ABS records more than 6 million census submissions

By Melissa Coade

Wednesday August 11, 2021

Australians delivered 6,229,629 completed census forms by 8am on Wednesday
Australians delivered 6,229,629 completed census forms by 8am on Wednesday. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt)

Australians submitted 6,229,629 completed forms by 8am on Wednesday (the day after census night).

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), online forms made up in excess of 6 million of completed entries, with another 126,637 households mailing their forms in by 8am the next day.

Census executive director Andrew Henderson issued a statement encouraging people to submit incomplete forms while there was still time.

“You’ve still got time to complete your census,” Henderson said.

“We want to make sure everyone is included. There are a range of help and support options available for people who need assistance to complete their Census form including online and phone help.”

The census provides a snapshot of the nation, and compared to historical census records shows how Australia is changing. It is one of the most important statistical undertakings by the ABS. 

As at 11 August, the ABS received over 1.9 million census forms from households in NSW, and another 1.6 million from Victorian households. They were followed by Queensland (1.2 million), Western Australia (636,555), South Australia (417,125), Tasmania (117,278) and the Northern Territory (41,032). 

In order to meet the goal of collecting as much data as possible, the ABS accepts submissions for several weeks after census night. This system is also designed to cater to people living in rural and remote areas, and those who submit their responses using a paper form. Some face-to-face interviews are also conducted to assist people experiencing homelessness, or people living in remote indigenous communities to participate.

Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, participation in the national census is compulsory for all Australians.

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