On 9 August 2017, the Treasurer, under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, directed the Australian Statistician to collect and publish statistical information from all eligible Australians on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll, about their views on whether or not the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.
The voluntary survey asked one question: should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry? Respondents were asked to mark one box – Yes or No – on the survey form.
Survey materials were mailed to eligible Australians on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll as at 24 August 2017.
A range of strategies were implemented to assist all eligible Australians who wished to complete the survey to do so. A survey response was received from 12,727,920 (79.5%) eligible Australians.
The ABS implemented robust systems and controls for the processing, coding and publication of statistical data. Detailed information on the systems used as well as the accuracy and integrity of the data is available in the Survey Process and the Quality and Integrity Statement.
The official statistics include a count of responses (Yes, No and Response Not Clear) by Federal Electoral Division (FED), State/Territory and National. This also includes a count of eligible Australians who have not participated in the survey.
Information from the Commonwealth Electoral Roll has been used to independently produce a participation rate by age and gender for each FED, State/Territory and National. This rate has been published by gender, for each of the following age groups: 18-19 years, 20-24 years, 25-29 years, 30-34 years, 35-39 years, 40-44 years, 45-49 years, 50-54 years, 55-59 years, 60-64 years, 65-69 years, 70-74 years, 75-79 years, 80-84 years, and 85+ years.