Opinion

SOAP BOX: I'm sorry but Census ain't adding up

FAIL: The Census 2016 copped plenty of flak but it may not be fatally flawed.
FAIL: The Census 2016 copped plenty of flak but it may not be fatally flawed. Will Hunter

I'M sorry but I have to admit I'm fairly sceptical of the Census data.

August 9 was a disaster of epic proportions in terms of planning and conducting an online event.

The demise of the server infuriated many and from all reports, had driven many away from completing the survey altogether, fearing security breaches or purely out of principle.

To hear that nearly 95% of the population has managed to bounce back from that and complete the Census is nothing short of mind-blowing.

To firstly remember to fill it out is an achievement in itself, let alone find the time.

If the figures are correct, my hat is tipped to those who persisted.

But speaking with the Census media unit does nothing to ease my scepticism.

Apparently I was making things "too complex" when I asked how - when they were yet to determine how many households were even occupied on Census night - they could possibly calculate what percentage of households had completed the survey.

The conversation that followed actually started to make some sense.

About 10 million homes were under the scope of this year's Census and as of yesterday about 8.7 million of those had been identified as occupied on Census night.

From those, about 95% had responded, hence the figure.

As for online responses or the amount of paper copies sent out, well for now it's a mystery, much like that Census server "hacking".

Topics:  australian bureau of statistics, census 2016, opinion, soapbox, statistics



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