Australia's chance to comment on proposed changes to religious classification

Media Statement

Australians now have the opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG).

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is continuing consultation on a major review that will update the ASCRG to reflect the modern Australian community. These updates help us collect high quality data to improve data analysis and decision making.

Changes to the Religious Affiliation Standard (RAS; How we ask the religion question in the Census of Population and Housing), are being considered in the 2026 Census Topic Consultation process. More information about this process is available on the ABS website.

While the current version of the ASCRG received minor updates in 2016, it largely reflects the original 1996 version of the classification and the social environment in Australia at that time. The Australian community has changed considerably since then, and the ASCRG needs to be updated to reflect this change.

This consultation is the public’s opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the ASCRG, based on analysis of 2021 Census data and feedback from the first consultation round as well as from other stakeholders.

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

Consultation will close on 28 November 2023.

Media Notes

  • First round of public consultation was conducted from August 2022 to October 2022.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am-5pm Canberra time Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
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