Participation in the 2021 Census
Information for people who have been contacted about the Census or have an outstanding form.
Thank you to the millions of people who completed the 2021 Census.
Census staff in Northern Territory
There are still a number of households in the Northern Territory, particularly around Darwin and Katherine, that have not returned their Census form. We will be visiting households in some parts of the Northern Territory until the end of October.
Census staff will complete your Census with you from the doorstep. Our staff can identify themselves with official ABS identification and explain clearly what the information is being sought for and how that information will be used.
When was the Census?
Census night was on Tuesday 10 August 2021.
The Census is a snapshot of who we are, and tells the story of how we are changing. It will ask questions about everyone staying in your household on 10 August 2021, including visitors and babies.
Instructions will be sent to every household and dwelling in the country. You’ll have several days to complete your form instead of a single night.
There will be different ways to do this, including online and by paper. And for those who need it, we’ll have people in your community to help make sure you’re counted.
Complete your Census in 2021. It’s for all of us.
Go to census.abs.gov.au for more information.
Can I still submit my Census form?
If you have a paper form, please return today in the reply paid envelope provided or in an envelope using our reply paid address: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census Reply Paid 91968, DANDENONG, VIC 3175
The online form was closed on 1 October 2021.
I want to check that you received my form, how can I contact you?
You don’t need to contact us to confirm your form has arrived.
If you’re concerned due to being contacted about an outstanding form, you can contact us via our Census enquiry form.
I didn’t return my Census form, will I be fined?
You can be fined if you refuse to complete the Census or submit an incomplete form.
The Census is compulsory. 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.
You will be contacted by the ABS directly if you are at risk of fines or penalties.
More information is available in our information at requirement to participate.
What if I was overseas?
You don’t need to complete the Census if you were out of the country on Census night. Please contact us via our Census enquiry form to advise us that your home was empty. You can recycle any materials received.
Will I still be contacted about the Census?
The ABS will be contacting people over the coming months, if:
- you are being provided assistance to complete an outstanding Census form
- you have refused to complete the Census and we have sent formal written correspondence about potential fines or penalties
- your household has been selected to participate in our Post Census Review
- you are invited to participate in research informing our Census evaluation.
How can I tell the contact from ABS is genuine?
Scammers often pretend to be from trusted government organisations like the ABS.
- Always look for ‘.gov.au’ at the end of any emails or website addresses.
- Our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts are verified with a blue tick badge next to our name.
- ABS Officers will 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.