Every statistic tells a story: What you need to know about the 2021 Australian census

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With less than 6 weeks to go until the 2021 Census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have kicked off its advertising campaign, looking to ensure Australia’s multicultural communities are informed and prepared to participate.

It will be Australia’s 18th Census, to be held on Tuesday 10 August. It will include over 10 million households and 25 million people.

There will be resources available to support the 21% of Australians who speak a language other than English at home. The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is also available on 131 450 to assist those requiring additional in-language support.

Census General Manager, Chris Libreri, said it was important for our multicultural communities to have information about the Census in their own language, in particular new migrants who will be doing their first Australian Census this year.

“The last Census in 2016 showed that our diversity is increasing – with nearly half of Australians either born overseas or with one or both parents born overseas,” Mr Libreri said.

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

“Our message for Census this year is “Every stat tells a story”. We’ll have illustrations and real-life examples of how Census data has benefited the multicultural community. This includes community services for new migrants, and activities to keep older people healthy and connected.

“Everyone who is in Australia on Census night needs to complete it – it doesn’t matter if you’re a citizen, a resident, or just visiting. The only exception to this is foreign diplomats and their families.”

Mr Libreri said Census staff are already engaging across the country, working with local community groups and stakeholders to get Census-ready.

“We’ve particularly focused on hiring field staff who speak additional languages, and reflect the diversity of the communities they’ll be working in.”

Mr Libreri said this year, people can start their Census as soon as they receive instructions if they know where they’ll be on Tuesday 10 August.

For information in your language, visit www.census.abs.gov.au/language

More information

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

How will people complete their Census?
People will be able to complete the Census online, on their mobile device, or on paper. There will be a number of options available for people who need assistance to complete their Census form, including help from Census field staff, and phone and online help.

What’s new with the Census?
People will be encouraged to complete their Census as soon as they receive their instructions, if they know where they’ll be on Tuesday 10 August. They don’t have to wait until Census night. The ABS will also introduce new questions in the 2021 Census—the first changes to questions collected since 2006. The new questions are on long-term health conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, and on service in the Australian Defence Force.

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