LGBTIQ+ Health Australia are holding an online seminar about the census


LGBTIQ+ Health Australia are holding an online forum about the upcoming Australian census, and how people in the LGBTIQ+ communities can make sure information about their lives is effectively included in the next census in 2026.

The event will feature two guest speakers from the ABS who will discuss the importance of the census, and how the 2020 ABS Standards can be used to improve data collection for LGBTIQ+ communities.

Writing at Croakley Health Media, Nicky Bath the CEO of LGBTIQ+ Health said it was alarming that the census does not yet ask questions about sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

“This is fundamental demographic data that is not captured about a significant part of Australia’s population – more than ten percent, based on an estimate by the Australian Human Rights Commission (HREOC).” Bath said.

“From the available research, our communities experience disproportionate rates of illness, especially mental illness. LGBTIQ+ young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to have attempted suicide than the general population. Transgender people aged 14 to 25 are a shocking 15 times more likely. There is evidence of elevated rates of drug and alcohol use, higher rates of HIV and STIs, and a significantly higher cancer burden.

“The majority of these adverse health outcomes are directly related to the stigma, prejudice and abuse experienced for being part of LGBTIQ+ communities. Discrimination also impacts negatively on access to high quality services, such as for aged care, family violence, homelessness and disability.” Bath said.

The idea of collecting information about sexuality and gender is hardly radical one, as Bath points out many countries already include questions on the topics.

“There is a strong international shift in comparable countries to collect this data. In March 2021, the United Kingdom became the first country to ask about sexual orientation and gender identity in its Census – without the sky falling in. Scotland will include questions on its next Census, deferred to 2022 due to COVID, and the United States and Canada are taking similar steps.

“Despite the growing impetus for change, our campaign was unsuccessful this time and last year the Australian Government again set the 2021 Census without questions on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.”

Earlier this week a coalition of leading LGBTIQ+ organsiations signed a declaration voicing their concern that information about LGBTIQ+ people was being omitted from the upcoming census.

Sign up to the online seminar

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