What to do when travelling interstate or overseas on Census night

What to do when travelling interstate or overseas on Census night

Tuesday August 9 marks Census night in Australia – but what if not in Australia for the nationwide tally?

Travellers who find themselves overseas on the night of August 9, including Australian citizens, don't need to complete the Census.

That happy exemption comes out because the Census is snapshot of the country based on everybody who is in Australia on the night of August 9.

That also applies if you're flying out of Australia on Tuesday afternoon or evening.

However, if you’re travelling on an early morning flight on August 10 – even one with a 3am departure – you’ll still be in Australia on the night of August 9 and which means you have to participate in the Census.

If you'll still be in Australia but not at home – let's say a business trip or conference sees you staying in a hotel room that night – the 'accommodation provider' is obliged to provide you with a Census form to complete.

For more details, visit census.abs.gov.au or call the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 214 531.

Also read: Australian Government to axe 'frequent traveller' passports

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    3 Aug, 2016 09:56 am

    Sorry stupid question, is census compulsory? What happens if you don't do it?

    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn


    3 Aug, 2016 09:58 am

    It's compulsory, see the link provided at the bottom of the article for more information.

    No member give thanks

  • petercr


    4 Aug, 2016 12:58 pm

    99.99% chance of nothing at all happening.  It's been quoted widely (even by ABS staff) that less than 100 people have ever been fined for not completing one. 

    No member give thanks

  • KK


    3 Aug, 2016 10:01 am

    Just do it now. Already submitted.

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka


    3 Aug, 2016 02:04 pm

    Is it illegal to participate if you happen to be overseas that night?

    I understand its now done online. Presumably through a VPN if the ABS deploy Geo blocking technology?

    No member give thanks

  • petercr


    4 Aug, 2016 12:48 pm

    And if you happen to be travelling between point A and B (or no fixed address) within the country that night they've got no plan in place which is what I plan to do. 

    Haven't done the last 3, don't intend to do this one... (might consider if I could do it without providing name/address) 

    No member give thanks


19 Nov, 2018 10:23 am


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