Australian Bureau of Statistics publishing tallies of 2021 Census participation

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today announced it will publish tallies of participation in the 2021 Census of Population and Housing through the number of forms received online and by mail.

An initial tally will be published on the ABS website on Wednesday 4 August at 10am AEST. The next tallies will be published on Monday 9 August and Wednesday 11 August, the morning after Census night. Twice weekly tallies will then be published each Monday and Thursday.

Dr David Gruen, Australian Statistician, said that the ABS recognises there is public interest in Census participation. “We will report on the number of forms received from early August through to the end of September.”

The primary input to the twice weekly tallies will be the number of online forms submitted. The ABS expects 75 per cent of households to complete online. As paper forms start to arrive from all over Australia, they will be added to the tallies.

“We try to make sure everyone has a chance to participate so Census collection continues for several weeks after Census night.”

“While we are encouraging people to complete their Census form early this year, we know some people won’t complete until after Census night and many parts of Australia will submit a paper form that will take time to arrive. We also know some people will need a reminder or help to respond and that’s why we will be assisting households in the weeks after Census night,” Dr Gruen said.

The tally of forms submitted by households does not directly translate to a response rate, which is the proportion of the Australian population that has completed the Census. The response rate, which is the official completion measure for the Census, will be determined after all forms have been submitted and quality checked.

The final response rate will be published with the first release of Census data in June 2022.

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