•    •  Census Records and Substitutes
Australia Research Guide | Census Records & Substitutes

While the first country-wide census in Australia was taken in 1881, national censuses have only been regularly taken since 1911. However, to protect individuals’ privacy, all national censuses have been destroyed after the statistical information was collected. Because of this policy, census usage in Australian research is different from census research in other countries.

ECB034.2 Government House Adelaide, South Australia - John J. Crew [Engraver]

Earlier censuses were taken by states; however, many of these censuses have not survived either.

No census records listing individuals exist after these dates:

Census Substitutes

In Australian research, other records can be used in place of census records, known as “census substitutes”.  These records list people who resided in specific locations. It is uncommon, though, to see a complete family listed. Typically, these documents simply include the name of the head of the family, date and location of residency, occupation, age, property value, and, in some cases, the ship of arrival.

Records that can be used as census substitutes are:

Pictured: Government House Adelaide, South Australia, John J. Crew (Engraver)