Participation

Information for people who have questions about participation in the 2021 Census.

Thank you to the millions of people who completed the 2021 Census. The online form has closed and paper forms can no longer be requested. Census data will be available from June 2022.

When was the Census?

Census night was on Tuesday 10 August 2021.

Do I need to submit a Census form?

The Census collection period has ended. The online and paper forms are no longer available.

I didn’t return my Census form, will I be fined?

People were contacted by the ABS if they refused to complete a Census form. 

Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (the Act), the Australian Statistician can issue you a Notice of Direction, which directs you in writing to complete the Census. The notice explains that if you don’t complete the Census, you can be prosecuted and fined up to $222 a day.

If you have not received this formal letter, you are not at risk of fines or penalties for not returning a Census form. 

More information is available at requirement to participate.

Will I still be contacted about the Census?

The ABS will be contacting people over the coming months who:

  • have refused to complete the Census and were sent formal written correspondence about potential fines or penalties
  • are invited to participate in research informing the Census evaluation.

How can I tell contact from the ABS is genuine?

Scammers often pretend to be from trusted government organisations like the ABS. 

  • Always look for ‘.gov.au’ at the end of emails or website addresses.
  • ABS Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts are verified with a blue tick badge next to our name.
  • ABS Officers always carry official identification and produce it if you ask to see it.

We will never ask for:

  • your bank details or credit card information
  • money or donations
  • any passwords
  • identity documents, such as your drivers licence or passport
  • your tax file number
  • your Medicare number
  • detailed personal information e.g. your mother’s maiden name.

More information is available at beware of scams.

How can I ensure the information I provided in the Census is private?

The personal information you provided is protected by law and isn’t shared with anyone. This includes other government agencies. You can’t be identified by the information you shared about yourself and your family in your Census.

The 2021 Census Privacy Statement explains how we collect, use and share the personal information collected for the Census.