2021 Census data release timeline

Census data will be released in a staged approach from June 2022.

2021 Census data will be released in a staged approach, over three key releases:

  1. June 2022 – most topics will be released for almost all geographic outputs for place of usual residence and for place of enumeration on Census night.
  2. October 2022 – a smaller number of topics including employment and location-based variables will be released.
  3. Early to mid-2023 – complex topics that require additional processing such as distance to work, socio-economic indexes for areas (SEIFA) will be released.

The table below shows which Census topics will be included in each release. Each topic may have several variables associated with it.

First release – June 2022Second release – October 2022Third release – early to mid-2023
SexInternal migration (address of usual residence 1 year ago and 5 years ago)Socio-economic indexes for areas (SEIFA)
AgeNon-school qualificationDistance to work
Registered marital statusStatus in employmentCensus Microdata
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander originOccupationEstimates of homelessness
Usual residence at Census timePublic or private employer indicator 
Australian citizenshipWorkplace address (Journey to work) 
Country of birthIndustry of employment 
Year of arrival in AustraliaHours worked 
Country of birth of parentsMethod of travel to work 
Main language other than English spoken at home  
Proficiency in spoken English  
Religious affiliation  
Need for assistance  
Attendance at an educational institution  
Highest year of schooling completed  
Number of children given birth to  
Unpaid care, help or assistance of another person due to disability, long term illness or old age  
Unpaid work - domestic activities  
Unpaid care of children  
Unpaid work - voluntary work for an organisation or group  
Address on Census night  
Family relationship (and Social marital status)  
Number of motor vehicles garaged  
Number of bedrooms  
Tenure type  
Landlord type  
Housing costs  
Dwelling structure  
Location of private dwelling  
Type of non-private dwelling  
Residential status in non-private dwelling  
Long-term health conditions (new topic)  
Australian Defence Force Service (new topic)  

Geography outputs that will be used for 2021 Census data

2021 Census data will be published using the Australian Statistical Geography Standard – Edition 3 (ASGS Ed 3). The ASGS is a collection of geographic boundaries that are used to analyse data.

The ASGS is split into two parts, ABS Structures and the Non-ABS Structures. ABS Structures are areas that the ABS design specifically for releasing statistics. Non-ABS structures are areas that have been defined and maintained by other organisations and against which the ABS is committed to providing a range of statistics (for example, Local Government Areas).

The geography outputs that will be used for 2021 Census data are presented below. Details on what geographies will be available for each of the data products will be released in early 2022. For more information, see ABS statistical geography.

ABS structures

  • Mesh Block (MB)
  • Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1)
  • Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2)
  • Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3)
  • Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4)
  • State/Territory (STE)
  • Australia (AUS)
  • Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSA)
  • Urban Centre/Locality (UC/L)
  • Section of State Range (SOSR)
  • Section of State (SOS)
  • Indigenous Location (ILOC)
  • Indigenous Area (IARE)
  • Indigenous Region (IREG)
  • Significant Urban Areas (SUA)
  • Remoteness Area (RA)

Non-ABS structures

  • Local Government Area (LGA)
  • Postal Areas (POA)
  • Commonwealth Electoral Division (CED)
  • State Electoral Division (SED)
  • Suburbs and Localities (SAL)
  • Destination Zones (DZN)
  • Australian Drainage Divisions (ADD)
  • Tourism Regions (TR)
  • Primary Health Networks (PHN)

For more information about the release of 2021 Census data, see 2021 Census topics and data release plan.