Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.


This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).


Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.


This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.


Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.


If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


domestic award culture high density living dessert baby name trends ultimo Generation X presentation NT balance 1975 annual income Adelaide data analyst house customer happiness FOMO tuesday geomapping housing growth resilience social research perth millennials know the times Gen Y research pack 2020 family new york times ipswich financial dreams SA dreaming future proof cost of living video population manly English society national crime rates presentations DIY workforce residents australian communities trends report mateship learn Australians vegetarian baby boom economy baby names fears Territory social life System's Architect parents small business sun staying in real brisbane wealth distribution Christmas season school satisfaction rich sustainable leader daily commute daily telegraph NSW non profit urban living entertainment Financial Planning Association of Australia Australian Bureau of Statistics WA Word Up Gen X socialising lalor park technology challenge princess charlotte not for profit brand experience grandparents government high school kate middleton list Wodonga Sydney panel wages home owner define investor focus group dream demographic transformations year 12 insight unemployment rain local 40 million Australian schools professional home ownership social media news 23 million Financial Planning Week financial independence VIC debate criminal mining boom Bathburst local communities land of the middle class stats households royal family 24,000,000 victoria media commentary going out mover and shaker weekly earnings wealth and income Royals royal GPO average aussie townhouses bondi long weekend internship seasons student ideas wolloomooloo equip Channel 7 TDE state visual public speaking tableau outsourcing in the media litter teachers children home Australian Communities Trends increasing densification christmas communications personal growth publication renter of the future housing market Wagga Wagga research neutral bay earnings 2017 property business optus my business awards Aussie "know the times" organisational culture village social analysis 1994 social change IT Specialists property market moreton bay gen z easter Australian Families Sydney keynote speaker report 2015 darwin budget 2014 selfie educated eliane miles internships public holiday alpha ageing population communication unaffordable organisations hopes trend tuesday google capital city data ashley mckenzie HSC education Tasmania sector wide study investment Crime Rates housing trends Tuesday Trend financial future 1968 employers energy demographic trends workshop social shifts trends analyst mobile mother's day innovation australian communities forum generation alpha Northern Beaches Christian School responsive facts global financial crisis area education future population growth focus groups The Daily Edition tips salary names offenders women Australian Home urban taskforce generational trends futurist research data consumerism men mccrindle tea participants suburb rule keeper hobart 2016 fresh community 2012 demographics debt cancelling plans cultural diversity baby name crows nest Merry Christmas motivate education sector deloitte Research Executive owning a home stay home moderators guide national private wealth shbc potts point the changing face of young australians generation woolworths social commentary graphs clothing results millionth waverton Love ACF in depth interviews income mccrindle in the media forum coffee forecasting work mates social researchers CBD FPA group sector wide buildings census poker master cost living sydneysiders intern Social Trend learner change families economic media release Mark McCrindle future proofing networking household aussie culture university degree ease of travel rental stress wealth and income distribution school Australian demographics Charlotte learning blaxland statistics Australia Day population milestone tattoos prince george faux-cilising university global generations ACT event environment employment school students house price mentor gender optimistic TAS retirement meals sunburnt country baby name predictions city leadership property price business index Duchess of Cambridge Engineering Manager Valentine’s Day australian social research entrepreneurs of today ACF 2016 marriages religion study quote jobs megatrends group session wellbeing financial volunteers Australian Trends australians staying home more educhat acf15 rise of local qualitative research Geoff Brailey Channel Seven Caregiver priorities sydneycity experience sentiments online rising house prices relational entrepreneurial brands Financial Planning Association teacher 1980 training Wellington national wealth friendship society trends digital shifts affordable conference presentation house prices February 16 identity sports socialites Scouts personalities communicate online shopping cars world youth day pyrmont ashley fell marketing Australia Day 2017 huffington post divorce housing affordability social lives cold overcast Births consumer New South Wales monarchy twentyseventeen royal influence relevant parenting Queensland generations water growth visualisation case study education future report world safe New Zeland program analysis paying to work teaching Deaths Christmas presents faux-ciliser Northern Beaches politics Melbourne Canberra innovative future optus father's day suburbs baby leadership workshop research visualisation Kirsten Brewer easy rider states entrepreneur South Australia lifestyle apartment crime language builders staff Do It Yourself EFF mccrindle market research goals tertiary education holidays tv trends of 2017 ABS work-life conference speaker poor Kiwi sydney speaker faux-cilise winter blues 10 years winter hills shire media NEETs jobs of the future survey work schools students Myth not-for-profit Real Estate Institute of Victoria earn emerging trends food curiosity Northern Territory teach skills schools life high density apartments global demographic emerging generations Generation Y urban living index social social commentator finance narcissism gold coast wealth keynote future-proof thought leadership cash young people resource ethnography PSI spend typical australian authenticity events church Hornsby Shire Council sunny days REIV National Conference shopper's pick data visualisation trend snapshot proactive Australian Dream wedding high density engage marriage click cancel plans The ABC of XYZ post rationalism weather product Real Estate careers capital cities New Zealand demographer survey design Tuesday Trends child care social researcher keynote speaker Northern beaches Event trends of 2016 couple toys cloudy days 24 million research services mccrindle research JOMO growing population thrive newspaper follow etiquette cartodb youth unemployment collaboration low density middle class cancelling event hello fresh renting generation Z workplace culture omnibus Australian Census Christchurch cooking australia commute Assistant Store Manager suburban living year 7 professional development Western Australia menai students Population Clock Education Future Forum charity millenials vegemite learning styles Aussies tea population map royal baby affordability January 26th plans greatness youth brand hornsby google for education teleworking 2013 career collaborative shopping friends housing christianity education research community engagement recap gen alpha community event rent mortgage future of work social trends McCrindle Speakers baby boomers trends mythbusters future of education mythbusting urban anzac insights social enquiry Res Vis dare to dream eliane Christmas lunch infographic Queensland: QLD REIV Conference celebration marrickville logan goal World Water Day holiday Australian communities researcher slideshare interactive transport repayments internet Netflix divorce rate summer workplace emerging technologies sydney event conference media activity