Why you should do the 2021 Census on August 10


The Australian Bureau of Statistics says every stat tells a story but it needs your help. Australia’s 18th 2021 Census, on Tuesday, August 10, is one of the largest and most important statistical collections undertaken by the ABS. 

According to the ABS you don’t have to wait until 2021 Census night to do The Census. People can complete it as soon as they receive their instructions if they know where they’ll be on August 10. The Census can be completed online, on a mobile device or on paper.

Andrew Henderson, Census Executive Director and National Spokesperson said, “in the lead up to Census, we’ve undertaken extensive planning about how we engage with the community and ensure the safety of our staff during the pandemic. 

“For the vast majority of people, the 2021 Census is going to be contact free. Most people will receive instructions by mail in early August and we expect 75 per cent online completion which means they will have no interaction with Census staff.

“Field activity by Census staff is more common in areas where internet access or postal services are less reliable or where communities need extra help to complete the Census. Where we do need to work in the community, we will do so safely and in accordance with all public health orders.

“Ultimately, the health and safety of our Census staff and members of the community is our highest priority.”

Census data provides a snapshot of the nation, providing important information about the country’s economic, social and cultural make-up.

The statistics inform decisions on transport, schools, health care, roads and buildings but are also used at a local and community level.

 The first census (recording people at their dwelling) was held in NSW in November 1828. The first national census was held in 1911. Since 1961 they have been held every five years. 

Chris Libreri, Census General Manager, said the 2016 Census showed that the country’s diversity is increasing.

“With nearly half of Australians either born overseas or with one or both parents born overseas, it’s important for our multicultural communities to have information about the Census in their  language, in particular new migrants who will be doing the Australian Census for the first time,” he said.

Many people don’t realise that information collected in the 2021 Census, such as country of birth and languages spoken at home, helps inform important services and support for migrant and refugee communities across Australia.




There are two new questions in the 2021 Census _ they are on long-term health conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, and on defence force participation.

For more information, visit www.census.abs.gov.au or call 1800 512 441.

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