Government & Politics

Were there any questions you wish they asked you in the 2021 Census?

Government & Politics

Posted by: TaylorCS

25th Aug 2021 04:55pm

In August the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) conducted the 2021 Census for all Australians.

How did you find the Census this time around?

And do you think there are any additional questions you wish they'd ask you? Why?

This competition is now closed, please keep your eye out for the next one!

Comments 65

  • 22nd Nov 2021 07:57am

Yes my Ancestors were Greek I noticed that Greece was not on the Census

  • 19th Nov 2021 10:59am

I wish that when they asked asian?, they put the different types of asians (east asian, south asian, etc.) I am so sick of being clumped together as just as asian. Asians very drastically from culture to looks and it’s time we recognise that!

  • 18th Nov 2021 10:46pm

Yes they need to consider fifo people and ask if accomodatoon is temporary and give fifo or Dido as an option to select for work status l. We live in a camp so cannot provide a proper address. It is not clear if i was to give my primary address or provide the camp address. I provided my main address as all the questions dis nor relate to where I reside at camp.

  • 29th Sep 2021 01:17pm

I found the census very easy to complete on line, I wished they had asked if we had a second home, not rented out for our own use. Eg: Holiday Home. There are a lot of places like this in our area. so I don't know if they would of got correct data for here.

  • 29th Sep 2021 11:15am

Do you use recreational drugs?
Are you straight cis?

  • 28th Sep 2021 01:33pm

in this census 2021 i found it the most least irrelevant ever...i cannot say more

  • 27th Sep 2021 05:22pm

The questions were lacking. For thought. And very pedestrian. For one my partner. Is disabled. And also did military service , help. Is hard to get anywhere. You try to get help. But it's so hard. It's like there is a mountain to climb , then. Because. He is not eligible for ndis. Because he is too old. What good was the question. Was some one in the house in the military or served. The last census was a debarcle too

  • 28th Sep 2021 01:34pm
The questions were lacking. For thought. And very pedestrian. For one my partner. Is disabled. And also did military service , help. Is hard to get anywhere. You try to get help. But it's so...

same here too i am not elibable for NDIS.... yes too old....whats the good of it

  • 22nd Sep 2021 05:01pm

im ok whit all answers and questions

  • 14th Sep 2021 06:30am

Where you are living now if different to the last census and if so why did you move. This will help to show how demographics may change eg downsizing, no longer affording to pay mortgages and so renting or even moving back in with parents. The housing crisis is a major concern the Government should be aware of.

  • 13th Sep 2021 12:22am

Questions must include about religion.

  • 12th Sep 2021 01:07pm

I came to know about the census closing date throughy friends.

The questions I think should have been included according to me are: 1. They should ask the religion everyone belong to because I believe that has political, social and environmental implications for the future Australia. 2.Similarly, the sexual orientation, both past and present should have been included. Because, this has future implications. For example, consider a section of people say international students : the government could know how many of them choose the country so that they can choose to live in a particular gender( after they came to Australia) . 3. They should have asked the career change in last 2 years / 5 years with reasons. This has extensive future implications; the government could analyse using the data whether or not certain industry is practically people- friendly. For example, women like me are denied offers in interview because I am a girl.

  • 11th Sep 2021 04:40pm

I did the paper version and found it very easy and quick. I cannot think of any other questions that needed to be asked. I did end up getting another paper in the mail though, about 2weeks later so phoned to ask why and was told it was an error so just recycle the new form. I wonder how many other people received a second one as well. A lot of waste of paper, time and unnecessary expense.

  • 11th Sep 2021 12:57pm

I will be very interested to see the published results of the 2021 Census, as it will indicate how the country has changed demographically, and help to plan future services for an ageing population

  • 9th Sep 2021 11:43pm

I’ve heard heaps of people say they found this years online version really fast and easy as it skips over the questions that don’t apply to you. Well I swear almost every question applies to me! My section took forever. Additional questions could have been aimed at pet ownership to look at future dog parks or the council doggy doo bag stations on walking paths. Or even if you had ever been affected by DV - just a yes/no/prefer not to say answer - to see if there needs to be more services put in place in certain areas.

  • 9th Sep 2021 03:19pm

I did the census online I was very surprised. It took hardly any time at all. I expected loads of questions like the last times. I was amazed how quickly it was done. Usually they ask all sorts of intrusive questions . Though now that gender has expanded they should have included the option for other please specify and an area for people to fill it in.

  • 9th Sep 2021 01:40pm

I found it easy, down to earth, nothing tricky or sticky, for may, anyway. I did it online as soon as I received my papers. It was very quick, simple and easy to do, no real indepth questions.

  • 8th Sep 2021 07:24am

As someone who relies on census data for transportation metrics, I'm going to be keenly interested in the journey to work data next year. With many in lockdown during the census, I'm surprised the question didn't come with a subclause to say on a typical day instead of that very day.

  • 14th Sep 2021 11:08am
As someone who relies on census data for transportation metrics, I'm going to be keenly interested in the journey to work data next year. With many in lockdown during the census, I'm surprised the...

Fully agree. Unfortunately I suspect this census will not meet the demographic needs of so many simply because lockdowns will impact how people had to answer the question. It was a poorly considered decision to either leave it as a standard census, or it should've been delayed, so that, either way, it included the needs of ordinary Aussies in ordinary times!

  • 7th Sep 2021 11:15am

The census was fine. I did it with pen and paper, last time when the online system crashed was really annoying so I just didn't bother with that this year.

In terms of additional questions, there's a few I would have liked to see.

The first is a more nuanced set of questions around gender and sexuality. Including a non-binary option was great, but insufficient. Trans and non-binary are different, if overlapping, identities. This question framing obscures this fact and also perpetuates the mistaken idea that trans people are inherently not men or women.

Additionally, a question around sexual orientation or attraction would also help ensure that queer Australians would have more acknowledgement of their true selves.

This is also really important for support services. I live in a regional community and queer visibility isn't always obvious. More formal data on the distribution of LGBTQ+ people may go some way to overcoming this and informing the provision of support services in future.

These questions pose potential risks, of course, especially with children in less supportive homes. But if included as optional and phrased carefully, I think it would go a long way to accurately counting a broader swath of Australia.

Gypsy queen
  • 7th Sep 2021 12:07am

Very easy just got application sent spent 5 minutes filling in on line .

  • 6th Sep 2021 10:26pm

They didn’t ask any relevant questions , I actually thought this wasn’t a good time for taking a census, we are so caught up with lockdown and we needed clear heads to do a correct truthful census.

  • 6th Sep 2021 04:45pm

The Census was easy to complete. I think it would have been nice to be asked about issues that impact us on a day to day basis.

  • 6th Sep 2021 03:22pm

Questions relating to how covid affected income as the questions relating to the past week/ 3 weeks were drastically changed by this and I believe would hinder generalised results in hotspot areas

  • 6th Sep 2021 12:01pm

I would love them to ask whether you are coping on your current income! Being a pensioner and woe is me classed as below the poverty line, it would be nice for the government to consider what they are paying us!

Jan the man
  • 5th Sep 2021 12:48pm

Had no problem with it this time. The last 3 I have been a collector and that is a lot of hard work. Found it so much easier on the Internet. Just in case people don't know you could have asked for a paper copy and either waited for the collection or posted off the completed form.

  • 4th Sep 2021 09:09pm

I found the census this year was biased to households with internet. As far as I'm aware it was to be completed online which totally disregards any one from a lower socio-economic region or those living on the poverty line that can not afford internet or have access to use the internet. I think many older folk might have found it hard to navigate as most are not computer literate. I'm unsure as to why they were asking how much house work I do a week, there should have been more questions on income and job title to see the current disparity in the gender pay gap. There were no other options for those who do not identify as non binary. In today's age they should have asked sex assigned at birth and could of had a second question of gender the person identifies as. So many missed opportunities to gather data in a census that cost such a large amount to conduct. As a student currently studying to become a data analyst I feel there should have been more questions overall.

  • 4th Sep 2021 06:01pm

In my opinion the question about religion is biased because it gives so many sects/denominations to select from that are all 'Christian' but does not do the same for any other religion. I think that if different sects/denominations are listed for one religion that this should be done for all religions.

  • 8th Sep 2021 07:22am
In my opinion the question about religion is biased because it gives so many sects/denominations to select from that are all 'Christian' but does not do the same for any other religion. I think...

I'd agree with this given there are many faiths under different umbrellas. Especially as it has been a major measure in the census historically, we might get a better perception of faith in this country.

  • 4th Sep 2021 05:44pm

Not many questions this time. Would have love to see questions regarding over or under housing development & infrastructure surrounding developments. BTW... don't know why there are so many comments (or is it complaints) on politics/politicians, which are not relevant to this question

  • 4th Sep 2021 04:58pm

I was surprised that there were no questions about pet ownership. Surely, local government authorities and other businesses would like that information to open pet stores, vets or dog parks.

  • 4th Sep 2021 03:59pm

Republic vs Monarchy
Premiers having border closure final says needs to stop.
Queensland - Arrogant One Day & Heartless the Next.......

echo 01
  • 4th Sep 2021 12:03pm

Should politicians and officials have to resign when they lose there memory as demonstrated in the Hotel Quarantine inquiry.

  • 9th Sep 2021 08:03pm
Should politicians and officials have to resign when they lose there memory as demonstrated in the Hotel Quarantine inquiry.

Oh yea

echo 01
  • 4th Sep 2021 12:00pm

Which is more corrupt the sleazy labor party or the Pristine LNP.

Jade Simpson
  • 4th Sep 2021 10:08am

There was no Spiritual option for religion

Jade Simpson
  • 7th Sep 2021 07:05am
Nor was there an option for Wiccan.


  • 4th Sep 2021 05:41pm
There was no Spiritual option for religion

Nor was there an option for Wiccan.

  • 3rd Sep 2021 08:57pm

I believe the census should ask additional questions in regards to higher education, such as have you obtained work after obtaining a diploma or university degree. The questioning was limited, genetic, very few detailed questions and don't feel the census is beneficial for collecting valid information for making changes within the health system, government support systems, community organisations or in supporting the public as a whole.

  • 3rd Sep 2021 08:21pm

yes as a proud member of the lqbtq community I felt that people of different sexualities were excluded and it would of been nice if they asked about "us" and included us in the census

  • 3rd Sep 2021 05:03pm

Too few choices on ethnicity. No questions on whether you use public hospital system and what services you use. Not enough on public transport, convenience. Could not state what you were studying and which year you were in so no info on whether you would drop out or have dropped out. There were some stupid questions on it .

  • 3rd Sep 2021 03:58pm

Whether we had downsized, moved, or otherwise changed our address since last census and why. That way the Government or whoever cares, can see the reasons behind the changing demographics eg whether people had to sell and now rent, had to downsize, move into retirement villages or homes, move back in with parents etc. The reasons are vitally important for understanding what is happening with this country's economy.

  • 8th Sep 2021 07:28am
Whether we had downsized, moved, or otherwise changed our address since last census and why. That way the Government or whoever cares, can see the reasons behind the changing demographics eg...

That would have been a great question to ask, particularly for development planning. The growth areas are booming, but understanding where that purchasing is coming from might have also shown where gaps were appearing in the market too, particularly as a result of the pandemic

  • 3rd Sep 2021 01:01pm

I found the Census really easy and quick to complete online. I didn't have any problems at all. My mother however didn't realise she had to complete her Census as she lives on her own and only received a reminder after the fact so I helped her complete it online over the phone as she doesn't have a computer. I think the questions were pretty generic and straight forward. I can't think of any questions that they should have asked. I think they covered a broad range of questions needed to help plan the future of Australia.

  • 2nd Sep 2021 10:09pm

I thought it would be good if they offered more interest about the green energy that could be used and something that would hopefully show what we are doing to reduce our carbon emissions in our home.

  • 2nd Sep 2021 06:56pm

The questions they asked. Where not what I expected.
I even thought. Was there point to it. The military service question was stupid. My partner served. But trying to get any help. From the vet affairs. Is like. Pulling teeth. They make it so hard.

  • 2nd Sep 2021 06:24pm

I wish they'd asked (for planning for the future) my usual mode of transport to get to work. I usually cycle, trying to dodge traffic as there are no cycle paths. However, the week of the census it had rained so I took my gas guzzling and green house emissions making car.

  • 2nd Sep 2021 04:57pm

There was something wrong and I noted it but forget what it was now but it had to do with home ownership.

  • 2nd Sep 2021 11:56am

I think they should have asked the public’s opinion on universal basic income. I think middle class people who have worked hard all their lives cannot come to grips with people having a basic income not understanding that there won’t be jobs in the future because everything will be automated. Many folks will be unemployed with no survival skills. The future will not look like the past.

  • 30th Aug 2021 10:25pm

I wish there was more questions and acknowledgement of gender and sexuality. I also found it frustrating that you could only chose two cultural backgrounds, when many people come from many different backgrounds

  • 30th Aug 2021 06:18pm

Did not fill it out, whoops, will I get fined?

  • 30th Aug 2021 02:40pm

For me the census was very easy and took little time to complete. I’m saying this I feel as if it was not comprehensive enough to grasp the big picture of our nation. A lot of the questions were mainly either black or white. With the abs stating that the purpose of the census is to better understand the population to adequately provide optimal services and infrastructure. Although I feel like this can’t be done when all you really asked someone is where they live and how they got to work. With the questions regarding occupation and work being asked as if we lived in a covid free world. As a lot of people have lost work or drastically changed their working habits due to the situation, whether they be permanent or temporary changes.

  • 30th Aug 2021 02:34pm

I think the Census was easy to complete and I found that there was nothing in it I would not answer. It is going to help to plan for the future of our children and grandchildren. I completed mine the day I got it so I completed it in a timely manner.

  • 28th Aug 2021 11:52pm

The Census was extremely easy to complete, so no problems there. Not asking about indentity of genders stood out to me, as did the question about religion - there was a list of denominations to choose from however nothing about being spiritual ... I know of many people who are spiritual but don't consider themselves to be religious as such.

  • 28th Aug 2021 09:23pm

I found the Australian Census of 2021 an easy online experience, which took me 5 minutes personally and the rest of my household a further 5 - 7 minutes each to complete and submit.

The gender identity didn't cater to my daughter's requirements. Gender identity questions would help with services and groups in the community for diverse groups.

I found the transport to work part lacking in the answers it allowed for. The driving to a location such as a train station and parking your car their all day before getting on a bus or train from that station to another location and then completing your journey with a final train or bus journey was not addressed. Further choices and questions around transport infrastructure would have disclosed more information around travel time and number of stages that constitute a person's one way journey to work, which relates to parking required in areas and home/life balance regarding the amount of time people spend commuting.

Because your address and postcode is required for the Census an open ended question asking, what one thing if improved in your area where you live and work would make the biggest difference to your life, that would allow them to collate this information and address the issue that the majority see as an issue for improvement and then put money toward that in the community.

I didn't want my information kept and released after 99 years and neither did my other family members as we don't see it as being necessary when there won't be any generations that follow us in our family.

  • 28th Aug 2021 12:24pm

It seemed shorter this year than in other years. Were there less questions this year?

  • 27th Aug 2021 10:06pm

I found the Census process easy to answer, way shorter than I expected and the fact it was all online made it even better.

I personally didn't find any of it to be overwhelming, hard to answer or too invasive that I didn't want to answer the question. It seemed more streamlined than previous Census that I have completed. Although, this said, I did find a couple of questions particularly strange.

As the census is used for statistical purposes only, I thought it was strange and didn't understand why they had to ask the name and address of my work. I can understand they claim this to be for travel purposes so they know who lives where and how long they travel to work using what transport method which helps them understand the need for more public transport or better roads etc. But, given the Census already has our home address, if this is truly the reasoning behind this question, it would be more logical to ask how long or how many kilometers it takes to get to work each day. This question, to me personally, just seemed a little more invasive than required given that they claim they only use the data for statistical purposes.

The other question I found really strange, purely for why this was asked, was the housework question. This was worded as, "In the last week did the person spend time doing unpaid domestic work for their household?". Why did the Census need to ask every person in Australia how many hours of housework they did? The Census claims this is to tell work/life balance, but they could've asked any question like how many hours did you spend doing recreational activities away from work. Why was it specifically domestic work for their household in the last week?. This just seemed like a really silly question to ask and really hard to answer as some weeks someone may do more domestic work for their household than another. This question should've been phrased differently. It should have been phrased as, "On average, in the last month how much time did you spend doing recreational activities outside of work such as sport, seeing friends, house hold chores etc". This would've been a more insightful and more helpful question... if this was truly asked to get an idea of work/life balance as they claim.

The other major issue I had with the Census was it asking if I wanted the Census to release my information submitted after 99 years. I personally said no to this, not for the reason I'm concerned with people knowing my answers but for the Census storing my identifiable information for 99 years. This concerns me as the Census is supposed to be a tool for statistical data only and if my identifiable information is stored for 99 years, there is no telling who may access it and use it for none-statistical data purposes. I say this as the site could be hacked, a rogue employee could access or release the information etc. It just doesn't sound safe to me personally. This said, I do agree knowing some of the information could help for tracking ancestors in the future etc. However, I believe, there are better ways to go about this which shouldn't be done through the Census. The Census, in my opinion, should be kept 100% statistical and data related with no way of keeping identifiable information.
Moving on to other questions they could've added... I think there is one major question the Census/Government have forgone relating to income and crypto currencies/digital currencies. For example, they could've asked a question about cryptocurrency which would have served a great statistical purpose given that cryptocurrency is all the rage in 2021. So instead of just asking, "What is the total of all income the person usually receives", they could've elaborated further and asked two other questions. The first being, "Does this income include sources from cryptocurrencies/digital currencies?". This would be a Yes or No question. If you were to select yes, it would ask, "What is the total of all income the person usually receives from cryptocurrencies/digital currencies". This would be an interesting insight to A) What percentage of Australians use cryptocurrencies/digital currencies and how much people are making from them. This would also give a greater insight into how people are investing their money. If they are making a lot from cryptocurrencies/digital currencies it would suggest the world is turning to invest into them more than your traditional stock markets/managed funds etc which is interesting to say the least.

Overall, apart from the things mentioned above... I found the Census to be easy to answer, quick and the majority of it being less invasive. On a whole, the 2021 Census was great and I can't wait for the results.

  • 30th Aug 2021 08:32pm
Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoy reading my comments and hope other users find reading them as enjoyable as you do.

Regarding your comment on the Census, I don’t think...

You are a very wise person, thanks for all that :), I will try and get it done, just been really busy. I have more things to worry about like finding a place to live before my lease ends, maybe they will provide more low cost housing, we desperately need it in our area and I am sure there are many other places that need it too.

  • 30th Aug 2021 07:56pm
Your comments are awesome, hope you win! I did not fill it out, so waiting for my fine. I don't trust the system at all. Nothing in my community helps me anyway, so cannot see how it could benefit...

Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoy reading my comments and hope other users find reading them as enjoyable as you do.

Regarding your comment on the Census, I don’t think that there were too many stupid questions. Just some that could’ve been worded better, been asked differently, or a few extra questions added to certain sections to further enhance the result/insight.

This said, I do think you should answer the Census. Depending how many people you are answering for, it shouldn’t take more than half an hour. I say you should answer it because it isn’t designed to just benefit you or your community. It is designed to help benefit Australia as a whole. For example, you not completing the Census won’t affect the results. However, if everyone had your view and didn’t complete the Census, no-one in Australia would be benefited.

Furthermore, the Census is designed to get statistical data from each Australian on certain topics and then take the average of these results to help benefit Australians on a whole by using these statistical averages/results to decide where funding is needed. For example, beyond the data being used to determine who and where needs funding… Services like the Royal Flying Doctors use the results to determine where their resources are best suited to make sure people get the best health care they can. Also, according to an independent report by Lateral Economics, for every $1 spent on the Census, $6 of value has been generated back into the economy. Thus, giving even further reason to complete the census as it may not directly benefit you right now but in the long term it could benefit you down the track and it will benefit our country on a whole.

Lastly, if you don’t complete the census, I have read from the website you will get some form of reminder to complete it. Then if you still don’t complete the Census they have the power to fine you under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 which states that the Australian Statistician can issue you a Notice of Direction, which directs you in writing to complete the Census. This notice sets out that if you don’t complete the Census, you can be prosecuted and fined up to $222 a day.

Personally, I don’t know anyone that has been fined. Thus, for something that takes no time to complete and benefits Australia on a whole... It is worth completing and not having to pay a fine, especially in these hard Covid times.

Overall, thank you again for the kind words and I hope you continue to enjoy my comments. At the end of the day, if helping Australia on a whole by answering the Census isn’t something you would like to do… then you can risk the fine and pay it if you receive one. Although, I do believe it is worth your time completing and the system is worth trusting when it comes to the Census.

  • 30th Aug 2021 06:21pm
I found the Census process easy to answer, way shorter than I expected and the fact it was all online made it even better.

I personally didn't find any of it to be overwhelming, hard to...

Your comments are awesome, hope you win! I did not fill it out, so waiting for my fine. I don't trust the system at all. Nothing in my community helps me anyway, so cannot see how it could benefit me (selfish I know) but like you said too many stupid irrelevant questions.

  • 27th Aug 2021 08:04pm

I think this is a great question! I really liked that you could complete the census online this time around. However I did find a lot of my family members didn’t even know it was going on, which is a problem.

As this is really the only large scale (national) way of getting demographic information about out country. Which is important to inform policy etc. Two suggestions I can think of -

On a personal level, being a part of the LGBT+ community, and the still significant prejudice and barriers to social services (especially for our trans community), not receiving important information on the demographics of those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender/gender non-conforming, was a misstep. Again, how can services or understanding the diversity of this population (with again one of the only major tools we have as a national demographic survey), provide support or be more optimised to support these communities.

Secondly, I think it would have been great, given again this is really the biggest and nationally supported data gathering/survey information we have for a country, to get information about what topics, social issues, concerns people have at the forefront of their minds. I.e lack of financial support, ideas to improve policy, are government agencies that tax payers fund (eg Centerlink) optimal, how do you feel the hospital sector is coping with the growing population etc. this way the government has a more holistic view of what Australians want and what direction they want to see the country go in.

Hope this helps.

  • 25th Aug 2021 09:40pm

Additional questions:
1. Are you generally happy? Five sliding scale option answer
2. Are you happy with your living environment/ suburb/ town? Five sliding scale option answer
3. If you could change something, what change would you like to see? You can only choose one: Climate Politics, Better Environmental controls on polluters, Change to Renewable Industries, Tree Preservation, Immigration rules relaxed, More funding to Public Schools, etc.

  • 30th Aug 2021 06:23pm
Additional questions:
1. Are you generally happy? Five sliding scale option answer
2. Are you happy with your living environment/ suburb/ town? Five sliding scale option answer
3. If...

Yes, do most people care about the environment and the habitat of wildlife, our poor koalas are suffering badly.

  • 25th Aug 2021 06:58pm

Number one plus was being able to complete the Census online ahead of the Tuesday enabling larger fixed limited movement households inside a pandemic to have most if not all of it completed on time. Once logged on it only took about 10 minutes to complete and reading between the lines did seem to have real analysis outcome directed towards transport infrastructure. The rest is more fluffy stuff for general stats in all Census. It would be interesting to know if this Census was cut back in content to make it easier during this pandemic.

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