to use in their application.

Most of the applications that were ultimately produced were built largely in the last 10 hours of the event. If the data was immediately accessible in well known and easily usable formats, we might well have doubled the productivity of the event.

Since the Census is only provided in various Excel, Zip and ESRI shapefiles, it takes a lot to build a complete copy of the census. Fortunately, pre-assembled versions are available from a number of University Libraries. I've had to do a ton of work to get a usable Census database working myself even with the pre-assembled versions. We hope to reduce this work for others by providing them for download here.

As I make improvements to the coverage and structure, we will post new updates. The data, being a Census, will not change. Only improvements to metadata and structure will result in new releases. So long times between updates should be expected.

Releases and Editions

Latest Release Permalink

Provided for use with auto-updating software systems

http://ali.as/census/census.sqlite.gz

 

Release 3

Census Collection Districts, Packed "B" Table/Column Naming Scheme.
Column data types are now significantly improved and tables have primary keys.

Download PostgreSQL Edition (144Mb)

Download SQLite Edition (Gzip) (144Mb)

Download SQLite Edition (Bzip2) (119Mb)

 

Release 2

Census Collection Districts, Packed "B" Table/Column Naming Scheme.
Basic Metadata Tables

Download PostgreSQL Edition (144Mb)

Download SQLite Edition (Gzip) (174Mb)

Download SQLite Edition (Bzip2) (134Mb)

 

Release 1

Census Collection Districts, Packed "B" Table/Column Naming Scheme.
No metadata available in this release, coming next release...

Download PostgreSQL Edition (144Mb)

Download SQLite Edition (174Mb)

 




Content copyright 2002 Adam Kennedy
All rights reserved.