2021 Census topics confirm a lack of commitment to LGBTI Australians

The National LGBTI Health Alliance* (the Alliance), remains frustrated that next year’s Census will not include questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status, despite a national consensus for this data to be collected.

Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publicly presented its final topics to be included in the 2021 Census and its plan of how and when this information will be released. The ABS states that “the Census contributes rich and valuable information about Australians.” It is unfortunate that this does not include LGBTI Australians.

“2020 has shown us more than ever why national population data on LGBTI people is vital. Having lived through the bushfires and continuing to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves on the backfoot of much needed data that would help us to understand our communities’ health and wellbeing needs”, Alliance CEO Nicky Bath, said.

Each time a Government report is released as has been the case on Monday with the release of the Final Report from the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health, and the interim report from the National Suicide Prevention Adviser, we are reminded how disadvantaged we are in responding appropriately to our communities needs due to the lack of population level data.

We are grateful that the ABS has worked with the Alliance and others to update their 2020 Standard, which will standardise the collection and dissemination of data relating to sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation. We now need to focus on ensuring that these indicators are used widely and are embedded across systems to that we can in 2026 complete the data cycle and have us included in that iteration of the Census.

“We have a great deal of work ahead of us and are surrounded and supported by many other peak health organisations, non-government organisations, researchers and some areas of Government who know how important evidence and data are. We need to keep focused and maintain the momentum we have garnered to ensure that the updated ABS standard is fully utilised. We look forward to it being launched,” Ms. Bath, concluded.

If you are experiencing distress and would like to talk with someone on the phone or over the web, then please call QLife on 1800 184 527 or go to www.qlife.org.au

Media Contact:  Nicky Bath, CEO | Mobile: 0432 328 706 | Email: Nicky.Bath@lgbtihealth.org.au  

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ABOUT THE ALLIANCE
The National LGBTI Health Alliance is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people and other sexuality and gender diverse (LGBTI) people and communities.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The Alliance acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land and community. We pay our respects to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past, present and future generations.