Young LGBTIQ Australians say they want to be counted in the Census


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Image: Jordan Hirst

Young LGBTIQ+ Australians want the Australian government to introduce questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in the next national Census.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts the Census, surveying every Australian and household, every five years. The ABS published the first round of 2021 data this week.

But the Census doesn’t include questions about sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex Australians.

And that’s something queer youth want to see change, a researcher has said.

Researcher Blake Cutler is from the Monash Youth Policy Centre, which recently released its 2021 Youth Barometer.

Cutler said he had analysed the hundreds of responses to that research. He found that queer young people wanted their experiences included in national data gathering.

“One avenue that queer young people advocated for was to be included in a formal data-gathering exercise like the census,” he told ABC News.

Cutler said the data collection also reflects the values and priorities of governments.

“What we collect data on shows what we’re willing to invest effort and time into,” he said.

“By essentially negating this whole section of the population, it sends a really clear message that your rights and experiences aren’t at the centre of politicians’ perspectives and views.”

ABS will again consider LGBTIQ Census questions in 2026

This week, LGBTIQ advocates again warned the questions on sexuality and gender – and the subsequent Census data – are desperately needed.

Comprehensive data on the community’s age and location would allow government and health services to better direct resources, for example.

Advocates want Australia to follow countries like New Zealand, Britain, and also Canada in including the LGBTIQ questions.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) chief statistician David Gruen said the ABS will consider gender identity and sexuality questions for the 2026 Census.

He said the ABS considered and consulted on such questions last year. However the former federal government directed them not to include them, Gruen said.

“The parliament and government determines the topics of the census,” Gruen told AAP.

“The ABS was instructed to ask a question on sex, but not on gender and not on sexual orientation.

“There will be an opportunity to revisit that for the 2026 census.

“The ABS will be engaging in a public consultation process starting later this year.”

He said the ABS will also ask the community if there are “other questions people think we should be asking”.

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.

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1 Comment

  1. Julian
    4 July 2022
    Reply

    This Should be a Priority for the Labor & Greens Government.
    In 2022 LGBTQ community is missing out on public money because they are excluded from the Census. OUTRAGE

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