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Type: Journal article
Title: Space place population and census analysis in Australia
Author: Hugo, G.
Citation: Australian Geographer, 2007; 38(3):335-357
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 0004-9182
Statement of
Graeme Hugo
Abstract: The Australian Census of Population and Housing is a census of people not places. However, where people live and work can be of major relevance in our search for explaining and understanding their behaviour. This paper argues that the place dimension in the Australian census has not been exploited very effectively in this respect. Three dimensions of the issue are addressed. Firstly, the spatial units commonly used for analysis of census data often are not appropriate to the problem being investigated. The spatial units in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) used for census data rarely represent meaningful social, economic and environmental regions. Secondly, the use of a simple urban/rural dichotomy is criticised as being a very blunt instrument to differentiate settlement types. Thirdly, the relationship between people and place in the census is discussed. While for the most part the census relates people to a single location—their place of usual residence—this is only one of the places with which people regularly interact. It is suggested that there is a need to adopt practices in the census which allow a range of population geographies to be defined. In conclusion it is argued that innovation in the Australian census, especially with the introduction of meshblocks and contemporary methodology and technology in Geographical Information Systems, makes it possible to analyse spatially referenced data in ways that can address these three issues.
Keywords: Census
Description: © 2008 Informa plc
DOI: 10.1080/00049180701639760
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Australian Population and Migration Research Centre publications
Geography, Environment and Population publications

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