South coast residents are being reminded to complete and return their Census forms if they have not done so, as they are now overdue.
While about 89 per cent of South Australian households have returned their Census of Population and Housing surveys, between 81.5pc and 92pc of those on the south coast have submitted theirs, says Census executive director Andrew Henderson.
The Census is compulsory, so 'final reminder' notices are being sent out to dwellings where no response has been recorded to ensure that statistic rises to 100pc.
In the Goolwa/Middleton/Port Elliot area, 81.5pc of households have returned their surveys, compared to 85pc in the Waitpinga Beach area, 90.5pc around Normanville and Second Valley, and a huge 92pc at McLaren Vale.
Mr Henderson said the lower percentages were expected in "remote holiday areas" like the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island; in the last Census, 38 per cent of the Island's dwellings were listed as vacant.
"It's important that we get an accurate picture of the number of unoccupied or vacant properties because the Census counts all houses and properties across Australia in addition to counting people," he said.
"This includes second homes, investment properties and holiday homes."
He said Census staff would be in the region this week to check which houses were vacant, resulting in Census surveys not being completed.
"We have to eyeball properties to say no one is home," he said.
"They'll be door-knocking ... and leaving a form at the door or in the letterbox.
"In delivering reminders, the ABS is working in close collaboration with local authorities to ensure Census staff are operating in line with the relevant COVID-19 restrictions."
The Census counts each house and person in Australia on Census night, which was Tuesday, August 10 this year.
While it has been a month since Census night, Mr Henderson said it was not too late to request or return a Census form.
"The Census is only once every five years and we get a picture of every individual community," Mr Henderson said.
"Every community is different and we need to understand that so the government and community services know what services they need to provide."
Every community is different and we need to understand that so the government and community services know what services they need to provide.Andrew Henderson, Census executive director
Anyone can complete the survey today without a Census letter or form by visit www.census.abs.gov.au and selecting the 'Get a Census Number' option.
To request a paper form, visit www.census.abs.gov.au or call 1800 512 441.
If your house or property was vacant on Census night, report 'not at home' online at www.census.abs.gov.au/doing/empty-dwelling.
For help completing a Census form, visit www.census.abs.gov.au.