The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is consulting ahead of the 2026 Census on needed information that is not currently collected. The exclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status questions means a lack of essential data for evidenced-based LBGTIQ+ health and wellbeing policies and programs.
The ABS is already reviewing topics shortlisted but not included in the 2021 Census. This includes gender identity and sexual orientation. The ABS has also indicated that its work includes consideration of the topic of variations of sex characteristics.
The ABS will consider information previously received in the lead up to the 2021 Census, including LHA’s work with the coalition of around 150 health experts and community organisations calling for LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the census. LHA has continued to collaborate with the ABS to achieve nationally consistent LGBTIQ+ data.
In March, the Australian Government responded to LHA’s strong advocacy and announced that it would develop a 10 Year National Action Plan for the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people. It is vital that the 2026 Census begin collecting data to monitor the plan’s progress on improving health and wellbeing outcomes for LGBTIQ+ people and communities.
The most important contribution you can make at this time is to provide the ABS with evidence on the need for LGBTIQ+ data and how it can be used to inform important decisions. A direct submission it is more powerful than petitions and campaigns in influencing the ABS's decisions.
After this initial phase of consultation, the ABS will develop proposed changes to the Census through further consultation, before making a recommendation to the Australian government in mid-2024.
LHA will again make a submission to the review of Census topics for 2026 and is actively encouraging submissions. If you require further information, please contact [email protected].
Submissions close 28 April 2023. Details https://consult.abs.gov.au/census/2026-census-topic-consultation.