Promoting Representation Through Data: The Case For More Comprehensive Ethnicity Data In Australia

Liz Allen  
Demographer and lecturer at the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods Australian National University, ACT, Australia


What if data used to inform knowledge is incomplete or false, leading to misunderstandings about the social world? In Australia, what is known about ethnic diversity is based on an outdated definition and inadequate measure of multiculturalism. This article explores how gaps in data can lead to and further entrench disempowerment. Using a sociodemographic approach, this paper examines the ways in which data can create and maintain poor representation; via collection, analysis and infrastructure. This paper demonstrates that what is counted matters for equality, and lays out what is necessary to help promote ethnic diversity through data collection.


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How to Cite
Allen L. Promoting Representation Through Data: The Case For More Comprehensive Ethnicity Data In Australia. LiC [Internet]. 2021Aug.29 [cited 2021Sep.26];37(2). Available from:

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