2021 Census update plans

2021 Census update plans

JOHN KIM 07 Sep, 2022

The second release of the ABS Census 2021 will be available on 12th October 2022. The release includes employment, qualification and journey to work data which will be used to update Read on for details on the release and how data will flow through to

If you work at a council without an tool, reach out to us before the Census data lands:

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census of Population and Housing 2021 (Census 2021) was conducted on August 10th, 2021. The collected information is processed by the ABS and released in a three phase approach. The first release was on June 28th 2022 and includes key population information which forms the underlying dataset for

The second release is scheduled to be on October 12th, 2022 and includes employment, qualification and journey to work data. The data is used to update Census based topics on

What is being released?

The second release of the Census 2021 data includes all information related to employment and additional demographic information not released in the first release. The employment information includes:

  • Status in employment
  • The industry of employment
  • Occupation
  • Hours worked
  • Place of employment (Journey to work)
  • Method of travel to work

The additional demographic information includes:

  • Non-school qualifications
  • Internal migration (address of usual residence 1 year ago and 5 years ago).

The information from the second release covers 13 topics and 29 pages on and 6 topics in

What happens when the data is released?

To provide the users with the economic information as soon as possible, we have made an order with ABS for the second release data.

We have done a lot of preparation for the speedy delivery of the new Census 2021 data in the But there’s a lot of work involved to ensure the data is robust and requires internal processing to put the data into our tools.

Once the data arrives, we run quality assurance and data checks to make sure that the new data makes sense. We also need to check if the categories match what we have for the previous Census 2016 to enable benchmarking between the two censuses. When the above tasks are done and the new data is in our system, we update all the text and write data notes including any caveats about using the data.

What order will topics be updated?

Similar to the approach taken by, we will be releasing the Census 2021 data in topic-by-topic. The order of topic release is largely based on the client feedback and our most commonly visited pages but also on the efficiency of the data processing to get the data out quickly. The related topics are also grouped in a similar theme.

From October 12th we will start updating The update is a major task and requires a significant amount of work. We will keep you informed of our progress and next steps.

The order of updates is in this approximate order (of course, depending on the issues that we find in our QA process).

How to tell what has been updated

The links above (in the previous section) go to the RDA Tasmania tool but it will also apply to all tools.

Topics that have been updated will show with a bright green box with the text ‘new’ next to the menu item, like this:


The updated pages will have 2021 as the main time period, with the benchmark year of 2016. The pages that are not updated with the 2021 data will show 2016 and 2011 Census information.

How to keep updated

We will be sending out regular communications once we start updating sites with the Census 2021 data. To receive these communications, join our updates mailing list.

Also, we will be publishing a series of blogs on important (and interesting) insights that we found from the Census 2021 data. You can subscribe to blogs from our .id experts from here.

If you are from a council and want a briefing session on the new Census 2021 information or a training session using the, please contact your client manager or email us at



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