Planning for the 2016 Census of Population and Housing is underway.

The ABS released a publication proposing directions for Australia's 17th national Census, to be held in August 2016.

The publication 2016 Census of Population and Housing: Consultation on content and procedures, 2016 (cat. no. 2007.0) outlines initial ABS views on topics and procedures for the 2016 Census.

The ABS presented the proposed directions for the 2016 Census to data users and the general public through a series of public information sessions in November 2012.

The 2016 Census Topic Consultation presentation (PDF 546 Kb) contains the presentation slides that were used at the information sessions throughout the consultation phase. Interested parties can also view a public information webinar which was held in April 2013.

Submission process

Interested parties were invited to make a submission in accordance with the submission guidelines. Submissions were open from November 2012 and closed May 2013.

Following assessment of submissions, final recommendations on the nature and content of the 2016 Census will be discussed with Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC) in late 2013. The ABS will then make a submission to the Government, outlining recommendations on the nature and content of the 2016 Census. The content of the 2016 Census is expected to be known by the end of 2014. People who have provided submissions will be advised of the outcome at this time.

2016 Census field tests

In preparation for the 2016 Census the ABS conducts several field tests. These tests allow the trial of new field procedures and systems.

Recent field test were conducted in Canberra in 2012 and the Greater Geelong region in 2013, in which involved approximately 30,000 households.

The next field test will occur in selected parts of South Australia and Western Australia from July through to September of 2014, and will involve approximately 100,00 households. If you are selected to participate in the test the ABS would encourage your full participation as it will help improve our procedures and will go along way to ensure a successful 2016 Census. If you have any questions concerning the upcoming field test please call 1300 135 070 Mon-Fri 9 am - 5 pm.