2021 Census release

Millions of Australians contributed to the 2021 Census of Population and Housing. In Victoria around 2.6 million households filled out forms or entered their details online.

The first results of the Census will be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on 28 June 2022.

The Census provides a five-yearly snapshot of Australia’s population and households. It provides the most demographic and geographic detail of any output from the ABS.

The Census is used to analyse trends in behaviour and provide deep understanding essential to planning for communities. Detail from the Census is also essential in forecasting population growth and change.

Census2021 key dates. 10 August 2021, Census night, June 2022 first release of data, October 2022 Second release of data, Early 2023 third release of data

Some of the key questions for planners to investigate using Census data

  • Where has the population grown and changed since 2016?
  • How large, or small, are the households we are living in and how has that changed?
  • What types of dwellings have been built in the last five years and in what locations?
  • And, how do some of these data fit together – will we find more families, living in newly added apartments, in our middle suburbs, close to train stations?

It must be noted there are other sources of some of this information – but the Census is uniquely powerful due to its consistency and its detailed geographic coverage. Analysts can find a full range of aggregate data for a small statistical area covering around 200 households. Victoria will be broken down into around 14,000 of these areas, allowing very detailed analysis.

Analysis of  Census data

You can see some results from the 2016 Census and earlier Censuses, in the Online Time Series Profile and in Towns in Time. We will be updating these products as data becomes available, plus adding new products, including:

  • Interactive data
  • Detailed Insights articles
  • New Towns in Time via the Population Map

Updated  population estimates

The other key use of the Census is for the ABS to update its official Estimated Resident Population (ERP). The ERP is the population estimate for 30 June each year. These estimates are based on the Census every five years, but also take into account a number of other factors. For example, the Census doesn’t count everyone in Australia (it counts about 99% of people), and some people are overseas on Census night. In between Census years the ABS uses other data on births, deaths and migration to understand how the population has changed. After each Census, the ABS is able to use this ‘stocktake’ to check the performance of their recent estimates and make revisions where necessary – a process known as rebasing.

Rebased ERP using the results of the 2021 Census will also be released on 28 June 2022, via National, State and Territory Population.

Census release details

The ABS provides a wealth of information on its website to allow data users to plan for the upcoming release. From the Census page you can find:


If you have any questions about the release of the 2021 Census please email  Policy and Performance.

Page last updated: 22/06/22