ABS welcomes resolution of complaint

Media Release

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is looking forward to working with the LGBTIQ+ community on the 2026 Census, following the successful resolution of a complaint made to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in relation to the 2021 Census.

As part of the agreement reached today, the ABS has committed to the establishment of an expert advisory committee of representatives of LGBTIQ+ community organisations and other experts for the 2026 Census. The committee will provide advice on topics and questions for the 2026 Census; educational materials, and the processing, analysis and dissemination of data obtained in the 2026 Census.

The ABS is aware that some members of the LGBTIQ+ community felt invisible and excluded when completing the 2021 Census and has issued a statement of regret for any distress experienced.

Since the last Census, the ABS has taken steps to improve the collection of data about LGBTIQ+ Australians, including reviewing the ABS Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables in partnership with LGBTIQ+ community representatives.

The ABS recently published the outcomes of the first phase of public consultation on topics for the 2026 Census. The topics of sexual orientation, gender identity and variations of sex characteristics have been shortlisted for potential inclusion. The second phase of public consultation is open until 8 September 2023.

ABS’ recommendations on 2026 Census topics will be submitted to the Australian Government in 2024 for their decision.

Media notes

  • For media requests and interviews, contact ABS Media at media@abs.gov.au or call 1300 175 070.
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