Every stat tells a story.

ABS releases first tally of 2021 Census forms submitted

Media Release

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates it has received 1,023,561 Census forms as of Wednesday 4 August at 8am.

This tally is based on online forms submitted by households through the Census website. It is not a complete tally of submitted forms as it does not include any paper forms.

Andrew Henderson, Census Executive Director and National Spokesperson said, “with many households still to receive their Census instructions, we are delighted with the participation we have received at this early stage.

“It’s a great reminder that people can complete their Census as soon as they receive their instructions if they know where they’ll be on 10 August. They don’t have to wait until Census night.”

For help to complete your Census, visit www.census.abs.gov.au. For help in your language, call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450.

The next tally will be published on the morning of Monday 9 August at 10am AEST.

“We expect the number of forms submitted daily to continue to grow between now and Census night. Experience with earlier Censuses, which accords with international experience, is that the tally of forms received will continue to grow steadily in the several weeks following Census night. The ABS expects this pattern to be repeated for this Census.”

The tally of forms submitted by households does not directly translate to a response rate, which is the proportion of the Australian population that has completed the Census.

The response rate, which is the official completion measure for the Census, will be determined after all forms have been submitted and quality checked.

This final response rate will be published with the first release of Census data in June 2022.

More information

What is the Census?
The Census, held on Tuesday 10 August 2021, is a snapshot of who we are and tells the story of how we are changing. It is one of the largest and most important statistical collections undertaken by the ABS.

How will people complete their Census?
People will be able to complete the Census online, on their mobile device or on paper.

A number of options will be available for people who need assistance to complete their Census form including help from Census staff, and phone and online help.

Census staff will be in remote communities to help people complete the Census during July and August.

What is new with the Census?
People can complete their Census as soon as they receive their instructions if they know where they’ll be on 10 August. They don’t have to wait until Census night.

There are two new questions in the 2021 Census—the first changes to questions collected since 2006. The new questions are on long-term health conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, and on defence force participation.

Conducting the Census in a COVID environment
We expect most people will complete their Census online with no in-person contact from us. More information on conducting the Census in a COVID-19 environment is available at Keeping the community safe during COVID-19.

How do people know if the Census instructions are legitimate?
Census instructions will feature the official Australian Bureau of Statistics logo and the 2021 Census branding. Further information about what the public can expect from us is available at Identifying and avoiding scams.

Further information about communicating Census participation is available in the media backgrounder on the Census Media Hub.

Media notes

  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on media@abs.gov.au or 1300 175 070.
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