2021 Census product release guide

Data from the 2021 Census was released in three phases

2021 data release

The Census provides a valuable snapshot of information about Australians that reflects our community at the time the Census was undertaken. The most recent Census of Population and Housing was conducted on 10 August 2021. For more information see About the 2021 Census

2021 Census data will be released in a phased approach. June 2022: Key population data. October 2022: Additional location variables and employment data. April 2023: Complex topics.
2021 Census data will be released in a phased approach. 1. June 2022 key population data 2. October 2022 additional location variables and employment data 3. Early to Mid-2023 complex topics

The ABS released 2021 Census data in a staged approach. There were three key release phases.

  1. 28 June 2022 – most topics were released for almost all geographic outputs for place of usual residence and for place of enumeration on Census night.
  2. 12 October 2022 – a smaller number of topics including employment and location-based variables were released.
  3. 27 April 2023 – complex topics that require additional processing such as distance to work, socio-economic indexes for areas (SEIFA) were released.

Expand the section below to see which Census topics were included in each release. Each topic may have several variables associated with it.

Topic release plan

Accessing released data

Census data can be accessed using a number of Census data tools. We have outlined which data you can access through which product, and when it became available.

The products include:

  • QuickStats
  • Community Profiles
  • DataPacks
  • GeoPackages
  • TableBuilder
  • Microdata

Visit Which data tool is best for you or see Census data tools and products to get more information about these tools or how to access Census data. 

Census data can also be accessed through several other products, such as API's and Census data stories. More information on other data products can be found here.


QuickStats are a simple way to understand an area at a glance. They provide a summary of an area including demographics and tables on key characteristics of the people living in the area, their families, and their dwellings.

There are three types of QuickStats:

  • All persons
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Country of Birth

Expand the sections below to see what data is available in QuickStats. 

Variables available in QuickStats

Geographies available in QuickStats

All persons QuickStats

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander QuickStats

Country of birth QuickStats

Community Profiles

Community Profiles are tools for researching, planning, and analysing geographic areas for a number of social, economic and demographic characteristics. Community Profiles provide a comprehensive statistical picture of an area in Excel spreadsheets, delivering data relating to people, families, and dwellings.

There are four types of Community profiles:

  • General community profile
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples profile
  • Time series profile
  • Working population profile

Download Community Profile templates here.

Expand the sections below to see what data is available in Community Profiles.

Variables available in Community Profiles

Geographies available in Community Profiles

General community profile

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples profile

Time series profile

Working population profile


DataPacks contain comprehensive data about people, families and dwellings for all Census geographies ranging from Australia down to Statistical Area Level 1. They are containers of data based on Census Community Profiles and include:

  • digital boundary files,
  • metadata and
  • reference documents to enable you to read the data.

DataPacks are suitable for experienced Census data users who have their own databases or analysis systems. The data provided in DataPacks is based on the four Community Profiles with the addition of the Place of enumeration profile, and are available at more levels of geography. 

Download DataPacks templates.

Expand the sections below to see what data will be available in DataPacks. 

Variables available in DataPacks

Geographies available in DataPacks

Place of enumeration profile


GeoPackages contain comprehensive data about people, families and dwellings for Census geographical areas ranging from Statistical Areas Level 1 to the whole of Australia. GeoPackages are Census data linked to geographical boundary data from the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) in a database container.

GeoPackages are suitable for experienced Census data users who want Community Profile data for numerous locations and have their own databases or Geographic Information System (GIS) software. GeoPackages do not include software.

GeoPackages are based on the General community profile.

Expand the sections below to see release dates and what data will be available in GeoPackages.

Variables available in GeoPackages

Geographies available in GeoPackages


Census TableBuilder allows you to build and customise tables to your own specifications. For further information on this product see TableBuilder.

Download the Census TableBuilder data item list.

Expand the section below to see dataset release information. 

TableBuilder dataset list


Microdata products contain the most detailed information available from the Census. They contain data which is either the response to individual questions on the Census form or derived from answers to two or more questions.

The detailed microdata product contains unidentified detailed unit record data which is available for analysis by approved researchers within the ABS's secure DataLab environment. The detailed microdata was available from 27 April 2023.

The 5% basic microdata product provides a sample of one private dwelling record in every twenty from the Census and their associated family and person records, and for non-private dwellings one person in every twenty and their associated non-private dwelling records. Approved users can download the basic microdata via MicrodataDownload. The basic microdata was available from 15 August 2023.

Other data products

Census data will also be released in several other tools. These tools are outlined below with the 2021 Census data availability.

ABS data APIs

Data Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable fast access to ABS statistics by using machine to machine 'API calls'. These calls return statistics in a machine friendly format so that you can integrate data into your own systems as they are released. APIs were available for first data release.

Census data by topic

Stories, articles and visualisations that relate to Census data on topics of interest can be found at Census data by topic. Spreadsheets containing summary data on the topics are also included. Topics and articles were progressively updated and released from 28 June 2022.  

Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset

The Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD) combines a 5% sample of data from multiple Censuses to create a research tool for exploring how Australian society changes over time.

ACLD datasets are available in TableBuilder and accessible for analysis within the DataLab. 2021 Census data (wave 4) was added to the detailed microdata products in December 2023. 2021 Census data (wave 4) was added to the ACLD TableBuilder datasets in April 2024.

Mesh block counts

Mesh blocks are identified with a unique 11 digit code and are the smallest geographical unit in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard for which Census data is output. These datasets contain counts of the total usual resident population and the total dwelling count from the 2021 Census of Population and Housing. 2021 Census Mesh block counts were released with first data release in 2022.

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) ranks areas in Australia according to relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage. The indexes are based on information from the five-yearly Census. SEIFA was released as part of third release in April 2023.

Estimates of Homelessness

The 2021 Census Estimates of Homelessness was released on 22 March 2023.

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