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Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity have been developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to provide a means of standardising the way the ABS and other agencies collect and disseminate information relating to the origins of individuals and cultural diversity in Australia. The minimum core set for the purposes of collecting information relevant to cultural diversity in respect of people who have migrated to Australia, and their descendants are;

  • Country of birth
  • Main language other than English spoken at home and
  • Proficiency in spoken English.

Additional items may be considered to more fully describe Cultural and Language Diversity such as;

  • Country of birth (Mother)
  • Country of birth (Father)
  • Year of arrival in Australia
  • First language spoken
  • Religious affiliation and
  • Indigenous Status.

Metadata items in this Data Set Specification

Below is a list of all the components within this Dataset Specification.
Each entry includes the item name, whether the item is optional, mandatory or conditional and the maximum times the item can occur in a dataset.
If the items must occur in a particular order in the dataset, the sequence number is included before the item name.

Data Elements
Reference Data Element Data Type Length Inclusion #
Person—country of birth, code (SACC 2011) NNNN
Specific Information:
This data element should be reported for the individual and may also extend to the country of birth of their mother and father.
Number 4 optional 3
Person—Indigenous status, code N Number 1 optional 1
Person—year of first arrival in Australia, date YYYY Date/Time 4 optional 1


Australian Bureau of Statistics. Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity. Cat no. 1289.0. Canberra. 1999.


Related content

Relation Count
As a numerator in an Indicator 0
As a denominator in an Indicator 0
As a disaggregation in an Indicator 0