1249.0 - Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG), 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/07/2016   
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This document was added or updated on 28/03/2017.



In 2016 the ABS conducted a minor review of the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG). The review was conducted to ensure the classification was up-to-date, correct any errors in the classification, and to improve the index used to code responses. The conceptual model underpinning the classification and revisions impacting data time series for broad and narrow groups in the ASCCEG were out of scope of this review.


The review of ASCCEG was carried out by:

  • statistical analysis of 2011 Australian Census of Population and Housing data to identify changes to the cultural and ethnic profile of the Australian population
  • stakeholder consultation with a range of users and organisations including ethnic and community groups, academics, and other non-government and government stakeholders
  • research to confirm appropriate terminology to be used for categories in the classification, observations noted from statistical analysis and stakeholder comments, and to assess the accuracy of code assignments.


The outcome of the 2016 review was that two new cultural and ethnic groups were added to the classification and seven cultural and ethnic groups were renamed. Consequent updates were made to correspondence tables and the coding index to ensure that revised cultural and ethnic group titles were reflected in those products. Several unrelated updates were made to the coding index to enhance its content.

Cultural and ethnic groups added to the classification

The following cultural and ethnic groups were added:
  • Pitcairn (code 1512), added to capture ancestries likely to be reported by Norfolk Island residents, as Norfolk Island was included in the Australian Census of Population and Housing for the first time in 2016
  • Yezidi (code 4914), added to reflect this change in Australia's cultural and ethnic profile.

Cultural and ethnic groups renamed

The titles of seven cultural and ethnic groups were renamed to minimise the use of non alpha-numeric characters that do not add to the meaning or interpretation of the title; better reflect the terminology used by Australians to identify the group; and correct spelling. The renamed titles are:

CodeASCCEG 2011, Second Edition (Revision 1)ASCCEG 2016

3212Roma/GypsyRoma Gypsy
8105Hispanic (North American)Hispanic North American
8403Trinidadian (Tobagonian)Trinidadian Tobagonian
9235Madi (Ma'di)Madi

Changes to the coding index

The following coding index changes were made:
  • alternative names were added for South Sea Islander (code 1103) and various ancestries from the Torres Strait (code 1104)
  • index entries were added for Niuean Maori (code 1503), Samoan Maori (code 1504) and Tongan Maori (code 1505) to reflect the geographic and historical origins of these groups
  • Macanese (code 6101) was added as the preferred term for peoples with Portuguese / Chinese ancestry from the island of Macau
  • Tutsi (code 9299) was added to recognise this group
  • changes were made to the index to reflect all the changes to the classification detailed above.


Correspondences for the ASCCEG enable two-way comparison between the ASCCEG 2016 and ASCCEG 2011 Second Edition Revision 1. The correspondence tables itemise the code linkages between cultural and ethnic groups, detail links between broad groups and narrow groups, and indicate the changes to the ASCCEG between the current and most recent previous version (2011, Second Edition Revision 1). These correspondence tables are available in the ASCCEG data cube, accessible from the 'Downloads' tab.

Generally, the categories in both editions of the ASCCEG relate directly to the same entity in each edition. However, in some instances, there is not a direct relationship between the cultural and ethnic group categories in the two editions of the ASCCEG. Partial linkages are indicated by the word 'part' after the code of the cultural and ethnic group concerned.