LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) is calling for the 2026 census to include an integrated set of questions that capture adequate data on LGBTIQ+ people: sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation. These topics meet the ABS census criteria for national importance and need.
Current data collection does not adequately count LGBTIQ+ people and communities. This results in a lack of data to monitor and report on national strategies, and insufficient data at the national, jurisdictional, and local level for targeted policy development, service delivery and resource allocation.
The existing Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables (ABS 2020 Standard) demonstrates the capacity for these topics to be collected in an effective and efficient way.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is undertaking a multi-stage consultation process ahead of finalising content for the 2026 census. This recent stage (28 February to 28 April) focused on information needs (topics) not currently collected by the ABS in the Census.
The next stage will consider the full range of topics being considered for inclusion, change or removal from the 2026 Census. You can find more information on upcoming consultation at the ABS website.
This recent LHA submission focuses on gender and sexual orientation as the ABS regards sex and variations of sex characteristics as existing census topics. The next stage of ABS census consultation will consider improvements needed for existing Census topics.