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Media release –

Your moment to check your letter box - Census Instruction letters arriving

1 August 2016 | VIC/53

What could be Australia’s biggest online event is in full swing, as delivery of 8 million 2016 Census Instruction Letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) continue arriving at households around the country.

The letters, addressed ‘To the Resident’, contain information for households about how complete the Census on Tuesday, 9 August.

Victorian Census Director, Annette Kelly says the delivery of the letters marks a new era of Census taking that will see the Census easier to complete than ever before.

“The information contained in the letter, including a unique login code, will enable Victorians to go online and complete their Census easily and securely on August 9. There’s also information on how to request a paper form if required.”

“Residents in metropolitan Melbourne and other large regional centres will receive the Census Instructional Letter delivered in the mail. For people living in Melbourne’s CBD or rural Victoria, they can expect to be delivered a Census paper form by a Field Officer with information on how to complete the Census online if they choose,” Ms Kelly said.

The 2016 Census will see the ABS remain a world leader in Census taking, with the digital-first approach resulting in better and more accurate data, and saving Australian taxpayers more than $100 million.

“Excitingly, more than 65 per cent of households, or 15 million people, expected to complete the Census online,” Ms Kelly said.

“We are a digital nation and it’s important we move with the times. You can complete the Census anywhere you have access to the internet, whether it’s on a laptop, tablet or phone.

“We also know not everyone can complete the Census online. If you’re unable to access the internet or would prefer to fill out a paper form, simply call our dedicated paper form request service and one will arrive in your letterbox in a couple of days.”

The online form is available now for early returns. The Census needs to be completed in relation to Census night, but can be completed in the days leading up to or following the 9th August.

All information provided is kept private and secure. The ABS cannot and will not ever release your identifiable Census data.

If you would like to order a paper Census form, please can call our automated Paper Form Request System on 1300 820 275. The phone line is open 24 hours and requires the 12-digit Census Login, which is found in the middle of the Census letter.

For people who need help completing the form online, or require a new or separate login number, call the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 214 531. If people require an interpreter for help with a Census inquiry, call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National on 13 14 50.

The Census is compulsory and can be completed in around 30 minutes for an average household. For more information about the Census, visit

Background information on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing

Data collected from the 2016 Census will support funding decisions for services and infrastructure including housing, transport, education, industry, hospitals, and the environment.

In Victoria the most common language spoken at home other than English is Italian (124,856), the most common religion is Catholic (1,428,758) and 38.1 per cent of people have both parents born overseas. What will the 2016 Census show?

Key 2016 Census dates:

Late July to early Aug 2016 Census Instruction Letters and forms will be delivered
9 August 2016Census night
Mid Aug to late Sept 2016Household visits
April 2017The first results from the 2016 Census released

Media inquiries

National Media Manager (P) 02 6252 6617, 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday or 0429 955 731 outside of business hours (E)

The ABS is committed to upholding the privacy, confidentiality and security of all the personal information it collects. Read more about our approach to privacy and our privacy policy on the ABS website.

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