Census: What happens now?
Census 2016 has turned out to be a frustrating event for many people around Australia, with the ABS Census website down and many people struggling to obtain paper forms prior to the night – So what happens now?
Here’s what we know about the situation:
The ABS have reportedly received over 2 million Census forms already, but the online site went down about 7:30pm on Census night and no one could submit after that. At the time of writing the Census is still down.
Does it matter if the form wasn’t filled in on Census night?
The information gathered in Census pertains to Tuesday August 9, however people have a number of weeks in which to submit their Census forms to the ABS, either online or using a paper form. Most of the information doesn’t change based on the night – only a few questions like the method of travel to work question actually pertain directly to Census day, so it’s generally no problem having forms submitted over a longer period.
The ABS have stated that Australians have until 23rd September to get their Census forms submitted.
ABS Census Field Officers will start following up anyone who has not submitted a form by 26th August, providing them with a paper form so they can fill the Census in retrospectively with information about the 9th August. This date is still more than two weeks away.
People will not be fined for not completing the Census on Tuesday 9th August. Fines are a last resort for anyone who refuses to take part.
About 30% of Australia already received paper forms, including many rural areas, and areas with older populations. People in these areas can mail in their completed forms and don’t have to use the online version.
Hopefully the surge in traffic to the ABS phone services will settle soon that more people are able to obtain and complete the Census.
.id is a privately owned, impartial user of the ABS Census data. We are quite passionate about the value of Census data and hope the collection goes more smoothly from now on. But we are NOT the ABS. So unfortunately we cannot directly help people with Census enquiries relating to submitting their Census forms etc..
Please call the ABS on 1300 820 275 for Census paper form requests or 1300 214 531 for questions about the Census.
.id are one of the largest users of the ABS Census information in our online population tools. We are a privately owned, completely separate and impartial user of ABS data.