New topics for the 2006 Census include Need for assistance, Unpaid work and Dwelling Internet connection. A question on the number of children ever born will once again be asked, in line with the 10 year cycle for this question.
Core Activity Need for Assistance (ASSNP)
This topic identifies people who report a need for assistance due to a 'profound or severe core activity limitation', and is based on similar criteria to the ABS Survey of Disability Ageing and Carers. This population is defined as people who need assistance in their day to day lives with any or all of the following core activities - self-care, body movements or communication - because of a disability, long-term health condition, or old age.
Data on people who need assistance because of a disability, long-term health condition or old age are required for developing federal and state government policies and community-based programs, and for program and service delivery funding allocation.
Detailed data at the small area level and for small population groups are required for informed planning and funding of disability service delivery.
While this topic is based on the criteria used in the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, the population measured will differ as a result of the different collection methodology used and reduced question format. On this basis, data for this topic should be taken as an indication of the characteristics of people who report a need for assistance, not as the total prevalence of people with a 'profound or severe core activity limitation' as represented in the survey data.
Information on unpaid activities is important in measuring the characteristics of the carers of groups with special needs (such as children, the elderly and people with a disability), and assisting with planning for both work and non-work environments.
The new topic includes questions on providing child care, domestic work and voluntary work for an organisation or group, as well as assistance to people with a disability, long-term illness or problems related to old age. The questions are applicable to people aged 15 years and over.
Data is output using the variables:
Number of Children Ever Born (TISP)
The question on number of children ever born is asked in alternate censuses and was last asked in the 1996 Census.
- Unpaid Child Care (CHCAREP)
- Unpaid Domestic Work: Number of Hours (DOMP)
- Unpaid Assistance to a Person With a Disability (UNCAREP)
- Voluntary Work for an Organisation or Group (VOLWP)
Data on number of children ever born are required for investigations of life time fertility levels and differentials across various population groups such as Indigenous Australians, migrants, people in different socioeconomic situations, and birth year cohorts of all Australian women.
The question on children ever born is the best source of data about life time childlessness among women in Australia. In conjunction with other Census questions, it can be used for aged care and other social planning.
Number of children ever born data are also used in conjunction with birth registration statistics to contribute to the development of family and child related policies, and for projections of fertility and population size and structure.
Type of Internet Connection (NEDD)
There is an ongoing requirement by commonwealth and state government bodies for data related to the use of the Internet at small geographic area level and for small population groups. There are a number of access and equity issues associated with accessibility of the Internet. The detailed information that is available from the Census allows the government to target their programs accurately.