Australia's 'Big Things'

A tour of the census data via a road trip of some of Australia’s most iconic landmarks

Executive Summary

The aim of our project was to find some interesting insights in the census data and a way for the community to engage with these insights.


The 2016 census posed many interesting questions to give observations about the Australian population and who the ‘typical’ Australian is, like where we live, where we’re from, and the average age. However, the scope of census data is quite broad, much of which may be less publicised. A few, perhaps less known aspects of the 2016 census data, were investigated with both some expected and surprising results. These led to questions that the general public can engage with through a buzzfeed quiz, and in particular targeting a younger demographic that may be less inclined to delve into more formal presentations of the census data.

The buzzfeed quiz user will answer a short succession of questions, based on an informal interpretation of an aspect of the 2016 census data. By way of an individual combination of answers the user will arrive at a collection of interesting census statistics particular to them. The Buzzfeed quiz is presented as a personality quiz, which asks ‘which Australian Big Thing are you?’ Ideally the individual answer combination and iconic Australian landmark will bear some relevance to each other, although it may be a little ‘cheeky’.

Statistics and Visualization

The following 3 census 2016 datasets that were investigated

Unpaid domestic work

The amount of unpaid work performed in a person’s own home, measured in hours in the week prior to the 2016 census night, was given in age bands for individuals 15+ years old for males and females.

Unpaid domestic work

A comparison of the duration of unpaid domestic work between the genders showed that males were most likely to do less than 5 hours a week, compared to females with a general trend of the relative proportions increasing with the number of hours.

Unpaid domestic work

A cross the age bands, younger people were more likely to do less unpaid domestic work. A general trend of more hours corresponds with an increase in age, peaking in the 45-54 age band, followed by a decreasing trend with an increase in age from 55 years onwards. These observations were not gender specific, both males and females showed similar correlations between age and duration of unpaid domestic work.

This 2016 census data was informally translated in the buzzfeed quiz as; how clean is your house?

Proficiency in spoken English/language by year of arrival in Australia by age

Journalist Allie Severin says that you don’t need English to be an Australian citizen. But is it so ? Should the national anthem’s lyrics “We’ve boundless plains to share…but only if you can speak English..” be changed ? So a cool way to find out about the on-going trend of people speaking “ocker” English in Australia was to analyse the Census data and find out how proficient are we in English.

It seems that as of in 2016, proficient users of English in this continent has taken a dip. More so the age groups of 15-24 years and 25-34 years show an eagerness to learn English, but since 2016, this has taken a backward step as well. So the question remains? Is English losing its importance now? Or is it slowly being replaced by some other language? So let the citizens answer, do you speak ocker English? Or is it somewhat bloody blodgy ?

Proficiency in spoken English/language by year of arrival in Australia by age

Dwelling Structure by Number of Bedrooms

Majority (88%) of Australian population stays in a residence with 2-4 bedrooms. Only 5.6% of the population settles in a 1 bedroom or bedsitters kind of accommodations and as small as 1% of the citizens in spacious houses with 6 or more bedrooms.

Dwelling Structure by Number of Bedrooms

Conceptually the Buzzfeed quiz is a decision-tree which can be scaled up by adding more decision nodes, and if successful other fun quizzes exploring different parts of the census data with a variety of themes may be developed.


2016 Census Community Profiles

Interactive Quiz

About Us

GovHack 2017 Melbourne Team

We are a bunch of students studying Masters in Analytics exploring innovative ways in order to create fun things for our community.

Our current project explores the Australian Bureau of Statistics data which was used to create a Buzzfeed quiz based on the trends in data giving us some humurous and interesting insights about statistics. Team Members (from Right to Left): Namita, Sayoni, Terrie, Rinku, Rahul and Nikhil