The Census Makes Sense! - McCarthy Group The Census Makes Sense! - McCarthy Group

The Census has found itself off to a rocky start. As tax payers, we paid a fortune to have it go off without a hitch but with a number of difficulties in its execution it turned into a nationwide joke. However, the Census is a much needed part of governance and it makes perfect sense to keep it around. Here’s our thoughts.

If you were to look at the controversy of the Census, it all comes down to two main things; privacy and ineptitude. These two factors have dominated the media’s enquiry into the Census’ failure, and it is what we have come to judge the process on. And for good reason too, it is the right of the Australian people to scrutinise the process’ failings, however it is all too easy to forget just how important this data is. And it is important.

A 1940 Census worker counts a family.

A 1940 Census worker counts a family.

Imagine that you are in charge of 100 people. How would you best serve these individuals? What do they want? What do they need? These are the things that a government has to think about, and the only way to make sure you know that information is make everybody in the nation fill out that very well-known (and now notorious) form.

Normally we are all too happy to give away some vague information about ourselves, but when we are asked to give our names with the knowledge that our data will be linked to us on a much more personal level, things start to get a little uncomfortable. Even more so when you think about the simplicity with which the Census was brought down on its opening night.

However, if we step back from the controversy and look at what the Census informs, we might be able to get a better idea of just how important this information is to give. In 2011 from the last Census, at least 2 major government institutions used Census data to make informed decisions on how to best serve small disadvantaged communities. Businesses also use Census data to inform their own decisions on audience sizes and characteristics, so that they aren’t spending money on anything unnecessarily. You can be sure that the Census has also been the catalyst for many public policies, and it ultimately acts as a way to connect the Australian people with those who determine our futures.

Australia's demographic pyramid, a form of statistical analysis that reveals our aging population.

Australia’s demographic pyramid, a form of statistical analysis that reveals our aging population.

We know that we have looked at a lot of data from previous Censuses and have found a number of disturbing results which we try to help fix. For example, the retirement age has been pushed back further and further as income struggles to keep up with the cost of living. More recently home ownership has sunk to all new lows, and we have more people coming into the country than housing to support them! It might all seem doom and gloom, but it is important information for the government and we as enterprises to understand. By understanding what the country as a whole needs, we can best create solutions to the issues that we find.

From an individual’s stand point we can also look into the benefits of the Census for you. When key statistics are found they are published throughout media agencies, and we as the public get to see the major trends that the Census has picked up. All the issues we mentioned above influence how we as individuals look at our own lives. I know that once I found out about the retirement age being pushed back further, I increased the amount I was saving by almost double! Is it fair though for the Census to be collecting personal data such as your name? There might be a number of logical reasons to collect such data, but ultimately it comes down to your own opinion on what the government should have access to.

If you’re concerned about the rising costs of living and the retirement age being continuously pushed back, you’re not alone. McCarthy Group has aided thousands of people like yourself take control of their futures.

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