2021 Census topics and data release: Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today published the 2021 Census topics and data release plan.

The plan outlines the questions and information that will be collected in the 2021 Census including when and how Census data will be released.

The ABS will introduce two new questions in the 2021 Census; the first significant changes to questions collected in the Census since 2006. The new questions ask about long-term health conditions, such as arthritis, asthma and diabetes, and Australian Defence Force participation.

Andrew Henderson, Census Executive Director and National Spokesperson, said, “the addition of the two new questions will enhance the value of the 2021 Census to the Australian community.

“Information on long-term health conditions will inform preventive health programs and funding for local services. It will also assist decision making for health authorities, researchers, policy makers, communicators and educators.

“The inclusion of a question about service in the Australian Defence Force will provide a better understanding of the circumstances of Australia’s veteran community,” Mr Henderson said.

The question on internet access in households will no longer be asked, given increased mobile internet usage on personal devices outside the home.

Changes to existing questions have also been made to ensure the Census continues to be relevant to the community. The changes include improved collection of language and ancestry data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The ABS will release data from the 2021 Census in three phases.

“In June 2022, key demographic, cultural diversity and health data will be released. In October 2022, employment, educational qualifications and internal migration data will be released.

“In early to mid-2023, complex data such as distance to work, socio-economic indexes for areas (SEIFA) and counts for people experiencing homelessness will be released.

“More detailed information about the plans for the 2021 Census data products will be released in early 2022,” Mr Henderson said.

All information collected in the Census is confidential and no identifiable information can be released. The 2021 Census topics and data release plan is available on the ABS website.

/ABS Public Release. View in full here.