Australian Bureau of Statistics
2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2007 Reissue
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Location of Spouse
Quality Statement - Location of Spouse (SPLF)
There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Location of Spouse (SPLF).
Data used to produce Location of Spouse (SPLF) is primarily captured automatically from check box responses of those reported as being temporarily absent and so the risk of processing error is minimal.
Couple families (with or without children present) made up 82.5% of all families and the proportion of couple families where a spouse was reported as being temporarily absent was 4.9%.
The ABS has undertaken some preliminary evaluation of the quality of Census data which suggests that around 35% of family members who are temporarily absent from their usual address on Census Night are not included in the relevant section of the Census form (Q53). This is only partly explained by the reporting limitation of three persons per household.
The ABS aims to produce high quality data from the Census. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into Census form design, collection procedures, and processing procedures.
There are four principal sources of error in Census data: respondent error, processing error, partial response and undercount. Quality management of the Census program aims to reduce error as much as possible, and to provide a measure of the remaining error to data users, to allow them to use the data in an informed way.
When completing their Census form, some people do not answer all the questions which apply to them. In these instances, a 'not stated' code is allocated during processing, with the exception of non-response to age, sex, marital status and place of usual residence. These variables are needed for population estimates, so they are imputed using other information on the Census form, as well as information from the previous Census.
The processing of information from Census forms is now mostly automated, using scanning, Intelligent Character Recognition and other automatic processes. Quality assurance procedures are used during Census processing to ensure processing errors are kept at an acceptable level. Sample checking is undertaken during coding operations, and corrections are made where necessary.
The Census form may be completed by one household member on behalf of others. Incorrect answers can be introduced to the Census form if the respondent does not understand the question or does not know the correct information about other household members. Many of these errors remain in the final data.
More detailed information on data quality is available in the 2006 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0), in the section titled Managing Census Quality.
This page last updated 20 May 2011
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