New Zealand’s Census is counting queer people for the first time


Rainbow flag art with outline of a New Zealand Kiwi on it
Image: Freepik

New Zealand is including questions about gender and sexuality as well as intersex Kiwis for the first time in this week’s national Census.

The country’s national Census day is on Tuesday (March 7). New questions about gender, sexual identity, and variations of sex characteristics are included in this year’s national survey.

“We know that many individuals and community groups are keen to see data that better reflects who they are,” Stats NZ’s Simon Mason said ahead of the Census.

“It’s important that the census represents all the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Stats NZ says the data will aid advocacy for the communities’ needs on the same footing as other New Zealanders.

Local group InsideOUT Kōaro said the “more data we have about our rainbow communities, the more positive changes we can make.”

Australia ‘in the dark’ without data

It comes as Australian advocates urge the Australian Bureau of Statistics to add similar questions on our queer communities to our next Census.

The next Australian Census in 2026. Last week the ABS called for public submissions on new topics for inclusion.

In the last Census in 2021, a few new questions made the cut. But shortlisted Census questions on gay, lesbian, bi and transgender Australians did not.

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia CEO Nicky Bath says this must change. She said Australia remains “in the dark” on its queer populations.

“Had appropriate questions been included in 2021, today we’d have access to a whole range of data that we urgently need to be able to better respond to the health disparities that LGBTIQ+ people live with,” she said.

Individuals and organisations can make submissions supporting LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the 2026 Census until April 28.

Read more: Census data shows drop in Australians identifying as Christian

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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