ABS says no gender questions will be in the census

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has clarified that no questions about gender identity will be asked in the upcoming national census.

The questions and topics for the 2021 census were announced in November 2020, but recently there has been a flurry of media reports, talkback radio discussion and media commentary on the topic, triggered by an update to the standard that addresses how the ABS may handle measuring gender identity in the future.

In recent days media commentary has questioned if the next census will be accurate if people are allowed to choose descriptors for both sex and gender, however the ABS has reminded everyone the update to the standard does not apply to the current census.

“The 2021 Census will collect information on sex but will not collect information on gender.” the ABS said in a statement.

“The sex question is one of the most important in the Census, along with age and location, it directly feeds into the official estimates of Australia’s population.

“People who wish to report their sex as other than male or female will have the option of a ‘non-binary sex’ response category.

“The ABS defines a person’s sex as being based on their sex characteristics, such as their chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs.

“Gender is about social and cultural differences in identity, expression and experience as a man, woman or non-binary person. A person’s gender may differ from their sex and may also differ from what is indicated on their legal documents.” the government organisation said.

The last census in 2016 reported that 1,260 Australians were potentially transgender or non-binary. The ABS released the data with a guidance note suggesting that the information was unreliable and the number of transgender Australians was most likely considerably higher. The figure has become a go-to statistic for anti-transgender rights advocates and conservative media hosts.

Back in 2019 Sky News host and columnist Peta Credlin argued that the ABS should be focused on ‘facts’ and information about gender and sexuality fell outside that realm. Earlier this week News Corp colleague Rita Panahi also argued against the inclusion of information on gender.

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics has submitted to trans activist demands by implementing new guidelines for collecting information on gender and sexual orientation. It’s a move designed to boost the numbers who identify as “gender diverse” or “non-binary” after the 2016 census revealed that only 1260 Australians identified as neither male nor female.” Panahi claimed, saying the ABS was “giving in to Leftist activists and their never-ending push to redefine language and norms.”

The census will be carried out on the evening of 10th August 2021.

Graeme Watson, Update: 11:00 16-05-21 this article has been updated since its initial publication to improve clarity and additional links to the ABS announcements and statements have been included.  

You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.


Tags: , ,