Census 2021 will count veterans for the first time

Australian Bureau of Statistics has announced that the next Australian Census will be held on 10 August 2021 and confirmed that it will include a question about service in the Australian Defence Force.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the census would provide a better understanding of how many veterans we have and where they live, allowing us to deliver the right services in the right areas to support their needs.

“Historically, just because a person served in the ADF doesn’t mean they required services or support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, making it hard to give a definitive answer on how many veterans are in Australia,” Mr Chester said.

“The census will provide better data to help guide services and support for Australia’s veterans, and will help inform our policy response to issues facing veterans, such as health, housing and employment.”

Resulting data will have the potential to help federal, state and territory government agencies, and ex-service organisations better target and improve services and support.

Veterans’ affairs ministers from across Australia recognised the importance of this issue, unanimously agreeing in 2017 that a question about veterans should be included in the next Australian Census.

This was reinforced in 2018, where ministers recognised the need for robust data on veterans’ issues and strongly endorsed the need for a veteran indicator in the 2021 Census.





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Brian Hartigan

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