2026 Census topic consultation

Information about the 2026 Census topic consultation process

Background

The Census of Population and Housing provides a snapshot of Australia – showing how our nation changes over time, helping estimate our population and informing critical decisions that guide our future. The 2021 Census collected data on a range of topics. The next Census will take place in 2026.

Every Census, the ABS makes a recommendation to the Australian Government on the topics that should be included in the Census.

2026 Census topic consultation process

The ABS is expanding its consultation process to canvass the widest range of views possible.

In 2023, the ABS will undertake a two-phase public consultation process to help inform our recommendations on what should be collected in the next Census.

  • Phase one will run from February to April 2023 and invite members of the public, community groups and other organisations to make submissions about information needs not currently captured by the ABS.
  • Phase two will commence in June 2023 and end in July 2023. During phase two, the ABS will present back to the public what we heard from phase one and invite users to provide input on any additions and changes we are proposing to test and the topics we propose to remove for the 2026 Census.

We will also consider feedback that we have received since the 2021 Census topic consultation.

We take into account several things when reviewing the submissions and feedback. This includes the need for the data, the overall length of the form and the ability and willingness of households to answer accurately.  

Ways to get involved

You can start preparing submissions now by:

  • Gathering evidence to explain why the information needs to be collected. For example, is it informing any policies, research, grant allocations or business decisions?
  • Connecting with other individuals or organisations who may want to collaborate on a submission.

Ways to keep updated on the topic consultation

You can keep updated on the 2026 Census topic consultation process by:

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