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 grave decision social commentary research pack ashley fell google faux-cilise rule keeper megatrends professional Valentine’s Day relational impact housing affordability greatness eliane Mark McCrindle future of shopping interactive speaker environment mortgage online unemployment suburb English identity IT Specialists Engineering Manager storytelling Sydney’s south west data visualisation VET sector faux-ciliser stay home internships statistics care support gold coast Australian Census Bathburst insights mccrindle tea communications trends of 2017 waverton forecast click parenting brisbane infographics Australian Bureau of Statistics stats World Water Day Wellington church Lower Hunter Region Merry Christmas entertainment ABS demographics training baby name trends society trends 1968 Crime Rates TDE employment Tasmania tuesday panel 2013 daily commute celebration Social Trend NBRS Architecture future-proof home ownership hills shire winter housing trends future of work aged care puzzle average sydneysider water commuters communities earning property market media Northern Beaches entrepreneurs of today residents hobart mccrinlde keynote house norwest shifts speakers professional development balance housing royal future proof apartments owning a home socialites 2020 case study easter public speaking research data PSI 10 years survey demographic conference social analyst sydney speaker research on coffee Channel 7 data goal Do It Yourself belief social commentator data analyst emerging generations australian australian social research study employmee participants Population Clock overcast paying to work in depth interviews women New Zeland christianity income wealth non profit leadership tertiary education Northern Beaches Christian School thought leadership Performance Sentiment Index recap The Daily Edition travel local community demography 2016 ferry REIV National Conference work mates house price rise February 16 24 million Tuesday Trend dreaming SMART ethnography work from home Australian Home teachers seasons news coffee rain hello fresh princess charlotte CPI TAS culture ashley mckenzie local communities purpose rising house prices school who is generation z young australians Skilling ageing census the great screenage food insecurity visualisation politics donation market research lalor park Australian Dream mining boom future of education darwin cost of living 2017 government community event dessert housing growth social lives proactive school satisfaction average Australian moderators guide new office presentations award living media commentary mateship changing face of sydney curiosity Willowdale spirituality 2014 skills 2012 innovative WA annual income affordable learning education sector faux-cilising builders social researcher contiki census 2016 millionth debate public speaker public transport couple selfie increasing densification micro apartments Channel Seven Business analysis etiquette Education Future Forum household child care list tea high school intern earnings staying in food bank Sydney father's day cold grandparents demographer growth Res Vis mccrindle in the media omnibus population growth growth of sydney conference speaker australia challenge Royals gender pyrmont baby names report entrepreneurial investor logan teleworking 1975 real divorce rate Western Australia research services future proofing live the dream business car Generation Y NEETs Australian Trends optimistic not for profit ACF2017 anzac cultural diveristy city employers technology Territory public holiday middle class sports friends demographic trends social media high density living TED children Christchurch the changing face of employmer royal baby personalities brand gen z social shifts ageing population education research fears sydney hills language Jura Australia marriages Lower Hunter focus group workforce graphs New South Wales ideas global generations Caregiver national crime rates professional services poor shbc DESTEL divorce McCridle cars infographic online shopping office space hills townhouses state product the lucky country meals tv youth cancelling event gig financial independence sun wealth and income manly wellbeing economy Word Up baby FOMO investment educhat Births ipswich life slideshare wage US fresh "know the times" January 26th crows nest university dare to dream households high density apartments facts business index area australian real estate social impact education future report weekly earnings youth unemployment marriage work-life hunger friendship brands office opening qualitative research VIC society holiday wealth and income distribution casual energy SRE Work place business performance conference presentation education future royal family global retail Retail schools year 12 house prices 2015 budget System's Architect cancelling plans mythbusters teaching vegemite national private wealth earn affordability Charlotte cash media activity names leadership workshop volunteering data salary group session aussie culture Aussies weather hornsby australian community trends report trades report personal growth twentyseventeen ACT Report tableau home happiness sunburnt country Black Friday meetings leader James Ward baby boomers networking future group staff education culturally diverse social enquiry alpha results sector wide study aged care spend generational trends ACF 2016 Black Friday in Australia Love neutral bay national wealth sydneycity trends gen alpha REIV Conference students acf15 debt small business Wagga Wagga community engagement kate middleton Deaths tips ACF17 social change trends analyst Australian Communities Trends hopes CBD village Scouts Adelaide faith emerging trends finance Australia Day Hornsby Shire Council dream conferences Hunter Valley suburban living volunteering the average aussie trends of 2016 train sentiments nfp EFF Sydney Hills Business Chamber toys ultimo Research Director New Zealand social Hills Shire Council Jura Coffee jobs low density mover and shaker choice workers unaffordable sydneysiders states travelling growing population organisational culture Australian demographics cost NT australians staying home more suburbs the hills shire emerging technologies student victoria wages showreel quote Gen X DIY screenagers sector medicine goals Black Friday Sales brand experience transport royal influence Australian Population Wodonga Melbourne 40 million NSW holidays South Australia geomapping tattoos millenials urban taskforce forum volunteer shopping centre internship sydney metro wolloomooloo innovation researcher presentation wealth inequality marrickville bureau financial dreams family investing communication Macquarie University ACF commute schools students story blaxland wealth distribution baby name predictions baby names Elderslie-Harrington park cooking motivate generation authenticity workshop Tuesday Trends millennials baby names australia report 1994 chairty perth average aussie high density property price Vocational education going out speajer Mark McCrindle in the media healthy future Australian schools infographic wall university degree litter JOMO Myth property Research Executive narcissism australian communities forum vegetarian newspaper summer screenage GPO engage workplace culture bus NBRS house price easy rider crime Sydney population supply and demand christmas learning styles research McCrindle Speakers communicate not-for-profit home owner work digital economy population milestone eliane miles outsourcing Financial Planning Week baby name Maxim Accounting Duchess of Cambridge social researchers Australians rent video capital city Christmas season financial Northern Territory cloudy days mccrindle long weekend social issues housing market mother's day clothing baby boom Canberra shopping potts point jobs of the future winter blues Real Estate Institute of Victoria optus cica engagement consumer What is food insecurity? charities Financial Planning Association relevant offenders social life micro mccrindle research Australian communities giving trend thrive demographic transformations sydneysider Queensland: QLD publication new york times christian media release financial fears 24,000,000 world social analysis generations plans Financial Planning Association of Australia consumerism in the media moreton bay land of the middle class resilience entrepreneur visual define Christmas lunch post rationalism rise of local census data 1980 Generation X collaborative Aussie safe FPA internet google for education The ABC of XYZ Sydney keynote speaker Australia street Kiwi economic marketing snapshot deloitte volunteers domestic financial planning responsive digital cultural diversity organisations census fail mentor teach 2016 census buildings global financial crisis professional presenters young people insight Cobbitty-Leppington collaboration capital cities speakers pack rental stress shopper's pick futurist apartment urban #censusfail not for profit research teacher keynote speaker urban living index population money Northern beaches Event families sustainable resource follow Netflix poker master Geoff Brailey menai award winner SMSF know the times research report typical australian monarchy social research events religion Queensland environmental scanning social trends the hills optus my business awards repayments generation alpha breakfast sunny days priorities focus groups australian communities trends report commuting Assistant Store Manager TED talk cancel plans mobile pharmacies Australian community trends bondi sydney event lifestyle professional speaker office HSC 23 million Gen Y TEDx analysis gig economy mythbusting year 7 charity workplace financial future urban living ease of travel pharmacy equip community Christmas presents younger generations career socialising global renter of the future survey design research visualisation donate food huffington post Australia Day 2017 sector wide criminal trend tuesday 2016 census results rich census results population map change cartodb world youth day Australian Families Mount Annan-Currant Hill school students the australian dream generation Z learn renting event daily telegraph Kirsten Brewer Real Estate parents men careers forecasting customer local retirement dreams program prince george coffee lovers experience wedding SA woolworths NFP event educated ACT Andrew Duffin VET