Get to know your community with these free data tools

Typically, one of the great challenges faced when delivering inclusive sport activities is actually getting people to come along. This may be due to several factors but often it is because we don’t fully understand the community we are delivering our activities in. Why is this important? Well, by understanding the places we deliver our activities we know more about the types of people who live there. Once we know this we can engage directly with the community and design activities that suit their needs.

For example, if you know the community has a large migrant population from a particular region you can work towards delivering activities which appeal to them, or work with them to find ways to get them involved.

Having a good understanding of the types of people in the community will go a long way to improve your chances of engaging them in your sport activities.

A good place start is by doing some research. Here we provide you with some handy data tools that will help you build a better picture of what types of people make up the communities you deliver your sport activities in. The best thing is these are all free!

Australian Bureau of Statistics

The ABS is your number one source of up to date and historic statistics about the Australian population. The ABS offers a host of information from raw data sets through to interactive tools that help us understand what the numbers mean. Here we provide a selection of tools that you may find useful. But spend some time exploring the ABS site as it’s a treasure trove of useful information.

Browse Statistics

To gain some insight you can jump straight into some specific stats by browsing the range of topics listed on the ABS website here. Alternatively, you can select from the list of suggested topics below:

Data in Pictures

Data in Pictures delivers eye catching infographics that are shareable, easily digestible and provide a good starting point for accessing selected data on the states, territories and capital cities of Australia.

Data by Region

The Data by Region tool on the ABS website is one of the most useful tools for understanding your local community. Data by Region provides you easy access to statistics on a particular geographical region. It lets you explore a whole host of statistics right down to your local level using an interactive map.

Find the Data by Region tool here.

SBS Census Explorer

This tool provides an interactive platform where you can explore the most recent Australian Census data. You can narrow your search by a whole host of factors including language, places, and topics. It provides interactive charts, tables and maps.

Check it out here.


.id are a consulting firm specialising in the analysis and interpretation of population and demographic data. They help organisations decide where and when to locate services to meet the changing needs of their communities. The great thing is they also offer free regional profiles that you can use to build a better understanding of your local community.

Check out .id’s community profiles here.

Clearinghouse for Sport

The Clearinghouse for Sport (Clearinghouse) is the principal information coordination point for Australian sport. It aims to share knowledge and insights about elite sport, organised and grassroots sport, and increasing physical activity levels within our communities. In the Clearinghouse you can find plenty of information on a range of topics, some of which may assist in building a better understating of the places we deliver sport such as:

Monash University – Mapping Australia’s Population

This site seeks to augment informed public discussion of immigration and population issues. The information on the site is provided to further inform understanding of population change in Australia, as indicated by statistics detailing immigration and population growth and Australian public opinion on immigration and population issues.

Check out the Monash Univeristy site here.

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Hopefully these free data tools will help you understand your communities a little better.

Do you know of any other sources of information that help understand our communities better? Share in the comments!