Latest News

Your moment to check your letter box – Census Instructional Letters arriving

What could be Australia’s biggest online event is in full swing, as delivery of 8 million 2016 Census Instruction Letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) continue arriving at households around the country.
The letters, addressed ‘To the Resident’, contain information for households about how complete the Census on Tuesday, 9 August.
New South Wales (NSW) Census Director, Liz Bolzan, says the delivery of the letters marks a new era of Census taking that will see the Census easier to complete than ever before.
“The information contained in the letter, including a unique login code, will enable people of NSW to go online and complete their Census easily and securely on August 9. There’s also information on how to request a paper form if required.”
“Residents in metropolitan Sydney and large regional town centres can expect to receive a Census Instructional Letter delivered in the mail. For people living in Sydney’s CBD or rural or remote NSW, they can expect to be delivered a paper form by a Census Field Officer with information on how to complete the Census online if they choose.
“People living in remote areas, including in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, will receive a visit by Census officers working in mobile teams,” Ms Bolzan said.
The 2016 Census will see the ABS remain a world leader in Census taking, with the digital-first approach resulting in better and more accurate data, and saving Australian taxpayers more than $100 million.
“Excitingly, more than 65 per cent of households, or 15 million people, are expected to complete the Census online,” Ms Bolzan said.
“We are a digital nation and it’s important we move with the times. You can complete the Census anywhere you have access to the internet, whether it’s on a laptop, tablet or phone.
“We also know not everyone can complete the Census online. If you’re unable to access the internet or would prefer to fill out a paper form, simply call our dedicated paper form request service and one will arrive in your letterbox in a couple of days.”
The online form is available now for early returns. The Census needs to be completed in relation to Census night, but can be completed in the days leading up to or following the 9th August.
All information provided is kept private and secure. The ABS cannot and will not ever release your identifiable Census data.
If you would like to order a paper Census form, please can call our automated Paper Form Request System on 1300 820 275. The phone line is open 24 hours and requires the 12-digit Census Login, which is found in the middle of the Census letter.
For people who need help completing the form online, or require a new or separate login number, call the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 214 531. If people require an interpreter for help with a Census inquiry, call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National on 13 14 50.
The Census is compulsory and can be completed in around 30 minutes for an average household. For more information about the Census, visit

Key 2016 Census dates:
Late July to early Aug 2016 – Census Instruction Letters and forms will be delivered
9 August 2016 – Census night
Mid Aug to late Sept 2016 – Household visits
April 2017 – The first results from the 2016 Census released