What the Census is

Every five years, the Census counts every person and home in Australia. It’s a snapshot of who we are, and how we are changing.

The next Census is Tuesday 10 August 2021.

What is the Census?

Every five years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics counts every person and home in Australia. This is called the Census of Population and Housing. This year, the Census is on Tuesday 10 August.

The Census form asks questions about things like your age, country of birth, religion, ancestry, language used at home, work and education.

It’s a snapshot of who we are and tells the story of how we are changing. Census data is used to inform important decisions about transport, schools, health care, infrastructure and business. It also helps plan local services for individuals, families and communities.

The next Census is Tuesday 10 August 2021.

Why is the Census important?

The information you provide is used to inform important decisions about transport, schools, health care, infrastructure and business.

It also helps plan local services for individuals, families and communities. For example, knowing the number of people living in regional and remote areas informs where doctors are needed, and understanding local births and languages spoken at home links Australians to the community services they need.

Learn more about how Census data informs local organisations.

Do I have to complete the Census?

The Census is compulsory. See the Census privacy statement for more information.

This means everyone in Australia except diplomats and their families must complete the Census wherever they are on Census night. This includes visa holders, tourists and international visitors like students studying at Australian universities.

You should complete the Census wherever you are staying on Census night.

Is my information confidential?

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

See the Census privacy statement for information.