1200.0.55.009 - Ancestry Standard, 2014, Version 2.1  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2014   
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This document was added 04/04/2017.


The Ancestry question will record all claims of association with ancestries, ethnic origins and cultures. As such, multiple responses are encouraged.

The purpose of the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG) is to code the extent to which people associate or identify with particular ethnic and cultural groups. The classification is not intended to classify people, but rather all claims of association with an ethnic origin or cultural group, i.e. one ancestry response is not equal to one person. Many people do not relate to a single ethnic origin or cultural group and will give multiple responses to a question on ancestry, ethnicity or cultural identity. It is recommended that a minimum of two and a maximum of four ethnic origins and cultural groups nominated by a person on a statistical or administrative form be collected and coded (to capture responses such as 'Australian Italian', and for those people who wish to identify with, say, the ethnicities of each of their grandparents). The ABS has developed guidelines for the coding, storage and presentation of multiple responses to questions on ancestry, ethnicity or cultural identity data. These guidelines are included in the ASCCEG publication.

The normal constraints affecting statistical collections, such as problems with confidentiality or standard errors which may not permit the collection or output of data for some of the categories at the lower levels of the classification, apply to the Ancestry variable.

Indigenous Status is a separate variable measuring a specific element of ancestry, namely whether a person is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. However, it does not necessarily provide information on all elements of a person's ancestry.


The Ancestry question in the 1986 Census of Population and Housing was classified and coded using a non-standard classification and coding index.