ABS testing topics for 2026 Census: Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has published outcomes from public consultation on topics for the 2026 Census. Five new topics and changes to 12 existing topics are shortlisted for development and testing.

Georgia Chapman, Director 2026 Census Content said, “The Census provides some of Australia’s most valuable statistics, and it’s important that it reflects our contemporary society and captures emerging data needs.

“The ABS expanded the opportunity for public input to the 2026 Census content with two phases of consultation. Our aim was to give everyone in Australia an opportunity to provide feedback and help the ABS understand impacts of proposed changes.

“We considered over 1,000 pieces of feedback during the consultations, across a diverse range of themes. The changes shortlisted cover a range of topics including increasing our understanding of cultural diversity and LGBTIQ+ populations, to expanding information on work, study and long-term health conditions.

“We have assessed the community benefit of changes against the cost and complexity of collecting the data.”

In mid-2024 the ABS will make a recommendation to Government on topics for the next Census. The changes being tested will not necessarily all be included in the 2026 Census. The final decision on 2026 Census topics will be made by the Government.

This concludes the public consultation phase of the 2026 Census topic review process. The ABS thanks all individuals and organisations who provided feedback, and for Australia’s ongoing support of the Census.

/ABS Public Release. View in full here.