Every stat tells a story.

2021 Census website closing this week – last chance to complete the Census

Media Release

The 2021 Census website, including the online form, and customer service channels will close on Friday 1 October marking a significant milestone in the Census data collection process for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Australian Statistician, Dr David Gruen said, “The website and online form have been available since 28 July but will soon close - now is your last opportunity to submit your Census form.

“Households that haven’t completed the Census need to do so this week. Online forms can be submitted until Friday 1 October at 3:00pm AEST. If you don’t have your Census letter, you can go online and complete today. Select the ‘Get a Census Number’ option.

“People who haven’t yet returned a completed paper form need to do so today using the reply-paid envelope provided”.

As of Tuesday 28 September, more than 10 million forms have been completed in the 2021 Census.

“This a great result. Thank you to the millions of people across Australia who have completed the Census,” Dr Gruen said.

“It’s critically important that everyone participates and well over 90 per cent have already done so. But no community is too small to count, we want to make sure everyone is represented.”

Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, the Census is compulsory. The Australian Statistician can issue people with a Notice of Direction, which directs people in writing to complete the Census and fines can apply if the Notice of Direction is not complied with.

The ABS will publish a final response rate for the 2021 Census with the first release of Census data in June 2022.

Census data is used to inform important decisions about transport, schools, health care, infrastructure and business at the community and national level.

More information

What is the Census?
The Census counts each household and person in Australia on Census night. It’s a snapshot of who we are, and how we are changing. It provides a picture of the economic, social, and cultural make up of Australia. The Census is one of the largest and most important statistical collections undertaken by the ABS. The Census is held every five years. The 2021 Census took place on Tuesday 10 August 2021. It was Australia’s 18th Census.

Is the Census compulsory?
The Census is compulsory under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and fines can apply if someone refuses to complete their Census. Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, 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.

Media notes

  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on media@abs.gov.au or 1300 175 070 (Mon–Fri, 8:30am–5:00pm)

  • Subscribe to our email notification service and get media releases or products sent to you on release.

  • Further information on 2021 Census participation is available in the Census media backgrounders.

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