2026 Census topic consultation

Closed 28 Apr 2023

Opened 27 Feb 2023


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

Phase one of the consultation is open from 28 February to 28 April 2023. The ABS wants to understand what information is needed, but not currently collected by the ABS.

The ABS will assess submissions received in phase one before undertaking a second phase of public consultation in mid-2023. This will be to seek feedback on the shortlist of topics being considered for inclusion, change or exclusion in the 2026 Census.

Assessment criteria

The ABS will consider requests for new or changed topics for the Census against a set of criteria.

The first step will be assessing the public value of collecting data on the topic. To do this, we will collate the evidence provided in the submissions and then consider whether: 

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.  

The ABS will further assess topics that rate strongly against the public value criteria. See the detailed assessment criteria for our considerations for each criterion.

How to make a submission

To prepare your submission:

  • Gather evidence to explain why the information needs to be collected. For example, is it informing any policies, research, grant allocations or business decisions?
  • Assess the information need against the 2026 Census topic assessment criteria.
  • Connect with other individuals or organisations who may want to collaborate with you on a 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 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.

To start your submission, click 'Enter consultation' below.

Collection Notice

2026 Census Topic Consultation Collection Notice

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What happens next

This consultation has now closed. 

The ABS will review submissions and shortlist topics for further consideration.

Phase two will specifically focus on potential topics for addition, change or 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 regarding the process on the
2026 Census topic consultation page


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