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


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