2026 Census topic consultation - Phase two

Closed 8 Sep 2023

Opened 27 Jul 2023


The ABS is undertaking a review of topics for the 2026 Census. Public consultation helps inform our recommendation to the Australian Government on the topics that could be included in the Census. 

Phase two of the consultation is open from 27 July until 8 September 2023. The ABS is seeking feedback on topics being considered for change or removal from the 2026 Census.

Assessment criteria

During this phase, the ABS will continue to assess shortlisted topics against the following criteria: 

1. The topic is of current national importance.

2. There is a need for data at the national level, and either the local level or for small population groups.

3. There is likely to be a continuing need for data on the topic following the Census.  

4. There are no other suitable alternative data sources or solutions that could meet the topic need. 

Shortlisted topics will be assessed for feasibility and to determine if the Census is the most appropriate way to provide data on the topic. The following criteria are used to make this assessment:

5. Data on the topic can be collected efficiently.

6. A representative of the household would be willing and able to answer questions on the topic for each member of the household.

In addition to assessing the topics individually, the ABS will consider if the combination of topics will maintain a high level of public support for the Census. This includes the overall size and complexity of the Census form, sensitivity of collecting data on the topic, and if collecting data on a topic will impact how the public answers questions on other topics.  

Not all shortlisted topics will proceed to testing or be included in the 2026 Census.

See the detailed assessment criteria for our considerations for each criterion.

How to make a submission

To prepare your submission:

Under the Related section below, a Submission Guide is attached providing detailed instructions about how to make a submission. A downloadable version of the consultation questionnaire is also available.

Once you begin your submission, if you would like to save and return to your response later you will be prompted to enter your email address. You will be provided with a Return link and Response ID. Please note these down in case the email doesn't come through promptly.

Collection Notice

2026 Census Topic Consultation: Phase Two Collection Notice

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What happens next

This consultation has now closed. 

In late 2023, the ABS will share the outcomes of phase two, including the topics proceeding to testing and the topics that will be recommended for removal.

In mid-2024 the ABS will make a recommendation to the Australian Government  on the topics that could be included in the 2026 Census. 

You can find further information about the 2026 Census topic review process on the ABS website.


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