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Making A difference 2016 Census

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Making A difference 2016 Census

On Tuesday 9 August 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will conduct the five-yearly Census of Population and Housing. Census is a moment for each and every one of us to pause and play a role in shaping the future of Australia’s education, health, transport and infrastructure.

The Census provides a valuable snapshot of our society on Census night. It collects vital information that decision makers, governments and communities use to allocate services, facilities and funding in areas across Australia.

Everyone in Australia on Census night needs to complete the Census. By early August, most households will receive a letter with a unique Census Login that they can use to complete the Census online. It is expected that two-thirds of Australians will complete their Census online in 2016 - on their computer, tablet or smartphone. The online form has been designed to be fast, easy and secure.


A range of measures is being taken by the ABS to make sure that no one is left out of the Census. Paper Census forms will still be available to everyone that needs them, and can be requested by calling 1300 820 275. 

Like in previous Censuses, if someone needs help completing the Census, we encourage them to ask someone they trust to help. For people with vision impairments, the Census form is available in alternative formats – Braille, large print and audio. The ABS also contracts the National Relay Service to service any hearing or speech impaired clients who ring the Census Inquiry Service. 

The ABS provides assistance in languages other than English through the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450. Census advertising will be translated into up to 35 different languages, to increase the level of Census awareness in the community.

Special field staff are employed at Census time to conduct homeless street counts, and to distribute Census forms within hostels and refuges so that people who are living between permanent accommodation are counted. Publicity material is distributed to key locations to raise awareness of the Census to people who are couch-surfing, as well as grey nomads and other travellers.


All Census information provided is kept strictly confidential by law. The ABS does not share any identifiable information with government, or private agencies. All Census workers are legally bound never to share any personal information.


In-language brochures and posters are available in 25 languages on the ABS website.