Chance for young people to make themselves count (Media Release), Mar 2006

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Chance for young people to make themselves count

Youth week starts tomorrow. While there is a focus on the youth of Australia it is important to remember that young people have the opportunity to make themselves count at the Census of 8 August.

The Census might seem boring to some young people, or even irrelevant to them, but the mere fact of being counted can make a difference to their lives.

The Census is conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics every five years. In past Censuses the ABS has found that the highest rate of undercount has been among young people aged 15-29, particularly young men.

No one will hear your voice, if they don't know you exist. By making sure that you are counted on Census night, planners such as community groups and councils will know how many young people there are and where they are - and be able to plan their youth services accordingly.

Your personal privacy is assured. Census information is used as statistics, not in ways that can identify any individual. No personal information is ever released outside the ABS and Census forms are destroyed once the statistics have been gathered.

Census figures are used in a variety of ways that can help young people. For example councils have used Census figures to plan drop-in centres and skateboard parks.

The city of Casey in Victoria has said it will use this year's Census figures as the basis for redrawing its youth policy to make it more relevant to young people. (Casey has outgrown youth plan - Berwick Leader 8 March 2006).

Logan City Council in Queensland used Census figures to determine that 42 per cent of Logan's population was younger than 24, with 23 per cent aged between 12 to 25. (Albert and Logan News, 8 March 2006). These are 2001 figures and obviously they will be updated by the 2006 figures.

Planners take Census figures seriously. So don't be invisible - make sure you are included on a Census form on Census night.