Census

Every stat tells a story.

Go to the 2021 Census website

It’s not too late to complete your Census

Media Release
Released
13/08/2021

Census night was Tuesday 10 August, but it’s not too late to participate.

Andrew Henderson, Census Executive Director and National Spokesperson said, “People still have time to complete their Census. We want to make sure everyone is included in the Census so they can help tell their community’s story.”

Households were sent instructions to help them to complete.

“You can do the Census online, by paper or with help from us. If you can’t find, or haven’t received your letter, don’t worry you can go online and complete your Census without a code.

“There are a range of help and support options for people who need assistance to complete their Census, and you can order a paper form by going to www.census.abs.gov.au or by calling 1800 512 441.

“If we don’t hear from you soon, you’ll get an overdue notice and/or a visit from our field staff.

“We know most Australians understand that Census isn’t just numbers but what those numbers tell us—every stat tells a story. That’s why your participation is vital.

“Census data is used to plan and deliver services across Australia. Having the right numbers means the right services can be provided in your community.

“Make sure you’re counted in the 2021 Census,” Mr Henderson said.

The Census is compulsory. Following letters and visits from Census staff, a person may be fined if they refuse to complete the Census.

For more information or to seek help with completing the Census, visit www.census.abs.gov.au.

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.

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

What’s new with the Census?

People are encouraged to 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.

The ABS will also introduce 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 can be found 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.

Is the Census compulsory?

The Census is compulsory* under the Census and Statistics Act 1905.  

*See the 2021 Census Privacy Statement for more information.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au or 1300 175 070.
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