The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is consulting on topics for the next National Census in 2026.
Current data collection does not adequately count LGBTIQ+ populations. This results in a lack of data to monitor and report on national strategies, and insufficient data for targeted policy development, service delivery and resource allocation.
In April 2023, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) made a detailed submission to the previous stage of ABS consultation. We called for the next Census to count our communities using appropriate questions on sex, gender, sexual orientation, and variations in sex characteristics. Read LHA’s initial submission here.
Following that first phase of consultation, the ABS reports that it will consider gender, sexual orientation, and variations of sex characteristics as new topics for the 2026 Census. It is also reviewing the previous flawed ‘non-binary sex’ topic.
LHA has supported improvements to the ‘household and families’ topic to better represent diverse LGBTIQ+ family structures. The diversity of our relationships is not effectively captured, including non-traditional structures, de facto relationship status and parenting arrangements.
In conjunction with questions on sex, gender, sexual orientation, and variations in sex characteristics in the 2026 Census, better information on household and family relationships provides opportunities to improve health services and reduce the health disparities experienced by LGBTIQ+ people.