Census 2001 - processing begins: March 2001
The task of compiling information from the 2001 Census began this week, with the scanning of 5.2 million census
questionnaires, Government Statistician Brian Pink reports.
It will take two scanners 49 days to scan all the questionnaires. The scanners will operate six days a week and will
each scan 57,000 questionnaires a day. Specially designed software will convert the marked boxes, numbers and
handwritten words into digital format.
"By making use of leading-edge technology, we have reduced the time required to compile this information," Brian Pink
Once the forms have been scanned, it will take over 200 staff 10 months to process the data. They will key in
information that has not been recognised by the software, code those responses, and check the information. Once all the
processing is done, the questionnaires will be shredded, unless people gave permission for their forms to be archived
for 100 years.
Information provided by individuals in the census is kept totally confidential. An individual's information cannot be
identified in the summary statistics that are released. Names and addresses are not included in the statistical records.
Provisional population counts will be released on 28 May 2001 and the final counts will be announced on 17 December
2001. The plan is to have more detailed information from the census available from 28 February 2002.
Census findings provide a snapshot of our ever-changing population. It allows us to measure the development of our
society and to make decisions about the future needs of our communities.
Brian Pink GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN