The public consultation has closed.
The ABS will make recommendations to Government on the topics to be included in the 2021 Census in mid-2019. The final Census topics are a decision for the Australian Government.
To inform the recommendations to Government, the ABS will continue to explore the suggestions made through this consultation process. The sections below describe the steps in further detail.
DISCUSSIONS WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS AND DATA USERS TO REFINE THE DATA NEEDS
Discussions with stakeholders are underway and are targeted to explore the data needs and seek any clarifying information required on proposed topics. Further support is welcome from data users on any of the directions expressed in the following sections.
AN ASSESSMENT OF COSTS AND OPERATIONAL IMPLICATIONS
Assessment of the cost and feasibility of topics will consider all aspects of the Census cycle including design, build, collection, processing and dissemination.
The number, complexity and sensitivity of questions asked in a Census can impact the quality of responses and consequently, the quality of the data collected. So not all suggested topics, including those assessed as providing valuable information, may necessarily be included in the 2021 Census.
FURTHER DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF THE QUESTIONS
Questions will be tested through focus groups, individual interviews using cognitive testing techniques, and large scale tests. Question testing will ensure, as far as reasonably possible, that quality data can be obtained for the proposed new and amended topics. Large scale quantitative testing will be undertaken to refine the wording of questions and to ensure that new and amended questions do not impact on the overall quality of response to the Census.
When the Government has decided the 2021 Census topics, an amendment to the Census and Statistics Regulation 2016 will be tabled in both houses of Parliament in late 2019 to give effect to that decision, if required.
The ABS will publish an information paper outlining the 2021 Census topics (cat. no. 2008.0) after the final decision is made.