2008.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, Australia, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/08/2015   
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This topic provides information about the sex of each person enumerated in the Census. This information is essential for the estimation of the resident population in each of the states, territories and local government areas, which is required by legislation for electoral purposes and the distribution of government funds. Information on sex is also essential for most socio-demographic analysis of Census data.


A question on sex has been included in every Australian Census since 1911.

The 2011 Census included an option, available on enquiry, for people to record their sex on the paper Census form as indeterminate or intersex. In the lead-up to the 2016 Census and in consultation with the Australian Attorney-General's Department who are updating their Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, the ABS is reviewing the Sex Standard, with plans to publish at the end of 2015. Based on the review, the 2016 Census will include an option (on both the paper and online forms) for individuals to identify their sex as other than male or female. The online option was not available in 2011. Details on how to complete these forms will be provided by the Census Inquiry Service on request and promoted through community engagement.


The following question is from the paper 2016 Census Household Form.

Image: question 3 from the paper 2016 Census Household Form.