Here's what to do if you're away on Census night

No you can’t hide from it. It’s compulsory. Photo: Adrian Dennis/ AFP/ Getty Images.

The national census will be held next Tuesday, August 9.

It is the largest collection of statistical information on Australia’s population, and happens every five years.

This year 24 million people in 10 million households will complete the census.

But what if you, like me, know you’ll be away on the night?

Completing the census is compulsory and if you don’t do it you could cop a fine of up to $180.

So here’s what you need to do.

If you are:

Staying with family or friends

If you are staying with family or friends on Census night, make sure you are included on their form.

Staying in other accommodation

For those staying at an accommodation service such as a hotel, serviced apartment, hostel or caravan park, your accommodation service provider will give you a form when you arrive.

Travelling in remote areas

Special census field officers will be found at certain locations in remote areas such as truck stops and caravan parks. They will provide you with a census form or information on how to complete the census online.

If you are travelling and staying in remote parts of Australia on census night, and do not receive a census form from a dedicated pick-up location, contact the Census Inquiry Service.

Away from home due to natural disaster

In areas that have experienced natural disasters, the census will count how many people reside in, or intend to return to, the affected areas. Answers to the question about your usual address will provide accurate information about these areas to inform planning decisions and rebuilding efforts.

Overseas on census night

If you are not in Australia on census night, you are not required to complete the census. The information collected on overseas departure cards from Australia’s ports and airports is used to add Australian residents.

International visitors

If you are visiting Australia on census night, you are required to participate. Your accommodation provider will give you a form or details of how to complete the census online.

With this is mind, you should receive your census instruction letter in the mail from early August.

Lookout for the green text and padlock symbol on the envelope, with the text “Your Census Login inside. Keep it safe”. On the back of the envelope, again in green, you will see the text: “Keep this safe and save the date. Census night is Tuesday, 9 August 2016.”

If you have lost your letter or it doesn’t arrive by Census night on 9 August 2016, contact the Census Inquiry Service.

Using your census login you then go to the ABS census homepage and fill in the census form.

The census website.

For more information see this infographic provided by the ABS.


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