Latest release

Ancestry 2nd response (ANC2P)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable indicates how a person identifies their ancestry. Respondents are able to provide up to two responses. The second ancestry provided is output into Ancestry 2nd response (ANC2P).  

See also: Ancestry 1st response (ANC1P), Ancestry multi response (ANCP)

Scope

All persons

Categories

Ancestry is coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG), 2019. The categories are listed in groups below. The full list is available from the Data downloads on this page. 

1 Oceanian 

1OCEANIAN  
 10Oceanian, nfd 
  1000Oceanian, nfd
 11Australian Peoples
  1100Australian Peoples, nfd
  1101Australian
  1102Australian Aboriginal
  1103Australian South Sea Islander
  1104Torres Strait Islander
  1105Norfolk Islander
 12New Zealand Peoples
  1200New Zealand Peoples, nfd
  1201Maori
  1202New Zealander
 13Melanesian and Papuan
  1300Melanesian and Papuan, nfd
  1301New Caledonian
  1302Ni-Vanuatu
  1303Papua New Guinean
  1304Solomon Islander
  1399Melanesian and Papuan, nec
 14Micronesian
  1400Micronesian, nfd
  1401I-Kiribati
  1402Nauruan
  1499Micronesian, nec
 15Polynesian
  1500Polynesian, nfd
  1501Cook Islander
  1502Fijian
  1503Niuean
  1504Samoan
  1505Tongan
  1506Hawaiian
  1507Tahitian
  1508Tokelauan
  1511Tuvaluan
  1512Pitcairn
  1599Polynesian, nec

2 North-West European

2NORTH-WEST EUROPEAN
 20North-West European, nfd 
  2000North-West European, nfd
 21British 
  2100British, nfd
  2101English
  2102Scottish
  2103Welsh
  2104Channel Islander
  2105Manx
  2199British, nec
 22Irish 
  2201Irish
 23Western European
  2300Western European, nfd
  2301Austrian
  2303Dutch
  2304Flemish
  2305French
  2306German
  2307Swiss
  2311Belgian
  2312Frisian
  2313Luxembourg
  2399Western European, nec
 24Northern European
  2400Northern European, nfd
  2401Danish
  2402Finnish
  2403Icelandic
  2404Norwegian
  2405Swedish
  2499Northern European, nec

3 Southern and Eastern European

3SOUTHERN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN
 30Southern and Eastern European, nfd
  3000Southern and Eastern European, nfd
 31Southern European
  3100Southern European, nfd
  3101Basque
  3102Catalan
  3103Italian
  3104Maltese
  3105Portuguese
  3106Spanish
  3107Gibraltarian
  3199Southern European, nec
 32South Eastern European
  3200South Eastern European, nfd
  3201Albanian
  3202Bosnian
  3203Bulgarian
  3204Croatian
  3205Greek
  3206Macedonian
  3207Moldovan
  3208Montenegrin
  3211Romanian
  3212Roma Gypsy
  3213Serbian
  3214Slovene
  3215Cypriot
  3216Vlach
  3299South Eastern European, nec
 33Eastern European
  3300Eastern European, nfd
  3301Belarusan
  3302Czech
  3303Estonian
  3304Hungarian
  3305Latvian
  3306Lithuanian
  3307Polish
  3308Russian
  3311Slovak
  3312Ukrainian
  3313Sorb/Wend
  3399Eastern European, nec

4 North-African and Middle Eastern

4NORTH AFRICAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN
 40North African and Middle Eastern, nfd
  4000North African and Middle Eastern, nfd
 41Arab 
  4100Arab, nfd
  4101Algerian
  4102Egyptian
  4103Iraqi
  4104Jordanian
  4105Kuwaiti
  4106Lebanese
  4107Libyan
  4108Moroccan
  4111Palestinian
  4112Saudi Arabian
  4113Syrian
  4114Tunisian
  4115Yemeni
  4116Bahraini
  4117Emirati
  4118Omani
  4121Qatari
  4199Arab, nec
 42Jewish 
  4201Jewish
 43Peoples of the Sudan
  4300Peoples of the Sudan, nfd
  4301Bari
  4302Darfur
  4303Dinka 
  4304Nuer
  4305South Sudanese
  4306Sudanese
  4399Peoples of the Sudan, nec
 49Other North African and Middle Eastern
  4900Other North African and Middle Eastern, nfd
  4902Berber
  4903Coptic
  4904Iranian
  4905Kurdish
  4907Turkish
  4908Assyrian
  4911Chaldean
  4912Mandaean
  4913Nubian 
  4914Yezidi
  4999Other North African and Middle Eastern, nec

5 South-East Asian

5SOUTH-EAST ASIAN 
 50South-East Asian, nfd
  5000South-East Asian, nfd
 51Mainland South-East Asian
  5100Mainland South-East Asian, nfd
  5101Anglo-Burmese
  5102Burmese
  5103Hmong
  5104Khmer (Cambodian)
  5105Lao
  5106Thai
  5107Vietnamese
  5108Karen
  5111Mon
  5112Chin
  5113Rohingya
  5199Mainland South-East Asian, nec
 52Maritime South-East Asian
  5200Maritime South-East Asian, nfd
  5201Filipino
  5202Indonesian
  5203Javanese
  5204Madurese
  5205Malay
  5206Sundanese
  5207Timorese
  5208Acehnese
  5211Balinese
  5212Bruneian
  5213Kadazan
  5214Singaporean
  5215Temoq
  5299Maritime South-East Asian, nec

6 North-East Asian

6NORTH-EAST ASIAN 
 60North-East Asian, nfd
  6000North-East Asian, nfd
 61Chinese Asian
  6100Chinese Asian, nfd
  6101Chinese
  6102Taiwanese
  6199Chinese Asian, nec
 69Other North-East Asian
  6900Other North-East Asian, nfd
  6901Japanese
  6902Korean
  6903Mongolian
  6904Tibetan
  6999Other North-East Asian, nec

7 Southern and Central Asian

7SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL ASIAN
 70Southern and Central Asian, nfd
  7000Southern and Central Asian, nfd
 71Southern Asian
  7100Southern Asian, nfd
  7101Anglo-Indian
  7102Bengali
  7103Burgher
  7104Gujarati
  7106Indian
  7107Malayali
  7111Nepalese
  7112Pakistani
  7113Punjabi
  7114Sikh
  7115Sinhalese
  7117Maldivian
  7118Bangladeshi
  7121Bhutanese
  7122Fijian Indian 
  7123Kashmiri
  7124Parsi
  7125Sindhi
  7126Sri Lankan
  7127Sri Lankan Tamil
  7128Indian Tamil 
  7131Tamil, nfd
  7132Telugu
  7199Southern Asian, nec
 72Central Asian
  7200Central Asian, nfd
  7201Afghan
  7202Armenian
  7203Georgian
  7204Kazakh
  7205Pathan
  7206Uzbek
  7207Azeri
  7208Hazara
  7211Tajik
  7212Tatar
  7213Turkmen
  7214Uighur
  7215Kyrgyz
  7299Central Asian, nec

8 Peoples of the Americas

8PEOPLES OF THE AMERICAS
 80Peoples of the Americas, nfd
  8000Peoples of the Americas, nfd
 81North American
  8100North American, nfd
  8101African American
  8102American
  8103Canadian
  8104French Canadian
  8105Hispanic North American
  8106Native North American Indian
  8107Bermudan
  8199North American, nec
 82South American
  8200South American, nfd
  8201Argentinian
  8202Bolivian
  8203Brazilian
  8204Chilean
  8205Colombian
  8206Ecuadorian
  8207Guyanese
  8208Peruvian
  8211Uruguayan
  8212Venezuelan
  8213Paraguayan
  8299South American, nec
 83Central American
  8300Central American, nfd
  8301Mexican
  8302Nicaraguan
  8303Salvadoran
  8304Costa Rican
  8305Guatemalan
  8306Mayan
  8399Central American, nec
 84Caribbean Islander
  8400Caribbean Islander, nfd
  8401Cuban
  8402Jamaican
  8403Trinidadian Tobagonian
  8404Barbadian
  8405Puerto Rican
  8499Caribbean Islander, nec

9 Sub-Saharan African

9SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN
 90Sub-Saharan African, nfd
  9000Sub-Saharan African, nfd
 91Central and West African
  9100Central and West African, nfd
  9101Akan
  9102Fulani
  9103Ghanaian
  9104Nigerian
  9105Yoruba
  9106Ivorean
  9107Liberian
  9108Sierra Leonean
  9111Acholi
  9112Cameroonian
  9113Congolese
  9114Gio
  9115Igbo
  9116Krahn
  9117Mandinka
  9118Senegalese
  9121Themne
  9122Togolese
  9199Central and West African, nec
 92Southern and East African
  9200Southern and East African, nfd
  9201Afrikaner
  9202Angolan
  9203Eritrean
  9204Ethiopian
  9205Kenyan
  9206Malawian
  9207Mauritian
  9208Mozambican
  9211Namibian
  9212Oromo
  9213Seychellois
  9214Somali
  9215South African
  9216Tanzanian
  9217Ugandan
  9218Zambian
  9221Zimbabwean
  9222Amhara
  9223Batswana
  9225Hutu
  9226Masai
  9228Tigrayan
  9231Tigre
  9232Zulu
  9233Burundian
  9234Kunama
  9235Madi
  9236Ogaden
  9237Rwandan
  9238Shona
  9241Swahili
  9242Swazilander
  9299Southern and East African, nec

Supplementary codes

0SUPPLEMENTARY CODES
 00Inadequately described
  0000Inadequately described
 09So described, nfd
  0901Eurasian, so described
  0902Asian, so described
  0903African, so described
  0904European, so described
  0905Caucasian, so described
  0906Creole, so described
@Not applicable 
 @@Not applicable
   @@@@Not applicable
VOverseas visitor 
 VVOverseas visitor
  VVVVOverseas visitor

Not applicable (@@@@) comprises:

  • Persons who provided a first ancestry but did not provide a second
  • ANC1P not stated

ANC2P does not have a ‘Not stated’ category. People who did not answer the ancestry question are included in ‘Not applicable’.

Number of categories: 

  • One-digit level: 12
  • Two-digit level: 41
  • Four-digit level: 321

Question(s) from the Census form

What is the person’s ancestry?

    What is the person’s ancestry?
    What is Person 1's ancestry?

    Provide up to two ancestries only.

    Examples of ‘Other ancestry’: Croatian, Serbian, Filipino, Tamil, Sinhalese, Hmong, Maori, Pitcairn, Australian South Sea Islander.

    More information

    Person's ancestry

    English

    Irish

    Scottish

    Chinese

    Italian

    German

    Aboriginal

    Torres Strait Islander

    Australian

    Other ancestry 1 (please specify)

    Other ancestry 2 (please specify)

      More information

      Additional information relating to the question on: What is the person’s ancestry?

      More information

      What is Person 1's ancestry?

      Provide up to two ancestries only.

      Examples of ‘Other ancestry’: Croatian, Serbian, Filipino, Tamil, Sinhalese, Hmong, Maori, Pitcairn, Australian South Sea Islander.

      More information

      If more than two ancestries apply, provide the two ancestries the person most closely identifies with.

      If you are unclear about what ancestry you should include, consider the ethnic or cultural origins of the person's parents and/or grandparents as a guide.

      If the person is a Pacific Islander, report their ancestry as accurately as possible, for example, Samoan, Tongan or Cook Islander.

      If the person is a descendant of South Sea Islanders brought to Australia as labourers at the turn of the twentieth century, please answer ‘Australian South Sea Islander’.

      For ancestries not listed, please select the 'Other ancestry 1 (please specify)' option and enter the name of the ancestry in the box and, if needed, 'Other ancestry 2 (please specify)'.

      How this variable is created

      This variable is created from responses to the ancestry question on the Census form. The allocation of ancestries is administrative only and based on the order in which the responses are processed.

      Respondents can select their ancestry by using the mark boxes, and/or the write in response boxes.  The most common ancestry responses from the 2016 Census are the mark box options on the 2021 Census form, with the addition of separate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mark boxes.  Most responses for ancestry are captured in the mark box responses, but overall, the following scenarios apply:

      • Written responses are first coded using a combination of automatic reading and coding. The remaining responses require manual coding.
      • Where respondents report more than two ancestries, only two are processed.
      • Where only one ancestry was provided, ANC2P is recorded as ‘Not applicable’.
      • Ancestry is coded using the ASCCEG. If a response is not listed in the classification, it is coded to 'Inadequately described'.

      History and changes

      Ancestry was first included as a question in the 1986 Census. The aim of the question was to measure the ethnic composition of the population, but it did not perform as expected for this purpose as there was a high level of subjectivity and lack of clarity about what the question meant. Consequently, ancestry was not included in either the 1991 or 1996 Censuses.

      In 2001, the question was asked again with instructions to 'Provide more than one ancestry if necessary', and to consider their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents.

      For the 2006 and 2011 Censuses, respondents were asked to mark the ancestries they most closely identified with and to consider their ancestry back as far as two generations (i.e. their parents and grandparents). Respondents were asked to report at least one ancestry, but no more than two ancestries.

      For the 2016 Census the format of the ancestry question was revised to provide two distinct text response areas for separate written ancestry responses. This change aimed to clarify responses and improve autocoding rates.

      The 2021 Census includes mark boxes for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestries.  It is expected these additional mark boxes will result in less people checking the ‘Australian’ mark box, and instead choosing to specify Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ancestries. For people completing the Census online and who identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, these new response categories will be displayed at the top of the list.

      For 2021, the order of the response categories has been updated based on frequency of reporting in the 2016 Census:

      • ‘Italian’ moved from 3rd position to 5th position
      • ‘German’ moved from 5th position to 6th position
      • ‘Chinese’ moved from 6th position to 4th position

      As with previous Censuses, 'Australian' is placed as the last option for selection - prior to the text entry boxes for 'Other ancestry/s' - to encourage reporting of non-Australian ancestries where relevant.

      For 2021, the other examples in the instructional text were updated.

      For 2021, Norfolk Islander (code 1105) has been added in the updated classification to capture an ancestry reported by Norfolk Island residents following Norfolk Island’s inclusion in the Australian Census of Population and Housing for the first time in 2016.

      Data use considerations

      Ancestry can be related to the place a person or their parents or grandparents were born or the cultural group they most identify with. For example, a person may have been born in Australia, but they have Papua New Guinean ancestry. This helps us understand our diverse culture.

      To accurately understand ancestry data, both ancestry variables (ANC1P and ANC2P) must be used. There are two ancestry variables because Census respondents are able to report up to two ancestries in their response to the question on ancestry. Respondents do not have the option of ranking their answers to the ancestry question, so where a respondent reports two ancestries, they have equal standing. The basis for allocating ancestries to the variables ANC1P and ANC2P is based on the order in which they are processed. These two ancestry variables (ANC1P and ANC2P) are combined into one variable, ANCP.

      Ethnicity

      The ancestry variables provide a self-assessed measure of ethnicity and cultural background, which, when used in conjunction with the person’s and their parents' countries of birth provides a good indication of the ethnic background of first and second generation Australians. Ancestry in the Australian context is complex as there are many Australians with origins and heritage that do not, in practice, relate to their current ethnic identity.  When ancestry data is used alone, it should only be done to represent a broad measure of cultural diversity.  Ancestry is particularly useful to identify distinct ethnic or cultural groups within Australia such as Maoris or Australian South Sea Islanders, and groups which are spread across countries such as Kurds. Surrogate measures of ethnicity such as country of birth or languages other than English spoken at home, alone cannot identify these groups. This information is useful in developing policies which reflect the needs of our society and for the effective delivery of services to particular ethnic communities.

      Ancestry multi response - counting people or responses

      When ANCP is added to a table and all the individual ancestries are summed together, a total count of responses, not people, is produced. This is because each person can provide up to two ancestries. So the total count of responses for all ancestries in Australia exceeds Australia’s total population. However, when using ANCP to look at individual ancestries, the count of responses is also the count of people. This is because respondents can only state a particular ancestry once (either as ANC1P or ANC2P).

      Measurement issues

      The ancestry question records all claims of association with ancestries, ethnic origins and cultures.  Whilst some people may respond according to how they may identify with a particular cultural group (subjectively), the intent of the question is to capture the cultural context in which they were raised (objectively).  Multiple responses are encouraged. Responses to the ancestry question are coded to the ASCCEG. 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. 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.

      Related variables and glossary terms

      • Ancestry multi response (ANCP)
      • Ancestry 1st response (ANC1P)
      • Ancestry one or two response indicator (ANCRP)
      • Birthplace of mother (BPFP)
      • Birthplace of father (BPMP)
      • Indigenous status (INGP)

      Data downloads

      Ancestry 2nd response classification