Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures. It is also home to people who identify with over 270 different ancestries and speak more than 400 languages. With close to 40% of older Australians born overseas, it’s important to collect and use data that are useful, accurate and consistent. After all, we know that access to health, aged care and social services is strongly influenced by cultural and linguistic traits, which, in turn, influence a person’s health and wellbeing.
In this new position paper on Capturing Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Australia, we discuss the importance of terminology, present the variables used by the Australian Government to measure cultural and linguistic diversity, and recommend how to improve the capture of diversity data.