The census on August 10 will be unlike any other we’ve had in Australia to date. For the first time, it’ll be capturing standard information about the make-up of our households, our income and our role as caregivers – in the context of a global pandemic.
“There’s never been a more important census in our history,” demographer Mark McCrindle said.
“Since the last census, so much has changed: where we work, how we travel, who ‘Australia’ is comprised of [and more].”
Mark also noted that while the question on religion can be a politically charged one for people, the best way to answer it is “honestly and accurately”.
“It’s the only question of substance that’s voluntary,” Mark said.
“But to get a real measure on [our religious makeup] nationally it is really important, just to know about things like zoning for churches and places of worship – even prayers in parliament.
“If people no longer identify with Christianity, then you might think, ‘well, why do we have these spill-overs from what might have been the case in the previous era?”
“Even the preamble to the constitution is [reinforced] by the census, because it talks about us being ‘one nation under God’.
“All of these data collection points can help us understand and support our history, as well as make provision moving forward.”