COVID-19 Restrictions – Complete your Census Today “it’s not too late”

COVID-19 Restrictions Field Officers are visiting communities across the country to encourage people who haven’t completed the Census Today. They’re dropping off reminders or a paper form, in line with local COVID-19 Restrictions.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates it has received more than 9.1 million completed forms in the 2021 Census, which includes those completed online and by paper.

Andrew Henderson, Census Executive Director and National Spokesperson said, “while the response to date is positive, there are people who still need to complete their Census.

“It doesn’t matter where you live – in an apartment block, student accommodation or a house. You need to complete your Census as soon as possible.

“People can complete online at or by calling us on 1800 512 441 to request a paper form.

“If you have completed a paper form, remember to mail it back to the ABS using the reply-paid envelope.

“Every response matters. It’s important to remember that Census data helps plan and deliver crucial services to individuals, families, and communities so we urge people to complete their Census today.”

The ABS is also reminding people with a second residence—investment property or holiday rental—to let us know if the house was vacant on Census night, Tuesday 10 August.

“It’s a simple process to ‘report address was vacant or unoccupied’ through the Census website if your holiday home or investment property was empty on Census night,” Mr Henderson said.

“It’s important that we get an accurate picture of the number of unoccupied or vacant properties because the Census counts all households across Australia in addition to counting people.”

For people who need assistance completing their Census, there are a range of supports including in-language fill the form sessions available at

You can also call 1800 512 441, or for help in your language you can call the free Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 who can provide information about the Census questions and what to consider when answering them.

The Census is compulsory under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and fines can apply if someone refuses to complete their Census.

More information

What is the Census?
The Census was held on Tuesday 10 August 2021. It 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.

Census data is used to inform important decisions about transport, schools, health care, infrastructure, and business. It also helps plan local services for individuals, families, and communities.

How can people complete their Census?
People can complete the Census online, on their mobile device or by paper. A number of options are available for people who need assistance to complete their Census form including help from Census staff, and phone and online help.

For in-language support, people can call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450.

Conducting the Census in a COVID environment

We expect most people will complete their Census online with no in-person contact from us as per COVID-19 Restrictions. 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 and Field Officers in their area are legitimate?

Census instructions will feature the official Australian Bureau of Statistics logo and the 2021 Census branding. See further information about how to identify a Census Field Officer on the website.

Is the Census compulsory?

The Census is compulsory* under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and fines can apply if someone refuses to complete their Census. Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, the Australian Statistician can issue you a Notice of Direction, which directs you in writing to complete the Census. The notice explains that if you don’t complete the Census, you can be prosecuted and fined up to $222 a day.

*See the 2021 Census Privacy Statement for more information.

(Media Release)