Questions in the Census Test

The 2019 Census Test will test potential new Census questions, as well as changes to some existing questions, to ensure they are understood and answered. Information collected from these questions could be beneficial to inform services, policy and research and how questions may be designed for future Censuses and other ABS surveys.

It's important to note that not everyone will be asked all of these questions. More information on new or changed questions being asked in the 2019 Census Test is below.

All information you provide in your Census Test form is kept secure, confidential and is protected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, and the Privacy Act 1988 . See the ABS Privacy Policy for more information.

If you would prefer to keep this information private, you can request your own Census Test form by calling 1300 214 531.

Long-term health conditions
Australian Defence Force service
Number of babies ever born
Any work at all in a job, business or farm

Why am I being asked about my sex?

Almost all decisions made by governments, businesses and local community groups depend on understanding the different demographic information of people and where they are located across Australia. Along with age, sex is one of the key demographic variables. This information is often related, in particular ways, to a person’s other experiences such as health and employment.

In line with the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, the Census question offers a third category for people who don't identify exclusively as male or female. There may be a difference between a person's sex and their gender. For the purposes of the Census the sex question is referring to someone's biological sex. A person's gender is how someone identifies themselves which may be the same as their sex or different.

Why am I being asked about my long-term health conditions?

The health conditions topic includes conditions that have a long-term impact on the health of individuals and can be diagnosed by a doctor or nurse. The specific conditions have been identified based on prevalence and how the data collected can inform services, policy and research.

The 2019 Census Test asks people to report whether they have ever been diagnosed by a doctor or nurse with a health condition(s) that they have experienced over a period of six months or more. You can mark as many conditions that apply to you.

Why am I being asked about my Australian Defence Force service?

During the Census 2021 topic consultation it was identified that there was a need for data on people who have served, or are currently serving, in the Australian Defence Force, including Reserves, to better understand the number of people who have served and to learn more about the veteran population based on age, sex, geographic distribution and employment status. While records exist for current service, they are not maintained for previous service, and limited historical data is available.

This question applies to anyone who has served one day or more of service in the Royal Australian Navy, the Women’s Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, the Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force, or their recognised reserve services including the Regional Force Surveillance List and local observer elements, the Second Australian Imperial Force, national service and the Citizen Military Forces.

Why am I being asked about the number of babies ever born?

Information obtained from this question is used to calculate measures of lifetime fertility, including average number of children born to females and childlessness. This information will assist with calculating future population projections for Australia and for studies into fertility of groups of women in Australia. This question provides information about the impact of fertility trends on social issues, such as the aging of the population. Please do not include adopted, foster or step children. This question only applies to people aged over 15 years.

Why am I being asked about my ancestry?

Over the past two centuries people have come from all parts of the world to live in Australia. An understanding of the origins of all the people who call Australia home, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, plays an important role in developing policies and services that reflect the needs of our diverse society. It is an important opportunity to collect comprehensive social and demographic information on everyone living in Australia.

Ancestry relates to the cultural groups that people most closely identify with, and does not necessarily relate to the country where the person was born.

If more than two ancestries apply, provide the two ancestries the person most closely identifies with.

Why am I being asked about my work history over the last week?

Information on how many people are working or looking for work tells us a lot about what is happening in society and the economy.

This question relates to the one week period leading up to Tuesday 15 October 2019.

'Yes, worked for payment or profit' refers to people who did one hour or more of paid work, including casual, temporary or part-time.

'No, was absent on holidays, on paid leave, on strike, or temporarily stood down' refers to people on paid leave, such as annual leave, paid maternity leave or paid personal leave in the week before Tuesday 15 October 2019.