Background and planning

Assessments, testing and research that informed the plans for the 2021 Census

Planning the 2021 Census
Outlines how we proposed to conduct the 2021 Census and explains how we would protect the privacy and confidentiality of the information you provided.

Audit Report: Planning for the 2021 Census
The ANAO has released an Audit Report on the ABS’ planning for the 2021 Census. The report made seven recommendations relating to program oversight and assurance, data quality, privacy and security. The ABS accepted all recommendations and implemented them in full before the 2021 Census.

Census of Population and Housing: Topic Directions, 2021 
Public consultation on the range of topics included in the 2021 Census occurred between 3 April and 30 June 2018. This report summarises the outcomes of this consultation and outlines the next steps in determining the topics for the 2021 Census. 

2021 Census topics and data release plan
Presents the topics included in the 2021 Census and the plans about how and when data is released.

Census Privacy Impact Assessments
The ABS has released the findings, and ABS responses, of two independent Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) about how the 2021 Census will be run.

Value of the Census
The community and economic value of the Census is significant.
Lateral Economics released an independent valuation of the Australian Census, which found that for every $1 invested in the Census, $6 of value was generated to the Australian economy.

Administrative data research
The ABS continues to research how administrative data could improve the Australian Census.

2020 Census Test
Around 100,000 households from selected suburbs in Sydney, Adelaide, Darwin and Canberra, as well as regional centres of Karratha, Warrnambool and Alice Springs Town Camps and surrounds were included in the test.

Independent Assurance Panel: Report on the quality of the 2016 Census data
In reviewing the 2016 Census data, the Independent Assurance Panel identified opportunities for ABS to enhance future Censuses.

2016 Census overview
The ABS learnt from the 2016 experience, which shaped the way we planned for the 2021 Census.