The Australian Census Website Is Down

Tonight is Census night, on the first year that the majority of Australia is expected to complete the quadrennial count of our country's population online. The Australian Bureau of Statistics' servers were load-tested at 150 per cent of the expected usage levels, but despite that, a number of users are still having trouble loading the page.

According to the ABS, 16 million Australians — 65 per cent of the population, or over 6 million households — are expected to complete the Census entirely online. To do this, letters were sent to each Australian household with a unique twelve-digit code that allows a form to be completed online on the website. That website, at the moment, is not responding for some users as of 7:55PM tonight:

Update: As of 8:35PM, the Census website is still unresponsive: reports that the Census site is experiencing difficulties connecting to users.

Update: ABS has posted this update on Twitter acknowledging the outage:

Contracts have revealed that ABS spent more than $114,000 on load testing for the online Census:

Update: That's on top of a $325,000 charge for 'licenses for Census load testing', apparently. #CensusFail indeed.

Just a reminder: if you can't fill your Census form out tonight, you won't get fined. In fact, you have until September 23 to submit your household's Census details, so we suggest you try it again tomorrow, later in the week, or even next month.

Update: As of 11:00PM, the ABS has said that the Census website will remain down until some time tomorrow morning.

Time to give up, folks, and try again tomorrow. If you still want to.



    Same story cannot complete the census form what a waste of time and tax payers money. People that cannot do their job properly should be fired. The people have been let down once again.

    Have been trying for last hour to log on with no luck, not surprised with everyone having to complete census today of course the site crashed. Common sense, interesting how they are going to fine people for being late ???? A lot of disgruntle people I would expect, just saying!!!

    Did mine at 5.00pm Perth time and it worked fine for me... no problems at all, and only took about 20 minutes for the two of us.

    It had crashed around the 7.00pm - 8.30pm Perth time but as of 9.10pm its back up and appears to be working fine.

    Yeah I'm a spoil sport...

    Oh, and there's no stress. You have up to 6 weeks to get it done. It doesn't *have* to be tonight. The only thing you have to do is base your answers on your SITUATION and LOCATION of August 9th. So, if you get a pay rise tomorrow or get married etc then still enter your old information...

    Last edited 09/08/16 11:14 pm

      I wish I'd thought to do it sooner, by the time I got round to it all the sites where down. I think that's the Majority of peoples experience.

      Yes we have six weeks to do it, I found that out tonight it's not mentioned on the form. I also remember them promising this would work perfectly.

      Also read the update from 10 minutes before you posted: Update: As of 11:00PM, the ABS has said that the Census website will remain down until some time tomorrow morning.

    I guess every second person could have predicted that with several million people attempting to access and post on a site within a limited time frame it would crash. Duh!! So much for a census that tells us what all Aussies are doing on one particular date. Back to the door knocking?? I feel so sorry for folks who completed, couldn't submit and lost the lot. I've only been checking out the site at intervals since 5.00 p.m. So nice to know that the ABS is not going to fine us "tonight". Perhaps they should recoup their money from the IT company who operated more on hope than skill. What an embarrassing mess.

    Did mine problems! From the website-"Can I complete the Census before or after 9 August?

    The Census needs to be completed in relation to Census night, but can be completed in the days leading up to or following Tuesday 9 August.

    If you forget, we will remind you to complete the Census after 9 August. You will not be fined if you complete the Census after Census night."

    Having attempted to access the Government Census site on numerous occasions, without the success. And now, the site outage, I see a GOOD reason to return to the old 'tried and true' method of bygone days. Return>to real, recycled PAPER. Furthermore, the 'old way' gave employment to people who wanted to work, on a casual basis.
    I have better things to do than sit at my PC, attempting to load up the Census site, like sleep!

    What a bunch of whinging poms

    Is that what Aussies r turning into


    ABS has the stats. have they been using them? If so, census night would not have been a problem!

    Who made the decision about penalty for NOT completing the census 2016 on time? This had outraged me, and may be a lot of people. I believe there should be a way to persuade people to complete the census on time rather than PENALTY.

    We are not able to complete our online census due to site unavailable.We also tried last night with same issue....Our address..14 Northcott Rd Lalor Park 2147.

    No issues for me when I was filling it in online last night for myself and my wife. Although I'm not surprised that eventually there was too much traffic for the site to handle.

    It doesn't *have* to be tonight.

    Which is great. Now if only the letter they sent to each household had stated that. And not "Please complete the census on August 9" with no mention anywhere on the letter that it can be done either side of that date.

    We are we all so surprised, firstly they expect elderly people to have to phone up to get the forms, they should have been available at the local post office!!! My Mother in her mid '80's living the country, no computer or mobile phone, was clever enough to phone the day she received the log in letter and got through easily, she also completed the form last Sunday as every day for her is the same.........hat's off mum :)
    And of course anyone in business would realise if you are asking millions of people to log into your website on the same day it's bound to crash.
    We understand a paperless world, however wouldn't it have made common sense to do this over say a 7 day period so long as the answers were relating to a 24hour period?

    The DDoS records of last night show no worldwide attack on Australia

    That can't be faked, the internet never forgets.

    You were lucky to get in at all in WA most of us do not have NBN and not likely to for several years. As far as I am concerned they can come to me now and bring me a form to fill in. Unable to phone for paper submission as phones are engaged 24/7 and I have better things to do than be jerked off by the Federal Govt, who couldn't organise a booze up in a brewery. Plus I hear now the site was also hacked. Security ... Wot Security Duh.. Exits left :).

    OK .... So if I'm understanding right ... the ABS lied (or misrepresented the truth) to Australians - either when they said it was a technical issue or when they said it was "DNS-hacked" - either one is correct and one is a lie or one is a lie and the other is correct....if I understand right ????? But no,w further, a "census official" on ABC24 at approx. 15:35 said "DSD" were working with the ABS ....... So just wondering how we all feel knowing that the Defence Department is "involved" with the census ..... will that help us "sleep soundly" tonight ??? .... again I just want to repeat those words "the Defence Department is "involved" with the census" .....

    Simple problem statement "I want my website to scale on demand at this time". Simple solution: Use AWS to remove the headaches of doing that.

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