1249.0 - Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG), 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/08/2011   
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As a result of the review of ASCCEG a number of changes to the classification have been implemented and these are summarised as follows:
  • there have been no changes to the broad group level of the classification;
  • the Narrow Group 43, 'Peoples of the Sudan,' has been added to reflect an increase in cultural and ethnic groups, within the Australian population, coming from that region of North Africa
  • 44 cultural and ethnic groups have been added to the base level of the classification
  • two cultural and ethnic groups, which had been removed from the base level of the classification in 2005, have been reinstated
  • the cultural and ethnic group Khmer has been renamed Khmer (Cambodian) to more accurately reflect the responses by the Khmer people of Cambodia to ancestry questions
  • three Sudanese cultural and ethnic groups have been moved to new Narrow Group 43 and assigned different codes
  • two cultural and ethnic groups have been deleted from the classification.


Cultural and ethnic groups added to the base level of the classification:

4116 Bahraini
4117 Emirati
4118 Omani
4121 Qatari
4301 Bari
4302 Darfu/Darfurian
4305 South Sudanese
4399 Peoples of the Sudan, nec
4908 Assyrian
4911 Chaldean
4912 Mandaean
4913 Nubian
5112 Chin
5113 Rohingya
7118 Bangladeshi
7121 Bhutanese
7122 Fijian Indian
7123 Kashmiri
7124 Parsi
7125 Sindhi
7126 Sri Lankan
7127 Sri Lankan Tamil
7128 Indian Tamil
7131 Tamil, nfd
7132 Telugu
7215 Kyrgyz
9111 Acholi
9112 Cameroonian
9113 Congolese
9114 Gio
9115 Igbo
9116 Krahn
9117 Mandinka
9118 Senegales
9121 Themne
9122 Togolese
9233 Burundian
9234 Kunama
9235 Madi (Ma'di)
9236 Ogaden
9237 Rwandan
9238 Shona
9241 Swahili
9242 Swazilander

Cultural and ethnic groups reinstated

The following two cultural and ethnic groups were removed from the classification following the 2005 review; however, statistical data from 2006 combined with stakeholder feedback has indicated a need to reinstate these groups:

9102 Fulani
9211 Namibian

Cultural and ethnic groups renamed

Research has confirmed that the Khmer people of Cambodia are also referred to as Cambodians. The code 5104 has been used for the Khmer people, but based on Census responses in 2006 more than 80% of Khmer people of Cambodia living in Australia responded 'Cambodian' to the ancestry question. The name change for code 5104 to Khmer (Cambodian) will more accurately reflect the responses by the Khmer people of Cambodia to ancestry questions.

There has been a review of the 'not elsewhere classified' categories and to minimise the need for unnecessary maintenance to the classification the decision was taken to simplify these categories by removing all the short lists of ethnic groups which represented a small portion of possible inclusions in each of these categories. The names of the following 23 'nec' categories have been simplified:

1399 Melanesian and Papuan, nec
1499 Micronesian, nec
1599 Polynesian, nec
2199 British, nec
2399 Western European, nec
2499 Northern European, nec
3199 Southern European, nec
3299 South Eastern European, nec
3399 Eastern European, nec
4199 Arab, nec
4999 Other North African and Middle Eastern, nec
5199 Mainland South-East Asian, nec
5299 Maritime South-East Asian, nec
6199 Chinese Asian, nec
6999 Other North-East Asian, nec
7199 Southern Asian, nec
7299 Central Asian, nec
8199 North American, nec
8299 South American, nec
8399 Central American, nec
8499 Caribbean Islander, nec
9199 Central and West African, nec
9299 Southern and East African, nec

Cultural and ethnic groups changes between narrow groups

To assist in aggregating data for various Sudanese cultural and ethnic groups, following the establishment of Narrow Group 43 'Peoples of the Sudan,' Dinka and Nuer have been moved from Narrow Group 92 (Southern and East African) and Sudanese has been moved from Narrow Group 49 (Other North African and Middle Eastern) to Narrow Group 43 (Peoples of the Sudan):

4303 Dinka (formerly code 9224)
4304 Nuer (formerly code 9227)
4306 Sudanese (formerly code 4906)

Cultural and ethnic groups deleted

In previous editions of ASCCEG, Assyrian/Chaldean has been used to describe a group of Neo-Aramaic people which included Assyrian, Chaldean, and Mandaean. These peoples are being recognised as separate groups in the revised edition of ASCCEG. Consequently the code 4901 Assyrian/Chaldean has been deleted.

In previous editions of ASCCEG, all Tamils have been aggregated under one category. Research and stakeholder information indicates that there is sufficient difference between and sufficient numbers of Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Tamils and Tamils, not further defined (nfd), to justify these peoples being treated as separate groups in ASCCEG. Consequently the code 7116 Tamil has been deleted.

Removal of Dual Ancestries and Dual Coding

Dual coding of selected ancestries information was included in the 2005 review of ASCCEG. However, as matters of dual coding are appropriately the domain of data processing, references to dual coding have been removed from the ASCCEG explanatory notes.

Published coding index changes

There have been appropriate changes to the coding index to reflect growth in some cultural and ethnic groups based on stakeholder feedback, external research and 2006
Census data. Among the more significant changes to the index are:
  • Additions to the index to identify the names of the three distinct groups of Kurds settling in Australia.
  • Additions to the index to identify the names of the three distinct groups of Bhutanese settling in Australia.
  • Changes to the index to reflect the addition of Narrow Group 43 Peoples of the Sudan.
  • Changes to the index to reflect the addition of separate codes for Assyrian, Chaldean and Mandaean as well as separate codes for Sri Lankan Tamil, Indian Tamil and Tamil, nfd.
  • Changes to the index to reflect all the other changes to the classification as detailed above.

These changes ensure that the classification is both statistically balanced and accurately reflects the cultural and ethnic composition of the Australian population


In the interests of data comparability, the ABS urges users and providers of ancestry data to collect, classify and disseminate data using the second edition revision 1 of the ASCCEG from the time of its implementation. However, it is acknowledged that there will be circumstances where users need to convert data from the second edition revision 1 to the 2005 second edition of ASCCEG. To facilitate this process, a correspondence table between the classification structures of the second edition revision 1 and the and 2005 second edition is provided in the ASCCEG data cube

The correspondence table is reasonably straightforward because, in most cases, the base-level units of the two editions of the classification (cultural and ethnic groups) retain a one-to-one relationship. The correspondence table itemises the code linkages between the cultural and ethnic groups, details the links between the broad groups and the narrow groups, and indicates the movement of particular cultural and ethnic groups within the two structures.

Generally, the codes in both editions relate to the same entity. In some instances there is not a direct relationship between the cultural and ethnic group and cultural and ethnic groupings of the structures of the two editions. Partial linkages are indicated by including the letter 'p' beside the code for the groups concerned.