Australia’s chance to comment on language classifications.

Media Statement

Australians now have the opportunity to comment on the review of the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL).

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has started consultation on a major review of the ASCL to better reflect languages that are widely used in the Australian community.

The ASCL was first published in 1997, with minor reviews held between 2005 and 2016. During this time, the Australian community has changed considerably and the ASCL needs to be updated to reflect these changes. These updates help us collect high quality data, improving data analysis and decision making.

This consultation is the public’s opportunity to comment on issues with the classification and advise the ABS on how the ASCL is currently used in Australia. Along with feedback from individuals and organisations, data from the 2021 Census and feedback from the 2026 Census topic consultation will also inform the review.

More detailed information of the review, including scope and timing, is available on the ABS Consultation Hub.

Changes to the Language Standards are being considered in the 2026 Census Topic Consultation process which is a separate process to the Language Review.

Consultation on the ASCL review will close on 8 December 2023.

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