Australian Census 2021 - Omission of Greek Ancestry

"My main goal was to see the Opera House lit up," says young Greek Australian

In recent days there has been significant Australian media attention regarding the 2021 Census omission of Greek in its Ancestry section.

Unlike Italians and Germans, Greek have been lumped in with ‘Others’ in the ancestry option.  Those of Greek origin would need to add their background as ‘Other’, regardless of the fact that Australia is home to one of the largest Greek communities in the world with the 2016 census recording 397,431 people of Greek ancestry, and 93,740 born in Greece.

Steve Tsoukalas’ enduring love for the iconic Sydney Opera House Census Greek Australian opera House
*Image by Nick Bourdaniotis/Bourdo Photography (Copyright)

Held every five years by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), this year’s census will be crucial in documenting the identity of Australians at a time of pandemic. Data hopes to reveal who lives in Australia, how and where they live and where they have come from.

Australian households will begin to receive instructions on how to fill out the 2021 Census next month, ahead of the 10 August census date.

Whilst the Greek Community is concerned, it is keen to ensure that the Census form is now properly completed by Australia’s Greek community to best reflect our number within the Australian population.

As such we suggest that when completing the census form you:


We want to ensure that all of our community – in particular our elderly - complete the Census.  To that extent we want to highlight that people can secure a hardcopy of the census if completing the electronic form is too complicated.   It should also be noted that a translation service exists to assist in completing the form.   To access these services please call 131450.


We are particularly keen on encouraging that “GREEK” is filled in for the question pertaining to ancestry.   The ABS has left Greek off the tickbox options and as such we need everyone to answer this question by writing in GREEK in the Other box available.


We would also encourage you to record GREEK in the section referring to language other than English spoken at home.

For any further clarifications or assistance in completing the 2021 Census please contact the Greek Community of Melbourne on 03 9662 2722.

Census Greek Australian opera House
*Image by Nick Bourdaniotis/Bourdo Photography (Copyright)

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