The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has developed Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity in response to a widely recognised need for a nationally consistent framework for the collection and dissemination of data on cultural and language diversity.
The publication presents a set of statistical standards which are designed to collect all the cultural and language information considered necessary for consistent and accurate measurement of cultural diversity in Australia. The standards are intended as a replacement for non-English speaking background (NESB), which has previously been used as a broad measure of culturally related need or disadvantage.
Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity is a reference document which defines the standards and outlines methods for their use in statistical, administrative and service provision settings. The standards, which were endorsed by the Council of Ministers of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (COMIMA) in April 1999, include recommended questions, classifications, coding structures and output categories for use in interview-based and self-enumerated data collections.
It is intended that Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity be used by government, academic and private sector organisations in all relevant data collection activities, as this will improve the compatibility and comparability of data derived from different sources.
The assistance of the many organisations and individuals who provided information and advice during the development of this set of standards is gratefully acknowledged. The ABS would welcome feedback on any aspect of these standards.
- The Guide: Implementing the Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity (the Guide) was developed by the Commonwealth Interdepartmental Committee on Multicultural Affairs as a tool to assist government departments and agencies to implement the Australian Bureau of Statistics publication, Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity.
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- For the most detailed and up-to-date versions of the standards, see
This page last updated 18 April 2007